some five years now, members of the HARS Restoration Workshop
have been working on the restoration of various subassemblies
of the Beaufort A9-557. Major Components worked on
include wing centre section and outboard wings, rear fuselage,
tailplane, fin, cowling nose bowls, cowling gills and cockpit.
All the work has been contracted
by the AWM on the basis of full time professional sheetmetal
work and volunteer labour. Not only have we been able to play
a major role in the restoration of one of the most important
aircraft in Australia today but also we managed to make a
profit on the exercise and present the funds to the Society.
The Beaufort was rolled
out in a major unveiling
ceremony at Australian War Memorial on the 28th March with over
500 people attending the function. Commencing with a wreath
laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Veterans,
dignitaries and guests were then addressed by the Director
of the AWM Major General Steve Gower (Rtd), Minister for Veteran
Affairs – Donna Vale MP, Air Commodore Keith Parsons
and Chief of Air Force Air Marshal A.G. Houston AO AFC. The
aircraft was then presented in a special viewing.
The importance of the Beaufort
in Australian history should not be underestimated and the contribution
of the mean and women involved in the industrial and military
war effort will always be remembered.
The role of the HARS restoration
team was a major factor in the overall success of the restoration
programme. Not only did we tackle big chunks of the aeroplane
others had declined, we were also able to play a major part in
the spare parts acquisition programme, including two trips to
Papua New Guinea resulting in a 20ft container of parts [from Tadji Airfield] being
made available for the project.
It was a great honour for the
HARS restoration team to be a part of the team that brought back
to life this Australian icon. Two additional points regarding
this restoration are:
a) the AWM was provided the spares
from Tadji at the cost of the expedition. A detailed schedule
of costs was provided to the AWM with supporting documentation.
No profit was made from this job.
b) all profits from the contracted
restoration work were used by the HARS to further its preservation