Aircraft at RAF Museum Cosford under threat?

Any VC10 related discussions.....
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Jelle Hieminga
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Aircraft at RAF Museum Cosford under threat?

Post by Jelle Hieminga » Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:20 am

The RAF Museum issued the following press release:
THE BRITISH AIRWAYS COLLECTION


The Board of British Airways and the Royal Air Force Museum board of Trustees, is currently reviewing the status of the aircraft in the British Airways Collection, within the context of the new National Cold War Exhibition at Cosford.

The new development at Cosford will enable the Museum’s externally displayed RAF aircraft complete protection within a covered enclosure, whilst keeping them accessible to the public. These aircraft, which up till now have been subject to adverse weather conditions, will be housed under perfectly suitable conditions which will enable their preservation and display for future generations.

The aircraft in the British Airways Collection held at Cosford includes the VC10; 707; BAC 1-11; Trident and Viscount. The collection, which is rendered incomplete without the Concorde, has up till now been on external display in the areas surrounding the main Museum site. The board of Trustees is now considering their future as part of the Royal Air Force Museum collection, as they do not qualify for protection within the Cold War museum.


…Ends
Reading between the lines, the message seems to be that they want to get rid of five aircraft, including Standard VC10 G-ARVM. It is too soon to say with any certainty what will happen, but it certainly looks as though its future, along with four other charismatic airliners is seriously threathened!

The topic is currently being discussed at the Key Publishing forums (Link now dead, see below for the correct link), other links will be added as this issue develops.
Last edited by Jelle Hieminga on Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by LSS » Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:42 pm

Jelle
Is it me or have they hidden the thread ?

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Post by Jelle Hieminga » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:17 am

No, it's me :wink:

I should of course have added the link to the new thread: Keypublishing forum. It also explains the disappearance of the original thread. I've also posted this at PPRUNE, but this forum appears to be temporarily closed for a software upgrade. I'll add that link too once it is up again.

EDIT: here it is: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=205716
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Post by Jelle Hieminga » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:39 am

I have been in touch with the RAF Museum on this and they replied that:
The press release ... was an unauthorised and therefore inaccurate release.

At the moment, I can confirm that both British Airways and the Royal Air Force Museum Board of Trustees are together, currently reviewing the future status of the aircraft in the British Airways Collection at the Museum's site in Cosford. Discussions have barely started and the review is ongoing.
While this doesn't tell us much that is new, I find it surprising that a press release, however inaccurate it seems to be, did find its way out. The basic message also seems to be the same: 'we are reviewing the future prospects'. I guess it still makes sense to keep an eye on the developments, and perhaps to let the RAFM and BA know that we are concerned for the future well-being of the airframes.
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Post by skippiebg » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:59 pm

This Cosford BA Collection issue is also causing concern on a Trident forum. It seems someone on the inside at the museum is leaking drips of information that the aircraft "may" be scrapped while at the same time pleading for a softly-softly, no-panic response.

To an old media-wise cynic like me, all the shenanigans (unauthorised press releases, har-har-haaaar!!!, cloak-and-dagger requests to forum moderators to delete old posts, et c.) clearly indicate one thing: the Museum has made up its mind to scrap the machines and wants to soften up potential opposition.

The self-same thing happened with the Pirelli Factory on the A40 in London about 30 years ago. A "well-wisher" on the inside of Trafalgar House kept feeding the press soft leaks that the TH board were at each other's throats as to whether or not to pull the art-deco building down. Low-level speculation built up, with the publc predominantly believing nothing drastic (like pulling down the architectural jewel) would happen.

Guess what!?

Victor "Maffews" pulled Pirelli down overnight, just as a "precautionary" listing was about to be slapped on the building. To the last, many believed the listing was unnecessary -- who in their right mind, et c., et c. ... The press leaks had been just a clever PR trick to fool the public into believing that reason had its corner defended at Trafalgar House. They had also been a way for a TH insider to get into the heart of opposition to the demolition, and to gather intelligence on counter moves. Hence the timing of the demolition just as the building was about to be listed...

Back on topic.

Losing the sole remaining BOAC VC10 on British soil would be a disaster, as indeed would losing any of the other machines -- all are rare or unique.

Moving any of the machines to another location is a no-no. Just read the adventures of Trident 3 Zulu Kilo to realise how impossible it would be to move no fewer than six sprawling airframes in today's health-and-safety-obsessed world.

So? So they will be scrapped unless we and others like us make a fuss about them.

Museum managers like to present themselves as touchy-feely, nice, history-friendly sorts, and any protest has to hit hard at this. Anyone turning British aviation heritage into beer cans has to be a vandal, pure and simple.

