DRIVERS looked on in disbelief yesterday as a piece of aviation history slowly made its way by road to its final destination.
Manston Road was temporarily closed as the 80-ton British Aerospace Nimrod wheeled its way from Kent International Airport to a nearby RAF fire-training centre.
It was the end of the road for the submarine hunter, which has protected the British Isles for 40 years, including service in the Falklands War.
The grounded reconnaissance aircraft will now be used to train military firemen at the centre on Manston Road to deal with air crashes.
Manston airport boss Tom Wilson said: "The Nimrod has been a stalwart of the UK's coastal defences and we were privileged to have welcomed it here before it helps train members of the armed forces in crash rescue."
The aircraft, which was the first to refuel mid-flight, will join other old planes in the area, including cargo and passenger planes and a Jaguar fighter at the RAF Manston Museum.