Horsa to be displayed in Oosterbeek
The Airspeed Horsa will be on display in Oosterbeek 7-25 September 2019
The Horsa Moves to Holland
The full-size replica Horsa assault glider, built by enthusiast volunteers at RAF Shawbury between 2001 and 2014, made its way by sea across the English Channel to be on display in Holland in September as part of a major event marking the 75th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden. Over 600 Horsa gliders were towed into battle at Arnhem over three days in September 1944.
A contingent from the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF) will transport the disassembled glider from RAF Cosford to a display site at the former airfield at Soesterberg, some 70 Km NW of Arnhem.
It will be re-assembled, under cover, for public display in September in front of the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek from the start of the Airborne March till after the 75th commemorations in September. Afterwards the Horsa will be dismantled for a second road move to its final destination for re-assembly and permanent public display at the Oorlogsmuseum at Overloon, 60 Km south of Arnhem.
27 November 2018
AGT Trustees Meeting
The AGT Trustees held a meeting to discuss the 3 main proposals for rehoming the Airspeed Horsa gilder and placing it on display to the public.
All 3 proposals are very attractive and representatives of the 2 teams that have not yet viewed the aircraft to assess the practicality of their plans will be invited to RAF Cosford to discuss this further.
No work has been done on the Horsa since it moved into the hangar at RAF Cosford in 2014. The aircraft is sitting on jacks with the undercarriage, wing centre-section and tail fitted. The wing outer sections and horizontal tail surfaces have not been fitted, as these would need to be removed anyway when the aircraft moves to its final destination.
Hopefully, 2019 will see the Horsa in its new home and on display to the public.
23 November 2018
The Waco moves to Dumfries
Finally, some progress! After preparatory work on the Waco on 21 November 2018, the Waco was collected by the transport team from the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum on Friday 23 November 2018 and was unloaded at its new home the following day. The museum is now preparing the glider for public display.
Loading the Waco took some 5 hours to load on the Friday in cold and blustery conditions outside the hangar at RAF Cosford. A very professional job by the 2 members of the transport team and with able assistance from the military Field Gun teams who were training in the hangar!
The transport frame containing the wing and tailplane was transported as a single unit as a separate load. The large cylindrical object isn't part of the glider, this was a load that had already been picked up on the way to collect the glider.
We look forward to visiting the Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum sometime next year to see the Waco on display.
20 January 2017
Where has all the time gone!
Well, it's 2017 and time is passing by and we aren't really any closer to rehoming the two gliders. We do have plans for both of the aircraft, but these depend on the potential recipients being able to provide suitable shelter for them. In spite of a number of enquiries, we are only looking at one option for the Horsa - it all goes very quiet when I send the dimensions of the aircraft - yes, it's BIG! The Horsa will potentially go to an established privately run museum, but that is dependant on funding to build a large agricultural type building. The Waco will probably also be going to a private museum, not the same one as the Horsa and being a smaller aircraft, housing it is not such a challenge. It was hoped that the Waco would move on from storage at RAF Cosford before Christmas, but it looks like this timescale has slipped a little.
10th May 2016
It's been quite a while since we last visited the hangar, partly due to access issues but mostly due to the fact that as the aircraft will be moving to another location for display, there is no point in carrying out any more work on them before the move. Today, we were accompanied by a group from a small but established aviation museum who have an interest in acquiring the CG-4A Waco. We had a very productive meeting and hopefully in the fullness of time this will lead to the Waco having a new home with regular public access. Options are also being considered for the Horsa, with two groups currently offering realistic solutions for the housing and display of the aircraft. Unfortunately, none of these options for either of the aircraft involve the RAF Museum who are still conducting their collections review and are unable to accept any aircraft during the period.
We are greatly indebted for the support provided by RAF Cosford in their continued provision of safe storage for both of the aircraft. Following repairs to the roof of the hangar last year, it's a nice dry and snug home for the aircraft until they go to their new locations.
27th October 2015
Still no Progress
Well, over a year has gone by since the timeline was last updates and what progress has been made? Unfortunately, very little. The RAF Museum are conducting a collections review which will take a number of years and during the review they will not be accepting any additional aircraft. The Horsa and Waco remain in storage at RAF Cosford and although the AGT Trustees have been actively seeking a new home for them, these attempts have not produced any results. We have had helpful suggestions from a number of individuals as to where the aircraft might be displayed, but unfortunately no museums or organisations have shown an interest. The Horsa in particular is a large aircraft and both the Horsa and Waco need to be displayed indoors as they would rapidly deteriorate if left outside. Fortunately, RAF Cosford have been very supportive and continue to offer storage for what was initially expected to be a 6-month period. We are very much in their debt and are most grateful for their continued support.
6th September 2014
Horsa Glider Reassembly Progress
A six hour working day at RAF Cosford saw the tail section being refitted to the Airspeed Horsa glider. The aircraft is now mobile on its undercarriage although it is supported on jacks whilst in storage. The next working day will see the rudder and horizontal tail surfaces being refitted. Still no news regarding when the Horsa and Waco will be moved across to the RAF Museum Cosford site.
