Plans to create an aviation museum in Moray took a major step forward on Monday when the group behind the idea unveiled their most prized asset with Royal approval.
The Morayvia group was formed shortly after the Ministry of Defence announced that the Nimrod reconnaissance fleet were to be scrapped and the subsequent handing over of RAF Kinloss to the Army.
Morayvia sought to preserve the 40-year link between Moray and Nimrod and raised funding to purchase one of the last remaining aircraft, XV244.
Monday’s ceremony marked a major milestone in the group’s efforts to identify a site on which they can permanently display what is now a growing collection of aircraft. XV244 was given the name “Duke of Edinburgh” in honour of Prince Phillip who was a regular visitor to the Moray base.
Prince Philip gave his approval to the naming of XV244 to the delight of Morayvia members. A spokesman for the group said: “The Duke has flown on Nimrod on a number of occasions and so we felt it appropriate that this last aircraft should be called the Duke of Edinburgh.
“That of course needed the Duke’s permission and we were delighted when that was granted. It has given us a fresh impetus to take the project forward.”
Attending the unveiling ceremony was Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, who said: “Morayvia continues to go from strength to strength and is well supported by its volunteers.
“The naming ceremony is an important milestone and the connection with the Duke of Edinburgh is an extension of the long relationship the Duke has had with Kinloss over many years.
“Given the long association of this important aircraft with Moray it is good to see it preserved in such excellent condition and I wish Morayvia every success with their work to preserve and record Moray’s aviation heritage and develop aviation tourism in the region.”