English Electric Canberra B.2/6 WK163 (G-BVWC) arrived at Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport (formerly RAF Finningley) in South Yorkshire on July 14.
The aircraft, which is now owned by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust (VTST), was transported by road from its long-term home at Coventry (Baginton) Airport by specialist contractors GJD AeroTech and Leicester Heavy Haulage. The convoy of lorries left at 5.30am to avoid the worst of the rush-hour traffic and the aircraft had been almost completely reassembled and was back on its own wheels by 7pm. The engineering team was relieved to find very little corrosion in the engine bays, control surface mechanisms and wing mountings.
In 1957, WK163 shot into the headlines around the world when a Napier Double Scorpion rocket motor fitted in her bomb bay fired her to 70,310ft and a new world altitude record. The aircraft has not flown since 2007 when an engine failure left her grounded at Coventry, but in May she was sold to VTST. Fund raising is now under way to pay for the restoration work essential in order to return the Canberra to flight – hopefully in time to mark the RAF’s centenary in 2018. The Trust has launched a range of share options and exclusive rewards for those wishing to donate. Visit www.vulcantotheskystore.co.uk/canberra-wk163-44-c.asp