SANFORD, Fla. – A piece of history was brought back to life and is set to be on permanent display at the Orlando Sanford International Airport.
Crews spent hours to carefully move and place a restored PV-1 Ventura plane. The twin-engine bomber will be housed and put on display inside the airport's newest terminal when it opens.
"It was the first plane based here after the commissioning of the base," said Orlando Sanford International Airport Executive Vice PResident and Chief Operating Officer George Speak."This is a moment for us to honor the aircraft and the people who were based here during World War II."
The PV1 Ventura WW 2 Bomber getting ready to be lifted into position on a ledge inside the new terminal!Posted by Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) on Tuesday, March 12, 2019
"There are other airports with airplanes," Speake said. "This will just be the largest we believe in the world."
The plane is on loan from the U.S. Navy Aviation Museum and needed a little work.
"It was billed as an easy restoration," Speake said. "That was in 2003 and here we are 15 years later, 16 years later and it's done."
Bob Curboy started on the restoration committee in his 70s and is now in his 90s.
"It was kind of sad when we [first] saw it here because of corrosion over many years," Curboy said. "At the end of 15 years, it's beautiful."
Airport leaders hope to have a dedication ceremony for the plane and new terminal in about nine months.
The airport also put on display and restored a RA-5C Vigilante, which was initially designed as a nuclear bomber and was the last aircraft to operate at NAS Sanford.
To learn more about the restoration efforts, click here.