On Friday 19th August, 2022 the Newark Air Museum (NAM) took delivery of the Reid and Sigrist (RS) Desford aircraft onto its site in north eastern Nottinghamshire. This was the culmination of months of organisation in association with Leicestershire County Council (LCC), who has transferred ownership of the unique aircraft to the museum; and with Windmill Aviation, who restored the aircraft.
The delivery flight was completed onto part of the former RAF Winthorpe site. This was made possible thanks to the generous support and co-operation of the Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society and the Newark Motor Auction company, plus all of their staff.
After defueling and the removal of some items, the RS Desford was moved into a temporary undercover display location in Hangar 2 at the museum. Since delivery day, the museum, trustees, volunteers and staff have been busy with behind the scenes preparations for moving the RS Desford into its final display location in Hangar 1.
During the museum’s discussions with LLC over the transfer of ownership of the RS Desford, an Interpretation Plan was drawn up for the aircraft. This will include a new display that will utilise some of the archive material that was transferred to NAM along with the aircraft. This will be implemented after NAM finalises the required work schedule to move the RS Desford into Hangar 1, where it will be housed alongside some contemporary exhibits.
Some aspects of this relocation project have already been completed, including repositioning the Tiger Moth; and folding the wings on the Monospar, which is now ready for its temporary move. Additional planning work is also underway with regards to other tasks required to ensure that the various temporary airframe moves can be implemented in a safe and choreographed manner, and hopefully without too much disruption.
At a more detailed level NAM engineers have been undertaking an assessment of the RS Desford to see how it can become part of various events and activities at the museum in a safe way, that befits its unique status. Any future activities will be undertaken in accordance with NAM’s obligations as an Accredited Museum and for the long-term protection of the airframe.