A unique piece of Antarctic aviation history is on display to the Australian public for the first time.
Australian explorer Sir Douglas Mawson was the first person to fly a plane in Antarctica and the tail section of the aircraft is now an exhibit at the Mawson's Huts Replica Museum in Hobart.
The section of the air tractor, known as The Grasshopper, was discovered almost fully intact in the workshop area of an Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) building, covered in ice.
A Mawson's Huts Foundation expedition made the find in 2008 and the section was then brought to Australia for repairs.
Conservation specialists at the WA Maritime Museum have treated and restored the aluminium and steel frame, which also features fragile Egyptian cotton fabric.
Sir Douglas was the leader of the 1911 to 1914 AAE when he flew the air tractor in 1911.
He had planned to use a Vickers monoplane but it crashed in Adelaide before departure.
Sir Douglas decided to use the fuselage of the damaged aircraft to fashion the air tractor he used to tow sledges in Antarctica.
The modified aircraft only made one trip, towing a sledge for 19km before the engine seized, but it remains the first plane to fly in Antarctica.
Four fragments from the fuselage of the Vickers monoplane are also on display in Hobart.
Australian Associated Press
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