RAAF bomber bound for Evans Head museum
THE Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome Museum is set to add another aircraft to its collection when it takes delivery of a former RAAF Canberra Bomber.
The Canberra A84-203 will be arriving on March 1.
The aviation museum was one of just three recipients of retired Air Force heritage aircraft earmarked as gifts to Australian historical organisations.
The aircraft have been on display at various RAAF bases across Australia for decades but they will now be fully restored by the recipients and placed on public display.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Gavin Davies, said the gifting of the aircraft strengthened the continuing collaboration between the Air Force and historical aviation community across Australia.
“The Air Force is delighted to be able to gift these aircraft to public organisations that can help to preserve our aviation history and to help make our proud heritage available to all Australians,” Air Marshal Davies said.
The Canberra A84-203 was built in Australia in 1953 at the government aircraft factory at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
It served with No 2 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley, was converted to a dual control Mk 21 trainer in 1958, and has been on display at the RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre near Ipswich, in south-east Queensland.
“The members of the Evans Head museum are over the moon with the announcement,” said Rod Kinnish, president of the Evans Head museum.
“We have put a lot of time and effort into getting this unique aircraft, which spent a lot of time training over Evans Head.”
Ironically, the museum’s former RAAF F-111 aircraft which is on display at Evans Head is one which replaced the Canberra Bomber fleet in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“It will certainly look very sweet next to our F-111, and has important historical links with the Air Force and of course Evans Head,” Mr Kinnish said.
The Canberra Bomber will be dismantled at RAAF Base Amberley on February 24, and will be trucked to Evans Head to arrive on March 1.
The Evans Head Memorial Heritage Aviation Association is asking for new volunteers to come and help with the re-assembly of the aircraft.
Those interested can contact the museum’s aviation manager Shane Rochford on 0416061602.