E2351 Maintenance & Museum Preservation Funding
Serial E2351, donated from CityJet in early 2020, was lifted onto the City of Norwich Aviation Museum’s site in October 2020. The operation, conducted overnight; was the first of its kind to be carried out on an aircraft of this type. The aircraft has become the only complete (airframe wise) RJ85 in a private museum in the UK. The museum is home to several other aircraft including a Fokker F27 ‘Friendship’, Handley-Page Herald, Avro Vulcan Bomber and Hawker Siddeley Nimrod.
Over the coming months, museum volunteers plan to complete the airframe externally - fitting spoilers, engines and other smaller items. The aircraft itself can be ran on ground power; giving visitors a unique opportunity to visit the flight deck of what was one of Britain’s most successful airliners. It is hoped further work can be completed in time for the 2021 ‘Summer Season’ with volunteers working hard to keep systems live for years to come.
The aircraft, built in 1999 at British Aerospace’s Woodford Site, originally served with Mesaba Airlines as N526XJ in the United States. In 2007 it was purchased by CityJet and registered as EI-RJN, being re-configured at Norwich Airport; where it returned for most of its maintenance requirements. Named ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’, RJN flew as part of the CityJet fleet for 13 years. The aircraft was retired from CityJet, in line with the reduction of the Avro fleet, in March 2019 and placed in to storage at Norwich. In early 2020 the aircraft was donated to the museum and has now become one of our most recognisable exhibits.
In 2020 the museum, along with voluntary organisations, suffered massive visitor declines due to the Global Pandemic and UK Wide Restrictions. The museum lost over 10,000 annual visitors and had to cancel three fundraising events, normally used to raise funds required for the continued upkeep of our site and aircraft. In 2020, Trustees & Volunteers worked together to ensure the museum survives for years to come. However, this was not without sacrifice, meaning restoration and preservation funds were cut considerably delaying planned works on all museum exhibits and buildings.
This is why we are asking for your help. The majority of moneys raised will go towards the upkeep of E2351, with a remaining placed into general museum funding - allowing aircraft to be deep cleaned and “weather proofed” in 2021.
The museum thanks all donators in advance and hopes to welcome you to the museum in 2021.