The experts who restored the Doncaster-based Vulcan bomber are to take another iconic Cold War jet back to the air.
The Vulcan to the Sky Trust, based at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, is now looking to restore the English Electric Canberra jet which was once the world record holder for the highest flight.
It wants to bring it back to a state where it can fly again at air shows.
English Electric Canberra WK163 shot into the headlines around the world in 1957 when a prototype rocket motor fired her to 70,310 ft and a new world altitude record.
Since her final flight in 2007, the famous aircraft has faced an uncertain future.
Now she is to be restored and returned to the airshow circuit with the aim of helping to celebrate the centenary of the RAF in 2018.
The restoration will be undertaken by Vulcan to the Sky Trust, the charity responsible for the restoration and operation of Vulcan XH558 in Doncaster. The aircraft has been moved to the airport.
“WK163 embodies so much that is remarkable about British courage and innovation in the Jet Age; qualities that she can continue to inspire in us all,” said Dr Robert Pleming, who led the team that returned XH558 to flight and is now chief executive of Vulcan to the Sky Trust.
“I am thrilled to announce that the Trust plans to restore and fly WK163 for the British public, as we did with Vulcan XH558, with an education programme around her to inspire new generations of engineers and aviators.”
It was the first jet to cross the Atlantic without refuelling, in 1951. The all-British Canberra was so effective that they were operated by at least 17 nations including France, Germany, Australia and the USA.
The Americans admired the Canberra so much that they also built a significant number. They can fly so high for so long that NASA still uses three US-built Canberras for satellite development.
There are only five Canberras known to be flying in the world, including the three highly modified, USbuilt aircraft at NASA. Only two of these are English Electric Canberras and currently, none are flying in Europe.
The charity is fundraising for the work and for the costs. Log onto www. vulcantothesky.org for details of how to get involved.