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Aerospace Bristol is a new industrial heritage museum and learning centre being developed at Filton, to the north of Bristol. It will tell the story of the region's world-class aerospace industry - past, present and future. The Aerospace Bristol project is being run by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.

Aerospace Bristol News

Aerospace Bristol set to receive an unusual Christmas present

Martha Lewington

This historic Bristol Freighter is being shipped around the world from New Zealand and is due to arrive into Bristol shortly after Christmas.

 The Freighter, shown here with its wings removed for the journey, is travelling by road and sea from New Zealand to Filton where it was designed and built.  (Image credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics) 

The Freighter, shown here with its wings removed for the journey, is travelling by road and sea from New Zealand to Filton where it was designed and built.  (Image credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics) 

Aerospace Bristol - the newly-opened museum and home of the last Concorde ever to fly - has announced that it is expecting a very unusual Christmas present that certainly won’t fit under the Christmas tree: one of only eleven Bristol Freighters remaining in the world today, and the only one of its kind in Europe.

An appeal has been launched by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, the registered charity behind the museum, for donations to support the Freighter Project and a web page where you can track the aircraft’s progress has been set up at aerospacebristol.org/freighter.

Designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, the Bristol Type 170 was used both as a freighter and as a passenger airliner, known as the Wayfarer. The innovatively-designed Freighter had a 108ft wingspan and featured distinctive clamshell doors that allowed cargo – including vehicles and large animals - to be loaded via its nose. A total of 214 Freighters and Wayfarers were built and delivered to airlines and air forces across the world between 1945 and 1958. 

Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol, said “Everyone at Aerospace Bristol is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Freighter and we would like to sincerely thank all those who have kindly supported the project so far. Our appeal to fund the Freighter’s journey, as well as the wider project, will continue into 2018 and we are hugely grateful to anyone who wishes to play their part in bringing her home.”

The Freighter that is returning home to Bristol is currently on board a Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) vessel and has recently passed through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean Sea. As the museum’s preferred shipping partner, WWL initially transported the unusual cargo from New Zealand to Singapore, where it transferred from the company’s ‘Talisman’ to ‘Tiger’ vessel, before setting out for Bristol’s Royal Portbury Docks. 

David Maggs, Break-Bulk and Liner Sales Manager at WWL. said “Whenever WWL are involved with the logistics of such bespoke cargo as the Bristol Freighter, the key to it going smoothly is thorough planning and open communication. Numerous discussions took place between Aerospace Bristol, WWL UK and New Zealand, as well as specialised Heavy Haulage companies at both ends before a single piece of cargo was moved. WWL are extremely proud to play a small part in returning this piece of aviation history back to its birthplace in Bristol.”

To follow the Freighter’s progress, including a map of the aircraft’s current location and photos of her journey, visit aerospacebristol.org/freighter.