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Can You Help Preserve A Little Piece of Aviation History? The Ex RAF Britannia XM496 aka “Regulus”

Since 1997, an all-volunteer team consisting mainly of former RAF personnel has been dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the world’s last full airframe Britannia built for The RAF: XM 496.

Activity to restore the Britannia has been halted now that the almost sole source of revenue (visitor contributions) has ceased with the closure of Cotswold Airport (formerly RAF Kemble) due to Covid-19. Consequently, an urgently needed second painting is at risk and without it (after 23 years of exposure to ever changing weather conditions) Britannia XM496 will be beyond saving.

I first flew a Britannia in 1959 while serving on 99 Squadron and last flew XM 496 in 1966, hence my soft spot for her. So, in order to raise the necessary funds, I have embarked on a sponsored activity – “Walk the Squadron” or 99 miles.

I am 87 years old and wear a pacemaker and I propose to complete my challenge within approximately 3 months. I will complete the final mile on Sunday 13 September (just ahead of Battle of Britain Day on 15th September) in front of the Britannia at Cotswold Airport.

If you are able to sponsor me in my 99 miles walking challenge, then I would be very grateful.

Please visit my ‘Gofundmepage to make a donation: www.gofundme.com/f/walk-the-squadron-99

My initial target is £5,000 to cover the immediate cost of re-painting. Any excess donations will be used for further restoration of the Britannia and shared with The RAF Benevolent Fund and other Service Charities.

Thank you in advance for your kind donation and finally, as a wise man once said:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

So here goes….

Brian Weatherley (RAF Wing Commander Ret’d)

(For a full background and history on the Britannia, please visit:  www.xm 496.com)

June 25, 2020

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