Why Does No One Want B25 Bed Sheet Bomber?

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10 years 6 months

Posts: 2,536

There's a B25 languishing in bits within a scrap yard at Booker.
Just wondered why no ones is interested in buying and restoring her?
Seems a shame as she was largly intact during the 90's at North Weald.

Original post

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16 years

Posts: 3,902

It is strange and disappointing that she remains still 'out in the cold' after 4 decades.

The cut spar issue makes a flying restoration unlikely , and already Duxford has one, and so does Hendon. The effort needed to undertake a restoration would probably require it to be subsequently hangared, otherwise all that effort is slowly wasted, and probably such a museum would need a link/connection to justify why it should have a place in their collection.

The bomber refugees from the Southend Museum have not fared well at all , with the Lincoln, Heinkel (CASA) and B.25 all still stored in dismantled state.

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11 years 3 months

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I have often wondered about this aircraft. I guess the spar issue makes it expensive to restore to flight when it is not a rare type anyway. It is not really required by the national museums and maybe too a high a price for the voluntary museums? Shame as it is a genuine, good looking, WW2 type that spares must be quite plentiful for?

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13 years 1 month

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I thought Barry had only recently showed interest in selling it, up until then he wasn’t willing to part with it. I believe it’s a total rot box.

FB

Profile picture for user Roobarb

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15 years

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Gutted fuselage, empty cockpit, huge exfoliation issues in the outer wing sections and that was at North Weald over ten years ago. She was a "fair" static when at the Historic Aircraft Museum in Southend up until sold at the auction in 1983, though in the last five years there she had gone down hill and also lost her turret as a mould pattern for Sally B for the LWT series "We''ll meet again" (it was never returned from the film set). After moving to DX now with Aces High she had various film schemes applied before moving to North Weald. Given a cosmetic make-over she became "Bedshoot Bomber" and was entered for auction again. There are a number of stories after this point that involve some vague issues that lingered for years and she ended up slowly sinking into the grass storage area and became derelict. From the little that I've seen of her "storage" at Booker, I'd be surprised if the corrosion issues have "improved" at all. A real shame, as had the aircraft found a home with a museum like Newark or Elvington when sold at that Phillips auction at Southend (ok I know Elvington wasn't going back then but it's just an example) then I am certain it would have undergone a comprehensive restoration to a high quality static condition and maybe in time would have been fitted out inside. For me growing up in Southend, I saw it have its film nose removed and an authentic bomber nose restored and fitted. All the gun positions had convincing good quality replica gun barrels installed and a nice RAF WWII period scheme had already been applied in one of the airport hangars. I think from memory it got repainted whilst at the museum (in Aviation Way) as well. As has been mentioned, for the B25, the CASA and the Lincoln, it all went down hill after the auction and I seriously doubt any of them will ever be fully assembled again. Ones that got away for sure, sadly.

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20 years 3 months

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Unfortunately the Proctor from the auction met a grim end in a garden and the F-84F ended up after a while with the RAFM which has resulted in thirty years out of sight!

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12 years 6 months

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The Proctor was a composite comprising of the fuselage of G-ANZJ (gifted to the museum after being abandoned on the airport) and the wings of G-AOBW (which was originally rescued from a garden around 1967). The fuselage of G-AOBW suffered extensively from glue rot and was cut in half at the museum around 1971. The front section was burnt and the rear section was sectioned to show the construction and was used as a travelling exhibit for outside shows at one time.
After the auction I believe the Proctor had the engine removed (by Trent Aero?) and presumerably then landed up in the garden mentioned above.
The fate of the original wings for G-ANZJ is a bit of a mystery. The last time I saw them they were propped up against the wall of a small hangar on the airport which was rented by the museum.
Stan and David Brett did a huge amount of work on the Mitchell at Southend including reskinning much of the underside of the wings and Stan made up the replica guns as well. We also paint stripped and resprayed the whole aircraft prior to the museum opening. It is a shame she has had such a hard life but the cut mainspar meant that at best she was unlikely to fly again.

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14 years 5 months

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Perhaps the reason is that while there are better condition prospects no one wants the throw time and money into a bottomless pit with little chance of a profit at the end. Same applies to cars, many long term rebuilders have been shocked when they decided to sell their pride and joy. Unless its rare and in demand the market just will not pay what you think its worth. On the other side are those who try to sell un restored items at a price which does not bring in the buyers.

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12 years 6 months

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That is true. In terms of a flyer there must be far more viable projects out there which would cost much less to restore. In terms of a static restoration it needs someone who has the skills and time to spend on a very long job. The fusealge was gutted after she left Southend and finding and replacing all the missing parts would be time consuming and potentially expensive.
The classic car comparison is a good one. There are plenty of fairly mundane cars which have had huge amounts of money spent on them with no prospect of ever recovering the outlay. If the owner was aware at the outset and intends to keep the car long term it isn't a huge problem but if there is a sudden need to sell due to other financial problems it becomes a different story.

