Record-breaking hydroplane Bluebird K7 will return to the Lake District to go on permanent display, museum bosses have said.

Its pilot, Donald Campbell, died on January 4 1967 aged 45 when Bluebird flipped into the air and disintegrated as he attempted a new water speed record on Coniston Water.

In 2001 Campbell’s body, with his race suit intact, and the wreckage of Bluebird were recovered from the depths of the lake and he was buried later that year in Coniston.

Campbell’s family gave Bluebird as a gift to the Ruskin Museum in the village which his daughter, Gina, in 2006 and described as his “spiritual home”.

However, the motorboat has been at the centre of a dispute involving North Shields-based engineer Bill Smith who recovered the wreckage.

The Mail: In 2001 Mr Smith and his team from the Bluebird Project managed to recover the boat from the bottom of the water.

Five years later the museum was gifted the wreckage by Mr Campbell's daughter Gina Campbell with the understanding that Mr Smith would restore it.

Mr Smith and his team of volunteers at the Bluebird Project have been restoring the hydroplane in the hope of a homecoming return at speed on Coniston Water and later claimed a stake in its ownership. 

In August 2018, Bluebird – fitted with a new jet engine – hit speeds of around 150mph during successful tests and crew training on Loch Fad on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

The Mail: The restored Bluebird K7, which crashed killing Donald Campbell in 1967, before it takes to the water for the first time in more than 50 years off the Isle of Bute on the west coast of Scotland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 4, 20The museum and its trustees created GoFundMe page to raise £50k for a legal battle to bring the Jet Hydroplane back which Mr Smith planning to contest the claim.

In September last year, Gina Campbell said: "Seventeen years have passed since we gifted K7, and the museum is still waiting for her return.

“Our wish was that Bluebird K7 would reside in the museum for all time and be run on special occasions, so that the British public could see this iconic piece of history, K7 is an important part of UK’s heritage and her future needs to be secured for future generations.”

On Friday, the Ruskin Museum said in a statement: "The Ruskin Museum is delighted to announce that it has finally managed to secure the future of Donald Campbell CBE’s world record-breaking jet hydroplane, Bluebird K7.

"Bluebird K7 will return to Coniston in the coming weeks to be conserved and displayed in her forever home in the Bluebird Wing of the Ruskin Museum.

"We will issue further details of this exciting development when we have established a timetable for moving the boat to Coniston and installing her for display."

The Mail: Campbell broke eight world speed records on water and on land in the 1950s and 1960s.

In his fatal record attempt, the son of Sir Malcolm Campbell, who himself held land and water speed records, had set himself a target of reaching 300mph (480kph) on Coniston Water.