Following purchase of the large hangar at Caboolture by Ralph Cusack earlier this year all of the stored components of the DAP Beaufort A9-141 have now been relocated to the new accommodation and are in the process of being organized. The restoration hangar/workshop is the new home for the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre (formerly the Beaufort Restoration Group). The group had been without a permanent home for a few years so this is a great step forward.
On my recent visit it was a real surprise to see the huge amount of parts and equipment which had been in storage for so long now being configured for the crew to finish the restoration of the aircraft. The aircraft itself was moved into the hangar in March 2015 and is now mounted on level trestles to allow work to recommence. More recently, part of the unpacking has included the removal from storage of the completed wing and the relocation of the other wing in its assembly jig. The completed wing will now be attached to the Beaufort and the newly re-sparred wing will finally be completed and mounted to the aircraft as well. The relocation has been protracted as there was a huge bulk of components in storage, as well as all of the heavy machinery required for the aircraft.
Also in the hangar on the day of my visit were several of the aircraft from the Ron Lee collection including his Auster and L-4J which are to be restored and permanently accommodated with the Beaufort. Restoration work will also be undertaken on other aircraft including Jack McDonalds Hawker Demon, MiG-17 and the rest of Ron Lee’s aircraft collection (Including the de Havilland Drover, CAC Winjeel, Auster and Cub) as detailed last time we reported on the project.
The new hangar also allows for the establishment of a library, theatre and lunch room as well as the establishment of Ralph Cusack’s aircraft business ‘ASAP spares’.
Once all the accommodation reorganization is fully settled and reconfigured, Warbirds Online will continue to report on this much anticipated Warbird restoration project.
Exciting times indeed.
© John Parker 2015