A UNIQUE aircraft is being restored to its former glory on Wearside.
The Hawker Siddeley HS 121 Trident, which is the last remaining Trident 1C passenger plane in the world, will go on display at the North East Aircraft Museum once the project is complete.
Restoration team leader Dave Matthews said: “We’ve got plenty to do. It’s very labour intensive.
“We’ve had to strip the inside and clean it all down.”
Dave is one of an 11-strong workforce restoring the plane, which has been at the museum’s site, next to Nissan, since 2011.
“Most of the people on the team are Trident nuts,” said Dave. “It’s an iconic plane. The last of anything is special so its very satisfying.”
The team will reassemble and preserve the aircraft using the colour scheme of Northeast Airlines, which flew Tridents from Newcastle and Teesside airports in the 1970s before merging into British Airways.
“It was the start of something,” said Dave. “It was the first aircraft to have automatic landing and it was just about the fastest jet at the time. It was a very fast plane.”
The Trident will be restored externally and internally, with original fixtures and fittings.
North East-based company Franks the Flooring Store has done its bit to help the project by donating a carpet, which is almost identical to the plane’s original carpet.
Project manager Tony Jarrett said: “We rely on kind donations to enable us to carry out this important work and make sure the restoration is as close to the original as possible.
“Franks the Flooring Store have been extremely kind to give us the carpet for the aircraft, and it adds to the overall effect to bring the 1960s passenger carrier back to life.”
The running cost of the project is approaching £15,000, with more donations needed to complete it. For information, or to donate visit www.savethetrident.org.