Blackburn Beverley: Iconic aircraft, last survivor of its type, in danger of being scrapped
Businessman Martyn Wiseman, who runs Condor Aviation, bought the huge transport plane at auction in September 2020, with help from philanthropist Georg Von der Muehll, a Swiss banker.
It has to leave its home at Fort Paull, a former military museum which closed in January 2020, where it was on display for nearly two decades.
The original aim was to dismantle it and take it to Mr Wiseman's airfield near Selby, before putting it back together - a huge task.
The plane's tail, propellors, rudders, wings and engines have been removed by his engineers and Mr Wiseman says Mr Von der Muehll has offered to pay to transport it to a permanent home.
However he says there'll be no point in doing that, if there's no money to put it back together.
Mr Wiseman said: "We have enough money to get it shifted, but then it will need a lot more to reassemble and put it back together.
"If we don't get some funding we will have to cut it up and sell it for scrap."
Work on the plane stopped last Autumn when the ground got too soft for the telehandler and cherry picker to work on.
Mr Wiseman says it's just about ready for moving and they have organised a transport company from Liverpool to shift it.
He said they'd been assured they could raise £100,000 through crowdfunding, but had only raised around £5,000 from supporters.
There have been negotiations with Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington, which was considering using it as a classroom for the hundreds of schoolchildren who come to the site every year.
However Mr Wiseman was told last month that the trustees and management considered it "beyond their resources".
Mr Wiseman accepts there will be a backlash if the plane - which was built in Brough in East Yorkshire - is scrapped, but said: "There's been a little bit of support from a few of the old pilots who chipped in £100 here or put in a tenner.
"If we got £5,000 that's probably being generous. We have had no support from any charity, museum, the RAF, nobody.
"Everybody has an opinion, but if you are not prepared to help financially you have no right to pass comment.
"If we don't get the funding there's two options, to chop it up or leave it where it is. It's a shame, I think it's fantastic, such a monster."
In terms of how much time the aircraft may have left depends on the owner of Fort Paull and how long he is prepared to let them keep the aircraft there.
"He has given us a lot of latitude," said Mr Wiseman. "If he will sit on it for another year, we will give it another year."
Rachel Semlyen, Chair of Trustees at the Yorkshire Air Museum said: "We would have loved to have been able to give the Blackburn Beverley a home at Elvington.
"But the high costs of transportation and reassembly and the fact that the aircraft is not in its original state any more, meant that after careful consideration of our resources and our focus on sustainability after the enforced closures of the last two years, meant we had to decline."
Designed for carrying bulk loads and operating from rough runways or dirt strips, the plane's main cargo area could carry 94 troops - with an extra 36 in the tail boom.
It served operationally with several squadrons, including 47, 30, 34 and 53, with bases at Abingdon and Dishforth, but also deployed overseas in Aden (now Yemen), where two were lost to land mines during operations, Bahrain, Kenya and in Singapore in the Indonesian Confrontation of the mid-1960s.