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August, 2014

August, 2014


The Constitution passed at the 2013 AGM by the members was not accepted by the Department of Justice. We have therefore been operating under the Model Rules while we addressed the problems in our Constitution.

The new version is now complete & we propose to again present it to the 2014 AGM for members’ ratification. We have not called a Special General Meeting as the cost of setting up general meetings becomes quite expensive, particularly if a quorum is not present and the meeting has to be rescheduled.

Model Rules require a quorum to be present at the AGM. To this end proxies are accepted. We have included the requirement for proxies in our new Constitution.

To download the Form of Proxy, approved by the Committee, please click here. The completed nomination form must be received by 1st October 2014. 

It is imperative that members consider using this form. Over 50% of our membership is interstate or overseas so expecting a quorum of the full membership is unrealistic. 10% of the full membership is a quorum which means about 40 people. We generally average about 25 to 30 attendees.

The Form of Proxy will ask members not only to appoint a proxy but to clearly indicate how that proxy is to vote on any motions to be presented to the meeting. Forms of Proxy not giving this direction will not be admissible.

If you would like a copy of the proposed Constitution before the AGM please contact the Secretary on: 03 97340094 OR and one will be forwarded to you.


Permanent Home

After a great deal of work by all involved parties the proposal to amend the Heritage Listing on the land and buildings representative of the WW2 Werribee Field has now been presented to Heritage Victoria.

There will be a period of time for interested parties to make representations to Heritage then a hearing will be held and we will hopefully get a decision which will allow us to move forward.

The issue of the site becoming Crown Land is also being addressed.

Committee for 2015

The nomination form for people wishing to stand for this Committee is included in this newsletter. Please read the instructions carefully if you wish to nominate someone for either the Executive or the Committee of Management.

Phil Taylor is again the Returning officer. His details and relevant dates are on the form.

B-24 Liberator Update (Ron Taaffe & Dave Miller)

The mounting ring that supports the ball turret has been removed from the aircraft and attached to the display cradle for this turret. This will allow us to finish the ball turret wiring harness installation then use the turret for displays prior to fitting it back into the aircraft when we make the final fit-out.

Work on the saddle is ongoing. The fitting of the life raft doors is causing a bit of a problem as they are warped and will require re-shaping.

 Just pull it a bit this way.

The stainless tubing has been purchased to install the engine fire extinguisher system. The spray rings have been rolled and now have to be drilled prior to fitting in each nacelle. It’s one of the systems that no-one will ever see once we finish the aircraft but authenticity remains a vital part of our purpose for the restoration.

The engine run-up rig has been modified and regular engine runs will commence Sunday 24th August. Anyone wanting to hear the P&W 1830 do its ‘thing’ contact the hangar & we’ll let you know when a run will take place. Runs are generally on a Sunday at 11am & cost an extra $5 to help pay for the fuel.

The industrial lighting in the fuselage is being modified to meet OH&S standards. This will certainly make life easier, and brighter, for those working in there.

Recently a donation was made of structural parts from the original nose turret for A72-176. It is amazing that such important parts keep turning up. Please keep looking!

Some bad news. Recently thieves cut out part of the fencing and stole our large tandem trailer. We had wheel clamps fitted but they came prepared with a drill to remove these. Obviously had been watching the grounds.

Oxford Update

The wing centre section has now been fitted with the engine undercarriage support. This means the front spar is complete. Work can now begin on the rear spar.


 An Oxford in flight.

Received this from a member, Max Shooter. For others, like him, who don’t know about the Oxford: it was one of the aircraft in which young pilots were taught to fly before they went to Tocumwal & learnt how to fly the Liberator. Oxfords flew out of Werribee Field so they have a double link to our museum.

I have noted reference to restoration of an Airspeed Oxford in our newsletter without having any idea of what this aircraft was……but at the back of my memory was the feeling that I had heard of it before.

I have just re-read, after fifty years or so, "Slide Rule" by Neville Shute and now have some idea of what it is all about and why the memory was there.

I recommend this book, sub-titled "Diary of an Engineer", to anyone who wants to learn about, and get a feel for, aviation after the Great War until the end of WW2.

Many people will know of Neville Shute as I write but not know of his ability as an aeronautical engineer who founded the company "Airspeed" which designed and built the Oxford.

