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Monday, 20th August 2012: All was ready for the big move. The FMA Pucara had its outer wings removed, which will be attached to the top of the stub wings while it’s in temporary storage in another hangar. The CASA 2.111 (He.111) had the accumulated equipment from around it removed and the M-50 Cricquet was parked next to the CASA. The Amiot was sitting on two large, yellow dollies with castoring wheels so it could be moved sideways out of the hangar.
Before the Amiot was moved, the CASA, Criquet and Pucara were wheeled outside and parked in the daylight, something which hasn't been seen in quite a while. After the CASA fuselage had been towed back into the hangar, the Hind helicopter fuselage was moved from the western end of Hangar 5, outside and then back into H5 eastern end to join the rest of the detached bits that had been removed from it as it's soon to be containerised for its move to America.
Tuesday, 21st August 2012: When I arrived, just after the museum had opened to the public, the move had begun. The Amiot was already outside but not wihout a technical hitch. The casting holding the rear wheel had sheared. The Amiot had been dragged across the car park between the two hangars, with the aid of a wheeled metal plate in place of the tailwheel, towards the airline collection. It was decided to remove the tailwheel assembly for fixing and the aircraft was roped off and picketed down for the night for a move in the morning.
Wednesday, 22nd August 2012: Overnight, a temporary tailwheel had been made and attached to the rear fuselage of the Amiot. Very slow progress was made in moving it sideways to get the port wing over a an oil storage tank and it was pulled forward about 20 feet. Because of the number of visitors about, it was decided to halt operations and move the aircraft first thing in the morning before the public were allowed in. Again the aircraft was roped off for the rest of the day & night.
Thursday, 23rd August 2012: I was fully expecting to see the Amiot parked airside but fortunately for me that hadn't happened yet. The Amiot was now off the big yellow dollies and on the old taxiway and very slowly being pulled towards crash gate A and the airfield. There was one slight obsticle in the way in the form of a permanent traffic sign post. After a tea break and a few phone calls, a man with a hacksaw made the sign into a temporary one.
Following a review of its collections, the IWM is disposing of some of its aircraft held at Duxford. All items were offered to other museums on loan and those that were not taken up were put up for sale by sealed bids. Two of the aircraft that were sold was the Amiot AAC.1 Toucan (Ju52/3M), which is moving to Europe, and the Morane-Saulnier M-50 Criquet (Fi.156 Storch) which I believe is staying in the UK. The Amiot AAC.1 was a French built post war version of the Junkers Ju.52 and this aircraft was a gift to the museum by the Portuguese Air Force and arrived at Duxford by road in September 1973. At the end of their service life in 1971, the Portuguese aircraft were stored outside awaiting disposal or sale with wings and tailplanes removed so this airframe is probably a ‘Bits Of’ with the best parts of dismantled aircraft being used to complete a whole airframe.
Having pulled the Amiot backwards to a position that was at a right angle to the gate, it was detached from the tractor and manhandled so it was pointing in the general direction of the crash gate A. It was hooked up to the tractor again and without any further problems, pulled airside. It's parked up by the American Air Museum end of the flightline until a bit of remedial work has been completed and then it'll moved to the jet pan, down the M11 end, for static display in the next Duxford air show on the 8th/9th September.