War bird back to her former glory

Grumman Avenger WW2 bomber brought back to life thanks restoration work by Mount Maunganui team.

Grumman Avenger WW2 bomber brought back to life thanks restoration work by Mount Maunganui team.

RESTORATION COMPLETE: The Grumman Avenger owned by Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society returns to Gisborne this month. The restoration by the Classic Flyers Club in Mount Maunganui is complete. Picture supplied
The plane has been restored to “rolling display”. It will not fly again.

GISBORNE’s historic Grumman Avenger WW2 torpedo bomber has been brought back to its former glory, thanks to thousands of hours of restoration work by the team at Classic Flyers in Mount Maunganui.

The aircraft is owned by the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society and spent about 15 years parked in the GAPS hangar at Gisborne airport.

It has strong links to Gisborne, where 30 Squadron RNZAF trained with the aircraft in 1943 before entering the Pacific theatre of operations.

GAPS members were unable to carry on the restoration process and the decision was made to send it across to the Mount.

NZ2505 has been restored to rolling display standard by Classic Flyers, where the aircraft is on loan for five years.

“It’s looks brilliant, like an operational aircraft, in fact in some ways even better than the original operational aircraft,” said Classic Flyers chief executive Andrew Gormlie.

The Grumman’s Wright R2600 cubic inch engine has been fully restored and runs beautifully.

Retracting wings

The folding wings of the aircraft also retract.

“Our members have put around 15,000 man hours into the project since the aircraft arrived here just over two years ago,” Mr Gormlie said.

“At least 15 guys have been working on it in various teams over that period.”

NZ2505 has been fully restored, including fuselage repairs, repainted and “armed”.

“Several of our members worked together and hand-tooled a couple of 50-calibre Browning machine guns, made out of steel.”

The aircraft has been restored only for ground display purposes and while it can taxi, it will not actually fly again.
Mr Gormlie said it had been a popular display item from the day it arrived.

“It’s a very imposing aircraft. Even during the reconstruction phase, visitors to Classic Flyers were very keen to have a look at it.

“Now it’s fully restored to rolling display standard it’s even more popular.”

The Grumman will be returned for display at the Gaps museum at the Gisborne airport some time in the next two to three years.

GISBORNE’s historic Grumman Avenger WW2 torpedo bomber has been brought back to its former glory, thanks to thousands of hours of restoration work by the team at Classic Flyers in Mount Maunganui.

The aircraft is owned by the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society and spent about 15 years parked in the GAPS hangar at Gisborne airport.

It has strong links to Gisborne, where 30 Squadron RNZAF trained with the aircraft in 1943 before entering the Pacific theatre of operations.

GAPS members were unable to carry on the restoration process and the decision was made to send it across to the Mount.

NZ2505 has been restored to rolling display standard by Classic Flyers, where the aircraft is on loan for five years.

“It’s looks brilliant, like an operational aircraft, in fact in some ways even better than the original operational aircraft,” said Classic Flyers chief executive Andrew Gormlie.

The Grumman’s Wright R2600 cubic inch engine has been fully restored and runs beautifully.

Retracting wings

The folding wings of the aircraft also retract.

“Our members have put around 15,000 man hours into the project since the aircraft arrived here just over two years ago,” Mr Gormlie said.

“At least 15 guys have been working on it in various teams over that period.”

NZ2505 has been fully restored, including fuselage repairs, repainted and “armed”.

“Several of our members worked together and hand-tooled a couple of 50-calibre Browning machine guns, made out of steel.”

The aircraft has been restored only for ground display purposes and while it can taxi, it will not actually fly again.
Mr Gormlie said it had been a popular display item from the day it arrived.

“It’s a very imposing aircraft. Even during the reconstruction phase, visitors to Classic Flyers were very keen to have a look at it.

“Now it’s fully restored to rolling display standard it’s even more popular.”

The Grumman will be returned for display at the Gaps museum at the Gisborne airport some time in the next two to three years.

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