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Hayes Way
Patchway, BS34

Aerospace Bristol is a new industrial heritage museum and learning centre being developed at Filton, to the north of Bristol. It will tell the story of the region's world-class aerospace industry - past, present and future. The Aerospace Bristol project is being run by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.

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Delivery

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.

The two Bristol Mercury engines and the forward fuselage are loaded on the first truck  

The two Bristol Mercury engines and the forward fuselage are loaded on the first truck

 

The first truck carried much of the aircraft. At the rear are the two outer wings, with the centre wing section between them  

The first truck carried much of the aircraft. At the rear are the two outer wings, with the centre wing section between them

 

The first truck on its way to Triumph Structures

The first truck on its way to Triumph Structures

The second load leaves Chino

The second load leaves Chino

20 miles

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.

The sections were offloaded at Triumph Structures, ready for Triumph to build wooden structures to protect them during the journey.

The sections were offloaded at Triumph Structures, ready for Triumph to build wooden structures to protect them during the journey.

The WW2 bomber is inspected by curious onlookers

The WW2 bomber is inspected by curious onlookers

1220 miles

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.

First to be loaded was one of the Bristol Mercury engines  

First to be loaded was one of the Bristol Mercury engines

 

Next the rear fuselage was loaded. The use of an overhead crane made the job much easier  

Next the rear fuselage was loaded. The use of an overhead crane made the job much easier

 

On the second van, the front fuselage was loaded first, followed by the centre wing section  

On the second van, the front fuselage was loaded first, followed by the centre wing section

 

The centre wing section, which has the engine mountings and undercarriage on either side. The tyre is original, but its condition shows how long the aircraft sat on its wheels.

The centre wing section, which has the engine mountings and undercarriage on either side. The tyre is original, but its condition shows how long the aircraft sat on its wheels.

2370 miles

30th June 2006

Portsmouth, Virginia

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.

5,970 miles

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.

5,995 miles

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.

The front and rear fuselage sections of Bolingbroke 9048 lined up outside the Airbus factory. The aircraft was painted yellow during its career as a trainer, but traces of its operational livery can be seen underneath.

The front and rear fuselage sections of Bolingbroke 9048 lined up outside the Airbus factory. The aircraft was painted yellow during its career as a trainer, but traces of its operational livery can be seen underneath.

This view of the underside of the centre wing section shows that many panels are missing. The holes inboard of the wheels are where the inner fuel tanks should be.

This view of the underside of the centre wing section shows that many panels are missing. The holes inboard of the wheels are where the inner fuel tanks should be.

The two outer wings were mounted in the same wooden structure. On the left is the port outer wing, on the right is the starboard.

The two outer wings were mounted in the same wooden structure. On the left is the port outer wing, on the right is the starboard.

The two Bristol Mercury engines, with the rest of 9048 behind.

The two Bristol Mercury engines, with the rest of 9048 behind.

6,155 miles

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.

All is revealed to the awaiting Bristol Aero Collection volunteers.

All is revealed to the awaiting Bristol Aero Collection volunteers.

The rear fuselage, with traces of two roundels and codes 'T' and 'B' visible. It is in surprisingly good condition given that it has been stored outside for 60 years.

The rear fuselage, with traces of two roundels and codes 'T' and 'B' visible. It is in surprisingly good condition given that it has been stored outside for 60 years.

The forward fuselage, showing how much of the nose was glazing.

The forward fuselage, showing how much of the nose was glazing.

The Bristol Mercury is offloaded with ease thanks to the wooden structures built by Triumph.

The Bristol Mercury is offloaded with ease thanks to the wooden structures built by Triumph.

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 lorry arrives at the hangar.

The lorry arrives at the hangar.

Restoring the gun turret will be a challenging but rewarding job for someone!

Restoring the gun turret will be a challenging but rewarding job for someone!

Offloading the centre wing section was a delicate process.

Offloading the centre wing section was a delicate process.

The Centre wing section in the hangar, next to the rear fuselage which arrived the previous week.

The Centre wing section in the hangar, next to the rear fuselage which arrived the previous week.

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.