Pre-Second World War Aircraft
Avro 504K’H1968′ AH (BAPC) 42 Replica
Blackburn Mercury Monoplane 1911 AH (BAPC) 130 Replica
Cayley Glider BAPC.89 Replica
Mignet HM.14 Pou-du-Ciel (Flying Flea) ‘G-AFFI’ AH (BAPC) 76
Port Victoria P.V.8 Eastchurch Kitten ‘N540’ Replica
Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c ‘6232’ AH (BAPC) 41 Replica
Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a’F943′ Replica
Wright Flyer 1903 AH (BAPC) 28 Replica
Second World War Aircraft
Douglas Dakota IV C-47B KN353 G-AMYJ
Fairchild Argus II FK338 G-AJOZ
Handley Page Halifax II(III) ‘LV907’
Hawker Hurricane I ‘P3873’ AH (BAPC)265 Replica
Messerschmitt 109G-6 AH (BAPC) 240 Replica
Slingsby T.7 (Kirby Cadet TX.1) RA854
SupermarineSpitfire I ‘R6690’ AH (BAPC) 254 Replica
Waco Hadrian CG-4A ‘237123’ AH (BAPC) 157 Replica
Post-Second World War Aircraft
Air Command Sports Elite Gyroplane G-TFRB
Auster AOP.6 VW993 (Beagle Terrier 2 G-ASCD)
AVRO Anson T.21 VV901
BAE Systems HERTI DV Drone
Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XN974
Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XV168
Blackburn (Hawker-Siddeley) Buccaneer S.2B XX901
Dassault Mirage IIIE 538
Dassault Mirage IV A BR 45
De Havilland Devon D.H.104 C.2 VP967 G-KOOL
De Havilland Vampire D.H.115 T.11 XH278
English Electric Canberra T.4 WH846
English Electric (BAC) Lightning F.6 XS903
Europa Prototype 001 G-YURO
Fairey Aviation Gannet AEW.3 XL502
Gloster Javelin FAW.9 XH767
Gloster Meteor F.8 WL168 ‘WK864’
Gloster (Armstrong-Whitworth) Meteor NF.14 WS788
Handley-Page Herald HPR.7 Series 213 G-AVPN
Handley-Page Victor K.2 XL231
Hawker Hunter FGA.78 N-268
Hawker Hunter T.7 XL572 ‘XL571’
Hawker-Siddeley Harrier G.R.3 XV748
Hawker-Siddeley (BAE Systems) Nimrod MR.2 XV250
Hunting (BAC) Jet Provost T.4 XP640
Hunting BAC Jet Provost T.3 XN589
Lockheed/Canadair CL-30 (CT-133) Silver Star 21417
Mainair Demon 175/Tri-Flyer 330 ‘G-MJRA’ Microlight
PANAVIA Tornado GR.1 ZA354
PANAVIA Tornado GR.4 XZ631
Saunders Roe SARO Skeeter AOP.12 XM553 G-AWSV
Westland-Sikorsky Dragonfly HR.5 WH991
Pre-Second World War Aircraft
AVRO 504K ‘H1968’ (Replica) AH (BAPC) 42 YAM Oct. 1994
The Avro 504 first flew in 1913. In the opening phases of the First World War, it served with front-line squadrons in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service for bombing and reconnaissance, but from 1915 onwards the aircraft entered the training role for which it is most celebrated.
Over 8,000 Avro 504s were built. In 1918, the Royal Air Force had about 3,000, of which 2,276 were trainers.
The Avro 504 was stationed at many Yorkshire airfields, including Tadcaster near the A1/A64 junction, where a period hangar can still be seen.
The Yorkshire Air Museum’s replica was built by apprentices at RAF Halton and appeared at the Royal Tournament in 1968 to commemorate what was then fifty years since the end of the First World War. The aircraft was refurbished in early 2015 to be transported to Thiepval, Northern France, for the Somme Centenary commemoration event, on request of the British Government. In May 2018, it was also displayed at the impressive Hotel Les Invalides in central Paris for a joint RAF / French Air Force event to mark the Centenary of the Royal Air Force and over 100 years of British and French Air Force collaboration.
Blackburn Mercury Monoplane 1911 (Replica) AH (BAPC) 130 YAM Jan.1995
The Blackburn Mercury Monoplane is regarded as the first truly successful aircraft made by Blackburn at their factory in Leeds. The Mercury I, powered by a 50 hp Isaacson radial engine, was displayed at the Olympia Aero Show in March 1911 and made its debut flying from the beach at Filey with the newly formed Blackburn Flying School. In May 1911, it flew from Filey to Scarborough and back in 19 minutes at an average speed of 50 mph, reaching an altitude of 1200 feet. This aircraft crashed the next day when the engine seized and the propeller flew off!
The Mercury I was followed by two Mercury II aircraft powered by 50 hp Gnome engines, and six Mercury III aircraft, with a number of different engines. Sadly, a Renault powered Mercury crashed at Filey in December 1911, killing an instructor and passenger.
The Museum’s replica was built for Yorkshire Television in 1979 for the Edwardian drama series ‘Flambards’, and was taxied with a car engine. It came to YAM on 10th January 1995 and after a long period in storage it was painstakingly restored to a superb display standard, and was unveiled in June 2000 by Professor Robert Blackburn, grandson of Robert Blackburn, the aviation pioneer.
Cayley Glider (Replica) AH (BAPC) 89 YAM July 1998.
Sir George Cayley (1773-1857) is credited with a long list of ‘aviation firsts’. He was first to separate the theories of lift and propulsion and he was first to design an aerofoil, almost identical to those used today. He designed many model and full-size gliders. It is only recently that the true importance of Sir George Cayley’s work has been recognised and his rightful place as ‘Father of Aeronautics’ has been recognised.
One of his flying machines made the world’s first manned heavier-than-air flight at Brompton Dale, near Scarborough, in the late summer of 1849, flying across the Dale, in Cayley’s own words, “…like a noble white bird”. This historic moment took place more than 54 years before the Wright brothers made the first powered flight from Kitty Hawk Sands in the USA on 17 December 1903.
In 1852, Cayley designed what he called a ‘governable parachute’ and published the details in the Mechanic’s Magazine that year. This machine was flown in 1853 at Brompton Dale, carrying Cayley’s coachman, who on coming back to earth said to Sir George, “I wish to give notice; I was hired to drive not to fly”.
The Museum’s replica, based on the 1852 ‘Governable Parachute’, was built in 1974 for Anglia Television by Southdown Aero Services for a programme about the life of Sir George Cayley. The glider was towed into the air by a car with test pilot, Derek Piggott, at the controls. It made several successful short hops at Lasham and Humberside airfields, before being taken to Brompton Dale, where it was filmed in the air. Ten years later, Derek Piggott again flew the Cayley Glider for the IMAX film, ‘On the Wing’.
The glider was then placed on display in the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry and remained there until 1998 when it was transported to Elvington, only 25 miles from Brompton Dale. After renovation by a Museum member, the glider was officially unveiled on 12th August 1998 and placed on display at a ceremony attended by descendants of Sir George Cayley. In 2018, it was loaned to The Great Exhibition of The North, Newcastle, creating a striking display of early flight.
Mignet HM.14 Pou-du-Ciel (Flying Flea) ‘G-AFFI’ AH (BAPC) 76 YAM April 1989
Designed by a Frenchman, Henri Mignet, in 1934, the Flying Flea could be built at home and cost £90 (about £5000 today). A total of 123 were completed in Britain, but scores more were never finished. Maximum speed was a sedate 56mph.
Sadly, after many fatalities caused by a serious design fault, it became illegal to fly unmodified Flying Fleas in the United Kingdom after June 1937.
Born of the Golden Age of flying in the inter-war years, the Flying Flea had a short life, but during this time the little aircraft sparked a craze that had enthusiasts all over Great Britain and France in its grip.
The Museum’s ‘Flying Flea’ was made from the original plans and is fitted with a 25 hp Scott A.2S ‘Flying Squirrel’ engine, made in Shipley.
Port Victoria P.V.8 Eastchurch Kitten ‘N540’ (Replica) YAM 1987
The Kitten was intended to be launched from platforms on battleships, cruisers or even torpedo boats. It was to be a ‘disposable’, one operation aircraft, to simply go up, intercept and shoot down the airship, then ditch in the sea. In 1917, the Royal Naval Air Service Experimental Construction Depot at Port Victoria (Isle of Grain) produced two concepts, the P.V. 7 and P.V.8 ‘Kitten’. The latter proved to be the better and made its first flight on 1st September 1917, at nearby Eastchurch Aerodrome, Isle of Sheppey, so became the Eastchurch Port Victoria Kitten. It was found to be unstable, leading to redesign of the horizontal tail surfaces, elevator and tail-plane, making it a better aircraft to fly.
The diminutive aircraft, with a wingspan of 18 feet, was powered by a 35 hp ABC Gnat engine and armed with a Lewis gun. Only one was built. The threat from Zeppelins had receded and it never went into production. In the 1980’s an attempt was made to recreate a Kitten, but the project was abandoned and what had been started came to YAM. Ahead of the WWI Centenary, the replica was completely rebuilt and rolled out on 27th February 2010, fitted with a similar Citroen 2CV engine. It is an interesting ‘live’ exhibit amongst our collection.
Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c ‘6232’ (Replica) AH (BAPC) 41 YAM Oct. 1994
The Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2c was built in the early summer of 1914, intended mainly as a reconnaissance aircraft. A few arrived in France later that year, but its lack of speed and manoeuvrability meant that by 1915 it was outclassed by the new Fokker monoplanes, when it became known as ‘Fokker Fodder’. After withdrawal from the Western Front, however, it achieved success as a night fighter and as a trainer. About 1300 were built, 111 sub-contracted to Blackburn in Leeds.
The Yorkshire Air Museum’s replica was built by the apprentices at RAF Halton and was used by the Royal Air Force as a display aircraft for many years. Refurbished in 2018, it supported the Royal Air Force Centenary event at Horse Guards Parade, 10th July 2018.
Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a ‘F943’ (Replica) YAM 1986
DesignedbyH P Follandin1916, and built at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, theSE.5awasa single-seat biplane ‘fightingscout’ poweredbya Hispano-Suiza derivedwater-cooled V8 engine,usuallya 200hpWolseleyViper.Itcouldclimb to10,000feetin11minutes 20secondsand it hada serviceceilingof20,000feet. TheViperversionhada maximumspeedatsealevelof138mph.
Armamentwasa singlefixed.303inVickersmachine-gun,firingthroughthe propellerand/orone.303inLewisgunwithfour97 roundammunitiondrums mounted over the wing.Four
25 lbCooperbombscould be carriedunderthefuselage.
The SE.5awasoneoftheoutstandingfightersofthe First World War. About 5,000wereproduced,servingwithtwentyRoyal Flying Corps(laterRoyal Air Force)squadronsoverthe WesternFront. Theyalsoequippedthe25thand148thAeroSquadronsoftheUS AirService.Foursquadrons flewthetypeonHomeDefence duties.
The replica at the Yorkshire Air Museum was carefully constructed from the original plans and has been restored to display condition with a working V8 engine.
Wright Flyer 1903 (Replica) AH (BAPC) 28 YAM Nov. 1999
The 1903 Wright Flyer was the first powered heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled sustained flight with a pilot aboard. This historic event took place on 17 December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA, when Orville Wright flew for 12 seconds, covering a distance of 120 feet. Later that day, his brother Wilbur flew for 59 seconds, covering 852 feet. The original aircraft is now in the National Air and Space Museum, Washington.
The Museum’s replica was built in 1963 by the RAF Finningley Vintage Aircraft Group. It achieved a few short hops and was then displayed in the Station Museum collection until 1979, when it was transferred to Cardington for storage. During 1988, it was sold to ‘Bygone Times Antiques Warehouse’ at Eccleston, Lancashire.
From 1991, until it was acquired by the Yorkshire Air Museum in October 1999, it was displayed in the roof of the Leeds Corn Exchange. It was displayed at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in July 2005.
Second World War Aircraft
Douglas Dakota IV C-47B-25-DK KN353 G-AMYJ YAM Dec. 2001
The famous Douglas DC-3 was developed from the DC-2 as an airliner for short and long haul flights powered by two Wright Cyclone engines and carrying up to 21 passengers. It was first flown on 17 December 1935 as the DST – Douglas Sleeper Transport. In service with the US Army Air Force and powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engines, the aircraft was designated the C-47 Skytrain. It was known as the R4D when flown by the US Navy. In RAF service, the C-47 was known as the ‘Dakota’. During the Second World War, DC3 variants flew in many roles from parachute dropping to gunship and the aircraft was renowned for its ruggedness and reliability. In total of 10,655 C-47s were built in USA and hundreds remain airworthy throughout the world.
The Yorkshire Air Museum’s Dakota IV was manufactured in Oklahoma City, USA, as a C-47B and entered RAF service at RAF Montreal as KN353 in February 1945. In March 1945 it was transferred to 300 Wing in Australia and from May 1946 until December 1946 it served in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with the ACSEA Communications Unit. From then until October 1947, when it was returned to the UK at 12 MU Kirkbride, it was in the Far East. During transit back to the UK, on final approach at Castel Benito in Italy, the Dakota suffered double engine failure due to a bird strike. The pilot, Flying Officer Alan Thame, landed the aircraft safely in spite of having no engine power and limited vision due to bird remains on the cockpit windows.
In February 1953, the aircraft was bought by Transair Ltd and registered as G-AMYJ. While on a troop-carrying charter with the RAF in 1954 it carried the designation XF747. Subsequently, the Dakota was flown by many small operators in a variety of roles, including a spell in Egypt with Nile Delta Services as SU-AZF. It was bought by Air Atlantique at Coventry Airport in the early 1980s and equipped to spray oil slicks with chemicals for pollution control. The aircraft was donated to the museum by Air Atlantique in December 2001 and has been restored with appropriate RAF paratroops’ transport interior and new engines.
Fairchild Argus II FK338 G-AJOZ YAM June 2000
The original Fairchild Type 24 civil aircraft, built by the Fairchild Aircraft Company, Maryland, USA, first flew in 1932. In 1941, the United States Army Air Force contracted for a utility transport and communications version, to be known as the UC-61 Forwarder. Under Lend-Lease arrangements, about 670 of these aircraft served with the Royal Air Force and the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) ferry organisation, under the name Argus. The Argus I had a 145 hp Warner Super Scarab engine; the Argus II had a 165 hp Super Scarab engine, and the Argus III had a 175 hp inverted in-line engine.
The Argus II at Elvington arrived in England in August 1942 and served for most of the Second World War with the ATA at No.2 Ferry Pool, Whitchurch. After the War, it was acquired by the United States Flying Club and registered as G-AJOZ. It was finally withdrawn from use in 1963.
After many years in various collections, the Argus was acquired by the Yorkshire Air Museum in June 2000. It is displayed in Air Transport Auxiliary markings, as the type served with the ATA as a transport aircraft.
Handley Page Halifax II (III) ‘LV907’ YAM 1986 (fuselage section)
The Handley Page Halifax was the second of Britain’s four-engine bombers to enter Royal Air Force service, but the first to drop bombs on Germany. It was first flown on 25 October 1939 from RAF Bicester and entered service with 35 Squadron in November 1940. The first bombing raid was flown on 10 March 1941.
The design underwent a great deal of modification during the Second World War. The Halifax I and II aircraft were powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and the Halifax III was powered by Bristol Hercules engines. Apart from the role as a heavy bomber, the Halifax III and later versions also served in Coastal Command and in para-troop and glider towing roles with the Airborne Forces. Halifax production totalled 6,178, the bomber versions flying a total of 75,532 sorties in the Second World War. After the War, a civilian version, known as the Halton, operated in the Berlin Air Lift and continued in service until 1953.
The skies of Yorkshire once thundered to the sound of Halifax engines. The county was the home of 4 and 6 Groups Bomber Command and three Halifax Squadrons were based at Elvington, first 77 Squadron, then two French Air Force Squadrons, 346 (Guyenne) and 347 (Tunisie). The Halifax was popular with its crews for its versatile and rugged performance.
The Yorkshire Air Museum’s Halifax reconstruction is based on a twenty-feet section of the fuselage of Halifax II, HR792, which carried out an emergency ‘wheels up’ landing on the Isle of Lewis in 1945. The aircraft was scrapped and a crofter, Mr McKenzie, purchased the fuselage section for use as a hen-coop. The wings came from Hastings, TG536, at RAF Catterick. Restoration work began in 1984.
The only other Halifax in Britain is one from a lake in Norway, which is on display in its recovered condition at the RAF Museum at Hendon.
When the re-construction was nearing completion it was decided to name the aircraft “Friday the 13th” in honour of the most famous Halifax of all, as representative of all examples built. This Halifax, LV907, completed 128 operations during 1944 and 1945 with 158 Squadron, which was based at Lissett near Bridlington. It was put on display after the War in Oxford Street, London, but was eventually scrapped at Clifton Moor, York. The starboard side of the aircraft is painted in French colours representing 346 “Guyenne” Squadron. Work continues on this restoration.
Hawker Hurricane I ‘P3873’ (Replica) AH (BAPC) 265 YAM Aug.1999
The famous Hawker Hurricane fighter was designed by Sir Sydney Camm. The prototype flew in 1935. The Hurricane I was fitted with a 990hp Rolls-Royce Merlin engine and had a speed of 330 mph at 17,500 feet, with a service ceiling of 36,000 feet. It entered service with 111 Squadron at Northolt in December 1937. A tough and reliable aircraft, Hurricanes were allotted the task of attacking German bombers in the Battle of Britain and shot down eighty percent of all aircraft claimed by the Royal Air Force during the Battle. Throughout the War, the aircraft performed well as an interceptor, fighter-bomber, night fighter and ground attack aircraft.
To commemorate this proud service, the Museum’s Hurricane replica was unveiled on 20 August 2000 and installed as the gate guardian on 8 October 2000 by the Canadian High Commissioner, the Hon. Roy McLaren PC. The replica is painted as P3873 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, in which the Museum’s Canada Branch Patron, Hon. Hartland de M Molson OC OBE KstJ, was shot down twice during the Battle of Britain.
Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 (Replica) AH (BAPC) 240 YAM May 1994
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 single-seat interceptor fighter was first flown in September 1935 and saw action in the Spanish Civil War with Jumo 210 engines. The Daimler-Benz DB 605AM 12-cylinder inverted V-engine was introduced with the Bf 109G in 1942. The Bf 109G served on all fronts from 1942 to 1945. More than 33,000 Bf 109 were built between 1937 and 1945.
The replica at the Museum, constructed by Danny Thornton, represents a Messerschmitt 109G6/R6, flown by Major Anton Hackl of JG.11, who was 29 years old in 1944. The markings are of a Gruppenkommanduer of Gruppe III of JG.11. With a final total of 192 victories (including 32 four-engine bombers), plus a further 24 unconfirmed victories during his 1000 missions, Anton Hackl was one of the most successful German fighter pilots of the Second World War.
Slingsby T.7 (Kirby Cadet TX.1) RA854 YAM June 2000
The Kirby Cadet glider first flew in 1937. Early examples had a rubber shock-absorbing skid, but later versions had a fixed main wheel, a modified nose and a less tall rudder. During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force adopted the glider for air cadet training. Total production was over 430.
The Museum’s Cadet was built during the War in London, by sub-contractor Ottley Motors Ltd., as one of a batch of 30. Its early service is not known, but in 1947 it was at No.41 Gliding School and in 1949 it was at RAF Woodvale.
After service at Woodford with the Hawker Siddeley Gliding Club, the Cadet went into preservation in 1963. It was acquired by the Yorkshire Air Museum in May 2000.
The glider is in very good original condition and only required light restoration to display condition.
Supermarine Spitfire I ‘R6690’ (Replica) AH (BAPC) 254 YAM Mid 1996
The legendary Spitfire entered service with the Royal Air Force in June 1938 with 19 Squadron at Duxford. It proved capable of remarkable development and was the only allied fighter in full production throughout the Second World War. The Mark I had a maximum speed of 355 mph at 19,000 feet with a 1050 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. The final Spitfire, the F.24, had a maximum speed of 450 mph with a 2350 hp Rolls-Royce Griffon engine. More than 22,000 Spitfires (including Seafires) were built.
The Spitfire replica at the Museum commemorates 609 (West Riding) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and represents Spitfire Mk Ia ‘R6690’ flown in the Battle of Britain by the Commanding Officer, Sqn Ldr H S ‘George’ Darley. The Squadron shot down 85 enemy aircraft during the Battle and went on to become the first Spitfire Squadron to be credited with 100 victories. The original R6690 was shot down over South London on 15 September 1940 by a Messerschmitt Bf110 and the pilot, P/O Daunt, was sadly killed.
WACO Hadrian CG-4A ‘237123’ AH (BAPC) 157 YAM June 2000
The CG-4A was a wartime troop or cargo-carrying glider made by the Weaver Aircraft Company in Ohio, USA. It was named Hadrian when in service with the British forces. It was the only American built troop-carrying glider to be used by the allied forces in the airborne invasions of Sicily and France.
Including the two pilots in the hinged nose, it could carry 15 fully armed troops or a jeep with its crew, or an Army 75 mm howitzer with crew and ammunition. It could carry a total military load of around 3,500 lb and could land in a field 660 feet by 200 feet surrounded by 50 feet obstacles at a loaded stalling speed of 50-60 mph.
The fuselage of the Hadrian was 6 feet 5 inches wide and made of a steel tubular framework covered with fabric on wooden formers with a wooden floor. The wingspan was 83 feet 8 inches and the wings and tail unit were made of wood with plywood and fabric covering. The training undercarriage consisted of independent wheels, with shock absorbers and hydraulic brakes. The operational undercarriage could be jettisoned by parachute and was a simple cross axle with brake-less wheels. The glider then landed on skids.
The Yorkshire Air Museum’s fuselage is based on an original steel frame and has been restored to display a typical wartime load.
Post-Second World War Aircraft
Air Command Sports Elite Gyroplane G-TFRB YAM Nov. 2001
The Air Command Sports Elite is a kit-built gyroplane built in the USA since the early 1990s. It is powered by a Rotax 532 engine. The aircraft can take off within 600 feet in still air and a good pilot can land within 10 feet. The cruising speed is 60 – 80 mph.
Around 65 of the kits were imported into Britain but, after a number of fatal accidents, the aircraft type was grounded by the CAA. After several modifications by its former owner, the museum’s aircraft regained a flying permit and flew successfully for several years until the CAA again grounded the type. After two years in storage, the gyroplane was donated to the Yorkshire Air Museum and arrived in November 2001.
A similar gyroplane, nicknamed ‘Little Nellie’, was used in the blockbuster ‘007’ film ‘You Only Live Twice’.
Auster AOP.6 VW993 (Beagle Terrier 2 G-ASCD) YAM Oct. 1986
The Beagle Terrier 2was the name given to the modified Auster 6 AOP (Air Observation Platform), after the Auster Aircraft Company was sold. It was powered by a Gypsy Major 7 engine. A total of 380 of these aircraft were built between 1946 and 1953.
After initial military service with 663 and 651 Army Co-operation Squadrons as a spotter aircraft for the Royal Artillery, the Museum’s example was converted in 1961 for civilian use as a Beagle Terrier 2, registered as G-ASCD. Used mainly as a glider tug, it was later registered in the The Netherlands as PH-SFT before returning to its original registration. Its flying career ended in 1971 with a heavy landing at Nympsfield.
One of the earliest aircraft acquired by the Museum, it has been restored to Auster AOP 6 Specifications.
AVRO Anson T.21 VV901 YAM June 1993
The AVRO Anson, which first flew in March 1935, was used by the Royal Air Force and many allied Air Forces for numerous tasks throughout the war. Many were to be eventually found operating in a civilian role when hostilities ceased. In all, 11,020 Ansons of all types were built, the last one being delivered to the Royal Air Force on 15May 1952.
A total of 3,881 Anson’s were manufactured at the AVRO factory at Yeadon, next to the present Leeds Bradford Airport. In addition, the factory produced enough parts to build another 900 Anson’s, making a total approaching 4,800 aircraft.
The Museum’s Anson, VV901, is one of 92 T.20 and T.21 aircraft made under contract at Chadderton between January 1949 and January 1950. T.21 Anson’s were navigation trainers, with astrodomes. The aircraft began service with No. 1 Reserve Flying School at Panshangar and was at Maintenance Units at Aldergrove, Silloth and Kirkbride from 1953 until 1958. In July 1958, the aircraft was allocated to Durham University Air Squadron as a communications aircraft for the duration of the summer camp. It was at the Civilian Fighter Control Co-operation Unit from 1958. By 1961, it was awaiting disposal at Leconfield and was eventually sold as scrap for use in a children’s playground near Scarborough. After a further period in storage, it came to the Museum on 8th June 1993 in a derelict condition and is under long-term restoration.
BAE Systems HERTI Drone YAM Aug. 2018
Remote, computer controlled, unmanned military aircraft. (Not yet on display.)
Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XN974 YAM Aug. 1991
The Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 was a two-seat (in tandem)low-level, strike and reconnaissance aircraft of all-metal, stressed-skin construction, poweredby two Rolls-Royce RB Spey Mk.101 turbofans, delivering 11,100 lb thrust. It had a maximum speed at sea level of 690 mph (Mach 0.92), a tactical radius of 500-600 miles and a range of 2,000 miles.
The Buccaneer served in the Fleet Air Arm for a number of years as its major low-level strike aircraft before being enlisted by the Royal Air Force for long-range strike and photo- reconnaissance. About 100 Buccaneers entered Royal Air Force service from February 1969 until their retirement after the Gulf War.
XN974 was the first production S.2 aircraft, making its first flight from the British Aerospace airfield at Holme-on-Spalding Moor on 5 June 1964. It went straight to the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Bedford, for work trials and then to HMS Eagle forsea trials. In 1965 it went to the USA for hot weather testing and achieved a record on its return flight from Goose Bay to Lossiemouth by becoming the first Fleet Air Arm aircraft to fly the transatlantic route non-stop without refuelling.
Between 1967 and 1982, XN974 was developed into a prime avionics and system development aircraft in trials from Holme-on Spalding Moor, Scampton and West Freugh. In 1982 it was transferred to British Aerospace, Warton.
After a long and successful career as a trials and test aircraft, Buccaneer XN974 was flown into retirement at Elvington on 19th August 1991. It is maintained in ground operational condition by an enthusiastic team of Museum volunteers. In 2017, XN974 was returned to her splendid original Fleet Air Arm prototype markings, of sea grey top-side and white anti-flash underside.
Blackburn (Hawker-Siddeley) Buccaneer S.2B XX901 YAM May 1996
Buccaneer XX901 had an illustrious service record with the Royal Air Force, serving with 208 Squadron firstly at RAF Honington and later at RAF Lossiemouth. In 1983, it took part in the only deployment by Buccaneers to the Falklands and later saw action over Beirut in support of the British Army contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon.
