The latest visit by Warbirds Online to Greg Batts, Combat Aircraft Constructions in Queensland has revealed considerable progress on several of the Boomerangs in Greg’s care.
A46-249, a CA-19, and the last Boomerang built, is being worked on for The Old Aeroplane Company of Tyabb Victoria has seen a startling amount of work. When we last visited the aircraft had just arrived and since then the entire tubular fuselage structure has been painstakingly dismantled and where necessary tubes replaced or repaired at Archerfield’s Aviation Welding Australia. The quality of the welding is stunning. Work will now continue to paint and assemble the sections of the fuselage and “true them up” to ensure the fuselage is in perfect alignment before many of the internal components and fittings are installed. All of the fuselage shell attachments brackets have now been refurbished or manufactured and a very impressive new shell has been manufactured and is awaiting its cloth covering. The shell is a beautiful structure and it is almost a shame to cover it!
Once all of the fuselage work is complete and the shell is mounted on the frame of the aircraft it will be transported back to Tyabb for completion, and hopefully there may be a first flight within a few years.
Another Boomerang, CA-12 A46-92 which was mentioned in our last article has emerged from storage with work now commenced. Owned by a syndicate it is having much of the same work done as A46-249 and includes fuselage repairs and fit out. All of the internal fittings for the rear section of the fuselage have already been overhauled and painted ready for installing. The fuselage wooden shell is already completed but requires the fabric covering applied which should occur in the next couple of months.
It is of interest to note that the source of the Australian Coachwood (Beech) is no longer being produced and an alternative material will have to be utilized from now on.
A46-92 was built as a CA-12 and delivered by CAC to the RAAF on 19 May 1943 and allocated to 4 Sqn on 4 July 1943. On 3 March 1944, the aircraft moved to 8 Communications Sqn. On 5th Aug 1944 the Boomerang moved to 2 Operational Training Unit and on 29 October it passed on to 8OTU. On 10 April 1945 it swung on takeoff at Parkes NSW and was classified as repairable finding its way to the 6AD Oakey scraping fields and was eventually written off in 1946. A46-92 was scrapped along with many Boomerangs but the fuselage survived and eventually came into the ownership of Boomerang restorer Matthew Denning before being acquired by Rod Provan and then onto the current syndicate owners.
Work also continues on A46-77, a CA-12, which is currently having ongoing work done to complete the fuselage for its owner in Mareeba Qld. The complex nose area and tail panel work is almost completed and the fuselage fit out will be completed next before starting the wing center section overhaul. When it’s up on its wheels it will go back to Mareeba for finishing.
Finally Greg’s own Boomerang CA-12, RAAF serial A46-54 continues its progress towards flight with fitting of the tail assembly and more hydraulic, electrical and control cables. The aircraft has also been moved and readied for final fitting of the overhauled engine which is expected to take place soon. This Boomerang is progressing well and should be the next aircraft to fly. All components for this aircraft are manufactured and it is basically a matter of carefully assembling the aircraft one last time over the coming months.
As mentioned previously, Greg also has CA-12 A46-55 in storage. Once all the current projects have cleared his workshop A46-55 will be started.
Warbirds Online will continue to report progress at Greg Batts’ Combat Aircraft Constructions in Brisbane in the months and years to come.
© John Parker 2015