Plans for the yet to open Fishburn Historic Aviation Centre in County Durham, England reached a milestone last week when the collection’s first two aircraft, a de Havilland Dove short-haul airliner and a Venom postwar fighter, arrived at Fishburn Airfield.
However, for WW2 aviation buffs, the most exciting news came from Airfield Manager Sam Woodgate, who confirmed that the museum was gearing up for its most exciting project: the construction of a full-scale Westland Whirlwind Mk 1.
The reproduction of the twin-engine single seat fighter-bomber was previously begun by an aviation restoration group in North Yorkshire run by Mike Eastman. The team is now in the process of relocating and will work out of a museum hangar that will be erected shortly.
The Whirlwind is reportedly being built with existing original drawings as well as original materials (where possible), with the final product being “indistinguishable from an aircraft in Squadron service during the Second World War.” Although it will not fly, the completed aircraft will be in taxiing condition and the only example of the type in the world.
The aviation centre is expected to open sometime this year, and will be located in an area behind Fishburn Airfield.