As part of our prep back in August for reopening the Ulster Transport Museum, our collections in the Land, Sea and Sky galleries got some special TLC from the Collections Services team!
One of the objects to get a glow up was the 1960’s Shorts SC1 Research aircraft. Two test aircraft were built, the second of which, our XG905, crashed on 2 October 1963 in Belfast due to a controls malfunction, killing the pilot. It was rebuilt and the two aircraft continued to fly until 1967. The experimental SC1 used four powerful Rolls Royce engines to allow it to take off and land vertically, becoming the first British fixed wing aircraft to switch from vertical to horizontal flight and back again.
Being on open display means dust and dirt accumulates quickly and apart from making objects look a little unpleasant, it can actually cause damage if not kept under control. This means that regular housekeeping is necessary, both in galleries and storage. Although this may seem like a decidedly unglamorous task, it is one of the most important ways we ensure our collections are kept in top condition.