Snow leaves bomber staring at skies
Published 13/01/2010 | 09:18
The big thaw has left a museum's prize exhibit staring at the skies.
Heavy snow tipped the North East Aircraft Museum's gigantic 1961 Avro Vulcan jet on to its tail, making it look as if it is about to take off.
Staff at the museum in Sunderland have propped up the 97ft long Cold War bomber on railway sleepers until it can be restored to its rightful position.
Museum owner and manager Keith Davison said: "I opened the museum on Saturday morning and it was the first thing that I saw. I thought blimey, that's different.
"The sheer weight of the snow on the wings had tipped the plane backwards, lifting the front landing wheel about eight feet from the ground.
"Now its rear fuselage and the trailing edge of the wings are on the ground.
"It's the first time it has been in that position since it was flown here from RAF Waddington on January 23 in 1983.
"It must have happened some time between Friday night and Saturday morning. We had to put railway sleepers criss-crossed right up to under the front wheel.
"Now it's wedged up there so that as the snow thaws it doesn't come crashing down and damage the plane. We'll get a crane in at the end of the month to set it right."
The Vulcan served with squadrons 617 (The Dambusters), 44 and 83 which were based at either Waddington or Scampton.