Not only has the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre just announced the addition of a North American B-25 to their collection, but they also recently confirmed the commencement of a restoration to ground-running condition for their Bristol Bolingbroke, a Canadian-built version of the British manufaturer’s domestically-produced Blenheim Mk.IV. This opportunity culminates from a nearly four year collaboration with the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, USA and the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (CATPM) in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada to gather together the requisite parts for a complete airframe.
Commenting on this news, the CATPM stated: “The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, located in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, is pleased to announce they are working with the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre located at East Kirkby, England in the restoration of a Bristol Bolingbroke. The Bristol Bolingbroke was a training aircraft used by the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Manufactured in Canada as a modification of the Bristol Blenheim, the type served many uses in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre already had significant pieces of an existing Bolingbroke. The CATPM was able to provide to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre a selection of Bolingbroke parts and components surplus to their own restoration needs.”
John McNarry, CATPM’s President, added: “We are very pleased to be able to participate in this manner in the restoration of what will eventually become a running aircraft. This will be very significant in that there is currently only one running/airworthy Bolingbroke in the world.” The team at East Kirkby is presently assessing their Bolingbroke component collection so they can then formulate a restoration plan to rebuild this important aircraft as a lasting tribute to both the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and the Blenheim Mk.IV during its wartime service.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a family-run museum which first opened in 1989. It is now widely seen as a living memorial to the 55,573 men of RAF Bomber Command who lost their lives during WWII. It presently houses two of Bomber Command’s most significant aircraft, an Avro Lancaster Bomber B.VII and a deHavilland Mosquito NF.II, along with many wartime vehicles such as a Ford WOT1 Crew Bus, the only one of its kind extant. For more information, please visit www.lincsaviation.co.uk