|Beverley C1 XB259 passed through various owners until it settled on a museum in Paull, East Yorkshire, in 2004. Others that had been preserved, one at the RAF Museum at Hendon and one at Southend, were scrapped, leaving this as the sole survivor.|
|The Blackburn B-101 Beverley began as a design by General
Aircraft, which had developed the Hamilcar glider, and the two types
shared an ability to carry outsize loads.
The GAL 60 Universal Freighter was submitted to fulfil an Air Ministry requirement for a freighter with short field performance and a contract for one prototype was awarded, powered by four Bristol Hercules engines.
GA merged with Blackburn in 1949 and the type first flew on June 20, 1950. The second prototype was powered by 2,850hp Bristol Centaurus engines and featured an enlarged tail boom with a passenger cabin. This GAL 63, or Blackburn B-100, first flew in June 1953, by which time 20 had been ordered by the RAF.
The first two B-101 Beverleys flew in 1955 but stayed with the company for development work, while the next two were used for service acceptance trials. The type entered service in March 1956, by which time an order for a further 27 aircraft had been placed.
The RAF operated its aircraft in many challenging parts of the world, notably the Middle East, but it was retired in 1967 when the Hercules entered service.
Civil versions had been projected, including a cross-Channel car carrying variant, but none were built. Neither did any former service machine find further work.
The story of the Beverley's preservation is something of a disaster. There were three supposedly in safe hands. One was parked near the RAF Museum at Hendon but not strictly part of the collection. Nonetheless, when it was scrapped in the 1980s it did not reflect well on the organisation. Another was held by the Historic Aircraft Museum in Southend but was scrapped when this museum folded. The cockpit survives at Duxford.
That leaves one aircraft, which has moved between several bases in East Yorkshire but is now preserved at a museum in Paull, near the town of Beverley.
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