Neville Shute was a prolific writer with many novels to his credit. Some incorporated aircraft into the story. Some were made into movies e.g. "No Highway in the Sky", "A Town Like Alice", and of course the ultimate disaster movie, "On the Beach".

For those interested:

"Slide Rule" ISBN 9780099530176

Thanks Max

Ceremony; Heritage Engineers

This was held at the hangar on 13th July. Over 100 people attended. It was a great occasion. The aircraft received international recognition as an artefact of engineering excellence, the hangar received national recognition. The 2 plaques/information boards were unveiled & make an interesting addition to the hangar & grounds. We feel this is a great honour for the restoration group.

 The hangar plaque

 Our president, Doug Lindsay, making a speech


Wyndham Business Awards, Tourism

Was asked to put in an application for this award for 2014 even though we had won it in 2013 so did the paperwork and was nominated a finalist. As a result of this, 2 independent business people from outside Wyndham visited the hangar to judge us. A major area of interest for the judges was the project expansion plan. They were also impressed with the Heritage Engineers plaques and the information boards, put together by Ron Taaffe & displayed around the hangar. With all these on permanent displays visitors are able to be informed on several aspects of the building and the aircraft. Ron is working on further boards.

We’ll know the results of the Business Awards at the presentation ceremony on Friday evening 29th August.

Interesting Visitor

Recently, Biddy, widow of John Napier, visited the hangar with her daughter. They brought with them some treasured memorabilia including John’s original hat, his log book & his DFC. We placed the DFC beside the DFM won by Mason Frecker & they made an interesting display for the time the Napiers were at the hangar. The Cross was awarded to officers, the medal to airmen.

 Despite vision problems Biddy had a great time exploring the Liberator.

Museum Accreditation

On 5th August Elizabeth Marsden & Rosemary Hanscombe from Museums Australia visited the hangar to evaluate our potential for Museums Australia accreditation. They were impressed with what they saw. We already have paperwork such as a Business Plan, Ten Year Plan, OH&S Policy, etc in place & have operated under them for some years. The story boards were also an important part of the presentation showing our commitment to interaction with our visitors.

The next step is our formal entry into the MA programme & subsequently working systematically towards accreditation with the guidance of a mentor.


Can You Help?

Ed Crabtree, our senior veteran, is restoring the Airspeed Oxford instrument panel and is in desperate need of the following items:

 1 off "British" turn and bank indicator

 1 off "British" rate of climb indicator

If you can help please contact the Secretary on 03 9734 0094 or

We have lots of gauges and meters but, unfortunately, neither of these.

Memorial Wall

We now have enough interested people to organise another run of pavers. If you wish to place a firm order please contact the Secretary on: 03 9734 0094 or

You will be sent an order form. This will allow you to specify the lettering you wish to have on your paver.

Cost: single paver $50, double paver $100.

The Memorial Wall will be the first thing built once we have Heritage authority to go ahead with the construction of the museum complex.

It has been designed by John Temby and the 2 memorial plaques, one for the RAAF, one for the 380th, have been cast.

Hopefully it will not be too much longer.


Happy Time

The easiest way to make an old car run better is to look at the price of new ones

Difference between a good lawyer and a great one: a good one knows the law, a great one knows the judge.

Fuel Flow Meter

During the hangar clean-up prior to the Heritage Engineers Ceremony one of our volunteers discovered a fuel flow meter which did not belong to our Liberator.

The gauge has A70-9 hand painted on the side and a United States Navy serial plate attached.

Research indicates that it belonged to RAAF Martin Mariner, number 9 of 12 operated by either 40 or 41 Squadron during 1943 to 1946.

It is considered quite a rare item & it will be catalogued & displayed in our future museum.

Picture Session

Phil Hosking, a photographer from South Australia (Pro Image Photography) was at the hangar recently & took a number of great shots of the Liberator. He intends to release the photos to relevant web pages & magazines but has said we can use them as we need to. Our thanks to Phil for his generosity.

The cockpit under construction. Phil wants to come back to photograph the finished cockpit in situ.

A great line from a recent letter to the hangar…"Thank you for making my 94 year old dad feel young again. He’s still talking about the plane!"

We like that.