Preserved Britannias

Using its expertise and resources, the Britannia Aircraft Preservation Trust has assisted with the preservation of Britannias around the world.

G-ALRX - Bristol Aero Collection Trust, Filton, Bristol

G-ALRX is the second prototype Britannia, which first flew from Filton 23rd December 1953. Just over one month later, on February 4th, 1954, it force-landed on the mud flats in the Severn Estuary, when an oil fire started in the starboard inner engine. It caused great embarrassment at the time, as it was on a demonstration flight for KLM, and several senior Bristol executives were on board. Although the mud doused the fire, the aircraft could not be rescued before the tide came in, and it was damaged beyond economic repair by salt water.

The fuselage returned to Filton, and served as a crew trainer for many years. Later it was reduced to a forward fuselage, and was used by the Aeromedical and Safety School at MoD Boscombe Down. In 1995 it was donated to the Britannia Aircraft Preservation Trust, and joined the Bristol Aero Collection's store at Banwell in December, moving to Kemble the following year.

It has been repainted in the colours it carried 1953/54, and the interior has been fully restored. It is currently in store at Filton awaiting the opening of a new museum, the Bristol Aerospace Centre, which should open in 2017. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first flight, ownership of 'RX was transferred to the Bristol Aero Collection Trust on 23rd December 2013.


G-ANCF - Britannia Aircraft Preservation Trust, Speke, Liverpool


G-ANCF was built in 1958, and after operations in America, Europe and Africa, was withdrawn from use in 1980. It was rescued by Roger Hargreaves and carefully dismantled for future preservation. After a period of storage at Kemble, Charlie Fox moved to its current location on the apron at the former Speke Airport in Liverpool in 2007. Restoration work is ongoing, and when complete the aircraft will be painted in Bristol Eagle colours, the airline that it operated with (from Speke) in the mid-1960s.


G-AOVT - Duxford Aviation Society, Duxford

Victor Tango was the last Britannia delivered to BOAC, being handed over on 2nd January 1959. It spent its entire career with British Airlines, such as British Eagle, Monarch and Invicta. It was retired in 1975 and donated to the Duxford Aviation Society, arriving at Duxford in June 1975. The Britannia is now display outside in Monarch livery. The cabin is open to the public on most air show days.


 XM496 - Bristol Britannia XM496 Preservation Trust, Kemble

XM496 Regulus was delivered to the Royal Air Force Transport Command in 1960, and saw service with 99 and 511 Squadrons. It was withdrawn in 1975, but lived with commercial operators such as Afrek Cargo of Greece, Aerocaribbean of Cuba and Transair Cargo in Southern Africa. In this last role it was the last airworthy Britannia in the world. In October 1997 it made its final flight to Kemble for preservation with the Britannia Aircraft Preservation Trust. In 2005 the responsibility was transferred to the Bristol Britannia XM496 Preservation Society, and the aircraft can be visited on certain weekends throughout the year.


XM497 - RAF Museum, Cosford

Despite its current colour scheme, this Britannia had a purely civil career. It was delivered to BOAC as G-AOVF in 1958, and was later operated by British Eagle, Monarch Airlines, Donaldson International, IAS Cargo, African Safari, Invicta and Redcoat. After a period in storage it was acquired by the then Aerospace Museum, and flown to Cosford in May 1984. It was initially painted in BOAC colours, but now appears in Royal Air Force Transport Command livery as XM497, named Schedar.


5Y-AYR - Somerset

This Britannia served with El Al, British United, Lloyd International and African Cargo but was scrapped at Bournemouth in the early 1980s. The cockpit was saved, and now lives on in Somerset.

Website: Silver Scouters