In the 1991 Gulf War, based at Muharraq Air Base, Bahrain, it flew 9 successful and 4 aborted operational missions and had the unique distinction of destroying a taxiing Iraqi transport aircraft (later discovered to have been a captured Kuwaiti C-130 Hercules aircraft) with self-designated laser guided bombs. It was saved from the scrap yard by the Buccaneer Aircrew Association, delivered to YAM on26th May 1996 and is painted in the Gulf War scheme, including the ‘Flying Mermaid’ Glenlivet nose art.
Blackburn Buccaneer XV168 YAM Aug. 2013
In recognition of the close relationship between the aircraft and Blackburn Aircraft Company’s Brough site, XV168 was flown ‘home’ on 15th October 1993 from Lossiemouth, the first and last occasion on which a Buccaneer would land at Brough, no other having ever flown into or out of the airfield. XV168 was Dedicated in memory of the Blackburn / Hawker Siddley aircrew who gave their lives during the development of the Buccaneer. These were: John G Joyce; Trevor D Dunn; ‘Sailor’ G R I Parker and Gordon R Copeman. It has stood at Brough for 20 years. A dedication event was held in March 1994 and a plaque erected.
Redevelopment of the Brough site led to the decision being taken to offer the airframe to the Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial as the most fitting place to house this aircraft. The Buccaneer design underwent development trials at Elvington Airfield and the company’s site at Holme on Spalding Moor, close by, so the type has an historic connection to XV168’s new locality. It was delivered to YAM on 18th August 2013 by road.
XV168 complements the two other Buccaneers within the Museum’s collection, these being Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XX901 and the Hawker Siddley (Blackburn) Buccaneer S.2 XN974, which was the prototype for the Fleet Air Arm Naval version of the low level strike attack aircraft, which is kept in ‘live’ ground operational condition. A new Plaque has been created and Dedicated to the lost aircrew.
General Buccaneer information…..
The first flight of the Buccaneer (known as NA39 until being named in 1960) took place on 30th April 1958. In September 1959 the aircraft was ordered into production for the Royal Navy and subsequently proved to be Blackburn’s longest serving aircraft with 35 years to its credit.
- By 1961 20 development aircraft were all airborne.
- The Royal Navy ordered 50 Mk.1 aircraft.
- Buccaneer Mk.2 first flew from HOSM in May 1963.
- 16 Mk.50 Buccaneers were built for the South African Air Force. Deliveries began in 1965.
- The Royal Air Force at last announced an order for Buccaneers in 1968, some ten years after the Company’s first attempt to sell the aircraft to the Service.
- October 1977 marked the end of a 19-year continuous production run of 209 aircraft.
- In January 1991 a detachment of Buccaneers, repainted in camouflage desert pink, were deployed to the Gulf where they flew sorties with Tornado aircraft against Iraqi forces during operation ‘Desert Storm’.
- The Buccaneer was finally withdrawn from service in April 1994.
Dassault Mirage IIIE 538 YAM Aug. 1995
The Dassault Mirage IIIE was a single-seat tactical fighter-bomber powered by a SNECMA Atar 9C turbojet rated at 13,620 lb thrust with re-heat. Its maximum speed was 1,460 mph (Mach 2.1) at 40,000 feet. Armament was two 30mm cannon and up to 5000 lb external ordnance.
Developed in the early 1950s to a French Air Force requirement, the Mirage III first flew in November 1956. Successive developments included the Mirage IIIB two seat pilot training version, the Mirage IIIE for tactical nuclear strike and conventional attack, and the Mirage IIIR for reconnaissance.
In addition to the large numbers built for the French Air Force, versions were exported throughout the world. Total Mirage IIIE production was over 1200 and it served in 15 countries. The Mirage III remained in production until 1984.
Mirage IIIE 538, was presented to the Museum by the French Air Force. It had been flown in 1972 by Museum member, Colonel Denis Turina, whose father flew from Elvington in the Second World War. The aircraft last flew in 1993.
The presence of this aircraft at the Museum is a fitting memorial to the French Squadrons, 346 (Guyenne) and 347 (Tunisie), which operated from Elvington flying the Halifax from mid-1944 to mid-1945.
Dassault Mirage IV A (BR45) YAM March 2017
The Mirage IVA:was a strategic nuclear bomber built by Dassault in 1964 to provide France with an airborne nuclear capability. Its length is 23.5 meters (77ft.) and its width is 11.85 meters (39ft.). It weighs 31 tons and was able to fly at a speed of Mach 2.2 (2,124 km/h). Mirage IV A was the first European military aircraft capable of flying over Mach 2 for a sustained period of time; it is still the only one in Western Europe. It was indeed the reformed Group Guyenne 1/93 Squadron, derived from Elvington’s WWII French squadrons, which was amongst the first to operate the Mirage IVA. The transfer is a symbolic recognition of this long-standing affiliation.
The Mirage IVA 45/BR (Bravo Romeo) flew for the first time on May 6th, 1966, with crew Elie Buge (pilot 1923-1967, the first non-commissioned officer to cross the sound barrier) and Jean Cuny. Delivered to the French Air Force on June 3rd, 1966, Bravo Romeo completed 6,309 hours of flying and 2,975 landings. It left active duty and made its last flight on September 11th, 1991 before joining the Châteaudun base. It was then exhibited at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris from March 1995 to January 2009 before returning to Châteaudun, having been allocated for gifting to Britain and Elvington.
On Monday 27th March 2017, in France, the Director of the Allied Air Forces Memorial & Yorkshire Air Museum, Ian Reed ONM FRAeS, signed the official documentation, allowing release of a convoy of 4 transporters containing the iconic Mirage IVA strategic nuclear bomber (No.45) to commence the 848 kms (527 miles) journey to its new home at Elvington, arriving early evening on 29th March. This historic document signified the first time a former nuclear capable aircraft is transferred to an independent organisation in one country on behalf of another NATO country. It was achieved due to the EU status of The Allied Air Forces Memorial and the special links built with the French Air Force and French Government over the past 30 years. The highly sensitive and complex project took over 12 years to negotiate
De Havilland Devon D.H.104 C.2 VP967 G-KOOL YAM Nov. 2010
The de Havilland DH104 Devon was a military version of the de Havilland Dove short-haul airliner, one of Britain’s most successful post-war civil designs. The original design was in response to the Brabazon Committee report which called for a British designed short-haul feeder for airlines. The Devon was used by the Royal Air Force and, as the Sea Devon, by the Royal Navy for transport and communication duties. Powered by two de Havilland Gipsy Queen engines, the Dove and Devon were the first British transport aircraft to use reversible-pitch propellers for braking assistance. Standard accommodation as a transport was for 8 to 11 passengers.
Devon VP967 was built in 1948 as a C.1 aircraft and was delivered to the Royal Air Force later in the year, operating in the United Kingdom and Germany. The aircraft was later fitted with more powerful engines as a C.2 and continued its RAF service with 21 Squadron at Andover and 207 Squadron at Northolt transporting VIPs. In due course the aircraft was transferred to the Royal Navy and, named as a Sea Devon, served at RNAS Culdrose on the Station Flight. The aircraft is known to have participated in the ‘Cod Wars’ at a time when foreign fishing vessels were encroaching into United Kingdom territorial waters. Following retirement from service in 1982 and decommissioning in the late 1980s, VP967 was bought by a businessman who planned to operate the aircraft as G-KOOL to transport fresh lobsters from Ireland. Eventually the aircraft became a gate guardian and instructional airframe at East Surrey College, Redhill until recovered by the East Surrey Aviation Group in 2000. In 2002 the Devon was moved from Goodwood, West Sussex to Redhill Aerodrome and from 2003 was restored to ground taxiing condition and repainted in 207 Squadron colours.
Since acquisition by the Museum in November 2010, the airframe and engines are again being restored to ground taxiing condition. VP967’s service log has been retrieved, revealing that the airframe had only flown about 6,000 hrs.
De Havilland Vampire D.H.115 T.11 XH278 YAM Nov. 2001
Designed as a high-altitude interceptor, the Vampire followed the Meteor as Britain’s second jet fighter. It was initially powered by the Halford H1 engine developed by Frank Halford, chief designer for De Havilland, and was known originally as the ‘Spider Crab’. The prototype flew in September 1943. The F3 version with the Goblin 1 engine equipped many RAF squadrons both at home and abroad, but the most common type was the ground attack FB5, used by many foreign air forces.
In the early 1950s, De Havilland produced a two-seat night-fighter version, the NF.10, and these aircraft formed the backbone of the RAF’s night-fighter force until the arrival of the Meteor NF.11. The T.11 trainer version was a development of the NF.10 and the type continued in service until well into the 1980s.
Vampire T.11 XH278 was built at Chester and was test flown on 13 September 1955. It was delivered to the RAF Cranwell on 30 December 1955. Apart from one minor collision with a fuel bowser on 8 January 1957, it remained in service until 3 February 1960 when it went into storage at RAF Shawbury. In 1964, the Vampire was transferred to RAF Upwood for Ground Instruction Training. In 1984, it was moved again to Henlow (ATC) and later to RAF Henlow. XH278 ended its service career two years later.
In October 1992, the Vampire was purchased by David Thompson, a farmer at South Howdens, Northumberland, who restored the aircraft during 1992/3. It remained on display at the farm until November 2001, when it was donated to the museum by David and his young son Martin.
