Trans-Atlantic Air Race Harrier XV741 Delivered to Brooklands Museum

April 10, 2019 | Aircraft, Aircraft Logistics, Aviation, Aviation Restoration, Company News

At the beginning of April, a team from Jet Art Aviation installed the famous 1969 Daily Mail Trans-Atlantic Air Race Harrier XV741 in Brooklands Museum. The aircraft will form part of the museum’s new exhibit named “The First to the Fastest”, with the “First” being a replica of the Vickers Vimy flown by Alcock and Brown 100 years ago in 1919, and the “Fastest” being XV741, winner of the London to New York leg of the Air Race 50 years later in 1969. The delivery and subsequent assembly of the aircraft was the culmination of a 7-year restoration process taking the aircraft back to the 1969 ‘Air Race’ specification. The aircraft has been placed on loan with Brooklands Museum by a private owner who has funded the restoration back to ‘factory perfect’ condition.

A specialist team from Jet Art Aviation loaded XV741 onto 2 lorries at their HQ in Yorkshire on Monday 1st April, with one lorry taking the fuselage and the other taking the wing, tailplane, fin and external fuel tanks. On the Morning of Tuesday 2nd April the lorries began their 200 mile journey south, arriving at the museum late afternoon.  The team immediately got to work unloading the fuselage and fitting the wing, working well into the evening. The day ended with the aircraft sitting back on its undercarriage for the first time in 7 years. The team were straight back on it Wednesday morning, fitting the tailplane and the fin in front of a curious and excited crowd of museum visitors and employees alike. With the majority of the panelling carried out on Wednesday, Thursday saw work reassembling the aircraft fully completed with the final touches of attaching the air to air refuel probe, drop tanks and belly strakes bringing the aircraft’s painstaking restoration journey to a very satisfying conclusion. The Harrier was then towed out of the hangar and placed next to Concorde for a photoshoot celebrating two incredible achievements of fast Trans-Atlantic crossings by air. The exhibition of XV741 alongside the Vickers Vimy portrays a fantastic juxtaposition between old and new, illustrating the rapid developments in aviation technology with just 50 years separating the Vimy and the Harrier.

We are absolutley elated at the end result of what has been our longest and most in-depth project to date. The fact that the aircraft has ended up on public display and has been completed in time for the 50th Anniversary of the Great Air Race is very poignant. We would like to thank the owner of the aircraft for having the passion and drive to commission and fund the project, the Serco paint shop at RAF Marham for painting the aircraft, Brooklands museum for providing a very fitting home and finally the haulier and crane operator for safely delivering the aircraft to the museum.