Enduring Survivor

Close to extinction several times, the last intact Beverley again faces an uncertain future. Ken Ellis examines the twilight years of Blackburn’s heavy lifter

By 1958, Blackburn was proposing the B-107A, a 124ft-long, four-turboprop strategic airlifter based on its Beverley experience.

 There has been a fortification at Paull, on the north shore of the River Humber east of Kingston upon Hull, since the 16th century. The current edifice was completed in the 1860s and was owned by the Ministry of Defence until the 1960s. Under the title Fort Paull Armouries, the site was opened to the public in 2000.

Inside the walls is a remarkable survivor – the last intact Blackburn Beverley C.1, XB259. With a span of 162ft (49.37m), a height of 38ft 9in (11.81m) and an empty weight of about 80,000lb (36,287kg) it is one of the largest aircraft preserved in Britain. At Fort Paull, XB259 is on home ground, as it was built at Brough, 15 miles (24km) west.

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