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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009
Makeover for pioneering Bristol Boxkite plane
The Bristol Biplane
Maurice Tetard in the Bristol Biplane on Durdham Down in November 1910

One of the star attractions at Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery is in line for an MOT and makeover.

The Boxkite aeroplane hanging in the front hall is to receive a thorough cleaning ahead of the centenary of Bristol's aircraft industry in 2010.

It will be lowered to the ground floor next week and museum staff will spend several days cleaning it.

The cleaning will take place between 18 and 20 November 2009 and visitors are allowed to watch the work.

After the cleaning, the Boxkite will then be turned around to face the front hall staircase, before being raised up to the roof space once again.

The Boxkite is a replica of the Bristol Biplane, Sir George White's pioneering aircraft, and was built in 1910.

The museum's replica was one of three built from the original drawings by Miles and Co for the 1964 film Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, where it featured as the Phoenix Flyer.

After filming, 20th Century Fox sold the aircraft to the British Aircraft Corporation at Filton, who presented the plane to Bristol Museum in 1965 - it has hung in the front hall ever since.

Over the years it has been piloted by Santa Claus, a mannequin known to staff as Bertie and most recently by Banksy's Guantanamo Bay inmate.

Museum curator, Andy King, will also be using the opportunity to study the Boxkite in more detail, especially the machine's engine, which at present may not be historically accurate.

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