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11 years 7 months

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Are there any recent photos or knowledge about its condition. Any knowledge of owner and price?

Profile picture for user RAFRochford

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14 years 2 months

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Wasn't G-AWHB supposed to be going to Paul Allen's collection eventually? I saw her at North Weald back in the 90's, and looked to be getting some long over due TLC. Far better than the sorry state of the airframe during the closing stages of the Southend museum.

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13 years 1 month

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It is well known that it belongs to Barry Parkhouse of Parkhouse Aviation. His contact details are on the Internet.

FB

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16 years

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A recent post on UKAR suggests that the B-25 may have left Booker. Any confirmation or word of destination ?

Perhaps the now -filming Catch 22 production have got hold of it (pure random guess based on zero evidence ! )

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15 years 5 months

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Considering the B-25 is the world's most prolific twin-engined WWII land combat type and the popularity of warbirds in the UK, it's surprising one isn't flying in the UK.

Why?
Lack of popularity of multi engine types, obsession with a certain fighter?

There is a RAF-marked, ex-RAF example flying in the U.S., but not the UK, ...disappointing. (Likewise no Mosquito or Lockheed Ventura...as close as you can reasonably get to a Hudson...one of which flies in Australia).

Come on people, it's B-25, not B25, BXXV, or B.25 :) :)

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13 years 6 months

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Propstrike
It was still with Barry last week, Barry told me he is retiring and has about five to seven months to clear his yard, he was only looking after the B-25 with the hope of restoring her, and will now contact the owner, a well known warbird collector to see what he wants to do with it, so may be open to offers very soon.

G-ANPK

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10 years 6 months

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He also has parts of a Gloster Meteor. Surprised that no one wants that either.

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13 years 6 months

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h98
There were some people due last Thursday / Friday to have a look at the Meteor sections, there are two different Meteors there , one is WL345 rear fuselage & tail + WL360 fuselage and cockpit, both T7`s put them together and you have a complete T7.

G-ANPK

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5 years 6 months

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Perhaps everybody who wants a Meteor already has one? Bottom of the pile would be sections of different Meteors which, when combined like a Frankenstein's monster, would create a T7. Oddly enough it appears, per Demobbed, that the rest of WL360 and WL345 went to Malta, for the museum there to do exactly that?

The Gloster museum, perhaps the best spiritual home for a T7 in need of work, have a backlog of Meteors to fettle up as it is.

As for the B25, it surprises me that a few of the bigger preserved railways in the UK have steam locomotives stored in their 'Barry scrapyard' state, 30+ years after they were saved. It also surprises me that there are Stanier Class 8F locomotives rotting away in open storage in Turkey, or Beyer-Garratts quietly rusting all over Africa. It happens! In the case of the Garratts, the Chinese scrapmen will get to them, most likely.

The arc, or trajectory, of something passing from merely old to vintage and noteworthy, isn't always smooth. At all the critical times there clearly hasn't been the motivation or money to work on this B25. It is only surprising to look at it now; a WW2-era aircraft rotting away at the back of a yard.

Profile picture for user Sabrejet

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10 years

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Not sure which was which, but one of those Meteor centre sections (WL360 I think) has sad connections and I recall the other was used for some kind of destructive fatigue test, which would preclude its use as a flyer and raise doubts as to its ability to support the outer wings of a static.

Oh and +1 for B-25 (see J Boyle's comment above): we know better surely?

Or are we now OK with 'spitfire5' as a 'designation'? Could be worse: on another forum I regularly see B-1Bs described under the term 'b1b'. It's the Text Generation I guess. One day soon we'll all communicate in grunts and three-letter words with no vowels. Text speak. Or 'txt spk' for thse in th no.

Profile picture for user Archer

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16 years 4 months

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The B-25 at Sandtoft (ex-Gorgeous George-Ann) was purchased and moved to Belgium in 2006. As of today, the BAPA is still hard at work restoring the airframe. In comparison, Bedsheet Bomber is most likely in a worse state and therefore a lot lower down the list if you're looking for a restoration candidate. As mentioned before, the museums interested in the type already have an example or are busy restoring one. Where does that leave this B-25? Looking at a bleak future if you ask me.

Profile picture for user Meddle

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5 years 6 months

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Apologies, but I can't get too upset about the difference between 'B25' and 'B-25'. I know what is being discussed in both instances. Maybe if it was a British type.... :applause:

In fact, maybe this is why it is languishing in a scrap yard! :rolleyes: