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February, 2017

February, 2017 News

Patrons’ Circle B-24 LMA

 For a long time now we have been without an active Patron despite many efforts to find one. 

In response to his ongoing support for the establishment of our Museum Precinct we asked Andrew Elsbury if he would like to be a member of our Patrons’ Circle and he agreed. 

Then, late last year we had a meeting with Grp Capt (Ret) Carl Schiller OAM CSM and asked him if he would be interested and he also agreed to be a Patron.  Carl is the President of the Victorian Division of the RAAF Association.

So, we now have two committed, involved Patrons. We thank both of them for their involvement.  

RAAFA Branch

Carl Schiller has asked if we would be interested in setting up a RAAFA branch at the hangar.  He asked this after observing the support and companionship evident amongst hangar workers:  a spirit he wants to see in RAAFA branches.   

Branch members need to be either ex ADF personnel or others who have an interest in the RAAF and its aims.  A RAAFA branch would essentially be a social group of between 30/50 members, membership costs of $25 annually. The branch would pay for things like the B-24 Xmas lunch and various outings during the year.  Members would not have to pay membership for the first 2 years.  We were concerned about the extra cost of RAAFA membership, problems associated in getting that many members and problems with finding members to take on the executive roles in the branch.  Several members voiced support for the idea of establishing the branch. 

It was decided that we would set up a RAAFA branch on a probationary footing for 2 years, either side to be able to opt out during that period. 

If you are interested in becoming a member of this RAAFA Branch please contact our Secretary on judithone@optusnet.com.au or by phone on 0410198949 

Museum Precinct

Not much to say.  Another survey has been done on the land around H2.  Current thinking is that it will be more economically feasible to build a new hangar to complete the precinct rather than refurbish and move H1 so that is now being considered.  Enough land would then be arranged so that we could bring A72-176 out of the hangar and run the engines.

Will keep you posted.

Reunion 

This will be held at the hangar on Sunday 23rd April.  We are organising the invitations now.  There will be a catered 2 course lunch and plenty of time to talk.  If you have a connection to Liberators as a serving air or ground crew member, have a family member who served in Libs, are friends with Liberator veterans or are interested in Liberators, WW2 history or aviation please let me know and I’ll arrange an invitation. 

judithone@optusnet.com.au  Ph:  0410198940

B-24 Liberator Update 

Work is progressing on the fitting of the saddle. The fairing straps over the fuselage are being fitted. One is complete and work on the second is well on its way. 

   Nearly done! 

The gear box in the front turret has been fixed so the turret can now be manually operated. 

The port waist gun station has been modified and fitted ready for the gun mounts to be fitted.  The window on the starboard side has to be remade.  Work is progressing on the canopy of the rear turret. 

Hydraulic piping in the bomb bay continues to be overhauled, repaired and cleaned.   Some areas will need to be replaced. 

Number 4 engine has presented some problems.  The turbo charger is in place but the nacelle has areas missing and others that can’t be used.  New panels are being placed there.

   New sections: and the hole that needs to be filled. 

Social Media 

Was contacted by Phil Buckley, administrator of our FaceBook page about preparing an article for him to place in the “War Birds” magazine.  Dave took some pictures and we collected the facts and sent them to Phil.  The article was printed early this month and is featured as well on our Facebook page.  It was so well received that Phil has asked for two more articles:  one on the Airspeed Oxford, one on the Avro Anson.  We’ll get these done after Avalon Week. 

Facebook is proving an asset.  We get worldwide coverage and much positive feedback. 

Thanks to Tom, a young member, we are also featured on Twitter so that’s another audience. 

As well our web page continues to attract visitors.  Thanks to Lukas and Michael for this. 

Our artefacts, described in listings on “Victorian Collections” also attract people to our restoration.  We attract through this page at least one request a week, often more, from people all over the world looking for information on our stuff and/or Liberators in general. 

We have now posted several QR codes in the hangar to allow those with smart phones to get extra information.  

Visitors 

Car and motorcycle clubs continue to be a main source of visitors/revenue.  Last Sunday, we had over 100 visitors made up of the Classic Car Club and the Monarch Motorcycle Club.  Really busy with that many in the hangar but everyone managed to get a good look at the plane.  They were a great group; very interested in what we were trying to achieve.

    Very crowded! 

Oxford Update 

The port wing is nearing completion.  The leading edge has been formed and the rear flap is installed.  There may well be adjustments at a later date but it’s looking good.  At the moment there is a keyhole like hole in the end of the wing.  It’s there because the carpenter lost his hammer.  He recalled seeing it just before he glued down the last bit of wing covering. Margot, from the shop, has thin wrists and arms so the carpenter made a hole in the end of the wing and Margot “found” the hammer and wriggled it down to the end but the claw part was too big to fit through the hole hence the keyhole shape!  Doug assures me we won’t even know a hole was there once he’s fixed it.

  Even the keyhole is beautifully made. 

Work continues on the starboard wing section...  The trailing edge has been formed and fitted.

  Another piece of art. 

Hangar Lighting 

As part of a Government initiative old lighting is being replaced with LED lighting.  The fluorescent lights have all been replaced, at no cost to us, and are certainly brighter.

Next week, depending on getting the knuckle boom cherry picker, all the high bay lights will be replaced.  There will be a cost for this but quite reasonable in comparison to buying all new ones ourselves.  We hope for improvement in our electricity bill and brighter lights.  If we can get rid of the individual lights at work benches and the associated cables we will benefit in the OH&S sense as well. 

Avalon Week 

The hangar will be open from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm from Tuesday 28th February to Sunday 5th March. 

We have several groups booked in including two cadet groups, one from WA. 

The Victorian Division of RAAFA has a display area at Avalon in the trade area and they have generously offered us a small corner to advertise the Liberator.

Two of the hangar crew will go to Avalon each day to man this display.

Thanks to RAAFA and Paul & Graham for this. 

Report  

This was submitted by Andrew Percy, son of Bob, a long term member and hangar worker. 

    VISIT TO AMBON – OCTOBER 2016 

                 RAAF 21 Squadron 

               B-24 Liberator A72-92