Hangar for wartime Dakota taking shape

The new hangar taking shape around the dakota at Metheringham airfield. EMN-191028-151730001
The new hangar taking shape around the dakota at Metheringham airfield. EMN-191028-151730001

The project to construct a new hangar to protect a wartime Dakota acquired by Metheringham Airfield Museum is taking shape around it.

Over the last few weeks, the Dakota had a short but difficult tow to the new site where it will be housed, skilfully executed by volunteers and the construction team.

Work has then gone ahead, building the hangar around the plane in situ.

Ian Brett from the project team said: “The construction guys have been amazingly careful working in close proximity to the Dakota and not damaging it at all. Much better than its last journey when it arrived at Metheringhan four years ago and sustained some serious structural damage to the flap area.”

He added: “A start has been made fitting the roof panels and it is hoped they will all be in place before the winter sets in. It will be good to have some cover over the Dakota this winter even if it isn’t fully weather tight.”

This year’s season for the museum is coming to an end and the museum will close to the public at the end of the month. A lot of work is planned by the volunteers to allow public access to the Dakota again in the spring.

Mr Brett said: “We are unsure how much of our planned display we will be able to achieve and it will be darker under the roof, but we should at least be able to light the interior (of the Dakota) with the LED lighting that was installed over the year leading up the the move. Full access to the interior is very popular with the visitors and we think is a unique experience in the country.”

The volunteers have raised funds for the first two phases of the project but still need funds to complete the construction and fit the building out so the Dakota can be displayed at its best.

Mr Brett said: “It is unlikely we will get the sidewall panels installed for this winter, just the roof. We have an application for National Heritage Lottery Funding pending.”

Another money raising idea is the sale of very limited edition gifts of ‘Dog Tag’ key rings made from the skin of one of the plane’s wings salvaged during a repair, now available on the website.

Donations from the public can also be made at https://mavc.onlineweb.shop