I also feel any protest has to present an alternative to the museum. Surely, there is room enough at Cosford to accommodate the six aeroplanes? BA is unlikely to shell out for their upkeep, so perhaps we have to volunteer. Duxford and Brooklands manage, so why not Cosford?

Whatever else we do, I feel we have to make a fuss!

How do you feel?

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Post by Jelle Hieminga » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:58 pm

An update on the situation regarding the airliners at Cosford.

Since the 'bomb burst' a month ago, things have quieted down considerably (even at the Flypast forums, not something they are known for :wink: ). Still, the issue hasn't been forgotten.

Both Aeroplane Monthly and Flypast have raised the awareness of the situation by writing about it in their March 2006 issues.

Image
From Flypast magazine, March 2006
Image
From Aeroplane Monthly magazine, March 2006

Apart from the article above, Flypast Assistant Editor Nigel Price devotes an editorial to the issue, questioning the national 'Airliner situation' and wondering if it is time to dedicate a 'home' to them. He rightly points out that the current situation at Cosford is one wherein the BA Collection is 'lodging' and that conserving civil airliners is not one of the key goals of the RAF Museum. Now this is not something that I or I think anyone else can question. I do have an opinion about the situation though.

As a national aviation museum, RAF Museum Cosford still has an obligation to help preserve aviation history. When the RAF Museum took charge of the Cosford site, a part or all of the BA Collection was already there and they basically entered into an agreement with BA to keep it there and jointly look after it. It seems that BA has slowly withdrawn from this agreement, probably because the manpower needed (the trainees and apprentice engineers) were no longer available, or because the financial situation didn't allow it anymore. This still leaves Cosford in the shared role of caretaker.

However misguided the original press release posted above may have been, it does seem to imply a certain degree of annoyance from the RAF Museum, throwing the challenge back to BA. If this was meant to get the public involved and get the discussions going, it certainly worked! But at least on some internet fora it sparked off a big discussion that wasn't going to be in favour of whatever was going to be the outcome of the BA Board and RAF Museum trustees' review!

I feel that the collection as a whole, and the airliners individually, have an important historic value which should be preserved if at all possible. I think it is a shame that two large 'names' in the aviation world seem to have abandoned their responsibility in such a way, and I anxiously await the official verdict that discloses what will be the future of the British Airways Collection at RAF Cosford.

Thousands of people must have walked past these aircraft each year, many of them happy with the knowledge that these aircraft were safely preserved for them and the generations after them to see and admire. Surely any scrapping that may result from this review (if it comes to that) will come as a betrayal of trust for these visitors, including me.
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Post by Jelle Hieminga » Tue Apr 04, 2006 4:37 pm

British Airways issued the following press release yesterday:
Historic aircraft on the move


A collection of former British Airways aircraft is to be moved from the RAF Museum in Cosford to new homes.

The five historic aircraft, known officially as The BA Collection, have been resident at the RAF Museum for the past few decades.

Following a review of the aircraft's future by the RAF Museum and British Airways it was decided that they had to be found new homes.

The five aircraft will be moving to:

Vickers Viscount 701 - The aircraft will be dismantled and reconstructed in full at The Museum of Flight, East Fortune - part of The National Museums of Scotland.

BAC 1-11 - The aircraft will be dismantled and reconstructed in full at The Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

Boeing 707-436 - The front fuselage (forward of the wings) will be transported to The Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

Vickers VC10 - It is intended that the front fuselage (forward of the wings) and some parts of technical interest will be moved to Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

Hawker Siddeley Trident - The cockpit and nose section will be transported to The Museum of Flight, East Fortune.

Geoff Want, British Airways' director of ground operations, said: "I am pleased that we have been able to find good homes for these aircraft.

"We have developed strong links with both museums following the move of Concorde Alpha Alpha from Heathrow to Scotland and the move of Concorde Delta Golf from Filton to Brooklands.

"We are sure that both museums will give the same levels of care to these historic aircraft as they have shown to our Concordes.

"These aircraft are an important part of the UK's aviation heritage and will hopefully add extra interest to both museums' current aircraft displays.

"I would like to thank the RAF Museum for all their support and for all the care they have given to these aircraft over the past few decades.

"In the coming months we will co-ordinate the deconstruction and reconstruction of these aircraft with all the museums to ensure that the new displays will be of the highest possible quality."

The aircraft will be disassembled and re-assembled at their new homes by Air Salvage International.

The company worked closely with British Airways and the two museums during 2004 when it deconstructed and reconstructed Concorde Alpha Alpha and Concorde Delta Golf.


