Shuttleworth Collection

The Shuttleworth Collection is an aeronautical and automotive museum located at the Old Warden Aerodrome, Old Warden in Bedfordshire, England. It is one of the most prestigious in the world due to the variety of old and well-preserved aircraft.

Shuttleworth Collection
The main entrance to the Shuttleworth Collection in 2017
LocationOld Warden, Bedfordshire
TypeAviation museum


The collection was founded in 1928 by aviator Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth. While flying a Fairey Battle at night on 2 August 1940, Shuttleworth fatally crashed. His mother, in 1944, formed the Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth Remembrance Trust "for the teaching of the science and practice of aviation and of afforestation and agriculture."[1]


Restoration and maintenance work is carried out by a staff of nine full-time and many volunteer engineers. These volunteers are all members of the 3,000-strong Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society (SVAS).[2] These dedicated enthusiasts are crucial to the preservation and restoration of the collection.

In addition to the aircraft, the collection houses a number of vintage and veteran cars. Events include model-flying days, and once a year, there is a special flying day for schools in the area.

The Shuttleworth Collection puts an emphasis on restoring as many aircraft as possible to flying condition, in line with the founder's original intention.[3] There are typically about twelve air shows per year, including evening displays, which offer the opportunity to see aircraft which in many cases are the last of their type to survive, let alone existing in flyable condition.

The Edwardian flying machines

Some of the most notable aircraft in the collection are the five Edwardian aeroplanes, of which one is the oldest British aeroplane still in flying condition. What makes these exceptional is that they still fly (weather permitting). The oldest, with British civil registration G-AANG, is the Bleriot XI (still with original engine), which dates back to 1909 - six years after the Wright brothers' aircraft and the world's oldest airworthy aeroplane, the next oldest being, at only three weeks newer by date of manufacture, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome's own restored original Bleriot XI (Bleriot factory serial number 56, with civil registration N60094) in the United States.

Aircraft in the collection

Also resident, but privately owned: Avro Anson (BAE Systems)

Vehicles in the collection

There is also a collection of tractors.

See also

Other large collections of flying historic aircraft


  1. Ogilvy 1989, Ch.1.
  2. Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society (SVAS) Retrieved: 7 February 2009
  3. Ogilvy 1989, Introduction.
  4. Pilot dies after vintage plane crashes in Bedfordshire BBC News 1 July 2012, accessed 3 July 2012
  5. Ellis 2004, pp. 12-14.
  • Ellis, Ken. Wrecks and Relics - 19th Edition, Midland Publishing, Hinckley, Leicestershire. 2004. ISBN 1-85780-183-0.
  • Guttery, T.E. The Shuttleworth Collection. London: Wm. Carling & Co, 1969. ISBN 0-901319-01-5.
  • Ogilvy, David. The Shuttleworth Collection. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1989 (revised edition 1994). ISBN 1-85310-503-1.
  • Ogilvy, David. Shuttleworth - The Historic Aeroplanes. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1989 ISBN 1-85310-106-0.

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