Visitors to view Wellington Restoration

The award winning Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC) at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening its doors to visitors in November for one special week. From Monday 15th to Saturday 20th November 2010 a range of aircraft and other artefacts in various states of restoration will be on display, including the Centre’s latest arrival, the Wellington Bomber. 

The Vickers Wellington was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of WWII. It is famous for its geodetic fuselage structure designed by Barnes Wallis. The fabric covering to this structure is in desperate need of replacement and following extensive conservation work on the structure, this will take place at the Museum’s Conservation Centre over the next four to five years.

Other conservation projects on view will include on-going refurbishments such as the Handley Page Hampden TB1, Farman F.141 and Range Safety Launch. This may also be the last opportunity to view the conservation efforts on the Mk1 Sopwith Dolphin which is progressing well. 

Manager of the Conservation Centre, Tim Wallis says:

“The Open Weeks have become a mutually beneficial event for aircraft enthusiasts and interested members of the public alike and we are always delighted at the interest shown. Most are surprised by our work when they enter the hangar and hopefully all are delighted by the experience. We look forward to the exchange of information and hope that many accept our invitation to this brief, but rare insight into the preservation of aviation heritage. We are also ready to show-off the new MBCC Training Centre to our supportive public”.

Opened in May 2002 by Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham, the MBCC is regarded as one of the world’s foremost centres of excellence in aircraft conservation and restoration. Its skilled technicians undertake careful, extensive work to prepare aircraft and other projects for display at both of the Museum’s sites in Cosford and London with the MBCC team responsible for the conservation and routine maintenance of some 300 aircraft. Earlier this year the Museum won ‘Small Employer of the Year Award 2010′ at The National Apprenticeship Awards 2010, which recognised the success of the forward thinking apprentice initiative and wider conservation training programme offered by the Museum’s Conservation Centre, which now successfully employs seven apprentices.

Admission to the Conservation Centre is FREE and from 10.15am to 1.00pm each day during Open Week. Cosford’s main Museum will open daily from 10am – 6pm (last admission 5pm). Admission is FREE of charge. For further information, please contact the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit www.rafmuseum.org

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