Bolingbroke restoration to begin in new Bristol workshop

Aerospace Bristol has announced plans to open a Conservation-in-Action workshop where experienced volunteers will work alongside young people to conserve aircraft, including Bristol Bolingbroke Mk.IV 9048.

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The Bolingbroke was handed over to Aerospace Bristol staff and volunteers by Graham Kilsby (right) in November 2019. AEROSPACE BRISTOL

The charity behind the museum, Bristol Aero Collection Trust, is set to open the facility at the Filton-based attraction this summer. The work will take place inside a Grade II listed building, dating back more than a century. As well as preserving the city’s aviation heritage, the project aims to inspire the engineers of the future and enable those with a taste for aircraft preservation to gain practical experience.

The Bolingbroke was donated by Bristol Aero Collection co-founder Graham Kilsby in memory of this father, aviation historian and photographer W K Kilsby. It served with the RCAF in Nova Scotia and Alaska, before falling into disrepair while being stored in Los Angeles, California. Graham acquired the airframe several years ago and brought it to the UK.

Once the workshop is established, 9048 will be restored by volunteers and apprentices to static display condition. To ensure it can meet the funding required to open the new workshop on time, Aerospace Bristol has launched an Engineering Futures appeal: www.aerospacebristol.org/engineering-futures-appeal