One of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s longest and most complex restoration projects won’t result in a flying airplane. CWH has announced publicly that its Bristol Bolingbroke will be restored to ground run-up condition instead of to full flying status as had been planned. “After a very thoughtful and open group discussion and in consideration of the real-world challenges included in restoring and safely operating an airworthy Bolingbroke, it was decided by the team, including the restoration team and management, to continue to restore the aircraft to just ground-running operation,” CWH Marketing Manager Al Mickeloff told the Hamilton Spectator.
The museum, located at Hamilton International Airport in Mount Hope, just outside Hamilton, started working on the Bolingbroke in 1986, using the hulks of eight aircraft recovered from Manitoba. The restoration has cost the museum as much as $80,000 in parts and all had to be approved by Transport Canada, a time consuming process said Museum President David Rohrer. “It’s a complicated airplane,” Rohrer said. “Materials approval took years, not months.” He also noted the Bristol Mercury XV engines are notoriously unreliable and cited that as a contributing factor in the decision to not fly the plane.