In recent weeks staff and volunteers at Newark Air Museum have undertaken a series of significant steps forward in making the Avro Ashton fuselage mobile.
This has involved fixing specially designed wheeled rigs to the wing attachment points on the rear of the fuselage. This has enabled the fuselage to be lifted off the ground for the first time since it was delivered to the museum in 2003.
In the coming weeks a wheel rig will also be fitted to the nose of the aircraft, which will allow the fuselage to become mobile. Once the nose wheel rig has been fitted the fuselage will be towed to a different location on the museum site so that restoration and rebuilding work can be undertaken.
The fuselage of Avro Ashton WB491, which is listed as ‘Significant’ on the National Aviation Heritage Register was donated to Newark Air Museum in March 2003 and it was recovered from Woodford near Manchester.
WB941 is the only remaining significant airframe part of six Tudor 8 jet airliners, which were modified by the A.V.Roe Company into the type 706 ‘Flying Laboratories’. Described as an “engine and systems test-bed” the last Ashton retired from service in 1962, with the type having undertaken a range of high altitude test and research programmes for various government departments and external agencies.