RAF Museum boost for Halifax project

Outer wing section from Hastings donated to Canadian rebuild effort

The Royal Air Force Museum has made a major contribution to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada’s project to rebuild a Handley Page Halifax, by donating a section of wing from a Handley Page Hastings transport. The starboard outer wing panel is of the same design as that used on the Halifax, with the exception of the aileron attachment points. It came from Hastings C1A TG568, which served with the Strike Command Bombing School and was then relegated to the fire dump at RAE Bedford, being struck off RAF charge in 1974.

The underside of the wing panel still bears the serial TG568.
The underside of the wing panel still bears the serial TG568. BCMC

Months-long negotiations were led by RAFM head of collections Harry Raffal and BCMC curator and Halifax project leader Karl Kjarsgaard. On 14 December, the panel was removed from long-term storage at Cosford and transported by road to Thirsk, north Yorkshire, where the steel shipping cradle needed to secure it on the journey to Canada will be constructed at the premises of Maddison 4x4. A corresponding port outer wing panel, obtained earlier in 2023 in a trade with the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, has already been prepared in its cradle. Both sections will be airlifted from the UK to Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force transport aircraft at some point in the coming weeks. From there, they will be moved to the Knox Tech workshop in Arnprior, Ontario, where the project is proceeding.

The Hastings wing section immediately after its re-emergence into the daylight, following many years of storage in one of Cosford's blister hangars.
The Hastings wing section immediately after its re-emergence into the daylight, following many years of storage in one of Cosford's blister hangars. BCMC

The Nanton, Alberta-based BCMC has been accumulating relevant parts for its Halifax rebuild over the course of many years. In this a significant role has been played by Kjarsgaard’s organisation Halifax 57 Rescue, which recovered Halifax VII NA337 from Norway in 1995 — this aircraft now being exhibited in the Air Force Museum of Canada at Trenton. It is planning to retrieve another example, MkII HR871, from the Baltic Sea off Sweden for the BCMC project. Already, Halifax 57 has carried out the recovery of major sections from a scrapyard in Malta; they are now in Canada.

Ready for transportation to Thirsk.
Ready for transportation to Thirsk. BCMC