£5m Shackleton plane appeal launched in Coventry

Shackleton WR 963 at Coventry Airport The Shackleton WR 963 is currently based at Coventry Airport

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A £5m appeal has been launched to get a Shackleton aircraft back in the skies.

The plane clocked up about 15,000 hours of service for the RAF from the 1950s through to its retirement in 1991 and is currently at Coventry Airport.

The plane is one of only two models still capable of turning its engines, with neither able to fly, organisers of the appeal said.

It is hoped mechanics will have the plane taxiing in two months and flying within seven years.

Cold War

Dave Woods, chairman of the Shackleton Preservation Trust, said the focus for the next two years was to ensure the trust had the necessary funds to complete the project.

Mr Woods said: "At this moment there are no Shackletons capable of flight anywhere in the world.

"There are only two that are capable of turning their engines so we thought it would be a nice idea to put '963' back in the air.

"She was developed from a wartime Lancaster.

"She's had a very long and distinguished career and protected Britain from the Cold War attacks right to the end of her life.

"She's one of the longest serving aircraft the RAF has had."

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