South Australian Aviation Museum – Open Cockpits and Family Fun Day 2017 – Part II

South Australian Aviation Museum
South Australian Aviation Museum, Port Adelaide

Continuing on from my visit to the South Australian Aviation Museum (SAAM) Open Cockpits and Family Fun Day on Sunday April 9th, 2017, lets take a look at my time in their main display hangar. Inside this hangar is where they keep their two jewels in the crown (in my opinion), an RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc and a General Dynamics RF-111C (A8-134) strike/reconnaissance aircraft.

The hangar itself is of historic significance too, it is a 1943 PENTAD aircraft hangar that was originally located in Darwin, Northern Territory during World War Two and housed Supermarine Spitfire fighters used for the defence of Darwin against Japanese attacks. The hangar was relocated to Port Adelaide after the war and used to store wool until 1996. Lets now take a look at the Spitfire and some of the other historic aircraft in the hangar.

Spitfire

The Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) is a 1942 model with a tropical engine filter under the nose for the V12 supercharged Rolls-Royce Merlin 46 engine and was armed with 2 x Hispano 20mm cannon and 4 x Browning .303 machine guns. It served with RAAF No. 79 Squadron (formed at Laverton, Victoria on April 26th, 1943 they received their Mk.Vc fighters one month later) in operations against the Japanese during World War Two at Goodenough Island (from June 1943) and later Kiriwina Island (from August 1943) in New Guinea until it suffered damage in a forced landing on Kiriwina Island on August 28th, 1943 and was transported back to Goodenough Island.

RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) with a Rolls Royce Engine that powers this graceful fighter – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
Kiriwina, New Guinea, September 11th, 1943. RAAF No. 79 Squadron Spitfire Mk.Vc with battery cart plugged in for engine starting, on the airfield. Personnel, left to right: unidentified; 9199 Corporal R. O. (Russell) McNamee, Fitter IIE
Kiriwina, New Guinea, September 11th, 1943. RAAF No. 79 Squadron Spitfire Mk.Vc with battery cart plugged in for engine starting, on the airfield. Personnel, left to right: unidentified; 9199 Corporal R. O. (Russell) McNamee, Fitter IIE (Photo Source: Australian War Memorial)

The Spitfire airframe was rediscovered in 1971 but not recovered until 1973 (by Langdon Badger). Shipped to Adelaide it was restored over 4 years and displayed at the owners home until put on display at SAAM on a long-term loan basis in 2001. The aircraft is displayed with a 90 gallon belly slipper tank below it, these fuel tanks extended the relatively short-range of the Spitfire and could be dropped prior to enemy engagement. The recovery and restoration to its present state must have been a massive undertaking but the results speak for themselves and it looks fantastic!

RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum
The restoration of Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) with the tropical engine filter looks fantastic! South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
Attractive RAAF No. 79 Squadron WW2 era noseart RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum
Attractive RAAF No. 79 Squadron WW2 era nose art
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum
Firepower – The Spitfire Mk.Vc was armed with 2 x Hispano 20mm cannon and 4 x Browning .303 machine guns – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum 90 gallon slipper tank
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) with a 90 gallon belly slipper tank below it – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
Kiriwina, Papua New Guinea - December 1943. 30 and 90 gallon auxiliary fuel drop tanks for the Supermarine Spitfires Mk. Vc of RAAF No. 79 Squadron on the airfield
Kiriwina, New Guinea – December 1943. 30 and 90 gallon auxiliary fuel drop tanks for the Supermarine Spitfires Mk. Vc of RAAF No. 79 Squadron on the airfield (Photo Source: Australian War Memorial)
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) & Rolls Royce Merlin V12 engine - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) & Rolls Royce Merlin V12 engine – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (EE853) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017

Fighters, Bombers, Trainers and More!

The main hangar at SAAM has numerous other aircraft, drones and rockets on display including RAAF and Royal Australian Navy assets. Not all had open cockpits but those that did were very popular with the busy crowd!

