UK

Last Remaining Blackburn Beverley Transporter Up For Auction

There are, however, fears the Royal Air Force transport aircraft could still be scrapped.

A Royal Air Force Blackburn Beverley transporter aircraft, believed to be the first produced and last remaining of its kind, is up for auction.

When it entered service in 1955, the Blackburn Beverley was the largest aircraft in the RAF and operated from rough runways or dirt strips.

Forty-nine of the aircraft were manufactured, but were only in service for just over a decade before being retired in 1967. 

The plane is just one lot in an auction with over 1,000 items at Fort Paull, in Yorkshire.

Originally a former Napoleonic fort, Fort Paull was a museum until it closed its doors a year ago and now everything is going under the hammer.

Auctioneer Andrew Baitson said the aircraft is large enough to hold "a single decker bus" and can carry "about 100 troops".

While the Blackburn Beverley has "created an awful lot of interest", enthusiasts have raised concerns the last remaining giant may end up being scrapped.

The Blackburn Beverley is one of over a thousand items being auctioned at Fort Paull.

If that were to happen, it would make it the first post-war British aircraft with no surviving examples, but Mr Baitson finds it "very unlikely" it will be broken up.

"I’ve got a gentleman in Switzerland that’s extremely interested in it and also campaign groups trying to save it, making sure that it doesn't get destroyed," he said.

"I’ve been talking to the prospective bidders and there’s certainly one prospective bidder that is prepared to bid more than scrap value so it doesn’t get broken up."

So, what do you do with such a large aircraft?

"Well it would make a great AirBnB, there's been all sorts of people talking about cafes and grand design build opportunities," Mr Baitson said.

"I have a feeling it will be bought and it will either be a gate guardian or another attraction at another museum or airfield."

As to whether it will ever fly again, Mr Baitson said it depends "how much money" you have.

Fort Paull's collection ranges from "Henry VIII right through to Hitler", and includes what is believed to be Charles I's vertebrae, which has been converted into a salt cellar.

"We’re still finding items, we’re still adding lots to the auction now and we’ve only got two days to go," Mr Baitson added.

The online auction ends on Saturday.