Warbirds Online had the opportunity to view the progress on the restoration of DHC4 Caribou A4-228 at Caboolture with the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre Queensland. Once again amazing progress has been made since the last report. The Caribou has had a phenomenal amount of work completed on it including detail electrical, hydraulic and control cable connection and component assembly.
The aircraft is to go on display soon and AAHCQ volunteers have spent a large number of hours cleaning all the years of accumulated oil, dirt and grime from all of the aircrafts hidden cavities. Work has also progressed well in making sure that all of the aircrafts systems are not only clean and tidy but are also functional. To this end all of the systems have been connected and as far as possible made functional.
All of the control surfaces are connected and respond as they should. The flaps are connected to the hydraulic and electrical systems and are fully functional. All of the aircrafts electrical systems are “live” and function on power up as they should including the nearly complete instrument panels and radio sets.
One fascinating feature that has been restored to functionality is the working upper and lower cargo ramps. The Warbirds Online editor actually flew on this aircraft as a school cadet in the 1970s as his first military flight – the sound and site of the ramp opening was impressive at the time and the memories flowed back as the ramps were cycled again on our recent visit – akin to the sound of a steelworks foundry hammer in action!
One highly interesting aspect of the restoration is the use of green energy to power the aircraft – a solar panel system has been used to connect to the aircrafts battery installation to provide free power to the aircraft. This may well be the world’s first and only solar powered Caribou and a great innovation!
As reported last time some components are still required to completely finish the aircraft including propeller control units and cargo hold seats as well as funding to repaint the aircraft and anybody who can help with these items please contact us.
Much credit must go to the Caribou Project team leader Noel Spalding and the volunteers at AAHCQ who have expended hundreds of hours on this beautiful restoration. It has to be remembered that the acquisition, transport and restoration to “live condition of this RAAF veteran has been undertaken in less than a year and on a financial shoestring basis by a dedicated band of volunteers and great credit should go to their herculean efforts.
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 help in this excellent work in any way you can – it will be much appreciated.
© John Parker 2017