DHC-4 A4-225  Our Caribou is in its new home!

SAAM was very happy to have been selected by the Australian Military Sales Office as preferred applicant for DHC-4 Caribou A4-225. This is one of five Caribous that were parked at Oakley Army Aviation Centre, and were subject to a recent disposal tender to Australian Historical Aviation Organisations.

The aircraft was disassembled for transport to the Museum and stored until it could be installed in our new display hangar. It is now inside with the engines and horizontal tail surfaces re-installed, and will be displayed with the starboard wing left in storage so that the aircraft can be positioned close to the hangar wall to conserve badly needed space. The port wing, vertical tail surfaces and propellers will be progressively re-installed.

A4-225 was delivered to the RAAF in June 1965, one of 29 Caribous ordered between 1963 and 1971. It gave 44 years of service  before being retired in 2009. It served with 38 Sqn Detachment A in PNG, where it was used to qualify crews in difficult tropical and terrain conditions before their deployment to Vietnam. It also served in natural disaster relief work – for example, relief operations in Townsville after Cyclone Althea in 1971.

More Photos HERE.

British built Canberra bombers in the Museum

The South Australian Aviation Museum is in possession of two British built Canberra bombers, WK 165 a B2 type and WD 954 a converted T4 version.

WK 165.

This aircraft was built by A.V.Roe at Woodford in the UK in 1954 and was transferred to RAF service the following year. In January 1956 it was selected to participate in the WRE trials in South Australia. The aircraft was used extensively in airborne photography of weapons during the Maralinga/Woomera tests. In 1963 it was transferred to the Joint Service Trials Unit (JSTU) and remained with this unit until its retirement in December 1969.

The aircraft was struck off charge on the 13th February 1970. It was purchased by Mr Neville Mason, who moved the aircraft from Edinburgh, South Australia, to the Eureka Museum at Ballarat in Victoria.  It was to remain at Ballarat in a dilapidated state for 12 years, (1985-1997).

In 1997 Mr Neville Mason donated the aircraft to the South Australian Aviation Museum. The removal of the aircraft from Ballarat commenced on the 29th May 1997 and took four Museum members (Stephen Nitschke, Peter Ormsby, Barry James and John Hillier) two days to prepare the aircraft for transportation. The wings being 19 feet wide at the fuselage had to be transported a week later under police escort to Adelaide.

Since its inclusion to the Museum register the aircraft has undergone much restoration work. The primary tasks have been; to remove and prevent further corrosion of both external and internal fixtures; to paint the external surfaces, and to replace as many missing parts as possible. It has been necessary to search most overseas and local websites to acquire missing parts, cockpit instruments and control panels being high on the wanted list.

It is expected that this search for replacement parts and the ongoing maintenance on this aircraft will continue well into the future.

CANBERRA   canberra2