Parkes putting on a show for aircraft lovers
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.gofundraise.com.au/page/ 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,