Blackpool aviation museum opens doors

An open day at the Fylde'Coast Museum of Aviation and'Aircraft Manufacturing
An open day at the Fylde'Coast Museum of Aviation and'Aircraft Manufacturing
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Visitors can get a behind the scenes peek at what could become Blackpool’s newest tourist attraction.

The group behind the Fylde

Coast Museum of Aviation and

Aircraft Manufacturing are to throw open the doors of Hangar 42 at the airport to let people have a look at the early work being carried out there.

And the group are currently using their Spitfire aircraft to raise funds for the project to bring about some ambitious plans to make it a top national attraction.

John Coombes, from the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Display Team, said the first open day, held on February 7, was a huge success with more than 80 people coming to visit.

The next date is this Saturday, and then again on March 5.

Mr Coombes said: “We have got our two Spitfires in there at the moment and our military vehicles. Our Hurricane is being refurbished.

“Our Mark 2 Spitfire has been in Geneva raising funds and we have one going to Denmark in May.

“It was at the watch convention, where the luxury brands in the watch world gather.

“There were Hollywood A-list stars there and our girl was there in the corporate hospitality area of prestige watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen.

“We were really pleased because she was well received.”

He said the group had plans to recover and refurbish a Wellington bomber, one of those built at the former aircraft factory at Squires Gate as well as a plan to create a Spitfire flight simulator at the attraction.

He said: “It would be installed into a full-size replica Spitfire cockpit and people could see what it was like to fly a fighter in the Battle of Britain.

“That would be very exciting.

“At the moment we are still working on the building but need volunteers to help with that and refurbishment projects.

“This is a real volunteers’ effort a community project.

“We have got some young people from Blackpool and The Fylde College coming to us who are studying aero engineering to work on our full sized aircraft.

“The main thing is to get the building into shape so we can open as a proper visitor attraction.

“At the moment we are asking people who want to visit on the open days to drop us an email via our Facebook page due to health and safety restrictions.

“Last time we had 85 people, from all over the North West, the Lake District and Manchester, which shows the potential of having an aviation museum here at the airport.

“We have two more open days and then we will be concentrating our efforts on events coming up this summer at Blackpool and Lytham Proms.”

nDetails of the open days and directions can be found on the Hangar 42 Visitor Centre Open Day Facebook page.