Boating & Aviation

Flightpath May-Jun-Jul 2018

Flightpath is an upmarket magazine for devotees and owners of antique, classic and ex-military aeroplanes. It focuses on the preservation of our Australian Aviation heritage. Each issue of Flightpath covers the latest news on the recovery and restoration of antique, vintage and warbird aircraft in both museums and private collections. The ultimate aviation journal, Jane’s Historic Military Aircraft, recently rated Flightpath among the world’s top six historical aviation publications.

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in this issue

2 min.
wirraway flies into preservation

The Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre (NAHC), after two years of intensive fundraising, has acquired Wirraway A20-722. Borg Sorensen restored the former RAAF CA-16 Mk.3 trainer after recovering its remains, along with remnants of A20-512 and A20-73, from a farm near Horsham in western Victoria in 1984. An exacting restoration culminated in the Wirraway, registered VH-CAC, flying again on 8 June 2002. The NAHC’s community liaison officer, John Deckert, said, “The centre launched its fundraising appeal in May 2016 with the hope of raising $300,000 for the Wirraway’s purchase. A very successful ‘Wheels for the Wirraway’ event was held at the Nhill Aerodrome in March and although the final target has not quite yet been reached, the NAHC Board has agreed that the time is right to bring the Wirraway to Nhill.…

1 min.
felix heads home to hars

The PBY-6A Catalina (VH-PBZ, ‘Felix’) from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) was to be the star attraction at the Rathmines Catalina Festival in October last year. However, it experienced engine problems en route with the crew making a precautionary landing at Rutherford, near Maitland. The incident led to an extended stay for the aircraft as the team from HARS began the long and difficult task of changing an engine far from home. Finally, on 10 February, all was completed and the Catalina and its crew made their way down the coast back to Albion Park. If you love the type, see our colour feature on page 44 for a look at eighty years of the venerable Cat.…

1 min.
dak and meteor head north

On 8 February, the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre (AAHC) relocated two historic aircraft from the Fleet Air Arm Museum at HMAS Albatross, New South Wales, to RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Wing Commander Clive Wells, OIC RAAF AAHC, said the movement plan was conducted over four phases starting in October 2017 when a small, dedicated group of Reservists and members of 6 Squadron RAAF were tasked with preparing Douglas Dakota A65-86 for road transportation. Even with the removal of control surfaces, propellers, antennas and other external components, the load was still almost eight metres wide and five metres high on its trailer. This aircraft entered service with 35 Squadron RAAF in April 1945 at Amberley and, after 53 years of operational service, was retired before being delivered to the Royal Australian Navy…

1 min.
uss lexington wreck and aircraft found

On 4 March 2018, the wreck and some aircraft of the American aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) were found by a remotely operated vehicle from the Research Vessel Petrel three kilometres below the surface and 430 nautical miles (800 km) off the coast of Queensland. The expedition was funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who also owns the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor collection in Seattle, WA, USA. The Lexington was scuttled following the battle of the Coral Sea, where Lexington and the USS Yorktown’s aircraft fought against three Japanese carriers, in the first carrier versus carrier battle in history. It was the first time the Imperial Japanese forces suffered a permanent setback in their advances in the Pacific. However the Lexington had been crippled by Japanese bombs and torpedoes, and…

1 min.
museum’s major step forward

On 28 October 2017 the planned South Pacific WWII Museum opened its project development office in Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. It followed the 26 October service to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the accidental sinking of the SS President Coolidge by American mines in Luganville Harbour. Vanuatu’s W.W.II heritage is renowned and some of the relics cherished by the locals are expertly displayed in the project office’s pop-up museum and at several other establishments, including the airport. These physical remnants, including the airfields and wrecks, however, only tell part of the region’s wartime history. When the island chain was still known as the New Hebrides, Espiritu Santo became the largest military base in the South Pacific and was instrumental in supporting the Solomons campaign. Airfields were constructed and major naval facilities complemented…

1 min.
w.w.ii wackett wireless trainer

The new Maryborough Military Aviation Museum has acquired CAC Wackett A3-87 from the Beck Museum in Mareeba. The Wackett trainer was used in great numbers at Maryborough to train wireless operators/ air gunners during W.W.II. This particular Wackett served with various RAAF flying schools and, in 1947, was sold to J.T. Brown and registered VH-AJY. Its purchase follows the news that the museum has secured a lease on a parcel of land at Maryborough Airport on the very spot that was used for the headquarters of 3 Wireless Air Gunner School. The museum is hoping to be able to bring the aircraft up to display standard and is actively searching for parts to complete this exceptionally rare aircraft.…