Warbirds Online has again visited the restoration facility (Combat Aircraft Constructions) of Greg Batts in suburban Brisbane to update our readers on progress on his prodigious CAC Boomerang restoration projects.
Since our last visit, Greg has advanced his own aircraft CA-12, RAAF serial A46-54 with the final fitting of 99% of the wiring and electrical components and is currently completing the hydraulic systems. The tail assembly moveable surfaces have been recovered, painted and are being fitted now. With the advancement of so much of the detailed electrical and hydraulic fit-out it will be necessary to fit the engine in the next few weeks to allow for the final completion of the engine bay.
Regular readers will be aware that the engine, prop and wings have already been completed as has the wooden shell of the fuselage. Whilst on first sight the aircraft may appear to be in its early stages of assembly, it is actually very advanced and will come on quite quickly now. It is this meticulous process and fine detail which takes so much time in any Warbird restoration.
Also in the workshop is a Boomerang we have not reported on before, being A46-249, a CA-19 that is in fact the last Boomerang built. The aircraft saw very little service and was written off by the Air Force in May 1946 and struck off charge in March 1949. In 2012 the aircraft’s restoration was taken on by The Old Aeroplane Company of Tyabb Victoria. Over the past years a lot of work has been undertaken on the Boomerang at Tyabb. Recently the aircraft was transported to Greg’s facility to allow for structural overhaul of the tubular steel fuselage frame and construction of the wooden shell. Other detail work will also be carried out and the aircraft will then be sent back to Tyabb for completion. This is also quite an advanced restoration and the restorers have amassed the myriad of components needed to complete this Boomerang. Being a CA-19 variant, there are a host of minor evolution design changes which have to be incorporated as opposed to the CA-12 and CA-13 series but Greg has an encyclopedic knowledge of the type and is able to ensure the accuracy of each project.
Work also continues on A46-77, a CA-12 which served with 83 and 85 Sqns. Coded MH-S, this aircraft passed through a number of hands postwar including Gary Dunne, Col Pay and Greg and is now owned by a Mareeba, Queensland local who will complete the aircraft once all the necessary fuselage work is finished. Since our last visit the complex nose panels, firewall and tail assembly have received a lot of attention and the fuselage is looking much more complete, it should not be too long before A46-77 is back with her owner for the next phases in her rebuild.
As work on the above CAC Boomerangs is completed several more of the breed are awaiting work over the next few years including A46-55 owned by Greg and CA-12 A46-92 owned by a syndicate both of which are destined to fly at some stage in the future.
Warbirds Online will continue to follow Greg’s progress with great interest, particularly as A46-54 nears the day when it will fly again.
© John Parker 2014