Staff have been gearing up for its arrival for years – and now the last surviving Dornier 17 bomber plane has finally made its way to RAF Cosford where it will undergo the first stage of a conservation project.
More than 100 people turned out at the site near Wolverhampton to welcome its arrival.
Children waved and cheered as lorries containing the dismantled aircraft went past.
The plane is now available for public viewing and it is expected to draw the interest of thousands of aviation fans from across the Midlands.
It had travelled from Ramsgate after being pulled out of the English Channel off the Kent coastline in a rescue operation which has been planned for several years but was finally carried out last week.
After it was unloaded in several parts it was placed in purpose-built hydration tunnels.
Crabs have been found in the engine of the salvaged bomber, shot down by the RAF in 1940, and traces of oil were found in the oil cooler.
General manager Alex Medhurst said: “It will be a rare and exciting opportunity for visitors in the Midlands to get up close and personal to a unique piece of aviation history.”
Emotional moment for Dornier bomber veteran - See today's Express & Star