Looking back at the year’s big events on the aviation heritage scene

Shuttleworth’s restored and refinished Bristol F2B.

Let nobody doubt that, despite a lingering — in many places, worsening — COVID-19 pandemic, the world of aircraft preservation remains healthy. The number of completed restorations, new acquisitions and freshly started projects bears that out. It’s very much in line with the view expressed by some of those on the warbird scene that the pandemic and its consequences have seen no slowdown in the business surrounding such aeroplanes. In that regard, the future looks bright. Agains that, enforced COVID-19 closures have continued to hit museums very hard indeed, and it will take some time to fully recover. Unconnected with that, the demise of the Manchester Science and Industry Museum’s aircraft collection came as especially sad news, even if it was no surprise, having been on the cards for some time. Collections around the country will benefit from the redistribution of its loaned aviation exhibits, even if those belonging to the RAF Museum are not bound for either Hendon or Cosford.

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