World War II fighter plane on display at RAF Cosford - in pictures

By Tom Oakley | Entertainment | Published:

Aircraft fanatics will be given the chance to look inside the cockpit of a Second World War fighter plane next month.

Two-seat turret aircraft the Boulton Paul Defiant Mk1 will be the star of the show in its hangar at the RAF Cosford Museum.

But ahead of the Open Cockpit event at the museum on September 15 and 16, the plane has been on a journey of its own.

Arriving on a low loader from London in November 2016, it was stripped down before being transported to the it's original birthplace of the Midlands.

The fuselage and other major parts were low loaded with other smaller pieces strapped to a separate vehicle.

A team of around five experts spent days working on the rebuild, when it was lifted off a trolley and carefully placed into the rigging position.

Among the parts then lifted and added to the main body included the centre wing, rudder and fins.

The outer-wings are yet to be added but manager of the RAF Cosford's conservation centre, Darren Priday, hopes they can help the project closer to completion ahead of the show.

He said: "It's difficult to get the outer wings on with it being the summer holiday and lots of children being around. I'm hoping the wings will be on for the Open Cockpit event.


"We'll probably have them on within hour, it's not a big job. On the day, people will be allowed up on the wing and then they can have a quick luck in the cock pit, rear turret and have a general look inside the aeroplane. Hopefully we will get quite a lot of interest with it being a local aeroplane."

On its journey to Shropshire, the Defiant Mk1 was joined by the Gloster Gladiator 1 and the Westland Lysander III.

And it has been a homecoming for the Defiant after it was built by Boulton Paul at its Pendeford, Wolverhampton factory in 1938.

The plans were used regularly as a night fighter from 1940 to 1942 and later for air-sea rescue in the UK and Middle and Far East.

Arriving on November 28, it has been on display in January in the museum’s War in the Air hangar.

For more information on the Open Cockpit show go to

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Express & Star reporter responsible for covering Walsall and Staffordshire. Got a story? Email or call 01902 319482.


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