Episode 125 – WOA – Historical Aircraft Restoration Society

Guests: Jim Thurstan, and Bob Delahunty

Hosts: Dave Homewood and James Kightly

Recorded: 26th of November 2015

Duration:  59 minutes 35  seconds

Dave Homewood and James Kightly continue the Wings Over Australia Tour with a visit to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society at Albion Park in Illawarra, New South Wales. They talk first with Jim Thurstan, who is one of the volunteer engineers restoring the Fokker F-VII Trimotor “Southern Cross” replica VH-USU. At the time the HARS team were skinning the huge wooden wing.

And then James and Dave joined HARS chairman Bob Delahunty in the cockpit of the collection’s flagship, the Lockheed Super Constellation, to talk about the history of HARS. Bob tells how it all started with an ex-RNZAF Harvard, and the rescue of the Lockheed Neptunes, which led on then to the recovery and restoration of the Super Constellation.

Huge thanks to the folks at HARS, and particularly to our host Peter Costigan, who volunteers on the HARS Catalina crew.

Quick Links:

•  The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Website

•  The Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Facebook Page

The following photos were taken by Dave Homewood and James Kightly during their visit to HARS on the 26th of November 2016, with additional photos from James of the HARS aircraft in action. Any uncredited photos are the property of Dave Homewood ©2015

Jim Thurstan talking about the Fokker F-VII Trimotor “Southern Cross” Replica
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Jim Thurstan, left, with Dave Homewood (James Kightly photo)
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Dave and Jim recording next to the huge wooden wing of the “Southern Cross” replica (James Kightly photo)
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Jim Thurstan shows how the failure in the Fokker’s undercarriage leg occurred, with the circlip in his right hand,  that saw the aircraft damaged resulting in the rebuild HARS is undertaking (James Kightly)

The Fokker F-VII Trimotor “Southern Cross” replica wing being skinned. Jim Thurston is seen holding the plywood sheets
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An underside view of what is actually the upper side of the wing (James Kightly)
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Interior of the “Southern Cross” replica
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The Fokker’s cockpit (James Kightly)
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The Fokker’s fuselage (James Kightly)
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The “Southern Cross” in better days, at Charleville, Queensland, 10 July 2001 (Phil Vabre photo)

HARS President Bob Delahunty

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Bob Delahunty, the President of HARS, in the Constellation cockpit (Dave Homewood)

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Above and below, Bob and Dave in the Constellation during the recording of this episode (James Kightly)08jkightly_3614
Bob discusses the Connie’s radio fit with Dave. (James Kightly)

Lockheed Super Constellation
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The classic postwar airliner cockpit in the Constellation. (James Kightly)
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Some shots from James of the Connie in action
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Connie flies the flag (James Kightly)
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A few flames are often part of the Connie’s display. (James Kightly)
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Where possible dusk flights are impressive when flown by the HARS Constellation. (James Kightly)
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The Connie is spritely at low load on take off, here seen at Avalon (James Kightly)
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The elegant curves displayed over Temora in 2013.  (James Kightly)

The engine collection and other items in the foyer
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Kite
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Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)
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CAC Wirraway
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Bell AH-1 Cobra helicopter
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Restoration projects – Beaufighter cockpit on the right

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Lockheed Neptunes
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Piston and Jet engines on the Neptune
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HARS’ Neptune at Avalon (James Kightly)

Messerschmitt Bf108 (Nord 1002)
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A Grumman Tracker behind the Bf108

Auster J5G Autocar
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Douglas DC-4 0n the left

CAC Ceres topdresser
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The General Dynamics F-111
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The CAC Sabre
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de Havilland Vampire
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Aermacchi MB326 – now on a pole at their gateway entrance, and Mirage IIIO
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English Electric Canberra
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Hawker Hunter FR-74S
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A look over the HARS Black Cat Catalina
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Catalina crew member and Wings over Australia Tour supporter Peter Costigan left, with show co-host James Kightly inside the Catalina
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Show co-host Dave Homewood in the Engineer’s position
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Chad, I mean James
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HARS volunteer and Catalina crew member Dick Simpson who assisted with the tour of this aircraft, leaning through the crew door
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HARS volunteer and Catalina crew member Peter Costigan

Photos of the Catalina out and about from James Kightly
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The HARS Catalina on take-off roll at Temora (James Kightly)16jkightly_4034
The Catalina overhead (James Kightly)15jkightly_3909
With the ‘black cat’ Felix visible, the Catalina touches down at Point Cook (James Kightly)

One of HARS’s two DHC-4 Caribousp1330800
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One of the HARS Caribou on take-off at Temora (James Kightly)

LET L-200A Moravap1330796

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North American T-6 Texan VH-XAN
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Douglas C-47 Dakotas
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A HARS Dakota landing back at Avalon. (James Kightly)
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The HARS Dakota with an admiring crowd at Point Cook in 2014 (James Kightly)

de Havilland Drover
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Boeing-Stearman Kaydet
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Douglas DC-4 Skymaster
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de Havilland Mosquito mock up
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Dave amongst the HARS aircraft! (James Kightly)

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