Shackleton Refurbishment At Newark Air Museum

Shackleton WR977 Work Starts at Newark Air Museum

Avro Shackleton WR977 of the Newark air Museum. [photo via NAM]


By James Kighlty

On 25 July, 2023 installation work started on a bespoke scaffolding system around the nose and forward fuselage of Avro Shackleton WR977 at Newark Air Museum (NAM). This will allow teams of museum volunteers to work on this significant restoration and repainting project in safe conditions.

In 2023 NAM successfully installed jacking pads underneath the aircraft, which allowed refurbished jacks to be installed under both wings of the aircraft. This allowed NAM to make the aircraft safe; helped to mitigate issues with the main undercarriage structures; and allowed the visiting public to once again have some access inside the aircraft.

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Seen on 25 July, Shackleton WR977’s scaffolding is added by Inspired Scaffolding Services. [photo via NAM]

The installation of the new scaffolding (by Inspired Scaffolding Services from Bilsthorpe near Newark) will allow for restoration work to be undertaken on the front section of WR977 in a safe and secure manner. This work will include sealing the main cockpit glazing; in-depth cleaning; conservation of, and painting, of this area of the aircraft.


For most of the work period, WR977 will remain as part of the museum’s open cockpit offer. The modest contributions for accessing this iconic aircraft (when possible) will contribute towards the ongoing fundraising campaign to cover the scaffolding hire costs and the cost of the weekly safety inspections. The current anticipated time frame for the work is ten weeks; from the end of July through to the first week of October.

In these challenging times, NAM is seeking support to help fund the costs associated with the hire and regular safety inspections of the scaffolding. This NAM fundraising campaign can be accessed via the following Just Giving page, HERE.

Newark Air Museum Shackleton MR.3 4229180808
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James Kightly, from Melbourne, Australia, discovered his passion for aviation at the Moorabbin collection in the late 1960s. With over 30 years of writing experience for aviation magazines in the UK, US, Australia, and France, he is a feature writer for Aeroplane Monthly and an advisor for the RAAF History & Heritage Branch.

James has interviewed aviation professionals worldwide and co-runs the Aviation Cultures conferences. He has flown in historic aircraft like the Canadian Warplane Heritage’s Lancaster. At Vintage Aviation News, he ensures accurate and insightful aviation history articles.

Outside aviation, James has worked extensively in the book trade and museums. He supports the Moorabbin Air Museum and the Shuttleworth Collection. James lives in rural Victoria with his wife and dog.

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About James Kightly (Commissioning Editor) 57 Articles
James Kightly, from Melbourne, Australia, discovered his passion for aviation at the Moorabbin collection in the late 1960s. With over 30 years of writing experience for aviation magazines in the UK, US, Australia, and France, he is a feature writer for Aeroplane Monthly and an advisor for the RAAF History & Heritage Branch. James has interviewed aviation professionals worldwide and co-runs the Aviation Cultures conferences. He has flown in historic aircraft like the Canadian Warplane Heritage’s Lancaster. At Vintage Aviation News, he ensures accurate and insightful aviation history articles. Outside aviation, James has worked extensively in the book trade and museums. He supports the Moorabbin Air Museum and the Shuttleworth Collection. James lives in rural Victoria with his wife and dog.

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