Watch ITV News Meridian's Nicki Woodcock reporting live from Blackbushe Airport
An aircraft, dating back to the 1940s, is being restored near Camberley, Surrey following a £30,000 fundraising campaign to bring it back on British soil.The Vickers Viking G-AGRW 'Vagabond', one of only six of its kind remaining in the world, arrived at Blackbushe Airport in May following a 950 mile journey from Bad Vöslau, Austria.
It ended up in Europe, some time after it was decommissioned in the mid-1960s.
For a time, the aircraft was leased by a fast food restaurant near Vienna Airport where it was used for children's birthday parties.
Now, it is in a relatively poor state having been battered by the weather over the last 10 years at the Austrian Aviation Museum. A storm in 2014 literally ripped off its tail.
The Vickers Viking was Britain's first post-war commercial airliner.
In the 1950s and 60s, there would have been approximately 30 of the aircraft at Blackbushe Airport flying passengers all over western Europe.
The aircraft carried around 20 passengers at a time for British European Airways which eventually became part of British Airways.
Blackbushe Heritage Trust was formed at the start of 2022, with a mission to bring the Vickers Viking G-AGRW 'Vagabond' back to Surrey, where it was built.
Thousands of pounds was raised to enable volunteers and specialist crew to travel to Austria to strip out air-conditioning units and restaurant fittings before transporting it to the UK.
Phil Johns, Trustee, said: "A team of six volunteers and two professional aircraft maintenance people went to Vienna and disassembled this aircraft over a long weekend.
"The six volunteers from here at Blackbushe were there to primarily lighten the aircraft and take out the whole interior."
Now the aircraft is back at Blackbushe Airport, volunteers are working hard to restore her for future generations to enjoy.
Captain Mike Bennison, Pilot, said: "She was unfortunately known as 'The Pig', but if you look at her at the moment, they're cleaning all the paint off and on the front of her nose where her lipstick used to be.
"She would really look after you during your flight. On landing, it depends whether it is a good day or a bad day, it wasn't a good idea to get it wrong because you start bouncing and when you start bouncing you go higher and higher and then you have to fly away."
The hope is that the aircraft will form part of a new heritage centre at the airport.
Peter Brown, Chairman, Blackbushe Heritage Trust, said: "The heritage centre will reflect Blackbushe right from its early days in the war.
"The days of the civil airliners of the 1950s were a very important part of the operation so to see a Viking here again is crucial."
Volunteers hope the aircraft will be returned to its former glory in approximately five to 10 years.