Our latest update on the Beaufort A9-141 is indeed very positive. The Beaufort is now back in its original hangar and restoration work continues. The current work includes the installation of the wireless rack and other internal equipment. The aircraft will be restored as closely as possible to its original condition and specification and this includes the wireless installation.
The Beaufort has been raised on a trestle at the rear so as to make it easier for the workers to move around inside the aircraft whilst continuing on the fit-out. Work also continues on other parts of the airframe including the last stages of the assembly of the port wing which has undergone the fitting of a replacement spar as reported last time. The wing leading edge ribs have now been fitted and the skins will be next prior to completion ready for fitting on the aircraft.
As reported elsewhere, the Beaufort team is also involved in the restoration of Jack McDonalds RAAF Hawker Demon to complete static condition. On the day of our visit Ross Ebzery had commenced on this project as well as participating in most of the other work on site – a very busy boy!
Additional work on other aircraft in the hangar has also been taking place as time permits which should hopefully see Ron Lee’s Mk3B DH Drover VH-FDU and Stuart Lee’s (Ron’s son) CAC Winjeel A85-402 CA25-02 back in the air within 12 months or so.
The Drover is having the flaps removed and recovered as well as a Prop overhaul/inspection and is in very good overall condition. The wings will require a repaint as the existing finish has suffered from a few years exposed to the Queensland sun. Other than that and routine maintenance the aircraft should be ready to fly again.
The Winjeel will require engine and prop work but again it is in quite good condition and no major problems are anticipated. There is no time scale for this aircraft.
It is expected that Beaufort A9-141 and other aircraft will remain in the current hangar for several years allowing for ongoing work to be performed on the Beaufort, which comes as a huge boost to Ralph Cusack and the team.
As always with the Beaufort restoration project, financial assistance and any other help would be very much appreciated.
The Beaufort Restoration Group can be contacted via their website or contact Ralph Cusack, Australian Aviation Heritage Centre (QLD), Unit 4, No 5 Lear Jet Drive, Caboolture, QLD 4510. Phone: 61 7 5495 4951 Fax: 61 7 5428 1613 or Mobile: 0417 731 585.
© John Parker 2014