Bristol Freighter aeroplane to be restored in city

Image source, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics
Image caption,
The aeroplane has been stored in New Zealand for the past 40 years

An aeroplane is to be restored in the city where it was built more than 60 years ago.

The Bristol Freighter was shipped from New Zealand, where it had been in storage since last flying in 1977, and will be restored at Aerospace Bristol.

It has become the only aircraft of its type in Europe.

Police warned of delays on the M5 and A38 while the aircraft's fuselage was moved from Portbury Docks to Bristol earlier.

The Bristol Type 170 was designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, and was used as a transport aircraft, known as the Freighter, and as a passenger airliner, known as the Wayfarer.

The innovative Freighter had a 108ft (33m) wingspan and featured distinctive clamshell doors that allowed cargo, including vehicles and large animals, to be loaded via its nose.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Bristol Freighter was designed to carry passengers and cars over relatively short distances

Of 214 Freighters and Wayfarers built between 1945 and 1958, only 11 remain. The newly arrived aircraft is believed to be the only Freighter in Europe.

At the scene from Portbury Docks: BBC News reporter Ian Parker

Image caption,
Police said traffic delays were possible due to the aircraft's fuselage being transported at slow speed from 14:00 GMT

There were a few nervous moments as the fuselage was lowered onto the low loader in almost gale force winds.

Two mobile cranes worked in harmony precisely placing her on the flatbed.

The last leg of the journey is up the M5 towards her final resting place at the aerospace museum, before the task of lovingly restoring her begins.

Adam Jones from Aerospace Bristol said the aircraft would not go on show to the public at the museum immediately.

"She's not museum ready, and there's quite a lot of work to do. For now she'll be safely stored and assessed.

Image caption,
The wings, which are more than 5m (16ft) wide, will travel up the M5 on a separate truck overnight on Thursday into Friday.

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