English Electric Canberra T.4 WH846 YAM May 1988
The T.4 was a dual-control trainer variant of the Canberra, which was originally a twin-engined light bomber, with a crew of three, of all-metal stressed-skin construction, powered by two Rolls-Royce Avon 109 turbojets of 7,500 lb thrust each. It had an initial rate of climb of 3,800 feet per minute, with a service ceiling of 60,000 feet and a maximum speed of 620 mph (Mach 0.94) at 40,000 feet. The range was 4,500 miles.
The first Canberra flew at Warton on 13 May 1949 and entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1951. The prototype T.4 first flew on 6 June 1952. The type equipped 231 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) at Bassingbourne, where it was used for the conversion of pilots destined for operational versions of the Canberra. Over seventy were built. In addition, some 250 Canberra’s were built by the Martin Aircraft Company in the USA, under licence, as the B-57A.
The Museum’s aircraft was with 231 OCU, then 3 Squadron at Geilenkirchen (2nd Tactical Air Force), on the Station Flight at Laarbruch and with 100 Squadron at Wyton, until storage at St Athan in 1977. It returned to British Aerospace on 29 January 1982 and was in storage at Salmesbury before coming to Elvington on 19th May 1988.
English Electric (BAC) Lightning F.6 XS903 YAM May 1988
The Lightning F.6 was a single-seat, twin-engine, fighter interceptor, of all-metal stressed-skin construction, powered by Rolls-Royce Avon turbojets with re-heat. Its initial rate of climb was a colossal 50,000 feet per minute. Its service ceiling was 60,000 feet and its maximum speed Mach 2.27 at 40,000 feet. Its range, with ventral tanks, was 800 miles.
XS903 was built at Salmesbury and made its first flight on 17 August 1966 and joined 5 Squadron at Binbrook. It made a nosewheel-up landing at Coningsby on 14 September 1979. Following various spells with 11 Squadron, or in store, XS903 returned to 5 Squadron to go to Akrotiri in Cyprus. By July 1987, it was back with 11 Squadron and lost a part of its rudder in flight and had to make an emergency landing on 4 August of that year.
The Lightning was flown to Elvington for preservation on 18 May 1988, by Wing Commander ‘Jake’ Jarron, Commanding Officer of 11 Squadron at the time. The aircraft is currently owned by Dr. Peter Chambers and is on long-term loan to the Museum.
Europa Prototype 001 G-YURO YAM Dec. 1996
The Europa Aircraft Company was formed at Kirkbymoorside, Yorkshire, in 1991 by Ivan Shaw, to develop and market the Europa light aircraft he had designed the previous year. Of advanced kit-built design, the Europa can be easily transported and rigged and has excellent cruising and short-field performance for two people. The first customer-built Europa flew in October 1995 and to-date a total of 630 aircraft have been sold to thirty-one countries.
The Europa at the Museum is the re-furbished prototype and development aircraft, which first flew in February 1992. It was on display in the Millennium Dome for the turn of the century celebration.
Fairey Aviation Gannet AEW.3 XL502 YAM Mar. 2005
Designed initially as an anti-submarine strike aircraft with Double Mamba turbines driving co-axial propellers, the first prototype Fairey Gannet made its maiden flight on 19 September 1949 from Aldermaston and its first carrier landing on 19 June 1950 on the deck of HMS Illustrious. The first production Gannet AS.1 made its initial flight from Northolt on 9 June 1953. These aircraft were equipped with ‘sono’ buoys, markers and flares and were armed with various combinations of homing torpedoes, depth charges and mines in a bomb bay. Interestingly, legendary Air Transport Auxiliary pilot and early YAM Patron, Lettice Curtis, was involved in the development of the Gannet, being a close friend of Richard ( Fairey.
The completely redesigned Gannet AEW.3 airborne early warning aircraft entered service in 1960. Carrying a crew of three, it had a maximum speed of 250 mph, a range of 700 miles and a ceiling of 25000 feet. Ironically, the type was withdrawn from service in 1977, just before the Falklands conflict revealed the value of the surveillance that this remarkable aircraft would have been able to provide.
The Museum’s aircraft, previously at Sandtoft, Lincolnshire, was the last Gannet in service with No 849 Squadron and the last Gannet to display at air shows. It was acquired by the Museum with the assistance of a grant from the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material (PRISM) Fund, and by donations from the Beverley Association and Museum supporters, arriving by road on 11th March 2005.
Gloster Javelin FAW.9 XH767 YAM Feb. 2001
The Gloster Javelin was the world’s first twin-engine delta-wing fighter. Designed as a two-seat all-weather interceptor, the first prototype flew on 26 November 1951. Derived from the FAW.7, which had modified flying controls and an extended rear fuselage, the FAW.9 was powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire Sa.7R turbojets. It had a maximum speed of 702 mph and a service ceiling of 52,000 feet. Armament was four Firestreak air-to-air missiles and two 30 mm Aden guns.
XH767 was built at Hucclecote and went to Aldergrove in October 1959. It joined 25 Squadron at Waterbeach in December that year. From 1962 until 1965, the aircraft served with 11 Squadron in Germany. Following service with the Conversion Unit at Leuchars, XH767 was retired in 1967.
The Javelin arrived at Elvington in February 2001.
Gloster Meteor F.8 WL168 ‘WK864’ YAM Apr. 1996
This Meteor F.8, which commemorates and carries the markings of 616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force, is really WL168, which never flew with the squadron.
WL168 was built at Hucclecote as part of the last batch of the 1090 F.8s built and entered service with the Royal Air Force in February 1954. For the first year it was with 111 Squadron at North Weald, then with 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron at the same airfield, until the Royal Auxiliary Air Force was disbanded in March 1957. From January 1959 until September 1961, it was with the Armament Practice School at Sylt, West Germany, towing banner targets for shooting practice. From 1962, it was a static display aircraft in various markings at Heywood, Finningley, Swinderby and St Athan. From June 1988 until it came to the Museum on 12th April 1996 it was the gate guard at RAF Finningley.
Gloster (Armstrong Whitworth) Meteor NF.14 WS788 YAM Mar. 1992
The Meteor NF.14 Night Fighter was the last major development of a line that started in July 1944, with the first jet aircraft to go into service with the Royal Air Force, and included the F.4, F.8 and T.7. The NF.14 was a two-seat, twin-engine monoplane, powered by two Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 turbojets, each delivering 3,600 lb thrust. The service ceiling was 40,000 feet and the maximum speed was 579 mph. Its range, with ventral and under-wing tanks, was approximately 950 miles at altitude.
The Museum’s aircraft was built at Baginton, Coventry, in February 1954. In July 1954, it was issued to 152 Squadron at Wattisham. It served with the No.1 Air Navigation School at Thorney Island and later at No.2 School at Stradishall, where it was damaged in an accident. In January 1966, it was allocated for ground instructional use.
In September 1969, WS788 was moved to Patrington Radar Station on Spurn Head, as a static display aircraft. When Patrington closed, it was moved to Leeming to be the Station Gate Guard. It was brought to Elvington on 17th March 1992. The aircraft is currently undergoing a major restoration.
Handley Page HPR.7 Herald Series 213 G-AVPN YAM Oct. 1997
The Handley Page Herald Series 200 is a short-range transport aircraft powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart 527 turboprops of 2,150 shaft hp. Its maximum cruise speed is 274 mph. A Dart-engined Herald first flew in 1958.
The Museum’s Herald has strong Yorkshire connections, having operated out of Leeds Bradford Airport in the 1970s and 1980s with British Island Airways and Air UK. The aircraft was originally delivered to Bavarian Airlines in 1964. Between 1967 and 1973, it was in Italy. Its final owner was Channel Express, who bought the aircraft in 1991 and converted it into a freighter. It was flown into retirement at Elvington on 20th October 1997, making its 42,918th and final landing after 33 years of service – an average of more than 3landings every single day of its life!
The Herald sadly suffered undercarriage metal fatigue, thus becoming unsafe and so the fuselage was scrapped, and the cockpit salvaged as an exhibition.
Handley Page Victor K.2 XL231 “Lusty Lindy” YAM Nov. 1993
The Handley-Page Victor K.2 tanker evolved from the original Victor B.2, ‘V’-bomber, which entered service with the Royal Air Force in October 1961. The first K.2 flew at Woodford on 1 March 1972. It had a crew of five and was powered by four Rolls-Royce Conway turbofans of 20,600 lb thrust each. It had a maximum speed of 640 mph (Mach 0.92) at 40,000 feet, a ceiling of 59,000 feet and a range of 3,500 miles.
Victor K.2s made a substantial contribution in the Falklands War, flying over 3,000 hours and making over 600 air refuelling sorties from Ascension Island, in support of the Vulcans, Nimrods, Hercules and Harriers. They also flew in the Gulf War, refuelling the Tornado and other allied aircraft. The Victor’s outstanding versatility and advanced design enabled it to have the longest service of all the ‘V-bomber’ generation.