Ends

Monday April 3, 2006 027/RG/06
Edit: Discussions on this subject are active on quite a few forums now.
Airliners.net: http://www.airliners.net/discussions/ge ... n/2709108/
Key Publishing (Flypast): http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=52516 and http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=52906, with special threads for the VC10 and Trident as well: http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=55943 and http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=55876
PPRUNE: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=205716
Classic British Flight Sim: http://www.cbfsim.org/cbfsimv5/cbfsbb/v ... php?t=5215
Classic British Aviation Forum: http://www.aviationphotoarchive.com/Zul ... .php?t=490
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Post by Tonkenna » Thu Apr 06, 2006 2:30 am

Vickers VC10 - It is intended that the front fuselage (forward of the wings) and some parts of technical interest will be moved to Brooklands Museum in Surrey.
What is the bloody point... that bit looks the same as any other airliner!!!!

An appaling waste of a beautiful aircraft... Cosford and BA should be ashamed of themselves!!!

Tonks

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Post by LSS » Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:42 pm

Wonder if they have their eyes on one of our nice Grey ones, complete, not cut up or sectioned, or chopped ? Can't believe they just want the nose section what a waste.

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Post by Laurieg » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:10 pm

Should have looked at the 3 in the scrap compound here before the desposal squad got their hands on 'em.
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Post by aviationextreme » Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:24 pm

Hi,

Visited Cosford today to get some photos of the collection whilst they were still there :( This included jumping up and down to try and get some pictures of the 707 :o

The photos that I took can be seen here http://aviationextreme.tripod.com/cosford

Any of those photos can be used on this site, as im sure you mentioned that you wanted some? I have higher res if you want them?

Thanks

Matt

Edit - Deleted the thumbnails as they are not supported my my host

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Cosford

Post by Super VC 10 » Tue May 09, 2006 1:50 pm

I'm based in Dublin and I'd like to see 'VM before she's chopped up. I plan to take the ferry and drive down to Cosford to see the collection but primarily I want to see and photograph 'VM in her entirety. Anyone know when she's due to be cut up???

Cheers,
Andrew

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Post by Jelle Hieminga » Tue May 09, 2006 6:57 pm

I don't think that Cosford or BA will be advertising when the scrapping of 'VM will start. As Tonkenna mentioned on the other thread you started, the 707 and Trident are already undergoing the process and that started pretty soon after the announcement. I would say go as soon as you can!

If you look at my post from April 4th, there are some links there to the Flypast forums. If you keep an eye on the Historic section there you'll get a fair idea of what's happening at Cosford. The latest thread there that concerns the BA collection at Cosford is here: http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=56892. It has some pretty sad photos of the Trident. Also a VC10 thread here: http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=61517

Edit: have a look at the first post on this page: http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread ... 716&page=6
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Post by Super VC 10 » Thu May 11, 2006 11:35 am

Well... hopefully she'll still be there intact over Whit weekend. I've booked a ferry over on Friday 2 June and will be in Cosford on the Saturday.
If the disposal schedule that was posted on the link is correct I should be in time...!!

Cheers,
Andrew

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Cosford's Iron Duck - What are its chances of a good home?

Post by JamesA » Mon May 15, 2006 3:43 pm

I have been following the growing indignation on various sites, of aero fans re the 'BA Collection' getting the chop, especially the fate of the VC10.
On other sites and I thought I had posted on this one (I blame my ineptitude with computers on using a French keyboard layout).
I can offer covered accommodation for the engines (that is if the English will allow these treasures to leave the island), and transportation to a secret location somewhere in Belgium could be arranged. Would love to take the whole thing but the garden shed isn't big enough and the Mem Sahib would object to the tail shading her greenhouse, you know how these Dutch go on about their plants.
Jelle, if this should come about, can I sign you up to come and polish them with me? You are only around the corner. You could also bring your students on a field trip and lecture about good British design with examples they could touch and test the local refreshments,(two good things for the price of how many you can drink).

Another approach. For the British contingent only, it is getting around to election time in good old England. All you people over there are paying good money for these MP types, how about a bit of lobbying and letter writing. I think the spread of members of this forum should give a reasonable number of Hon Members an added topic for discussion. And, maybe, perhaps some consciences will be pricked and a positive movement will be made. Are dissenting military members still thrown in the Tower? (or has Brussels taken all the fun away?), if so they should use a nom de plume.
I know it is easy to sit on the mainland and say 'whatabout and you should do this, etc.,etc.,' but unfortunately it is a unique English problem which has fortunately become known to many but support is a little limited this side of the Channel.
The Brits have designed and built many fine examples of engineering and it would be shameful to see these go the way of so many before them. The VC10 and Viscount were both firsts - let us keep them. The U.S has led the world destroying what little heritage it has, Britain doesn't have to follow in this crusade.
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