This is the first part of a 4 part History Festival series about the Epic Flight of the Vickers Vimy from England to Australia presented by Mike Milln.
Part 2 – The Race will be available next week. Stay tuned!
On Saturday 18 May 2019, ex-ARDU Edinburgh F-111C replaced RF-111C A8-134 at SAAM. A8-134 had been on display at SAAM since March 2013 but, as the only remaining F-111 in Australia having undergone operational deployment, it will be transported to Canberra for display in the Australian War Memorial.
A8-132 arrived at SAAM on Thursday 16 May and was assembled by RAAF personnel. On Saturday 18 May A8-134 was towed out of SAAM’s display hangar and parked adjacent to A8-132 for a one-hour photo opportunity before A8-132 was positioned in the display hangar where it will remain on display. A8-134 was then dismantled for transport to the AWM.
SAAM is very grateful to RAAF Heritage for this classic win-win outcome and for the care and professionalism of the RAAF personnel who carried out such a flawless operation.
Many local photographers took advantage of the opportunity to photograph the activity, and we thank Daniel Turbin for the image of the two aircraft together used here.
SAAM’s present display of RF-111C A8-134 will come to an end during the week of 13th May 2019. That aircraft is being relocated to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, as the only remaining RAAF F-111 that underwent operation deployment. It, with A8-143, operated INTERFET support overflights of East Timor in November 1999.
During the week of 13th May, A8-134, will be exchanged with A8-132, which is coming to us from ARDU at RAAF Base Edinburgh. We are very grateful to Air Force Heritage, Defence Disposals, RAAF WOE-Projects, RAAF Edinburgh and all involved in this fantastic project.
This will be a rare opportunity to photograph two F-111s parked beside each other at SAAM, so for all you keen photographers, here’s the plan – subject to change/weather etc of course:
Thurs 16th May – 132 arrives approx. 10am and reassembly will start in a temporary fenced compound behind the Museum;
Sat 18th May about 11am – Reassembled 132 will be positioned just outside SAAM’s back fence and 134 moved next to it from display – this will be the only opportunity to photograph both aircraft together;
Mon 20th May – 134 disassembly starts while set up of 132 display in Hangar 1 continues;
Wed 22nd May – 134 prepared for road transport; and
Thu 23rd May – 134 loaded and departs….
All subject to change at short notice – watch our Facebook page for updates!!
The Orion was officially handed over to SAAM by AIRCDRE John Meier of RAAF Heritage on 2 December 2018 at a ceremony beside the reassembled aircraft in SAAM’s Hangar 2.
WGCDR Colin Smith, CO of 10Sqn; Martin Ball, VP-Fixed Wing Airbus Australia Pacific; and Jim Whalley, Nova Group Chairman and SAAM’s Patron were included in the official party and around 100 members and guests attended.
The disassembled Orion was delivered to SAAM on 10 December 2017 and has been reassembled by a team of SAAM volunteers. The aircraft is presently displayed without its starboard wing and vertical tail surfaces because of space constraints, but SAAM’s forward plans include expansion of the display space to allow completion of the assembly.
It seems that nothing stirs controversy like the Vickers Vimy at Adelaide Airport – the latest being that it should be moved to the Eastern states.
Of course it should not be, especially since plans are already underway to relocate it to a much more accessible site as part of Adelaide Airport Ltd’s terminal expansion.
The South Australian Aviation Museum has been a long-term advocate of increasing the access of South Australians and visitors to this iconic aircraft.
We assisted Adelaide Airport Ltd (AAL) in planning the refurbishment of the existing memorial as an interim measure, and we strongly support AAL’s intention to relocate it.
We recognise that will take time and money, and we urge State and Commonwealth Governments to assist AAL with funding to effect the relocation as soon as possible.
In the meantime we will continue to support AAL’s demonstrated careful custodianship of this precious artefact and will provide whatever technical advice we can in the planning for its future.
David Byrne (President) and Committee
South Australian Aviation Museum Inc
Mirage IIID A3-115 was transported from its long-time gate guard position at RAAF Base Edinburgh to SAAM on 2 November 2018. The aircraft has been donated to SAAM by RAAF Heritage, to whom we are very grateful.
Alltrans Heavy Haulage and Nicks Cranes teamed up in an intricate wide-load and crane lift operation – the same contractors who served us so well with the AP-3C Orion delivery in December 2017.
The aircraft has been positioned in SAAM’s courtyard for interim display until inside space can be arranged. In the meantime it is in a sheltered area of the courtyard in the corner between two hangars, and shade cloth is to be installed soon.
Aero 145 VH-ZCL was recovered from storage at Pallamana Aerodrome near Murray Bridge SA on 1 September 2018 and is now safely at SAAM. The aircraft had been dismantled for restoration by the donors, the Charlie Zululima Trust, which SAAM will now undertake, The fuselage (as pictured) is in our workshop and the wings, tail surfaces, engines, instruments and seats etc all in temporary container storage. We will advise further when we have a timeline worked out for this major restoration and assembly project.
The aircraft has rich South Australian provenance: it was purchased by John Doudy, who established Commodore Aviation, in October 1962 and registered as VH-WWC. Commodore based the aircraft in Port Lincoln where for many years it was used for tuna spotting and island lighthouse supply.
SAAM is about to acquire Aero 145 VH-ZCL, donated by John and Marj Ellis and the ‘Charlie Zululima Trust’ that had dismantled it for restoration. SAAM will undertake the restoration and display the aircraft in due course.
It has huge South Australian historical importance – purchased originally by John Doudy, who established Commodore Aviation, and registered as VH-WWC in October 1962 then used for tuna spotting and lighthouse supply out of Port Lincoln until around 1979. John’s son, Chris Doudy, wrote a history of it in our last newsletter www.saam.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/PM-Jun18.pdf.
Cobham Aviation Services kindly donated BAe146 forward section, comprising cockpit and three rows of seat, to SAAM and transported it to the Museum on 16 May 2018. Here is some video of the aircraft section arriving at the Museum.
The aircraft, in service as VH-NJL, was destined for scrap.
SAAM intends to refurbish it as an interactive display that visitors can sit in.
SAAM today (3 May 2018 ) executed a Deed of Gift with RAAF Heritage for Mirage IIID A3-115 on an “as is/where is” basis. We are very grateful to RAAF Heritage for their confidence in us.
The aircraft is presently on display at RAAF Edinburgh as pictured.
We plan to concentrate on the reassembly of Orion A9-756 before picking it up, so it will be some time before A3-115 is on display at SAAM, where it will represent the work of ARDU at Edinburgh.
We will keep you posted.