VIDEO: Charity aims to restore UK Shackleton to flying condition

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Enthusiasts are hoping to return an Avro Shackleton AEW2 maritime patrol aircraft to airworthy condition following its transfer to a new owner, and restoration efforts that have enabled it to start taxiing under its own power.

The aircraft - number WR963, on static display at Coventry Airport - has regularly carried out engine start-up demonstrations but in October performed its first taxi runs on the main runway.

On 27 November the aircraft was formally transferred to a trust, Avro Shackleton Charity Enterprise & Training (ASCET), which has agreed to purchase it from Air Atlantique after the owner decided not to retain it.

ASCET wants to avoid the Shackleton's being consigned to a museum and says it aims to raise funds to return the aircraft to flying condition within four years.

It states that the aircraft is well-maintained and a "viable candidate" for complete restoration, despite its suffering a brief engine fire during a taxi demonstration to mark its handover. ASCET believes there is a "very good prospect" of seeing it authorised to fly again.

 

"This is the very last UK-based Shackleton with the capability of returning to flying condition and thus reminding the aviation world and public in generaltheir safe life today was significantly aided by this true Cold War warrior and its crews," it says.

ASCET has been established to link the work of the Shackleton Preservation Trust and an employment training and education specialist. The preservation trust has been active for several years, originally working on two ex-8 Sqn Lossiemouth aircraft - WR963 and WL790 - before the latter was transferred to the USA.

Developed from the Avro Lincoln, and ultimately from the Avro Lancaster, the Shackleton features four Rolls-Royce Griffon engines fitted with contra-rotating propellers.