I recently travelled to Toowoomba, Queensland for the David Hack Classic Meet featuring a display of Warbirds and cars. This event is held on a yearly basis and offers a great day out for enthusiasts of all kinds. Held at Aerotec Hangar, home of the famous Zuccoli Aircraft Collection, it features a Fly-in of Warbirds and classic planes and a mix of classic vintage and modern cars, historic trucks, military vehicles, racing cars, and motor bikes.
Although cold weather and a few other events being held on the same day reduced the number of aircraft attending on the day, a good turn up of locally based aircraft and aviation related exhibits were on hand. Sadly the high wind also reduced the amount of flying however Caboolture based CAC Mustang VH-MFT, several of the local T28 Trojans and a Cessna Birdog all ventured into the brisk windy conditions.
Also on view in the Aerotec hangar was the TBM Avenger VH-VTB / 337 (cn 3399), built for the US Navy as BuAer 53337. Post-war to the Royal Canadian Navy as AS Mk.3 53337. Imported by the late Steve Searle in 2006 in airworthy condition before Steve’s untimely death, this aircraft was in a poor state at Cooloongatta Qld, until rescued and now under restoration to fly at Aerotec for a local Warbird collector. A new engine has been fitted and the aircraft is in an advanced state of restoration A first flight is expected in the very near future and is much anticipated.
Many of the vehicles on display at Toowoomba were very rare but one in particular was of interest to aircraft enthusiasts. A Hot Rod powered by twin supercharged Rolls Royce Meteor Tank engine derived from the Rolls Royce Merlin was on show and created a lot of interest and quite a racket as well. The workmanship was brilliant, although you can drive it, not me!
Three of the four local T-28 Trojans were displayed including T-28A VH-VBT flew well and is immaculate in its SVAF color Scheme as was USN finished T-28B VH-ZSH whilst the other Toowoomba based ‘Mekong Moon’ North American T-28D Trojan c/n 174-374, ex USAF 51-7521 was also out in the sun looking great.
Another Warbird which ventured bravely aloft was Cessna O-1G Bird Dog VH-XVB the ex-Randal McFarlane machine looking to be in beautiful condition as always.
Of some note on the day were the F111 cockpit/ escape Module from the Amberley Heritage collection and the Queensland Air Museum who brought along their beautifully restored de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen trailer mounted Cockpit and what a huge monster it is. These cockpits were a portent of the future as the organizers are actively seeking more cockpit displays at the event. It is indeed a growing interest in Australia with many collectors acquiring Australian and foreign cockpits and restoring them in recent years.
Toowoomba is a great event with plenty to see and do for the whole family. Hopefully next year the weather will be warmer and less breezy and perhaps more aircraft will make the pilgrimage up the Ranges to attend the David Hack Classic Meet.
© John Parker 2014