HORNET 130S FLYING WING
The Hornet Flying Wing was a product of the sport aircraft boom of the 1970s. It was manufactured by Free Flight Aviation Pty Ltd, a local South Australian company based at Lonsdale. Designed by David Betteridge, an aircraft engineer, the Hornet 130S was first flown from the Noarlunga Airfield on 8 March 1979 by pilot Colin Scott. The last flight was undertaken from Aldinga on 22 March 1981.
The aircraft was designed to conform to FAR 23 (US Airworthiness Code), and Australia’s ANO 95-10. However, the radical design was not taken up and the lack of sales resulted in the demise of Free Flight Aviation, concluding with a sale of company assets on 26 October 1984. In total there were four variants built during development. The 130S Hornet came to the Museum on 23 May 1992. The aircraft is most noteworthy for its tail-less design incorporating a ducted propeller.
The Hornet 130S will be restored and placed in the main hangar.
NOMAD N22 VH-SUP
History of VH-SUP
This Nomad was the first of two prototypes built. It was registered as VH-SUP on 1 July 1971 to the Commonwealth Department of Supply/Government Aircraft Factories. It was involved in extensive test flying for six years. On 25 July 1977 it was struck off the Civil Register as ‘Withdrawn from Use’. It was disposed of to Crawford Productions by 1986 and used as a ‘prop’ in the television series The Flying Doctors. Although painted in RFDS colours, it never flew in that scheme. When finished with the TV series it was purchased by the Ballarat Aviation Museum. It came to Port Adelaide in June 2002.
History of Type
During the 1960s the Government Aircraft Factories at Fishermen’s Bend, Victoria, began designing a small utility transport intended to provide production activity after the completion of the RAAF Mirage program. The project was aimed at both civil and military needs. Two prototypes were built. The first, VH-SUP, made its first flight on 23 July 1971, and the second, VH-SUR, first flew on 5 December 1971.
In 1976 the N24 version – with a 61 cm (24 in) increased length in the nose and 1.14 m (45 in) increase in cabin length – flew for the first time. A later N24A development had the maximum take-off weight increased from 3,855 kg (8,500 lb) to 4,264 kg (9,400 lb). The American Company Wipline developed floats for the Nomad, and fitted them initially to aircraft c/n 63 in 1978.
The Nomad has been used for a variety of services: aerial ambulance, flying doctor work, aerial survey and mapping, charter flights, airline services, scientific research and tracking. Nomads were sold to military operators such as the Australian Army, PNG Defence Force, Indonesian Navy, Philippine Air Force, and Royal Thai Air Force. They were also used by Australian Customs. Production ended in 1982 after 170 Nomads had been built.
In 2009 Gippsland Aeronautics from Morwell announced their intention to put the Nomad type back into production.
OTHER AIRCRAFT IN STORAGE
- Blue Steel