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Norwich Aviation Museum aircraft moved for the NDR

PUBLISHED: 09:10 02 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:33 03 April 2016

Vintage aircraft being moved at City of Norwich Aviation Museum to make way for the NDR. The 1952 Gloster Meteor F Mk 8 is moved into position.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Vintage aircraft being moved at City of Norwich Aviation Museum to make way for the NDR. The 1952 Gloster Meteor F Mk 8 is moved into position. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

An aviation museum has undertaken one of its biggest operations to date by relocating several aircraft to make way for a new dual carriageway.

What is the NDR?

The Northern Distributor Road is a 12½-mile dual carriageway, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road.

Business leaders say the road will mean a £1.3bn shot in the arm for Norfolk’s economy, while council leaders said it would create new homes and jobs, as well as speeding up traffic.

It is expected to cost £178.5m and is due to open in just under two years’ time in February 2018.

Everything from vintage airliners to fighter jets were carefully moved along a make-shift runway yesterday at The City of Norwich Aviation Museum, located just north of the airport on Old Norwich Road.

The planes had to be relocated due to construction of the Northern Distributor Road (NDR), which is going to be built across part of the site.

Contractors had to use a 360 brake horsepower tractor to move eight aircraft throughout the day, with some weighing up to 14 tonnes.

Museum volunteer Mike Church, 75, was one of a handful of staff on hand to oversee the operation.

Vintage aircraft being moved at City of Norwich Aviation Museum to make way for the NDR. The 1952 Gloster Meteor F Mk 8 is moved into position.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYVintage aircraft being moved at City of Norwich Aviation Museum to make way for the NDR. The 1952 Gloster Meteor F Mk 8 is moved into position. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

He said: “The major risk is that these aircraft are parked outside and, much like if you leave your car out for a long period of time, it is not going to be in the best of conditions.

“Fortunately the undercarriages are built to take five to six tonnes of aircraft smacking into the ground at more than 100mph, so this is not too bad in comparison.”

The relocated aircraft included a propellor-driven Fokker F27, used to transport passengers, and a Sepecat Jaguar fighter jet.

Both are now situated in an area of land to the west of the museum, which has been given to them in return for the section required for the road.

Museum chairman Derek Waters, 58, of Taverham, said: “We are getting slightly more land than we have lost and although it’s not an ideal shape, all of the aeroplanes fit on it.

“We are hoping it will give the museum a higher profile when the road opens as more people will drive past.

“At the moment we are in a little cul-de-sac at the back of the 
airport.”

Oliver Arnold, owner of Quinto, the company responsible for moving the aircraft, said: “We have been here before to move things about, but this is the first time we have moved such a large group of aircraft.

“Because of their age, it is really important to treat the aircraft with respect.”

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