Police warn their could be delays over the next 24 hours
The transport plane is one of the last remaining complete Freighters in existence and it has been shipped from New Zealand, where it served in the air force until 1977 before falling into disrepair.
The aeroplane, with a 10-tonne, 21m (69ft) fuselage and a wingspan of 33m (108ft), is set to be driven from Bristol Port in Portbury to Filton in stages.
The plane has been divided into three parts by the New Zealand Royal Air Force for the journey – the fuselage, the wings and the landing gear.
The fuselage of the plane will be escorted on a flatbed lorry by Kings Haulage after setting off at just after 2pm today Thursday, January 4 via the M5 northbound to junction 16. There it will exit onto the A38 before travelling south to its destination at the Aerospace Bristol museum in Hayes Way.
The five-tonne wings will complete the same escorted journey overnight on Thursday into Friday, January 5. But because they are so large they will require two lanes of the motorway.
In a statement, Avon and Somerset police said: “A large transport plane – originally built in Bristol – is being moved via the M5, which may lead to some delays.
“Because of the large size of the wings the load will require two carriageways being used which is why the operation will take place overnight, when traffic is expected to be minimal.
“Anyone intending using the motorway while the loads are being moved, needs to be aware there could be slight delays because of the slow speed of vehicles.”
There will not need to be a rolling closure of the M5 or A38 as Aerospace Bristol trustees had first feared.
Designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, a total of 214 Freighters – and its passenger variant the Wayfarer – were built between 1945 and 1958, and used by airlines and air forces across the world.
The Freighter will be reassembled, restored and put on display at the Aerospace Bristol museum in Filton once funds have been raised for a new hangar. In the meantime, it will be stored in the Brabazon Hangar.