• News Item 1: CROWD FUNDING. Thanks to the oldest (a very young looking 88), and certainly the most senior in rank of our ‘working members’, the Society has joined the ‘Crowd Funding’ groups to attempt to overcome an acute shortage of funds brought about by the spread of Covid-19 to the UK and the subsequent mandatory imposed lock-down – the result of which has precluded members of the public from visiting ‘Regulus’. Ex 99 (Britannia) Squadron navigator, Wg Cdr Brian Weatherley, has gamely volunteered to do a 99 mile walk to raise some much needed capital. I can imagine at this time he must be thinking he sure was lucky not to be posted to 511 Squadron! Brian is requesting sponsorship in the form of donations to the ’cause’ which he has named ‘WALK THE SQUADRON 99′. To help Brian along you can make a donation via the GoFundMe website and search ‘Walk the Squadron 99’ or just ‘Brian Weatherley’. Click on the Britannia photo and follow the instructions via ‘DONATE NOW’. We thank you most sincerely for your support.

  • News Item 2: JOHN MANSELL. It is with much sorrow that the Society announces the passing of our esteemed colleague, John Mansell. John died peacefully on the morning of Wednesday 6th of May. He was one of our longest standing members and until his failing health intervened, he was invariably present on all the open days keeping the visitors entertained and also on maintenance days keeping the working members entertained! He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues. Rest in peace John. Our thoughts go out to your family at this very sad time. An obituary for John will appear in the June Newsletter.  

  • News Item 3: THE REPAINT Pt 4.  Painting has now begun in earnest and our two stalwarts, Jim (Secretary and Engineering) plus Maurice (Engineering) have spent many days in the past few weeks at ‘Regulus’ wielding paint brushes and rollers and have only been thwarted by some high temperatures, high winds and rain. The plan is to concentrate initially on the main-planes, engines and props and wheel bays and also bring in paid help to paint the empennage. In addition, some problems were found with the cabin roof and work is being carried out by your editor to rectify this problem prior to the aircraft’s markings being applied at a later date. Once the first phase is completed we will concentrate on re-applying the cheatline followed finally by the completion of the lower fuselage. The original estimate for the amount of paint required was rather over-optimistic but we have found a supplier in Gloucestershire who will at least make no delivery charges.  This unexpected situation will rather dent the bank balance but whilst we can continue to source labour from our own team we are keeping everything generally under control. Maurice’s wife, Jo, an accomplished artist, has offered to paint the main fuselage roundels which will keep the total cost for the vinyl markings to less than previously budgeted for. On the subject of the markings, we still plan to use a professional to apply the markings and money has been set aside to pay for this task. In addition to painting, Maurice has managed to re-commission another safety raiser plus an articulated elevated platform and one of Jim’s mates has kindly given us a professional scaffolding tower which will give us a very stable platform to service the lower elevations of the aeroplane. The most observant of you will have noticed that the propeller tips are now bright yellow. This will conform to when the fuselage displayed the full ‘Royal Air Force Transport Command’ titling in the 60’s.                       

  • News Item 4: NEWSLETTER 11. Planned for distribution at the beginning of June, may now ‘hit the newstands’ a little later than anticipated because of a revision to the planned edition following our recent loss of John. Please bear with us but we will make every effort to be out on time however it is dependent on our new ‘slot time’ at the printers.

  • Update 1: reCAPTCHA.  Some of you may have noticed that the reCAPTCHA security declaration has now moved to a 2-part system requiring additional input by identifying parts of a photograph. Like all organisations who maintain a website we are bombarded with some pretty appalling spam from the ‘low-life’ that has little to do other than be a nuisance. reCAPTCHA doesn’t solve the problem completely but does go someway to relieving it.


  • Update 2: DONATIONS. In response to a number of requests for the facility to make donations to XM496 from the website, a minor modification to the ‘Form’ has been made under the Title Heading MEMBERSHIP OR DONATIONS. Please follow the instruction to differentiate your requirement and may we thank you most sincerely for your kindness. Any monies donated are used entirely for the upkeep of the aircraft.

  • News Item 5: DEHUMIDIFIER. The newly acquired dehumidifier, generously supplied by a member, will be shortly installed on the flight deck giving us a total of 3 in continuous operation throughout the aircraft. The new appliance is of a smaller size than those in the cabin so as to ensure little or no intrusion for visitors to the ‘sharp end’, but appears to be no less efficient. The condensation problem associated with the winter months has been vastly reduced. We expect to go down to one in operation during the summer months dependent on the actual weather.

  • News Item 6: ELECTRICS. The new cabling and distribution boxes have now been installed and we can run three 2000 watt heaters during winter opening days. A full safety certificate has been issued for the aircraft.