XL231 joined 139 Squadron on 1 February 1962, returning to Handley-Page for conversion to a B(S.R) Mk 2 in November 1963 and joining the Wittering Wing in July 1964. It was converted to become the prototype K.2 Tanker on 23 January 1972 and saw service in the Ascencion Island theatre during the Falklands War, in support of the ‘Operation Black Buck’ Vulcan raid on Port Stanley. It later saw service in the Gulf War, and here it was christened “Lusty Lindy”, in honour of her crew chief’s wife! XL231 was flown into retirement at Elvington on 25th November 1993 and “Lusty Lindy” is kept in ground operational condition by Andre Tempest and his ground crew, the best preserved example of only two surviving ‘live’ Victors.
The Victor was purchased by the museum following a campaign backed by the Handley Page Association, with generous backing from the Tempest family to enable this significant acquisition.
Hawker Hunter FGA.78 N-268 YAM Apr. 1992
The Hawker Hunter was initially designed as a short-range day interceptor and the prototype flew on 20 June 1951. The Hunter FGA.78 was a single-seat ground attack fighter, armed with four 30mm cannon, plus bombs or rockets. It was powered by a Rolls-Royce Avon 207 turbojet, delivering 10,050 lb thrust. Rate of climb was 17,200 feet per minute and its ceiling was 53,400 feet. Maximum speed was 710 mph at sea level.
The Museum’s aircraft was originally a Mk 6, built under licence in Holland by Fokker Aviolanda and served with the Royal Dutch Air Force before conversion to an FGA.78. It was with the Qatar Emiri Air Force for ten years, coming to the Museum on 25th April 1992. The aircraft is undergoing restoration into Qatar markings.
Hawker Hunter T.7 XL572 ‘XL571’ YAM Jan. 1995
The first prototype Hunter T.7 two-seat trainer flew on 8 July 1955. These aircraft differed from the fighter by having a lengthened nose and ‘side by side’ seating. From 1957, a total of 45 Hunter T.7s were built at Kingston for the Royal Air Force. In addition, 6 Hunter F.4 airframes were converted to T.7 specification in 1958 and 1959.
In July 1959, several T.7s were entered in the Daily Mail London-Paris race, one of them achieving the fastest time. All Buccaneer pilots were trained in the Hunter T.7 or T.8, one set of pilot’s instruments being removed and replaced with Buccaneer instruments.
XL572 first entered service at 229 Operational Conversion Unit at Chivenor in 1958. It came to Elvington on 12th January 1995 and is painted in blue livery to represent XL571 the leading aircraft in the Blue Diamonds formation team. The team was based at Leconfield in the early 1960s.
Hawker-Siddeley Harrier G.R.3 XV748 YAM Sept. 2000
The remarkable Harrier originated from the Hawker P1127 Kestrel, designed by Sir Sydney Camm of Hurricane fame, and was the first Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) combat aircraft to enter regular squadron service with any air force in the world. A single Pegasus turbofan engine with rotating jet-pipe nozzles allows the aircraft to fly at high speed conventionally, to hover, and to fly at slow speed vertically or even backwards!
The first of six development Harriers was flown on 31 August 1966 and the first production aircraft flew in December 1967. The type entered service with the Royal Air Force with 1 Squadron at Wittering in July 1969. Ten Harrier GR.3 aircraft from this squadron operated with Royal Navy Sea Harriers in the Falklands Conflict in 1982, flying 150 missions. Three of these aircraft were lost.
XV748 was built as a GR.1 and first flown in April 1969. It served at Wittering with the Conversion Unit and 1 Squadron and had been converted to GR.3 standard by 1974. It later became a test aircraft with the then Royal Aircraft Establishment at Bedford. By 1991, it had been retired. The Museum acquired the aircraft from Cranfield University in September 2000.
Hawker-Siddeley (BAE Systems) Nimrod MR.2 XV250 YAM Apr. 2010
The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft based on the de Havilland Comet, the world’s first jet airliner. Other roles were anti-surface warfare and search and rescue. The long-range Nimrod MR1 and MR2, with a normal crew of 12 and powered by four Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engines and variously armed with air-to-surface missiles, torpedoes or mines, served with the Royal Air Force from the early 1970s until March 2010 when the fleet was withdrawn from service. The replacement Nimrod MRA4 project was cancelled and the airframes scrapped following the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Nimrod XV250 was built at Woodford as an MR.1 aircraft and first flown on 21 January 1971. It was delivered to RAF Kinloss on 18 February 1971 and was transferred to 203 Squadron at RAF Luqa, Malta on 4 February 1972. The aircraft returned to Kinloss in 1975 and was transferred to Woodford on 16 June 1982 for conversion to MR2 specification. It made its initial flight in that configuration on 10 June 1983 and was re-delivered to RAF Kinloss on 8 July 1983. Except for periods at RAF St Mawgan in the 1980s, XV250 remained based at Kinloss with deployments elsewhere until withdrawn from RAF service on 31 March 2010. The aircraft made its last flight to Elvington on 13 April 2010, where it is maintained in ground operational condition.
Hunting (BAC) Jet Provost T.4 XP640 YAM Oct. 1993
The prototype Jet Provost T.1 was developed from the Piston Provost as an initial jet trainer and first flew on 26 June 1954. After trials, it went to No. 2 Flying Training School at Hullavington for the first all-through (Jet Provost to Vampire) jet flying training course. The T.3 was the basic trainer for the Royal Air Force until the mid-1970s, when the up-graded T.4 was introduced. Development continued to the T.5 and T.5A, which were used for training pilots selected for ‘fast jets’, like the Tornado, Jaguar, Buccaneer and Harrier.
The Jet Provost is a dual-control, single-engine aircraft, with the instructor sitting alongside the pupil. The T.4 variant was powered by an ASVII Viper engine, with 2,500 lb thrust.
The Museum’s T.4 is displayed in the colours of No. 6 Flying Training School at Finningley, where it served during the 1970s.
Hunting (BAC) Jet Provost T.3 XN589 YAM April 2019
This aircraft was formerly Gate Guardian at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Awaiting reassembly / restoration.
Lockheed / Canadair ‘Silver Star’ CL-30 (CT-133) 21417 YAM June 1993
The CL-30, later designated CT-133, was a tandem two-seat, armed trainer version of the F80 ‘Shooting Star’, powered by a Rolls Royce Nene 10 turbojet, delivering 5,400 lb thrust. Armament consisted of two nose-mounted 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine-guns plus various light bombs, rockets and machine-gun pods. It had a service ceiling of 48,000 feet, a maximum speed of 600 mph at sea level and a cruising speed of 455 mph. The normal range was 1,025 miles and the maximum range was 1,275 miles.
The aircraft was one of 636 jet trainers built under licence by Canadair for the Royal Canadian Air Force, from 1952. The type was knownin Canada as the ‘Silver Star’. It was used as an instrument flight trainer whilst in service with the Canadian forces in Germany.
The Museum’s aircraft was mounted as a gate guard at Baden Soellingen, West Germany. It was presented to the Museum on behalf of the Museum’s Canadian Branch in August 1993.
Mainair Demon 175/Tri-Flyer 330 G-MJRA Microlight YAM Dec. 2000
The Mainair Demon Tri-Flyer is a single-seat, single-engine flexible wing aircraft with weight-shift control, manufactured by Mainair Sports Ltd. of Rochdale, Lancashire. The museum’s example was sold in 1982. The wingspan is 32 feet and the maximum take-off weight is 370lb. The pilot is suspended below the wing in a tricycle unit using a bar to control pitch and yaw/roll. A 22hp Robin engine is mounted on the tricycle unit with a pusher propeller. The maximum cruising speed is 35mph and the take-off and landing distances are less than 150 feet.
The tricycle unit and wing are easily folded to be carried on a car roof rack and this aircraft is characteristic of the simplest type of portable, low-weight, low-cost microlight aircraft.
PANAVIA Tornado GR.1 ZA354 YAM Apr. 2005
Designed and built as a collaborative project between the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, and originally named the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, the prototype Tornado Interdictor Strike aircraft (IDS) first flew in August 1974. The aircraft has variable geometry wings and is powered by two Turbo-Union RB199-34R turbofans, with a maximum speed of 1452 mph and a service ceiling of 50000 feet. The Air Defence Variant F.3 (ADV) version of the Tornado is optimised for long-range interception with radar and infra-red guided air-to-air missiles and two internally mounted 27mm Mauser cannons.
The first of 229 Tornado GR.1 strike aircraft was delivered to the Royal Air Force in 1981 and the first squadron equipped with the aircraft became operational in 1982. As a ground attack platform, the GR.1 was capable of carrying a wide range of armaments, including conventional and anti-airfield bombs, laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground rockets and anti-radar missiles. During the 1991 Gulf War, the Tornado GR.1 force flew 1500 operational sorties mainly against airfields, air defence sites and bridges. Six aircraft were lost in low-level missions.
Tornado GR.1 ZA354 first flew on 13 January 1982 and was involved in drop tank, armament and fatigue testing trials throughout its life. It last flew on 17 March 2004 and arrived at Elvington from British Aerospace, Warton, Lancashire, on 28 April 2005.
PANAVIA Tornado GR.4 XZ631 YAM Mar. 2005
Intended as a mid-life update of the Tornado GR.1 fleet, deliveries of the Tornado GR.4 began in October 1997. While the performance of the aircraft is similar, overall effectiveness is enhanced by a forward–looking infra-red system, a wide-angle head-up display, night vision goggles, new defensive systems and avionics and provision for enhanced anti-armour, stand-of attack and laser designation weapons.
