Bolingbroke 9048 has arrived in Bristol for restoration to static display for the Bristol Aero Collection. The aircraft had been stored in Southern California for the previous 30 years, and had been derelict in Canada for 30 years before that. The task was to get the aircraft components from the USA to the United Kingdom, with a limited budget.
Chino Airport, California
Bolingbroke 9048 had been stored in a compound at Chino Airport, 40 miles inland from Los Angeles. In late 2005 the aircraft was offered to the Bristol Aero Collection by Graham Kilsby, and a plan was devised to transport the dismantled aircraft to the UK. On 27th February 2006 the sections were removed from the compound, loaded on to two trucks and taken to Triumph Structures (TSLA), at City of Industry, Los Angeles. The loading was hampered by a torrential downpour, but went smoothly thanks to Halbert Brothers, who supplied and loaded the trucks. These photographs were taken by John Symon.
27th February 2006
Triumph Structures Los Angeles, City of Industry, California
Triumph cleaned the aircraft and built wooden structures around each of the major components. This protected the sections from further damage, and made the loading and unloading of each section much easier. Meanwhile the process of arranging the export certificate and import documentation began.
With the documentation completed in early June, the sections left Triumphs facilities on 19th June, bound for Wichita, in Kansas. The components were transported on two trucks courtesy of Triumph Structures. These photographs were taken by John Symon.
22nd June 2006
Raytheon Aircraft Company, Wichita, Kansas
The delivery of the components to Raytheon Aircraft Company in Wichita was designed to coincide with their schedule of Hawker 800 vans, which travel regularly between Wichita and Broughton, near Chester in the UK. These vans transport partially built Hawker 800 bizjets from Broughton to Wichita for final assembly, and the Bolingbroke sections were loaded into two vans returning to the UK empty. The vans left Wichita by road on 26th June for Portsmouth, Virginia. These photographs are courtesy of Raytheon Aircraft Company.
30th June 2006
At Portsmouth, the vans were loaded on to a roll-on roll-off ferry of Atlantic Container Lines, named Atlantic Concert. The ship set sail on 30th June 2006 bound for Liverpool.
19th July 2006
Seaforth Docks, Liverpool
Atlantic Concert docked in Liverpool on 19th July 2006. Charles Gee & Co arranged customs clearance, and drove the vans to Airbus UK at Broughton.
20th July 2006
Broughton, near Chester
On arrival at Broughton, the vans were unloaded, and returned to Airbus to load up with the next Hawker 800 fuselage for Raytheon. Bolingbroke 9048 then waited for availability of Airbus trucks to take the sections to Filton. The aircraft generated much interest when the components were unloaded, in blistering temperatures more suited to Southern California. Photographs are courtesy of Airbus UK.
25th July 2006
Filton, South Gloucestershire
The first components were loaded on to a curtain-sided lorry and driven to Filton by Airbus on 25th July 2006, arriving at midday. The load consisted of the forward and rear fuselage sections, and one engine. Photos by Andrew Appleton.
The next batch of components arrived on 3rd August, and comprised the centre wing section, the other Bristol Mercury engine, the rudder and the gun turret.
The transportation of Bolingbroke 9048 would not have been possible without the generous help and financial assistance of many companies and individuals, and these are listed on the Bolingbroke Sponsors page.