Warbirds Online had the opportunity to view the progress on the restoration of DHC4 Caribou A4-228 by the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre Qld at Caboolture. The Caribou has now gone on display in its purpose built compound at Caboolture Airfield. The aircraft is now fully fenced off in its high tech enclosure and has been protected with lighting and security devices. In future the aircraft will feature audio visual screens telling its story and the role of the Caribou in RAAF history – a long and significant role.
The aircraft is now in pristine condition compared to the state it arrived in last year thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers at AAHC Qld. Recent donations of Department of Defence spare parts holdings mean that once sorted, AAHC Qld may well have access to the few remaining parts required to complete the aircraft however it is now largely in its service condition.
AAHC Qld are still receiving many messages from people who flew in or worked on Caribous in general and A4-228 in particular and they welcome any recollections and photos of her in her service career so that her history can be fully documented for the future.
The Caribou has already participated in one open day at Caboolture and was very popular. It is anticipated that she will be open at future airfield days and continue to be displayed to the public and funding raised will contribute to her upkeep and that of the AAHC Qld aircraft in general. As reported previously the display of this aircraft has required access to a power source and the Caribou is powered by solar panels and batteries which is a first for such a display in our experience.
The long term future for the Caribou will hopefully see her come in under cover in a purpose built museum building. However for the time being she is well protected and cared for by the AAHC Qld team, so her preservation is once again assured.
Much credit must go to the Caribou Project team leader Noel Spalding and the volunteers at AAHC Qld 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 with a tight budget and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers. Great credit should go to their herculean efforts.
As always in the aviation restoration world, resources are scarce and AAHC Qld welcomes new volunteers, financial support and gifts of time and materials. Please help to maintain the excellent work and help preserve this aircraft in any way you can. It will be very much appreciated.
© John Parker 2017