Each 2months we will present the latest Australian warbird news online in a condensed format, to keep you updated on what is happening to interesting warbird restorations, any newly flying aircraft and examine any static museum projects updates.
By Phil Buckley
• The Royal Australian Navy Historic Flight based at HMAS Albatross has been officially disbanded by September 2016. Its warbird assets comprising rare WW2, Korean War and Vietnam era aircraft and helicopters are likely to be disposed by tender in the future.
• December 2016 witnessed Australia’s latest Mustang take to the skies with CAC Mustang A68-199 flying for the first time in nearly 4 decades conducting post-restoration flights out of Tyabb airport.
• The Rockhampton based former Bulgarian MiG-21U appeared in September 2016 to be undergoing engine tests. The owners are looking to have it reflying again once all systems checks are completed.
• Canberra Airport in December 2016 saw the recently restored Australian War Memorial WW2 era Lockheed Hudson Mark IV bomber, A16-105 put on display at the Virgin Australia check in counter area. It is planned that the bomber will remain there until 2018.
• Reevers in October 2016 moved its B-25J Mitchell from storage to Parafield Airport, where it will now commence the restoration to static and then longer term to flight status. In April 2017 Reevers plans to unveil the B-25 in NEIAF 18Sqn colours as worn during WW2, with many world wide guests, local dignitaries and aviation enthusiasts expected to attend this event.
• Air Combat who operate L-39 Albatrosses from Camden Airport is planning to open in 2017 to new facilities at Cowra Airport.
• Adrian Deeth has progressed with his Perth based MiG-21 rebuild, which has its wings now attached and the aircraft is finally resting on its landing gear. He is continuing with further inspections on the engine and various electrical systems of the aircraft to enable it to undergo engines run hopefully in 2017.
• South Australia in late November 2016 witnessed a very unique formation take to the air, in which had the HARS PBY-6/A Catalina and SP-2H Neptune were joined by a RAAF AP-3C Orion and the newest P-8 Poseidon. Never before had 4 generations of RAAF maritime aircraft flown together. It is hoped this type of heritage formation can be seen more often in the years ahead.
• Point Cook Museum in September 2016 unveiled a replica WW2 Spitfire on the pole out the front of the main building. A flypast from the TAM Mk 8 Spitfire flown by Matt Hall added to the unveiling.
• Chris Godfrey has now flown his recently overhauled T-28, which is painted in a Vietnam War special operations scheme, from Perth to Victoria. He intends to display this warbird at airshows in 2017.
• During November 2016 at RAAF Wagga Wagga, the F-111 A8-142 was placed on public display at the front gate. It is located alongside other historical aircraft which are preserved for public viewing.
• The recently restored Scone based WW2 era Canadian built Hurricane flew in November 2016 for the first time at a public airshow event. It flew alongside the TAM Spitfire Mk VIII which was formerly based at Scone.
• Wedderburn, NSW based former Malaysian Air Force SAL Twin Pioneer VH – EVB has had further maintenance checks, engines runs and paperwork processed to enable its return to flight in late 2016. It is hopeful that it will return to flight in early 2017.
• During September to November 2016 the RAAF Museum at Point Cook underwent repairs and upgrades to its hangars. The work is to replace the hangar doors, reclad the walls and replace the upper door tracks.
• The Albury based Fw-190 reflew again in early December 2016, with 2 tests flights undertaken by Stephen Death to ensure all systems were operating ok. The aircraft spent a considerable part of 2016 grounded after experiencing canopy problems earlier in the year. The aircraft’s canopy was damaged earlier this year on the ground and required the owner to have a new one built, fitted and then flight tested.
• Classic Jets Fighter Museum has made further progress on restoring their WW2 era F4U Corsair project, which had by November 2016 had its outer wings rejoined to the fuselage and work was being undertaken to prepare both wings for fabric surfacing and closing up of panels. The rear fuselage has being repainted in new colours to reflect its war heritage. Plans to hang the engine on the firewall are expected to take place in 2017.
• The South Australian Aviation Museum commenced in late 2016 building extension works which will see a new section added to house its expanding aviation collection. The recent delivered ex RAAF DHC-4 Caribou and other displays will be housed in this new area.