June, 2017 News
Thanks to all those who have already renewed. We have received a bit over half the memberships. Please remember this is the major part of our fundraising annually and we need your renewals. Many have taken the option of direct bank transfer and this has made our life easier. Thank you.
We now have the start of the accreditation process in February 2018. Most of the work is complete so it’s now a matter of getting everything organised and ready for presentation. The Disaster Plan has still to be completed but that’s on the way. A major part of the work is ensuring all documentation/paperwork is in digital form. We have compiled a list of all the documents and are in the process of scanning them and storing them on a computer. Tedious but has to be done. For a small organisation it’s amazing the amount of paperwork we have accumulated!
You may not be aware but we have a third aeroplane in the hangar. Local resident Nick Knight is restoring his Boomerang and he has written an update on its progress:
Boomerang Progress: Nick Knight
I have been working on the wing centre section. Parts have been gathered over the years, including most of the undercarriage components, front spar caps and some ribs. Recently I have been able to measure some of the important features of a Wirraway centre section such as rear spar, ribs and skins. There are some differences between Wirraway and Boomerang which I have been researching. I have also managed to obtain some drawings which will be useful. The plan for the centre section is to continue to collect parts and drawings and I will manufacture parts when I have time. Outer wings will need to be made eventually, and I may have the option of using fibreglass moulds which are at the Ballarat Aviation museum, or constructing metal ones using drawings that I have.
Progress has been made on the nose cowl ring which has been mostly riveted. The nose cowl was recovered from a crashed Boomerang and has required a lot of repair work.
A new gun sight mount has been made. I was able to borrow an original casting and have used this to make a jig and have then fabricated a new one for -147. It is complex and would have been expensive to have one cast. This mount is attached to the underside of the panel in front of the windscreen which will need to be re made using a thicker sheet of aluminium.
Undercarriage casting repairs
Recently I purchased a sheet of thin plywood which I will use for trialling the covering of the wooden shell. Anyone who would like to help out on the Boomerang would be welcome. Check out CAC Boomerang Aircraft restoration on Facebook for regular updates.
Research is underway on materials, processes and tooling on the fuel tank manufacturing project. This is a major step as we want to spend the money from a substantial donation made by a member and his family on an important component in the aircraft. The pipe restoration crew is continuing to restore piping to a high standard in conjunction with installation activities. The exhibition cockpit is in need of some TLC, on both the painted areas and the mechanical components. This is fair wear and tear considering the popularity of this exhibit both in the hangar and at exhibitions away from the hangar. The latest engine changeover has been completed and we have mothballed the engine which has been in use for the past 3 months. This regular rotation of engines on the test rig makes sure we keep them all “healthy”. Work is progressing on the bomb control system. At the moment work in the bomb bay is at a standstill until work is completed on the components of the control system. Research is also underway here as we look at cable lengths and a supplier of cable. Work is also proceeding in the cockpit. Fitting the wiring is underway: all oxygen tanks have been fitted: no instrumentation has been installed as yet. The release handles for the life raft are installed on the forward edge of the saddle. The turret ring for the mid-upper turret is installed and the perspex cover is in place. The turret will be put in once all other work in the area is completed. It takes up a lot of room making access to the cockpit difficult……particularly for “old” bones. The turret ring has also been fitted for the rear turret. And thanks to Keo who keeps the hangar very clean and tidy. Visitors have commented.
Military Re-enactment Group
Last year we collaborated with this group and had a very successful event with live firings, costumes, simulated battles and displays. It was very successful with many people attending. The group has approached us to see if we wanted to have a repeat performance next year and we have agreed that this is a good event for both groups. Will keep you updated closer the the time.
Group visits raise a considerable sum for our coffers and they are an enjoyable way for us to spread the word. Over the past weeks we have hosted: Aston Martin Car Club, Macedon Ranges Amateur Radio Club, Winchelsea Men’s Group (The Beeac Boys), Sanctuary Lakes Probus, Tocumwal Mild to Wild, Portarlington Probus, Geelong Gateway, etc. If you belong to a group looking for a place to visit, consider us. Entry and guided tour $5 donation, we put on morning or afternoon tea for another $5 and can also do a BBQ with salads and desserts for $15 head. I can assure you it is money well spent.
The “Oxford boys” are working away. At the moment Ken is focusing on the trailing edges. The starboard side one is complete and he’s making steady progress on the port side one.
This is the completed starboard trailing edge.
