Record breaking racing aircraft returns to Bedfordshire
An historical racing plane that set the record for flying from England to Cape Town in the late thirties has been acquired by the Shuttleworth Collection.
The Percival Mew Gull will join the unique collection of over forty antique aircraft based at Old Warden Park near Biggleswade, which is open to the public to view all year round. As with all of the antique aircraft in the collection, the Mew Gull is airworthy, and will be flown on planned 'Flying Days' that take place from May to October each year.
In 1939, Alex Henshaw, flew the Percival Mew Gull across the 6,377 mile course from London to Cape Town in 39 hours and 25 minutes, averaging 209.44 mph while in the air. A year earlier the aircraft won the King's Cup Race; a 1,012 mile event, with an average speed of 236mph. Alex Henshaw, it's pilot and owner for both these races, was a celebrated British air racer, best known for his extensive testing of Spitfires during WWII.
Jean Michel Munn, chief engineer at The Shuttleworth Collection, said; "The Percival Mew Gull, which was previously privately owned, was once based at the Collection and regularly flew on flying days. Since it's departure in 2002, it has been sorely missed. It is fitting that it has now been acquired by the Collection and returned to its spiritual home."
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