Parkes putting on a show for air­craft lovers

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By JOHN RYAN

PARKES Air­port has al­ways been ahead of the game.

More than 20 years ago the In­land Mar­ket­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (IMC) de­signed a re­gional air­freight strat­egy to ex­port fresh com­modi­ties from Aus­tralia’s food bowl to the world, us­ing Parkes as the air freight hub, but the dream was blocked by a lack of sup­port, par­tic­u­larly from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Iron­i­cally, the John Howard “Su­per­mar­ket to Asia” strat­egy which came later seemed to take ter­mi­nol­ogy di­rectly from the re­search com­mis­sioned and paid for by the IMC.

Now the air­port is in the spot­light for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, cel­e­brat­ing 70 years of avi­a­tion in the town with the Parkes Aero Spec­tac­u­lar on April 14.

The air­port has played host to myr­iad types and sizes of air­craft pass­ing through over the years, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary air­craft, as well as the reg­u­lar ser­vices over the years with Herons, DC3, Fokker Friend­ship and now with REX Saab air­craft pro­vid­ing great ac­cess to the rest of Aus­tralia.

No­table visitors to Parkes Air­port have in­cluded Prince Charles, Dou­glas “Tin Legs” Bader, and in the 1980s the Cathay Pa­cific Boe­ing 747 made a missed ap­proach to demon­strate the pos­si­bil­ity of large air freighters fly­ing in to Parkes.

Sir Charles Kings­ford Smith vis­ited Parkes in 1927 and landed near the race­course.

The Parkes Avi­a­tion Mu­seum will be open dur­ing the Air Spec­tac­u­lar and, in ad­di­tion to the air­craft and mem­o­ra­bilia dis­played in­side and out, fly­ing air­craft from Parkes’ par­ent mu­seum at Illawarra will visit and be open for in­spec­tion on the day.

Admission to the Mu­seum will be $5 adults, $2 for chil­dren and $10 per fam­ily, and there will be ad­di­tional costs if you wish to visit on board the fly­ing air­craft.

Parkes Avi­a­tion Mu­seum is a divi­sion of the His­tor­i­cal Air­craft Restora­tion So­ci­ety (HARS). Mike De La Hunty from the mu­seum said there are eight air­craft for in­spec­tion in the mu­seum, in­clud­ing the Cessna 150 – prob­a­bly the world’s best-known train­ing air­craft and pi­lots all around the world have flown Cessna 150s.

What makes the Parkes Avi­a­tion Mu­seum Cessna 150, reg­is­tra­tion VH-DML, so spe­cial is that it has been owned by Vir­ginia Wykes OAM, the first indige­nous Aus­tralian woman to at­tain her pi­lot’s li­cence and who then be­came the first indige­nous woman to pi­lot a light air­craft in the London to Syd­ney Cen­te­nary Air Race, Mike ex­plained.

Lyle and Vir­ginia Wykes used the air­craft ex­ten­sively to fly be­tween their prop­er­ties at Yeo­val and Peak Hill, tak­ing their sheep dogs with them and, by fly­ing, they saved many hours of road travel.

An­other air­craft at Parkes is the Jin­di­vik, a pi­lot­less tar­get-tow­ing drone de­signed and built in Aus­tralia in the 1950s and sold around the world.

The Har­vard was a two-seat trainer used by the US and all the Com­mon­wealth coun­tries, the mu­seum ex­am­ple flew with the RN­ZAF.

The Huey Co­bra heli­copter gun­ship was used in Viet­nam and Afghanistan by the USAF for ground at­tack – they flew in sup­port of Aus­tralian troops in both con­flicts.

The Viet­nam-era Cari­bou is an icon of the era and fig­ured in many civil­ian emer­gen­cies through­out Aus­tralian. Built in Canada in 1963, the first three of these air­craft went straight to Viet­nam and served there un­til they re­turned to Aus­tralia in 1972.

The Con­vair air­liner first flew in 1947 and was op­er­ated in Aus­tralia by TAA, Ansett, But­ler and the RAAF.

The de Hav­il­land Heron was de­signed and built in Eng­land in the ‘60s and the Parkes Heron was be­ing re­stored in Tooraweenah to be the cen­tre­piece for a mu­seum to cel­e­brate the life and achieve­ments Hav­il­land Heron, once op­er­ated by But­ler Air Trans­port, is one of gems that will be show at the Parkes Aero Spec­tac­u­lar this April 14. SUP­PLIED. of Arthur But­ler and But­ler Air Trans­port by Ross Pol­lock who died be­fore his vi­sion could be achieved.

The Lock­heed 12 was built in the US in 1938 and im­pressed into RAF ser­vice in World War II and was ac­quired by a Sid­ney Cot­ton com­pany in the UK un­til brought to Aus­tralia in the 1950s and used by the Zinc Cor­po­ra­tion un­til it crashed on land­ing at Ce­duna in 1962.

The Lock­heed 12 and the 1950s Qan­tas air stairs are be­ing re­stored by stu­dents from Parkes High School work­ing with mu­seum vol­un­teers. The stu­dents will be work­ing in the mu­seum dur­ing the Air Spec­tac­u­lar, so visitors will be able to see what these young Aus­tralians have done.

“The Parkes Avi­a­tion Mu­seum is look­ing for new mem­bers to join and to help pre­serve Aus­tralian avi­a­tion his­tory,” said Mike De La Hunty.

“There are nu­mer­ous roles to suit any level of ex­pe­ri­ence or skill, and with new air­craft ar­riv­ing soon there will be a lot of in­ter­est­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The cost to join is low and the re­wards and sat­is­fac­tion lev­els are high, just ask any of the mu­seum vol­un­teers on the day,” he said.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion call Mike De La Hunty on 0418 473 175.

Troy Grant MP to trek Kokoda for Po­lice Legacy

MEM­BER FOR DUBBO Troy Grant is tak­ing part in the 2018 NSW Po­lice Legacy Kokoda Trek next week in re­mem­brance of all de­ceased NSW Po­lice Of­fi­cers and hon­our­ing those whose sac­ri­fice should never be for­got­ten.

Tak­ing part in a 14-day trek along the treach­er­ous 96km Kokoda track in April is an hon­our for Grant who says on his fundrais­ing page: “This is a par­tic­u­larly poignant jour­ney for Po­lice Legacy. Our men and women in blue ded­i­cate their lives to pro­tect­ing the free­doms our sol­diers fought so hard to de­fend and pre­serve.”

To do­nate, visit www.2018koko­da­trek.go­ Troy­grant.

Lust for Live Acous­tic se­ries starts Satur­day

LUST for Live Acous­tic, a se­ries of in­ti­mate live mu­sic per­for­mances by lo­cal orig­i­nal artists, kicks off its 2018 se­ries this Satur­day, April 14, with “Si­mon Allen and the Un­claimed Millions”.

Their per­for­mance will be held in the Com­mu­nity Arts Cen­tre’s Black Box Theatre on the cor­ner of Gipps and Winge­warra Streets.

Doors open at 6.30pm, with bar avail­able. Per­for­mance from 7 to 7.45pm.

Tick­ets $10 pre-sale (+ book­ing fee) or $15 at the door. All pre­sales will re­ceive a bonus free and ex­clu­sive Si­mon Allen and the Un­claimed Millions song down­load.


This de the on Satur­day,

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