Restored aircraft unveiled at Duxford
PUBLISHED: 16:33 24 April 2007 | UPDATED: 15:05 12 May 2010
A REMARKABLE aircraft restored over the past two years has been unveiled at the Duxford Imperial War Museum. The DH-9 aircraft was discovered in a Maharaja s elephant stable in India and has painstakingly been restored to its original glory. It is seen
A "REMARKABLE" aircraft restored over the past two years has been unveiled at the Duxford Imperial War Museum.
The DH-9 aircraft was discovered in a Maharaja's elephant stable in India and has painstakingly been restored to its original glory.
It is seen as a landmark acquisition for the museum and one that will become an important part of the national collection.
Tracey Woods, the museum's public relations officer, said: "Not only is it a remarkable aircraft, but the museum's example is a triumph of restoration."
In spite of being the most produced aircraft during the First World War, the DH-9 has now become exceptionally rare.
It was the first bomber in general use to hold its bomb load within the fuselage.
The restoration work was undertaken by Retrotec, a sister company Aero Vintage.
Guy Black, director of Aero Vintage, said he believed that it was "vitally important" that the DH-9 became part of the national collection.
"It has been a challenging and remarkable adventure," he said. "It was one of a batch of DH-9s based at Duxford so in a way this has come back to its rightful home."
Funding for the restoration work came from the Sir John Knott Trust and from the sale of the museum's Me 163 Komet.
Speaking of the restoration work, Angus Buchanan, general manager of Retrotec, said: "Considering the quantity of research required before reconstruction could commence, this was a remarkable achievement.
"It's a testament to the considerable talent in our organisation," he said.
The aircraft had originally been on show to the public when the Royal Palace at Bikaner opened, but complaints about its condition saw it removed to a disused elephant stable.
It has been sent to India as part of the Imperial Gift Programme after the First World War.
Ms Woods added that the displaying of the aircraft at the museum meant it had completed "a remarkable journey".
- The DH-9 was designed as a strategic bomber to take the place of the Rolls-Royce Eagle.
- The aircraft was used in bombing raids over Germany and the Western Front and in an anti-submarine role in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.
- Few now exist although one is displayed at the Musee de L'Air in Paris and the Saxonwold Museum in South Africa.