The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre Qld last week took delivery of 5 Bell OH-58A and CAC CA-32 Kiowa Helicopters made available through tender process by Department of Defence Disposals and Sales section. The aircraft were purchased in an incomplete but restorable state along with a package of spares, however they will require a large amount of work to restore.
It is planned to preserve all 5 of the aircraft in various types of display settings such as Gate Guard, pole mounted display and trailer towed exhibit as well as at least one to be fully restored to Museum quality static exhibit which will be completed as fully as possible.
The volunteers from AAHC Qld attended the storage site at Damascus Barracks, Pinkenba in Brisbane on Tuesday the 22nd of August and soon had all 5 Kiowa’s loaded and transported to their Caboolture base 45 kms away. The final machine proved to be one trip too many for our trusty Hino trucks clutch which expired 1 km away from the airfield. Luckily the others were being transported on a tilt tray truck which unloaded its Kiowa’s and returned for the truck and Kiowa.
Kiowa Helicopter identities to AAHC Qld:
- A17-005 SN 44505, a 206B-1 Kiowa manufactured in the USA at Fort Worth Texas and delivered to Australia in 1971. This airframe is the only earlier configured “Classic” Kiowa of the AAHC Qld machines, the rest being the later modified aircraft with uprated cockpits and engine upgrade
- A17-007 SN 44507, a 206B-1 Kiowa manufactured in the USA at Fort Worth Texas and delivered to Australia in 1971.
- A17-033 SN 44533, a CAC assembled example CA32-33 and delivered in 1975.
- A17-034 SN 44534, a CAC assembled example CA32-34 and delivered 11/06/75.
- A17-035 SN 44535, a CAC assembled example CA32-35 and delivered in 1975.
By way of explanation, the first 12 Kiowa 206s were built by Bell at Fort Worth, Texas, USA and serialled A17-001 to A17-012. The first, A17-001, was officially handed over to the Army at Brisbane Airport on 22 November 1971. In May 1972, No 171 Air Cavalry Flight became the first unit equipped with the Kiowa’s and deployed to Holsworthy, NSW. A17-013 to A17-056, were built by CAC as the CA-32. The first was rolled out in April 1973, and was delivered to the RAN serialled N17-013. The last Army Kiowa was received from CAC in 1977. Some of the Kiowa’s also served in the RAN including one of the AAHC Qld aircraft A17-005.
The Kiowa is of great significance to AAHC Qld given that it was a type manufactured and serving in Australia. AAHC Qld is committed to giving Australia’s military heritage and Aviation History a future so the Kiowa is a perfect fit in the collection.
Warbirds Online will report as the task of restoring and displaying the Kiowa “gaggle” at AAHC Qld is completed.
© John Parker 2017