WW2 bomber to get new life

An extensive restoration project on a piece of World War 2 aviation history will begin taking shape in the coming months at Classic Flyers.

Arriving in Mount Maunganui overnight, the 1943 WW2 Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber is expected to be restored to pristine condition in the next two years.

Classic Flyers chief executive Andrew Gormlie inspects the Grumman Avenger. Photos: Tracy Hardy.

Based out of No. 30 Squadron RNZAF as part of a light bomber squadron, the plane saw service against the Japanese in the Pacific Theatre during the last two years of the Second World War.

Classic Flyers chief executive Andrew Gormlie says the dismantled plane has been handed over by the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society which needed assistance in refurbishing the aircraft.

Making the 273km journey from Gisborne to Mount Maunganui in the middle of the night, Classic Flyers staff are now inspecting pieces of the plane before making a start on locating missing pieces and building some by hand.

'We have the whole airframe and we are starting to inspect pieces of it.”

Classic Flyers are in possession of the aircraft for an undecided time frame, but it is expected to take at least two years for a full restoration, says Andrew.

'Eventually it will go back to Gisborne. We have a five year overall contract on it and one of the main thrusts [of the project] is to join forces with them [the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society].

Once restored, the bomber will be a static running display meaning it is completely rebuilt as a non-flyable aircraft, but is operational.

Andrew is encouraging people to view the aircraft. He is also seeking anyone with information on where spare avenger parts might be found, to help speed up the restoration process.

'We'd love people to come and have a look. It's a work in progress and will be for some time.

'Please don't be scared to put your hand up and say 'Hi'.”

A Grumman Avenger serial 2506 photographed at Woodbourne in 1946. The plane was used by the RNZAF in WWII. Photo: Jack Browne.



Posted on 21-08-2014 16:46 | By penguin

I have a die cast toy model of one of these! Propeller turns and the wings fold. Have had it since about 1950 or so.


Posted on 21-08-2014 19:52 | By overit

We are so lucky to have this Aviation Museum in Tga.

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