The Science Museum Group is seeking UK partners to publicly display three significant aircraft from its national collection

The three aircraft – Trident, Comet and Constellation – are available for public display as part of the Group’s aim to increase access to objects from the Science Museum Group Collection for audiences across the UK.

The Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident 3B (G-AWZM) was acquired from British Airways in 1986 after flying 22,956 hours, covering nearly 12 million miles since it first flew in 1971.

Trident 3B was the first passenger airliner to be equipped with Autoland, a fully automated landing system which enabled aircraft to land in challenging weather conditions. This aircraft is the only complete Trident held in a UK national museum collection.

The De Havilland DH 106 Comet 4B (G-APYD) is one of five complete Comet aircraft in the UK and the only one with a full civilian history. This aircraft entered service in 1959, flying 16 million miles and performing 18,586 landings before joining the collection in 1979.

Comet was the world’s first passenger jet airliner. Several catastrophic failures led to the grounding of the fleet and when commercial flights resumed in 1958, a Comet 4 performed the first transatlantic crossing by a passenger jet.

The Lockheed 749 Constellation (N7777G) is the only complete Constellation in the UK. It was flown on KLM’s long-haul passenger routes from 1947, before being converted to include freight service and operating from Alaska.

This aircraft was used by the Rolling Stones during the band’s tour of the Far East in 1973, later joining the Science Museum Group Collection in 1983. Constellation was the first pressurised-cabin civil airliner. Its widespread use enabled large numbers of passengers to fly above bad weather for the first time, significantly improving safety and comfort.

The Science Museum Group has a long history of loaning objects to UK and international cultural institutions. In 2018/19 2,753 items from the Science Museum Group Collection were lent to 189 organisations, helping inspire audiences across the world.

Concorde 002, the British prototype which achieved supersonic flight in 1969, has been on loan to the Fleet Air Arm Museum since joining the Science Museum Group Collection in 1976. Two research aircraft used in the development of Concorde, BAC 221 and HP.115 (later flown by astronaut Neil Armstrong), are also on loan to the Fleet Air Arm Museum.

Potential UK display partners for the aircraft should apply online by 10 June 2019.

Image(s) provided by:

Science Museum, London.