HARS crews will make the flight to Temora from their base at the Illawarra Regional Airport for Warbirds Downunder with three of Australia’s largest warbirds, the Super Constellation, the DHC Caribou and the PBY Catalina Flying Boat. All three aircraft will take part in Warbirds Downunder with both flying and static displays.
The Lockheed Super Constellation, ‘Connie’, is considered to be one of the most graceful aircraft ever produced and is an icon of Australia’s introduction to luxury air travel reducing the flight to London along the famous “Kangaroo Route” to a mere four days. Constellations also saw extensive military service as troop transports with some equipped with powerful radar systems and utilised in an airborne early warning role.
The Caribou was first delivered to the RAAF in April 1964 and after 45 years of proud Australian service; it was retired at the end of 2009. Operated by Number 38 Squadron, based in Townsville, the Caribou has supported ADF operations throughout the South West Pacific and in South East Asia. The Caribou saw active service in Vietnam until 1972. HARS flys their aircraft as a tribute to all RAAF service people who were involved with Caribous throughout the years and, in particular, the Vietnam Veterans who operated or were carried in theatre during the Vietnam War. On November 2nd spectators will be able have a close encounter with the Caribou at Warbirds Downunder as it will be open for visitors to walk through.
The PBY Catalina was the most successful flying boat produced with a production run spanning 10 years and 3300 aircraft. Designed as a Patrol Bomber, it could be configured with torpedoes, bombs, depth charges, and .50 caliber machine guns. The HARS Catalina is painted in the famous “Black Cat” markings which were used to search for Japanese ships at night. Catalinas were instrumental in rescuing downed aircrew or Navy personnel in distress by utilising their floating hulls to land in the open water.
HARS President Bob De La Hunty, OAM said “we have always admired and support everything the Temora Aviation Museum has embarked on and are delighted to be able to be involved with this magnificent event. Warbirds Downunder 2013 will be possibly one of the finest line up of warbird aircraft assembled in Australia, to be able to get Connie, the Catalina and the Caribou aircraft out of the Illawarra for thousands of spectators to see reminds us why we do what we do”.
Warbirds Downunder is a major event for the Riverina region which attracts warbird and antique aircraft from around Australia providing significant financial benefits to the Temora and Riverina economy. Warbirds Downunder will take place on November 2nd, 2013 and will feature the Temora Aviation Museum’s aircraft collection including two Spitfires, Hudson and Meteor plus a number of visiting antique and warbird aircraft including Mustangs, Harvards and Trojans. The RAAF will support Warbirds Downunder with the Roulettes six ship formation aerobatic routine, two F/A-18 Hornets and the RAAF Hot Air Balloon.
More information about Warbirds Downunder can be found on the Museum’s website at www.aviationmuseum.com.au