By Allison Hess

The hardworking and dedicated volunteers at Classic Flyers have unveiled an Avenger torpedo bomber after two years of restoration work.

Yesterday, Classic Flyers Aviation Museum celebrated the thousands of hours of work that went into transforming "a bit of a wreck" into an almost fully-functioning aeroplane.

The RNZAF Grumman Avenger was now on display in the museum, as a "static runner" - the aircraft is parked inside but "still has life, though it can't fly".

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The dedicated restoration team at Classic Flyers who spent two years working on a WWII Avenger torpedo bomber aircraft. Photo/Bent Jansen
The dedicated restoration team at Classic Flyers who spent two years working on a WWII Avenger torpedo bomber aircraft. Photo/Bent Jansen

Classic Flyers chief executive Andrew Gormlie said the Avenger could be dragged outside where its wings could fold out, it could run and taxi but not take to the air.

The restoration from a partially complete airframe to what it was today was one of their largest engineering restorations to date, Mr Gormlie said.

The Grumman Avenger aircraft has been unveiled at Classic Flyers after two years of restoration work. Photo/Bent Jansen
The Grumman Avenger aircraft has been unveiled at Classic Flyers after two years of restoration work. Photo/Bent Jansen

The Grumman Avenger was a 1942 torpedo bomber used in the Pacific by Kiwi pilots during World War II.

Mr Gormlie made a special shout out to Dave Toms, Marty Cantlon, Dan Morrow and Lance Raitt for using their expertise to the maximum.

"The Avenger project has become well known in New Zealand aviation circles and it was a joint venture with the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society crew."

Mr Gormlie said he hoped the unveiling would help create an added impetus to the summer volunteer recruitment drive.