The President provides an update on where we are with the new hangar fit-out and the Orion reassembly, there are a couple of interesting stories about maritime searches Edinburgh-based Orions have participated in, a profile on Vickers Viscounts in Australian service and the usual restoration updates. Read on!
Stephen Nitschke and Waynne Lee accomplished a big step in the assembly of AP-3C Orion A9-756 last night – simply by moving the 12 tonne fuselage from the centre of our new display hangar to be adjacent to the south wall. This created the space to attach the port wing.
It was no simple job though – Stephen designed and built a system of blocks and cables attached to the hangar wall columns so that the 3 trestles could be winched simultaneously under equal tension from a single point. This was vital to prevent twisting of the trestles or stress on the fuselage. This video shows how it was done.
The next task will be to attach the port wing. We will make further posts to update progress.
History Group member Dean Robinson has written another Significant Aircraft Profile, which is now available for download. In this profile Dean tells the fascinating story of the Vickers Viscount in Australian service, and he has illustrated it with some great photos.
Just click on the image or go the History Group tab. Enjoy!
Our Christmas newsletter is ready for downloading – just click on the front-page image, or go to the Newsletters tab. It’s a bigger file than usual, so please be patient if it’s a little slow downloading.
There’s Orion and Christmas Party news from the President; an obituary for Cdr David “Shorty” Hamilton RN, our Honorary Member and generous donor who sadly left us last month; an article on the aviation trophies in SAAM’s collection; and lots of other interesting stories.
In a massive logistical exercise the major components of A9-756 were delivered from RAAF Base Edinburgh 92 Wing to SAAM on 10 December. Alltrans Transport and Nick’s Cranes did a magnificent job and the fuselage is now on trestles in our new display hangar with the wing, tail section, engines, propellers, radomes, control surfaces and a mass of parts all in storage at SAAM ready for the long and difficult job of reassembly.
This is the biggest aircraft by far in SAAM’s collection and will be a huge draw-card for the Museum.
Our thanks go to the Department of Defence Disposals, who accepted our tender for the aircraft; the RAAF, who helped facilitate the transfer of the aircraft; the Army Combat Service Support Section, who moved the six semitrailer loads of components; and finally Airbus Industries. Airbus Industries were responsible for dismantling the aircraft and they also sponsored it by donating $15,000 to assist us with the project. This much-appreciated generosity will be acknowledged by SAAM by dedicating display space to record the years of maintenance work performed by Airbus on both the Orion and Caribou aircraft.
Nigel Daw of our History Group has followed his previous profile of Airlines of SA’s DC-3 operations with a new one about the Convair 440 operations 1960-72. The story includes his personal recollections of flights on the aircraft and photographs from his collection.
To download the profile just click on the image or got to the History Group tab on the Home Page and browse the many interesting profiles posted there.
Six semi-trailers loaded with parts off the aircraft being disassembled at Edinburgh arrived at SAAM yesterday (23 Nov). We unloaded engines, propellers, nose and aft radomes, rudder, elevators, ailerons and flaps with the help of personnel from 1 Combat Service Support Battalion. Vaughn Wilds, the Orion Disposals Project Manager was along to direct operations. The fuselage arrives next month, then the immense project, for our all-volunteer organisation, starts to reassemble the aircraft for display.
SAAM is very grateful to all involved in this fantastic project to preserve RAAF heritage.
The video is of SAAM volunteers Walter Hill and Waynne Lee unloading one of the propellers.
The imminent arrival of our AP-3C Orion requires much re-organisation of our existing aircraft between our two display hangars. Yesterday (18 Nov) the Macchi and Vampire were moved from the old hangar to the new and tucked in behind the Caribou. Not an easy task in confined space!
There’s lots of good reading as usual: the President’s update tells you where we’re at with our various issues, there’s an obituary of our sadly departed member Alan Killmier OAM, the usual restoration updates, what’s happening with the Orion acquisition, Langdon talks about rifle buckets (!), an interesting Caribou crash story and Peter Ingman’s opus on the RAAF at Mt Gambier in WWII.
Sit back, put your feet up and enjoy a good read!
We had three series of engine runs at our open day yesterday (29th Oct). Here are Walter Hill and Barry Williams running our 1,030hp Rolls Royce Merlin III which came out of a Fairey Battle. If you hit the Facebook icon on the side-bar, we’ve poster another video of the Armstrong Syddeley Cheetah IX in full voice. Sound up!