Defiant, Lysander and Gladiator arrive at Cosford
Three more historic aircraft have been delivered from the RAF Museum's Hendon site to its sister museum at Cosford.
The Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.I, the Gloster Gladiator and the Westland Lysander III have all been safely transported by road from the museum’s London site and are currently being prepared for display at Cosford.
It is a homecoming of sorts for the Defiant, the last surviving example of its kind, built by Boulton Paul at its Pendeford, Wolverhampton factory in 1938. The museum’s example, N1671, was operated by 307 (Polish) Squadron RAF, which became operational in December 1940. It was painted in its all black night fighter colour scheme the following January and carried out 15 patrols before moving to No 285 (Anti-Aircraft Co-operation) Squadron in June 1942, its last operational user.
The museum’s Gladiator, serial number K8042, has been displayed at the RAF Museum London since opening in 1972 and this is the first time the aircraft will be displayed at the museum’s Cosford site. It’s not the first time the aircraft has visited the Midlands, having been stationed with No 5 Squadron at RAF Ternhill and No 61 Squadron at RAF Rednal, Shropshire in the early 1940s. K8042 was also used for gun trials and experiments, whereby an additional pair was fitted under the top wing, giving a total of six guns instead of the usual four.
Also joining the aircraft collection at Cosford is Westland Lysander III R9125, which flew with 225 Squadron in 1940 as a coastal patrol and photo reconnaissance aircraft, based along the south coast of England. It took on a Special Duties role with No 161 Squadron in 1944 and was operational for a further two years. For a brief period in 1961 the aircraft was placed in storage at Cosford and ten years later it was acquired by the museum and put on display at its London site, where it has remained until its recent move to Cosford.
The Defiant and Gladiator will both go on public display in the museum’s ‘War in the Air’ hangar in January 2017, whilst the Lysander will be heading to the museum’s Conservation Centre for an inspection and condition assessment, before work is carried out over the next few years to replace its fragile linen outer skin.
Filed Under Historic Aviation News.
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