General Dynamics RF-111C (A8-134), English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) & Aermacchi MB-326H (A7-026) - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
General Dynamics RF-111C (A8-134), English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) & Aermacchi MB-326H (A7-026) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
ARDU Douglas C-47B Dakota (A65-114 - operated by the RAAF from 1945 to 1986) and de Havilland DH.100 Vampire (A79-202 operated by the RAAF from 1951 to 1960) - South Australian Aviation Museum
ARDU Douglas C-47B Dakota (A65-114 – operated by the RAAF from 1945 to 1986) and de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.31 (A79-202 operated by the RAAF from 1951 to 1960) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
Fokker F-27 Friendship, de Havilland DH-60G Gipsy Moth and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc - South Australian Aviation Museum
Fokker F-27 Friendship, de Havilland DH-60G Gipsy Moth and Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.31 (A79-202) - South Australian Aviation Museum
RAAF de Havilland DH.100 Vampire FB.31 (A79-202) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF ARDU Douglas C-47B Dakota and a Sheppard CS2 light aircraft designed and built in 1938 by Clem Reginald Sheppard in Adelaide - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF ARDU Douglas C-47B Dakota and a Sheppard CS2 light aircraft designed and built in 1938 by Clem Reginald Sheppard in Adelaide (it had fold back wings so it could be towed behind a car) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
Government Aircraft Factory Jindivik & Ikara SAAM
Government Aircraft Factory Jindivik recoverable target drone (the type was produced from 1952 to 1997 and operated by the RAAF, Royal Australian Navy, RAF, US Navy and Swedish Air Force) & Ikara Ship-borne anti-submarine missile that would launch a Mk.44 torpedo over the target area (operated by the Royal Australian Navy from 1965 to 1991) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017

Macchi Jet

The RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer was very popular. A7-026 was delivered in 1968 and was assigned to the Central Flying School based at RAAF East Sale, Victoria. From 1970 to 1985 it flew with the RAAF Roulettes display team but crashed on August 19th, 1985 and became an instructional ground airframe at RAAF Wagga Wagga. It was purchased by the museum in 2004 and put on display in 2006.

RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer (A7-026) - South Australian Aviation Museum
RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer (A7-026) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017

The RAAF operated 97 Macchi Jets with the first being delivered in 1967 (A7-001). The first 20 were assembled in Australia from Italian provided components and the rest were produced by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) and Hawker de Havilland, with most being manufactured with predominately locally produced components (by A7-031 85% of the components were Australian produced). Structural fatigue problems resulted in the last MB-326H being retired by the RAAF in 2001 and they were replaced by the Pilatus PC-9 and BAE Hawk 127.

RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer (A7-026) - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer (A7-026) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer South Australian Aviation Museum
The RAAF Aermacchi MB-326H jet trainer (“Macchi Jet”) was a popular open cockpit display (I never actually made it into that one!) – SAAM April 2017

Canberra Bomber

An interesting aircraft in the collection is the English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) in flash white livery (not open for cockpit inspection). It was built in the UK by AVRO in 1955 and transferred to the RAAF. Serving with RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia from 1956 to 1963 it conducted various weapons test flights, radar calibration and photographic reconnaissance missions over the outback regions of South Australia above the Woomera Rocket Range (a major weapons testing site) and Maralinga where the British conducted 7 major nuclear bomb tests between 1955 and 1963. Most aircraft used for research and weapons testing at Woomera were painted white.

RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) during the South Australian Aviation Museum Open Cockpits and Family Fun Day - April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) during the South Australian Aviation Museum Open Cockpits and Family Fun Day – April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) during the South Australian Aviation Museum Open Cockpits and Family Fun Day - April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017

From 1963 to 1969 the Canberra served with the No. 4 Joint Services Trials Unit and then was retired and put into long-term storage in 1970 basically resulting in it being left in a derelict state in Ballarat, Victoria. After many years in storage the aircraft was recovered in 1997 for restoration to enter the museum collection.

The English Electric Canberra B.2 was powered by 2 x Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engines - one is displayed alongside the aircraft at the South Australian Aviation Museum RAAF
The English Electric Canberra B.2 was powered by 2 x Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engines – one is displayed alongside the aircraft at the South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) and Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engine - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) and Rolls Royce Avon turbojet engine – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017

In my next post I will show the RAAF General Dynamics RF-111C display and my cockpit tour of this mighty aircraft. I will also discuss the disposal and museum allocation of the RAAF F-111 fleet that were retired in 2010.

RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) alongside the General Dynamics RF-111C - South Australian Aviation Museum - April 2017
RAAF English Electric Canberra B.2 (WK165) alongside the General Dynamics RF-111C – South Australian Aviation Museum – April 2017

References:

Australian War Memorial – RAAF No. 79 Squadron

RAAF Museum – MB-326H

South Australian Aviation Museum

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “South Australian Aviation Museum – Open Cockpits and Family Fun Day 2017 – Part II

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s