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Auctioneer confident RAF transport plane will be saved from scrapyard

UK News | Published:

The Blackburn Beverley XB259 last flew in 1974 and is the last example of the model.

Fort Paull Museum auction

The last example of one of the Royal Air Force’s most important transport aircraft should be saved from the scrapyard this weekend, an auctioneer has said.

The final surviving Blackburn Beverley XB259 is up for sale following the closure of Fort Paull, near Hull, which has until recently been a military museum.

An online auction is set to finish at the weekend for the contents of the museum, including the 99ft long Blackburn Beverley, which last flew in 1974.

There had been fears that a buyer could not be found, the cargo plane with a 162ft wing span would be broken up for scrap, and therefore become the first post-war British plane of which there were no surviving examples.

Three people view the interior of the only remaining RAF XB259 Blackburn Beverley C1 heavy transport plane (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Three people view the interior of the only remaining RAF XB259 Blackburn Beverley C1 heavy transport plane (Owen Humphreys/PA)

But auctioneer Andrew Baitson said: “There’s a lot of interest in it with enthusiasts bidding so it is not broken up for scrap.”

He could even see the plane being converted into an eccentric Air BnB, or to find a home as a “gate guardian” at an airfield.

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Bidding for the plane, which the buyer will have to have disassembled for it to be moved, stands at £8,000.

The only remaining RAF XB259 Blackburn Beverley C1 heavy transport plane is going under the hammer (Owen Humphreys/PA)
The only remaining RAF XB259 Blackburn Beverley C1 heavy transport plane is going under the hammer (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The purchaser will have nine months to arrange collection.

Dr Robert Pleming, chairman of Aviation Heritage UK, said: “Blackburn Beverley XB259 is one of the largest preserved airframes in the UK, and if scrapped, would be the first post-war British aircraft for which there are no examples left.

“Beverley XB259 represents an important part of British aviation heritage, and deserves to be preserved in its entirety.”

When it entered service in 1955 it was the RAF’s biggest plane, and was designed for carrying bulk loads and operating from rough runways or dirt strips.

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