The restoration progress on DHC4 Caribou A4-228 at Caboolture by the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre Queensland has made amazing progress in the few short weeks since our last report. The Caribou is now a considerably more complete aircraft again with the fitting of the wings, engines and cowlings along with the propellers being all completed.
The propellers in particular were problematic with the requirement to have the correct spanner to tighten the main nut. This item is a specialist tool and AAHCQ were able to borrow one from the Historical Aviation Society (HARS) to enable the job to be completed – many thanks are extended to HARS for their assistance.
The cowlings went on with a minimum of difficulty and the old Caribou is now looking her best again. Work is now centered on the detail fit out of the aircraft including a few missing items which are being sourced from other Caribou owners and collections. Other work being undertaken by the volunteers will see all the smaller panels, covers and fasteners refitted and the complete refurbishment of the aircraft interior to standard RAAF service condition. The Caribou will also as far as possible, be brought up to live operational condition with all electrical, hydraulic and mechanical equipment made fully functional.
As part of the terms of acquisition A4-228 can never again fly but it is the intention of the AAHCQ to restore the aircraft to the point that there is no physical reason why it couldn’t. No structurally destructive dismantling was carried out on the aircraft and its physical state is such that it is probably the best preserved on the non-flying RAAF Caribou’s.
A4-228 was a largely complete aircraft when it was acquired and this has assisted greatly in its restoration. However the time it has spent in open storage since 2009 has taken its toll on the paint finish on the aircraft and will require refinishing at some time in the future.
AAHCQ displayed A4-228 at the recent Wings and Wheels display at Caboolture Qld and it was a very popular display. The group continues to attract new volunteers to work on the Caribou and the other aircraft in the collection and morale remains high. As work on the Caribou moves toward its final stage, the huge amount of work and effort put into its rescue from Oakey, transport to Caboolture and restoration can be recognized as a huge success. Well done to all concerned!
As always in the aviation restoration world, resources are scarce and AAHCQ welcomes new volunteers, financial support and gifts of time and materials. So feel free to contact AAHCQ to offer any help to progress the excellent work in any way you can. It will be much appreciated.
© John Parker 2016