New hope last surviving 1950s RAF Blackburn Beverley airlifter won’t be scrapped

RAF Blackburn Beverley
Leeds Fotografica /

A 1950s Royal Air Force (RAF) Blackburn Beverley XB259 airlifter that looked set to be scrapped may have found a new home after a British museum launched a fundraising appeal to save the aircraft.  

The Solway Aviation Museum, near Carlisle in the UK, is hoping to raise $75,000 so that it can transport the last surviving RAF Blackburn Beverley airlifter to its new home.  

The money raised would see the plane dismantled and moved from its current location at Fort Paull in Hull, to Carlisle Lake District Airport (CAX) where the museum keeps a vast collection of historic aircraft. 

The airlifter has been stationed at Fort Paul, a former military museum, for 20 years but it was closed in 2020 putting the Blackburn Beverley’s future in jeopardy. 

The Beverley was bought at auction by businessman Martyn Wiseman for £21,000 but the costs to move the 35-ton aircraft became too much and he feared he would have to scrap the plane. 

“This is a last-gasp rescue mission for the Beverley, and once it is here it will form an important part of our collection of iconic British-made aircraft. Blackburn Beverley XP259 has faced an uncertain future since the closure of the small museum at Fort Paull in 2020,” Solway Aviation Museum Chairman, Dougie Kerr, said. 

He added: “It was saved from the scrap man by a private individual, but the road towards finding it a new permanent home has proved difficult. With uncertainties continuing, the intervention by Solway Aviation Museum has at last provided an opportunity to see the Beverley saved as part of Britain’s heritage.” 

The Beverley was operated by the RAF Transport Command from 1957 until 1967 and was renowned for its bulbous shape, with a large ‘belly’ used for transporting large bulk loads or troops. 

The aircraft is the last of the original 49 that were built. 

You can donate to the fundraiser appeal here

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