4th August 2014
AGT Timeline Added to Website
It's difficult to get an overall view of just how the project has evolved over the 14 years since the idea first came to mind. The timeline allows you to scroll back and forward over the years to see when events ocurred.
1st August 2014
Working Day at RAF Cosford
Another rewarding session with the Horsa. The aircraft is now supported and levelled on jacks and the undercarriage shock struts are fitted. The glider is still sitting on the crash mats but there isn't really any reason to remove them until we need to move the aircraft as the weight is shared nicely between the mats, the undercarriage and the jacks. Some time consuming and fiddly jobs to be done next before the tail is refitted, so we've saved those for another day
26th July 2014
Working Day at RAF Cosford
A good day in the hangar at RAF Cosford today. Thanks to all those who came to help us today, especially the Pontoon and Dock Company who provided manpower and lifting capacity. The work went pretty much to plan, with only a few moments of head scratching - pass me the hammer, no the big one Port and starboard main undercarriage legs were fitted, just the 'A' frames as the shock struts fit onto the main spar. The undercarriage acted as stabilisers preventing the fuselage from rolling whilst the main spar section was fitted. As expected, the main spar took a fair bit of juggling to lay it flat and then lift into place. It's a very heavy and unwieldy chunk of airframe that had to be fitted in a slot in the fuselage and with the leading edge fitting into its own slot. If it's not exactly right, then it won't fit. The spar went in easier than I expected (note - easier not easily!) but it took a little while to line it up exactly to allow the main spar pins to be fitted. Funny how you struggle for 15 minutes, then the pin just goes in without any effort So, that was 5 hours of work today minus a few tea breaks. The fuselage is still sitting on the crash mats, so the next task will be to refit the metal reinforcing plates to the fuselage, they pass through holes in the main spar, then fit the undercarriage shock struts between the 'A' frames and the main spar. It looks like they will be a good fit as the fuselage sits on the mats. Then the trick will be to get the crash mats out from under the aircraft by lifting the nose slightly and then lifting from each side of the spar, one side at a time. The Waco team also had a good day, caring out some minor work - there isn't too much else they can do to the aircraft until the RAF Museum is ready to accept it - and covering over the glider and the wing sections in their transport crate with heavy duty polythene. The hangar does leak a bit when it rains, but we can live with that. To make the day perfect, we even had a flyby by the BBMF C-47 Dakota - OK, it wasn't ACTUALLY for us, but it was very nice of them anyway
31st May 2014
AGT Letter Published in the Times Newspaper
AGT letter published in the Times newspaper Saturday 31 May 2014 as the 70th Anniversary of D-Day approaches. Written by one of the Trustees, it explains the background to the project and remembers the daring Horsa pilots.
11 May 2014
AGT Move out of RAF Shawbury is now complete
The AGT move out of RAF Shawbury is complete. Offices cleared and keys handed back - thanks for all your hard work Richard. The AGT is now officially 'homeless' after some 13 years at RAF Shawbury.
10th April 2014
RAF TCM Team Collect Last Piece of the Dakota from RAF Shawbury
The RAF Transport Command Memorial team collected the last pieces of the Dakota today, the tailplane and the fin. Had to split the tailplane into its 2 halves by undoing loads of nuts and bolts! 1 Hangar at RAF Shawbury is now looking very empty indeed. Thanks again to all the team at RAF Shawbury for their help during the aircraft moves.
3rd April 2014
Final Road Convoy Leaves Shawbury for RAF Cosford
Final move today. Horsa wing centre-section with main spar removed this morning. Convoy to RAF Cosford went without incident and unloaded in the storage hangar. Too many people to thank, but special thanks to all the AGT Volunteers and supporters, everybody at RAF Shawbury both military and civilian, RAF Cosford who are hosting us during storage, Rex Stevens transport and last but not least, Dan Bryant and his excellent team at the Pontoon and Dock Company. Break out the champagne
2nd April 2014
Horsa Fuselage Loaded and Tiger Departs Shawbury
The Horsa is loaded and waiting for the wing centre-section to be lifted off and transported separately. Struggling with one of the main spar pins, need more tools so calling it quits for tonight.
That's the Tiger off base into storage until the Army Historic Aircraft Flight come to get it.
31st March 2014
Waco Fuselage and Horsa Tail Move into Storage at RAF Cosford
Another busy day! The Waco glider and the Horsa tail section left RAF Shawbury for storage at RAF Cosford. The final move, the Horsa fuselage and wing centre-section should be on the M54 either Wednesday or Thursday. Time to ask the RAF Museum Cosford when you will be able to go and see the gliders on display? We need a bit of 'people power' to get these aircraft displayed by the Museum. Thanks again to the Pontoon and Dock Company and Rex Stevens Transport for the excellent work today
29th March 2014
Flypast Magazine Article on the AGT
An excellent piece on the Assault Glider Trust in the May 2014 edition of Flypast magazine. Pages 92-95.