Warbirds Online recently visited Caboolture Qld to view the major service being performed on Mustang A68-110, a CA-18 Mk.21, built at CAC Fisherman’s Bend, Construction No 1435 now registered as VH-MFT.
We last reported on this aircraft undergoing maintenance in 2014. However on this occasion the Mustang is having a much deeper program of work carried out which will see every assembly on the machine dismantled and refurbished.
At the time of our visit the team at Complete Air Care was very well advanced in their work and it was quite interesting to see portions of the aircraft which seldom see the light of day exposed and being assessed for the work schedule. The tail had been removed as well as a myriad if fixtures, panels and fittings. Soon the Packard Merlin engine will be removed and the mainplane will follow allowing the complete airframe to be fully inspected and repaired as necessary as well as replacing a thousand and one consumable items such as cables, hoses and clips.
The assessment and dismantling is not yet completed but will soon be finished and the refurbishment gets under way at full speed. “Snifter “as the aircraft is named was completely restored and rebuilt in 2002 and this is the most comprehensive maintenance program carried out on the aircraft since. This Mustang is a “working “ aircraft in as much as it constantly flies at Airshows and taking customers on Warbird flights around the country and completes many flight cycles each and every year. It is natural that an aircraft utilized to this extent will require a comprehensive refurbishment at some time in its service and now is this time for this Mustang.
The extensive schedule of work is being undertaken by Dave Kingshott and the team at Complete Aircraft Care who have maintained the aircraft for some years in the very hangar it was restored in in 2002. The refurbishment task is expected to take at least until March in 2017.
Once completed Snifter will resume her work as a Warbird Flight experience machine for paying passengers, attending many airshows across the country where she is a very popular performer.
Warbirds Online thanks Dave Kingshott and his team for allowing us to visit her rebuild and we will continue to monitor her progress in the coming months.
© John Parker 2017