Tornado XZ631, which arrived at Elvington on 22 March 2005, first flew on 24 November 1978 as pre-series aircraft P15 and was the prototype for the conversion work to GR.4 standard carried out by British Aerospace at Warton, Lancashire. XZ631 has been refurbished into No. 2 Squadron colours. The GR.4 proved to be a formidable and well proven strike platform and the type was retired from service in 2019.
Both Tornado’s are on long-term loan from BAE Systems Heritage, Wharton, and the YAM was the first independent museum to display examples of the MRCA.
Saunders Roe (SARO) Skeeter AOP.12 XM553 G-AWSV YAM 2009
The SARO Skeeter AOP.12 was a two-seat reconnaissance and artillery-observation-post light helicopter that served with the British Army Air Corps between 1957 and 1967. The Skeeter was powered by the De Havilland Gypsy Major Type 140 piston engine, delivering 215bhp at 2850 rpm. It had a cruising speed of 76 knots, a service ceiling of 12800 feet and a range of 160 nautical miles.
The prototype helicopter was designed by the Cievra Autogyro Company as the W.14 with a 106hp Jameson FF-1 engine and first flew on 8 October 1948, but early development aircraft were under-powered and suffered from resonance problems. The Cievra Company was acquired by Saunders Roe in January 1951. In 1957 a small number of Skeeter AOP.10s were delivered to the Army and a T.11 to the RAF and about 50 AOP.12s and T.13s were delivered in 1959. A small number of Skeeters, designated Marks 50 and 51, served with the Federal German Army.
The Skeeter AOP.12 (S2/5107) at the Museum first flew in February 1959 and served with the Army Air Corps as XM553 until it was struck off charge on 25 April 1968. It was restored in 1979 as closely as possible to the 1961 specification, which resulted in the removal of some fittings. As G-AWSV, it last flew in 1998.
Westland-Sikorsky Dragonfly HR.5 WH991 YAM Oct. 1994
In December 1946, Westland Aircraft signed an agreement to build under licence the world’s first successful operational helicopter, the American Sikorsky S-51, which became the first production helicopter in Britain. Named the Dragonfly, the first British-built S-51 flew on 5 October 1948. Westland produced a total of 149. Of these 71 went to the Royal Navy, where they served mainly as plane guards to aircraft carriers to recover downed airmen, doing what had been the task for a destroyer and 250 men. A further 16 went to the Royal Air Force to form the first frontline helicopter squadron in the service.
WH991 first flew on 4 February 1953. Shortly afterwards it joined HMS Illustrious, but was soon returned to Westland for repairs. During the next few years, it served on HMS Centaur and at Lee-on-Solent and Eglington in Northern Ireland. After modifications in 1958, WH991 was sent to Trinidad to serve on the survey ship, HMS Vidal. Back in England in 1960, the helicopter joined 700 Squadron at Yeovilton and 705 Squadron at Culdrose. In 1994, it was found in a nearby scrap yard and completely restored at the Museum. The roll out of YAM’s first true helicopter took place 27th September 1998, unveiled by Commodore Paul Sutermeister, who commanded HMS Penelope during the Falklands War, in the South Atlantic.
The acquisition and conservation of a number of the Museum’s aircraft has been supported by grants from the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material (PRISM) Grant Fund, administered by the Science Museum and private individual donations and sponsorship.
Some aircraft are annotated with the British Aircraft Preservation Council (BAPC) number. This organisation is now known as Aviation Heritage (AH).
The Vehicle Collection
1938 Ford E
1940 Standard ‘Tilly’.
1941 Chevrolet CMP (Canadian Military Pattern) 4×4
1942 AEC0854 Matador Fuel Bowser (Unrestored / not displayed)
1942 Thorneycroft ‘Amazon’ Coles Crane
1943 Thompson Bros.(Bilston Ltd.) Aircraft Re-fueller
1947 Commer Commando One and a Half Deck Crewbus
1948 David Brown VIG 2 aircraft tractor
1949 David Brown VIG3 aircraft tractor
1951 David Brown GP airfield tractor
1953 Austin ‘Champ’ Cargo 4×4 general-purpose vehicle
1953 Saracen Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)
1958 Commer Q4 ‘Bikini’ Fire Pump
1958 Lansing aircraft carrier tug
1965 Vickers Chieftain 1000 Battle Tank (prototype)
1968 Douglas P3 aircraft tug
1971 Dennis Mercury aircraft tractor
1971 Reynolds Boughton Chubb ‘Pathfinder’ Airport Crash Tender (ACT)
1976 Reynolds Boughton Chubb ‘Pathfinder ACT, ex Kennedy Airport
2000 Range Rover 6 wheel TACR2 (Tactical Airfield Crash Response) vehicle
2003 Land Rover TD5 110
Bedford Green Goddess Self Propelled Pump under a loose arrangement with former owner Ian Scales has been sent for scrappage, as arranged by himself. (We are not entirely sure the vehicle has been scrapped or given to other party for restoration.)
The Vehicle Collection is categorised under the headings of Museum Support Vehicles, Military Transport & Operations Vehicles, Armoured Vehicles and YAM Fire & Emergency Service Vehicles. They are listed as such in date chronological order.
Note: we have been donated (IWM Duxford) a Russian Shilka Mobile Anti-Aircraft Platform. There is little provenance on this vehicle, so cannot confirm date of manufacture. It is probably surplus to our requirement, so its future is under discussion.
Museum Support Vehicles
1948, 49 & 51 David Brown Aircraft Tractors – VIG 2, VIG 3 & GP
The David Brown Aircraft Tractor was a common sight on UK airfields throughout World War II and until the mid-1950’s, where it was used extensively for towing aircraft and bomb trolleys. It weighs nearly 4 tons and is powered by a David Brown 4-cylinder, 2523cc, overhead-valve petrol engine delivering 37 bhp. The towing pull is 2.5 tons.
The transmission is a four-speed gearbox driving rear wheels through a Brockhouse turbo transmitter torque converter. The brakes are mechanical with a vacuum servo unit. The suspension is without springs and there is a swivelling front axle. The tractor is fitted with a 5-ton winch at the rear.
The examples at the Yorkshire Air Museum are the later diesel engine versions of the wartime VIG 1/462, which was introduced in the late 1940s and was used around RAF stations until the early 1970s.
Our tractors are still regularly used to position aircraft around the museum.
1958 Lansing Aircraft Tug
The Lansing tug was used on aircraft carriers as a general-purpose tug and in the civilian role for baggage handling. This 1958 vehicle has been restored on site and has a two-cylinder Enfield diesel engine of 2400-cc capacity.
1968 Douglas P3 Aircraft Tug
The Douglas P3 is a 12-14 ton light/medium aircraft-towing tug powered by a Perkins diesel engine with a Brockhouse gearbox.
This example was used by British Midland Airways Ltd (BMI) at Durham Tees Valley Airport for many years. After being out of service for some time, the tug was kindly donated to the Museum by BMI in late 2008.
Restored to operational condition and repainted in a striking bright yellow colour scheme by the Museum’s volunteers, the tug is now fully operational and is the museum’s heavy-duty workhorse, capable of towing the Handley Page Victor K.2 Tanker weighing around 80 tons.
1971 Dennis Mercury Aircraft Tractor
The Dennis-Mercury 20-ton Aircraft Tractor is capable of towing aircraft up to about 60 ton weight. Its maximum speed is 10 mph, 5mph when towing. It has a semi-automatic 3-speed forward and reverse gearbox.
It is believed that the Museum’s aircraft tractor served with the RAF for many years before it was acquired by Nordic Air at Leeds Bradford Airport. Later, it passed into the ownership of Servisair. When its working life was over it was in outside storage for three years before being donated to the Museum by Servisair in November 2002. It has been restored to operational condition and repainted by the Museum’s volunteers.
Military Transport & Operations Vehicles
1938 Ford ‘E’ Saloon 1938
This very rare 1938 Ford 8 (7Y) 4 seat family car was produced for just a few months between 1937 and 1939 before the outbreak World War II closed down production. It has an 850cc side-valve engine, cable brakes and 6-volt electrical system. It was the actual vehicle used by the station carpenter at RAF Elvington during World War II, travelling to and from Howden throughout the period. This is the “deluxe” model having chrome around the air vents and bonnet plus a covered spare wheel. It has running boards and 4 opening side and front windows. After the war Ford began to make a similar though plainer model, the called the “Popular” with a four-door version called the “Prefect”. The “sit up and beg” version of the Popular continued until 1959. This vehicle still runs and operates.
1940 Standard 12hp Light Utility Vehicle Mk1
The ‘Tilly’, as Light Utility Vehicles affectionately became known, dates back to 1938. The Standard version was derived from the Flying Standard chassis, with modified bodywork converting the dashing saloon into a light van, with 10 cwt capacity. Other ‘Tillies’ were manufactured by Austin, Hillman and Morris. Around 25 Standard ‘Tillies’ are believed to still exist out of over 3000 built. Only two of these are from the Mark 1 DC Series, based on the 12hp car chassis of which this is one. This vehicle has been restored and drives.
