- Aviation History Museum
A significant part of the life of the Yorkshire Air Museum is focused upon the restoration and preservation of aircraft which are important examples in the history of British and international aviation. The majority of this work is undertaken by skilled volunteer staff who form our Aircraft Engineering Department. Perhaps the most famous of all the restorations credited to the Yorkshire Air Museum is that of the Handley Page Halifax Mk. III.
A 20ft fuselage section, used for 40 years as a chicken coop by a crofter on the Isle of Lewis, where it had lain since crashing during the war, was transported to the Museum in 1986. After many thousands of man-hours, LV 907 “Friday the 13th” is now complete, standing as a lasting Memorial to the 100,000 allied aircrews of RAF Bomber Command. It is to date the world’s only complete restored example, bearing RAF markings on the port side and French markings on the starboard side, in honour of Elvington’s unique French Squadrons, in addition to the nose art of its illustrious namesake. In 2012 saw the realisation of a long held ambition of the Museum to have live propeller driven aircraft alongside the jets such as the Nimrod MR2 XV250, Blackburn Buccaneer XN 974 and Victor V-bomber XL231.
In addition to maintaining these aircraft in full ground operational condition, the Museum has fully refurbished the 1917 SE5a WWI fighter bi-plane and fitted this with an engine and have created a unique example of a 1917 Eastchurch Kitten biplane, again with a running engine for the Centenary Commemorations of WWl. The 1947 De Havilland Sea Devon twin prop VIP transport aircraft has also been restored into ‘live’ condition having benefited from a full internal refurbishment by the Museum. All these aircraft thrill the public during our popular “Thunder Day” events. The 60 historic aircraft and vehicles within the Collection, makes the Museum one of the largest in Britain, keeping the Aircraft Engineering Department very active.