RAF Bomber Command's Longest-Serving Workhorse in WW2
Of 11,462 Vickers Wellingtons built between 1936 to 1945, only two remain intact - one in Brooklands Museum (N2980, recovered from Loch Ness), the other (MF628) is currently under long-term restoration at RAF Museum Cosford; our project is to construct a third Wellington!
In spired at least in part by the composite construction of the Handley Page "Halifax" in the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, we aim to build a replica Wellington, utilising the wings, tail-planes, engines, nacelles and undercarriage from a Vickers Viking airliner (essentially identical to the production parts of the Wellington) and to construct a geodetic fuselage to pin it all together, possibly include some original sections and parts where appropriate and safe to do so, to create a rolling, living memorial to those brave aircrews who flew the distinctive and highly resilient Wellingtons, the ground crews who battled against great odds to keep them airworthy between sorties, and to the thousands of incredibly industrious workers who produced them by the score in factories across Britain...
* To secure long-term storage and workshop premises here in the UK;
* To acquire, dismantle and retrieve Viking "G-AGRW" from Austria by road;
In this very first funding phase of several for this technical challenge, we are initially aiming to locate the project in the Midlands region of England, and discussions are under way to secure premises - the costs of accommodating the Viking aircraft and establishing a workshop will form a smaller percentage of our target total in this particular funding campaign.
We anticipate that the collection of the Viking could take several months, however, depending upon the timing and success of this fund-raising campaign and with fluctuating COVID rules and restrictions in both countries, and the EU in general. The retrieval operation will expectedly absorb the greatest percentage of the funding target - indeed, it could exceed the projected total as the dismantling and transport estimates can be unbalanced by unforeseen technical difficulties, therefore that fund target could be increased at a later stage if that situation does arise.
Please support this unique initiative - the Wellington bomber holds a place in the hearts of many right across the world, having served with British and Commonwealth Squadrons and in different "theatres of war" throughout WW2, in a variety of bombing and specialist roles; the type deserves greater recognition and celebration...
We have now signed a "Letter of Intent" with the owners to secure the Vickers Viking aircraft while we raise the required funds - the time-scale of retrieval now depends upon YOUR generosity!