A RARE Cold War aircraft, “a distant cousin to the Lancaster bomber”, is due to arrive at a North Yorkshire Museum.

Yorkshire Air Museum, at Elvington, has secured the Avro Shackleton MR2 RAF aircraft, which was built to search for Russian submarines in the Cold War, as well as helping in search and rescue operations.

The aircraft, also known as Ermintrude WR963, was preserved by the Shackleton Aviation Group at Coventry Airport for 31 years, but the redevelopment of the airport means the plane had to look for a new home.

York Press: The Avro Shackleton MR2 Picture: Yorkshire Air MuseumThe Avro Shackleton MR2 Picture: Yorkshire Air Museum

An agreement was then made for the aircraft to be displayed at the Yorkshire Air Museum in 2023.

Jerry Ibbotson, of the museum, said: “This is great news all around. WR963 has its future secured and will be kept in a running condition, for in an environment where she can continue to be enjoyed by generations of aircraft enthusiasts for years to come.”

York Press: Shackleton WR963 Picture: Yorkshire Air MuseumShackleton WR963 Picture: Yorkshire Air Museum

The Shackleton Aviation Group say it is a rare RAF maritime aircraft, and a 'distant cousin of the famous Lancaster bomber', of the second world war.

The Aviation Group said in a statement: “The new location had to be a strong heritage environment, and as WR963 is one of only three Shackletons left in a running condition, it had to give the possibility of continuing to keep the aircraft’s engines active.

“With its enviable collection of Cold War aircraft, a number of running aircraft, and of course the mighty Handley Page Halifax right at its heart, Yorkshire Air Museum naturally fell at the top of the list.”