BAE Systems has donated the last aircraft from its unique heritage collection to the Shuttleworth Trust. The agreement means that the De Havilland DH60 Cirrus Moth, the Blackburn B2 and the Avro Anson C-19 will be preserved and exhibited together and return to the skies under the ownership of the Bedfordshire-based charity.
The announcement sees the transfer of the Company’s final three heritage aircraft dating date back to the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s – with each aircraft type having served with the Royal Air Force. As part of the transfer, BAE Systems is making a significant donation towards the upkeep of the aircraft.
The global defence, aerospace and security company has a rich history – with predecessor companies having produced the Spitfire, Lightning and the Vulcan aircraft – as well as the first British submarine and aircraft carrier.
Last year, the Company invested more than £670,000 on heritage preservation and commemoration as part of its commitment to protecting this important part of the nation’s history, supported by dozens of volunteers at its archive in Farnborough in Hampshire and at heritage centres across the country.
Sir Andy Pulford, Senior Military Advisor at BAE Systems, said: “Preserving and protecting our heritage is an important element of BAE Systems’ contribution to the UK and society.
“Historic aircraft embody the spirit of innovation and engineering excellence and continue to inspire engineers and young people to develop cutting edge technology and help keep our country safe. The expertise at the Trust means the aircraft will be preserved in pristine condition and returned to flight for the enjoyment of the public this summer.”
Tim Routsis, Aviation Trustree at the Shuttleworth Trust, said: “We are delighted to have worked with BAE Systems on this transfer of ownership. Ensuring the aircraft remain at Shuttleworth for all to enjoy – not least with the DH60 Moth’s connection to Shuttleworth – was something at the forefront of our minds and we will welcome them back to the skies above Old Warden very soon.”
The Anson is the first aircraft expected to return to flight as part of Shuttleworth’s flying season in May 2022.
With one of the most prestigious aeronautical and automotive collections in the world, the Shuttleworth Trust is recognised for its expertise in preserving heritage aircraft and boasts a loyal supporter base, as well as passionate staff and volunteers.