Many Light Utility Vehicles were supplied to the RAF, where they were used for carrying personnel, light cargo, and general errand work between bases. They were regarded as comfortable, economical and reliable.
From the outbreak of war, the Coventry based Standard Motor Company became involved in the manufacture of engine parts for the Air Ministry. It is fitting, therefore, that the vehicle should be on display at a former WWII Bomber Command Station.
Following painstaking restoration by the vehicle’s owner, Tony Allen, from Bristol, the ‘Tilly’ is on long-term loan to the Museum.
1941 Chevrolet CMP
The Chevrolet Type C15A is a 15cwt general service truck, which was produced from 1941 in vast numbers by the Canadian motor industry to a British specification. (The letters CMP stand for Canadian Military Pattern). In all, Canada produced more than 857,000 vehicles for service in World War II, including the ubiquitous Chevrolet. Many types were produced including water tankers, personnel carriers and radio vans.
1942 Thorneycroft ‘Amazon’ Coles Crane
During the 1930s, a militarised version of the Thorneycroft Amazon 6-ton 6 x 4 lorry was supplied to the RAF with the 5 ton Coles Mk VII petrol-electric crane for aircraft salvage and maintenance duties. About 2000 were produced during World War II, of which the RAF had 1800 (400 with diesel engines). This 1942 example was donated to the Museum in 2000.
1943 Thompson Brothers Aircraft Fueller
The Thompson Mk Vc Aircraft Fueller is a small three-wheeled, airfield-based refuelling vehicle, powered by a Ford 10hp petrol engine. It has a three forward speed and one reverse speed gearbox and a chain driven rear axle. The three-wheeled, low slung design made it easier to get close to aircraft for refuelling.
The left side tank carried 500 gallons of petrol, whilst the right tank carried 50 litres of oil. Each tank had its own pump driven by a power take off engaged by levers in the cockpit and each was equipped with an indicator gauge, hose and nozzle.
The service history of the vehicle at the Yorkshire Air Museum is not known. It is possible that it was originally based at RAF Woodhall Spa or RAF Coningsby as it was discovered in poor condition in a scrap yard at Woodhall Spa. Following total restoration by a private owner, this rare and historic vehicle was acquired by the Museum and arrived in September 2009.
1947 Commer Commando One and a Half Deck Crew Bus
After the Second World War, the RAF and the then British Overseas Airways Corporation were in need of vehicles to transport passengers between airports and city centre terminals. A design specification was drawn up by the Ministry of Supply for a vehicle to accommodate 20 passengers carrying their maximum 60lbs of luggage. This led to the 1½ deck observation coach design with 180 cu ft luggage space. A total of 375 (later modified to 315) vehicles was ordered from the Park Royal Coachworks based on the well established Commer Q4 Commando chassis.
The Museum’s vehicle, XAT 368, was delivered to the RAF in April 1947 and served at various Yorkshire airfields until 1957, when it was bought by Hull Cricket Club who found it slow, causing the team to frequently arrive late for matches! From 1959 it was used first as a staff bus, then as a commercial coach by two operators until, in June 1962, it was bought by The British Automobile Motor Club and converted for use as a race control vehicle. In this role, it appeared at the Harewood Hill Climb, Castle Howard, Scarborough, RAF Church Fenton and Silverstone until 1972.
In 1978, a new owner, David Hardcastle, planned to restore the vehicle but eventually donated it to the RAF Benevolent Fund in 1993, in recognition of the help received by his mother from the Fund when her first husband was killed in a flying accident in 1937. The bus was then moved to RAF Cottesmore where restoration finally began.
Thanks to the volunteers at RAF Cottesmore and the most recent owners, the Panton brothers at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby, the Museum’s Crew Bus, believed to be one of only 5/6 still to survive, is fully serviceable with just some interior work outstanding.
1953 Austin Champ
The Austin FV1801 4 x 4 is powered by a 4 cylinder, Rolls Royce B40, 2838cc engine. It was sold directly to the civilian market and designated “Champ”. This military “cargo” version was built in 1953 and has been restored on site and is an example of the 12,000 made to Ministry of Defence specification from 1952 to 1956. It was specified as a cross-country general-purpose vehicle, which could tow an anti tank gun. Always controversial, many thought it was a replacement for the World War II jeep, which it was never designed to be.
1953 Alvis Saracen
The Alvis Saracen is the six-wheel drive armoured personnel carrier member of the family which includes the Saladin Armoured Car and Stalwart High Mobility Load Carrier, and has a 16mm steel armour plated hull. It was produced from 1952 until 1972 at the Alvis works in Coventry. Some are still in service with armed forces throughout the world.
Powered by a Rolls Royce B80 Series, 5,675cc, straight 8 cylinder, 160 bhp, petrol engine, the Saracen has a fluid-coupled, semi-automatic, pre-selector gearbox. The wheels are independently sprung by individual torsion bars. Maximum speed is 45 mph and fuel consumption is 5 mpg (road use). It weighs over 10 tons.
The Saracen was designed to carry 12 (commander, driver and 10 infantrymen). Armament is a .30 Browning turret-mounted machine gun, a .30 Browning anti-aircraft gun on a pintle mounting at the rear and six smoke grenade launchers. Eight firing ports are provided: three at each side and two in the rear. Over eleven different variants of the Saracen were produced, including the FV611 Ambulance and the FV610 Command Vehicle (with higher roof and no turret).
1965 Vickers Chieftain 1000 Battle Tank
The original Chieftain Main Battle Tank weighed 55 tons combat-loaded and was armed with a 120 mm main gun, a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and a 7.62 mm anti-aircraft gun. Powered by a Leyland 750 hp 6-cylinder diesel engine, it had a road speed of about 30 mph and a range of action of about 280 miles. The tank had a crew of four and was equipped with night vision equipment.
The development of the Chieftain with a 1000hp engine and enhanced transmission was a project by Vickers Defence Industries, in partnership with the German companies RENK, MTU and Krupp-MAK, to offer a significant performance and reliability upgrade for existing Chieftain tanks. The first customer was to be Kuwait immediately before the first Gulf War. The MoD expressed an interest in upgrading their engineer vehicles and the BARV (Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle) of the Royal Marines. Subsequently most of Kuwait’s Chieftain fleet was scrapped. The improved design was not developed further, however, leaving this unique prototype as the most powerful Chieftain Tank ever built.
The prototype was donated by Vickers Defence Industries to the Museum and delivered on 15th January 2002. The German engine and transmissions include features that are still regarded as industrial secrets and there are strict conditions relating to access attached to the donation. The tank, which still functions, has been partially restored with support from RENK, Vickers and 150 Regiment, Royal Logistics Corp.
Fire and Emergency Services Vehicles
1958 Commer ‘Bikini’ Fire Pump Unit
The Commer Q4 “Bikini” FV13100 is a militarised version of the civilian Commer Centrepoise. It has a 6-cylinder, 4750cc, petrol engine and four-wheel drive. Its task with the Auxilliary Fire Service (AFS) was to provide water for fire pumps. It carried several Coventry Climax fire pumps, which were floated on dinghies in a river or lake and provided an extra water supply for land-based pumps. The Museum’s 1958 vehicle is rare, only one other working example being known in Britain. Many Q4s were used by the army in the immediate post war era and were fitted with several different types of bodies, from Command Workshops to Signals offices.
1971 / 76 Reynolds Boughton Chubb Pathfinders
The red 1971 Reynolds Boughton Chubb Pathfinder Airport Crash Tender was kindly donated to the Museum by Manchester International Airport, where it helped to put out an aircraft fire in 1983. It weighs 37 tonnes fully laden with 3000 gallons of water and 260 gallons of foam concentrate. Its pump can deliver 1700-1900 gallons per-minute and it can project 700-1900 gallons per minute through its roof mounted remote controlled foam monitor. The engine is a General Motors 18.6 litre 2-stroke supercharged V16 diesel that can propel the fire tender at speeds up to 70 mph.
The red Pathfinder is fully operational and is used by the Museum for its aircraft handling and flight line services. The vehicle was used extensively during the York and Selby floods during November 2000.
The second vehicle, 1976, is currently under restoration to operational condition. It is in American service yellow and served at Kennedy International Airport. It is the only example in this colour scheme outside the USA.
2000 Range Rover 6 Wheel Tactical Airfield Response Vehicle
The Museum purchased this Range Rover TACR2 Rapid Intervention fire engine from the Ministry of Defence in 2000. It is fully operational and was previously used by the Royal Navy. The TACR2 has a tank capacity of 900 litres of pre-mixed foam, an Albany AP8 pump and a telescopic lighting mast. It is designed to provide fast response fire fighting prior to the arrival of the main Pathfinder foam tender. During the November 2000 York floods, the Museum’s Fire Service used the TACR2 to provided support for 22 Squadron RAF Chinooks in their flood defence work at Selby.
2003 Land Rover TD5 110
This example of the popular Defender series was first registered in June 2003. It was acquired by the museum in June 2017 and was repainted in Red with standard Fire Service Identifications, lighting and emergency horns. A 600 litre per minute centrifugal pump with hose and tool lockers has been fitted, with a 60- litre water tank. It also carries portable fire extinguishers and is a useful addition to our Fire Service fleet.