Restored Lockheed Hudson bomber on display at Canberra Airport
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Restored Lockheed Hudson bomber on display at Canberra Airport

Ever wondered how you get a five-tonne vintage bomber into the first floor of an airport?

The War Memorial has published a video showing this impressive logistical feat, after installing a Lockheed Hudson Mark IV Bomber A16-105 at Canberra Airport.

The plane, which now has pride of place next to the Virgin Australia check-in counters, has been in the workshop for four years as Australian War Memorial conservators worked to restore its December 1942 wartime configuration.

The project, made possible by collaboration between the memorial, Canberra Airport, and the Virgin Australia Group, will see the historic aircraft remain on display in the terminal until 2018.

A Lockheed Hudson bomber, part of the Australian War Memorial's collection is now on display at Canberra Airport. Lockheed Hudson Bomber A16-105 goes on display at Canberra Airport

A Lockheed Hudson bomber, part of the Australian War Memorial's collection is now on display at Canberra Airport. Lockheed Hudson Bomber A16-105 goes on display at Canberra AirportCredit:Paul Sadler

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Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson said he was proud to work with the memorial's partners to display the important piece, which had military and commercial history.

"This Hudson bomber and the brave young men who flew it during the dark days of the Second World War defended our nation's freedoms and vital interests. The aircraft then played its part in expanding commercial aviation in the post-war era," Dr Nelson said.

The plane made its first flight more than seven decades ago in 1938.

It arrived in Australia in early December 1941 and was used to train RAAF aircrews.

Between December 1942 and January 1943 it saw operational service in Papua and New Guinea, carrying out supply flights during the Allied advance on Buna, on Papua's north coast.

After the war, the bomber was flown as a photographic survey aircraft and completed its last flight in 1998 before it was purchased by the Australian War Memorial in 2001.

The four-year restoration of the aircraft involved the fabrication of more than 5800 parts and tools, extensive research on the colour scheme and internal fitout, sourcing of replacement parts and spares through the aviation heritage network, and reconditioning of the airframe.

A Lockheed Hudson bomber, part of the Australian War Memorial's collection is now on display at Canberra Airport. Lockheed Hudson Bomber A16-105 goes on display at Canberra Airport

A Lockheed Hudson bomber, part of the Australian War Memorial's collection is now on display at Canberra Airport. Lockheed Hudson Bomber A16-105 goes on display at Canberra AirportCredit:Paul Sadler

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Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron said the airport had loved extending the memorial's stories to its passengers and visitors.

"Our efforts to promote the memorial's work dovetails with our commitment to consistently promote all the wonderful things that our city has to offer," Mr Byron said.