Few aircraft from the time of the Berlin Airlift still exist today. One of them is the British Hastings from the collection of the Allied Museum. Only three more of this model of aircraft survive anywhere in the world. When the Berlin Airlift began on June 26, 1948, the new planes were not yet ready for operation. Because of the tense situation in Berlin, however, there was an urgent need for transport capacity. In November 1948 the Hastings began flying cargo – mainly coal – to Berlin.
Even after the Berlin Airlift, the Hastings TG 503 had a turbulent history. It was deployed for many missions outside Europe, for instance in the Sudan, where its suitability under tropical conditions was put to the test. The Hastings flew for the last time in 1977, and then stood for many years as a “Gate Guard“ at the British military airbase in Berlin’s Gatow district. In 1997 the British government and the Royal Air Force donated it to the Allied Museum, where it recalls the British contribution to the Berlin Airlift.
You can currently visit this unique property every day except Mondays from 10 to 18, also from the inside. The plane is closed during inclement weather or restoration work.