Historic plane returns to the UK after 66 years
Cambridge welcomes Beech Staggerwing on round the world charity journey
Cambridge Airport last week welcomed a historic American bi-plane to its airfield as part of its four year ‘round the world’ trip to raise money for the Wings of Hope, a charitable foundation set up to provide education for children from developing nations.
The 1943 Beech Staggerwing landed at Cambridge on Friday 21 September and was being flown by William Charney aka Captain Biff Windsock, an American aviator and Vietnam veteran, who restored the aircraft over a period of five years with a team of experts in New Zealand. Although originally built for the US Navy, the Staggerwing’s arrival in Cambridge was actually a homecoming since she was shipped to the UK and assigned to the Royal Navy for the end of the Second World War, before returning to America after the war. The aircraft arrived in the UK in June 1944, served at Boscomb Down and RNAS Abbotsburgh (today’s Glasgow Airport) and returned to the USA in 1946.
Archie Garden, director of Cambridge Airport, commented, “It was a great pleasure to welcome such a stunning plane to our airport last week and to meet her charming, determined owner. Captain Biff has undertaken a huge challenge in flying this historic aircraft around the world, raising money for charity. We are looking forward to seeing Captain Bill and his aircraft again next year, when he plans to return to update us on his adventures.”
To track Captain Bill’s journey or find out more about his charity, visit www.captainbiff.com
Pictured: The Staggerwing with Mr Robert Marshall, Chief Executive Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd; with William Charney aka Captain Biff Windsock.
For information on Cambridge Airport, visit www.cambridgeairport.com
Katie Bentley-Chan and Sara Whines at Four bgb
Tel: 0870 626 9000
This story was published on Monday 1st October 2012