Doug has fitted landing lights to the wing: not quite authentic but they do the job and as it’s a replica we can make adaptations.
They look good and will be wired in.
We have 2 Cheetah 10 engines for the Oxford. One is working and we’ve run it a few times. The engine crew is working on the second but they’re missing lots of necessary bits particularly from the back end of the engine. If you have any Cheetah 10 parts tucked away at the back of the garage or behind the shed and want a good home for them please let us know.
The second Cheetah 10. Looks like a “goer” and I’m sure eventually it will be!
Had a great day when 21 Squadron and the RAAFA groups came to visit. We crammed over 100 people into the hangar for tours of the plane, discussion with restorers and morning tea. It was “cosy”. No. 21 Squadron is now stationed at Pt Cook . Point Cook has regained its name: Williams Base is a name no longer used. There were people from RAAFA groups from as far away as Bendigo and they were very interested in the restoration. Carl Schiller (RAAFA State President and Patron B-24 Liberator) organised the event and “shouted” morning tea. He did a great job. Thanks also to his Office Manager, Barb. Carl is hoping to get the RAAFA Branch at the hangar up and running in July. He is in the process of appointing an interim management committee. Once that’s established we’ll ask for interested people to join. It is $25 annually but fees for the first 2 years are waived.
We’ve had talks with the Heritage architect and have advised him that we will move the proposed site of the Memorial Wall and garden from the area near Farm Rd to between the two hangars. This will join the 2 buildings, 3 flagpoles will be erected behind the wall and there will be ample room for a garden. This will also be a more protected site for the Wall.
Happenings Around the Hangar
The rear turret has been re-built and soon will be able to go back into A72-176. Jim is close to putting in the last pieces. We acquired 2 wardrobes that have been invaluable as a storage area for the uniform collection we have had donated. Mario and Phil have repaired the gutter on the edge of the parking apron. John H continually mows the lawn both around the hangar and in the area given to us for the museum precinct. Looks great. Roger’s German Shepherd, Katie, is a regular worker. She needs to be close to “dad” so comes to work with him when no-one is at home. We are also still looking at putting on the tailplane. That would free up so much room in Hangar 2 but it’s a complicated problem as we have to move a roof support strut.
1: On 27th January 1945 six B-24 Liberator heavy bombers of No 24 Squadron took off from Truscott operational base in Western Australia to attack hydro-electric power installations at Siman and Mendalan, 80 kilometres south-west of Surabaya in Japanese-held Java. The raids followed weeks of planning and training by the RAAF’s newly-formed No 82 Wing. Most of the attacking aircraft encountered bad weather and were forced to turn back, but two Liberators got their bombs on target and cut eastern Java’s power supply. The stations on the Konto River were so important that further attacks were attempted. The first of these, on 28 January, was abandoned due to weather, but missions on 5 and 8 February completed the stations’ destruction. The 3700-kilometre round trip entailed by these raids made them the longest mounted from the Australian mainland during World War II.
2: On 24th August,1944 No 82 (Heavy Bomber) Wing -- the RAAF's first such wing -- was formed as a lodger unit of No 1 Wireless and Air Gunnery School (WAGS), Ballarat. Group Captain Deryck Kingwell arrived to take up command on 4 September that year. The headquarters moved to Fenton, in the NT, in October 1944. No 82 Wing comprised the headquarters and two B-24 Consolidated Liberator bombers squadrons; No 21 (which began arriving at Fenton on 15 December 1944) and No 24 (which began arriving at Manbullo in June 1944). No 82 Wing was part of the RAAF's North Western Area Command (NWA).
Dates to Remember
Engine runs at the hangar: last Sunday in the month: July 30th August 27th September 24th October 29th November 24th.
As well as the regular monthly Saturday meetings Committee members work in several areas. Each Sunday one member has the responsibility of managing the hangar so we can open for visitors: several sub-committees run…..Museum Precinct Planning, Museum Accreditation, Cataloguing Group, OH&S Supervision, Marketing, Forward Planning. In November we hold the annual Committee elections. Anyone interested in being a part of this Committee is welcome to put in an application. We welcome new blood and ideas. Applications have to be submitted in October. You need to be a financial member of the group to apply. If you’re interested phone Lyn (0488588011) or Judy (0410198949) to discuss the matter.
The colourful envelopes are thanks to long-time member Peter Van Meurs and his wife. They collect stamps and not only have they donated all the stamps you see but they have stuck them to the envelopes, a great timesaver for us. Our appreciation and thanks.