The Port Festival is run once a year and incorporates all of the museums in the area. Come along and visit our museum for the day and for a small fee catch a train to the Railway Museum. Helicopter Joy Flights are also available thanks to Barossa Helicopters.
Some significant changes have been made to the Avro Anson since the last update. The most eye catching change has been the installation of the .303 calibre forward firing machine gun. It is a replica and is non- working of course but it is fitted with some replica ammunition and this is fitted into the breech being fed by a link belt. A ring and bead sight has been made and fitted. The port wing has been finished and is fitted with its aileron and flap. The fuel tank covers are in place and the fuel tanks are fitted. The bomb doors for both the forward and aft bomb bays are installed and working and enough parts have been sourced to make the forward doors operational from the cockpit. The clear vision panels in the nose have all been renewed and the sliding hatch beneath the nose is operational with its wind deflecting clear vision panel made operational. The pitot head has been refurbished and refitted to the bottom of the nose. The engine cowls are almost complete and most have been primed ready for the next prime coat which will be followed by the colour coat. The rear portions of the cowls are wood frames covered in fabric and are yet to be refurbished. The undercarriage leg fairings have been remanufactured and are fitted to the legs and are awaiting fabric covering. New tyres have been fitted and have been deliberately “worn in” with the treads removed and some realistic scuffing making them look as if they have been in use on bitumen runways. The engine air filters, oil coolers and oil tanks have been removed, overhauled, repainted and re-fitted. The fabric on the fuselage underside is being fitted as are the last wooden stringers. Once this fabric is installed the fuselage covering will be complete.
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.
We celebrated our 30th Anniversary on Saturday the 19th July when the Governor of SA – His Excellency Rear Admiral the Hon. Kevin Scarce and Mrs Scarce joined us to mark this milestone in the museum’s progress. It was a time to reflect on our achievements, to thank those who assist us and to catch up with old friends. Our local state member Dr Susan Close MP and Mayor Gary Johanson joined us for the afternoon. Over a hundred past and present members also joined in the excellent afternoon tea and the formal celebration of the occasion. Some members stayed on whilst we had a BBQ and ran the Merlin and Rotary engines – the darkness made the exhausts One of the best features of the afternoon was the opportunity to catch up with old members who, while they are no longer active, have not lost interest in the Museum and its progress. David Byrne Some of the Museums original members The Governor of SA presents the Commemorative plaque to the President of SAAM to record the event
The Aviation Museum was invited to display and run a Merlin engine at the All British Day in Echunga SA which is a wonderful display of motor vehicles’ manufactured in England from the early 1900 to present day. There were some 800 cars and motor bikes on display along with some trade displays and family fun attractions. This event is held on the second Sunday in February each year. The museum had on display a 1100hp 1943 Merlin engine which we ran on the hour for a period of 5 minutes consuming some 80 litres of fuel during the day. The engine run and display was received with great enthusiasm. After each engine run we had great interaction with the public with questions and stories. The Merlin engine became the work horse of the second world war being fitted to many aircraft, including the Spitfire, Mosquito, Lancaster Bomber & P40 mustang just to name a few.
Many families who attended on the 10th November 2013 had a great experience viewing the exhibits, including climbing into the many aircraft cockpits that were open all day. There was a certain amount of queuing with the excitement of being able to climb into the cockpits. All of the cockpits where manned by museum staff giving a brief explanation of the instruments and actions for future pilots. It would be hard to say which of the 7 cockpits were the most popular on the day but the F-111 would most likely rate as being the one to climb into being that this aircraft had only come out of active service in 2010. The museum did have a nominal charge of $5.00 to climb into this aircraft for the simple reason the museum has to pay extra insurance of $1,500 for this one aircraft. All other cockpits are free and don’t require special insurance as we are, after all, a museum run totally by volunteers. Other attractions on the day also proved to be very popular with the families. The Rescue 1 Helicopter landing for a display, Barossa Helicopters offered flights over the Port all day, Military Vehicles 25 pounder did gun firing during the day, the Port Adelaide Fire brigade attended with an open display and the Chrysler Restoration Car Club arrived with 15 cars plus an ETSA historic repair truck. In addition, the museum ran 10 aircraft engines showing one engine in particular, a Gnome which is almost 100 years old. The noise and the chance to hear the mighty Rolls Royce engine that was fitted to the icon Spitfire from the 1939-1945 proved to be very popular. The Railway Museum using the Blue Bird rail car as a shuttle between the 2 museums was also very popular. Characters from the Star Wars movie also created much excitement when they arrived and mixed with the children. Many photographs were taken on the day. You can view more pictures of the day here. More cockpit and engine runs will be organised in 2014 please watch our web site
November 10th 2013 – Open Cockpit / Engine run Day The next major event at the Museum will be in November. Once a year the Museum opens up the cockpits of a selection of our aircraft for the public to get up close and personal. Come along for a fun family day out. Sit in the cockpit of the F27, DC3 and many more aircraft. Food and drink are available with a sausage sizzle, tea, coffee and soft drinks. Check out our Events page for more details.