Feb 2011 – Review of the HARS airshow held at Albion Park Airport, Sunday 27th Feb 2011.

In my 5th HARS museum airshow/open day and my 4th flightgear display event, i came back this year — with more flightgear and equipment.
This bigger display paid off as i had much more attention from the general public.
New advertising signs made up in the year along with more items helped to spread the message about ALSE / flightgear and what it is.

I also managed to catch up with a few warbird owners / mates and HARS mates i have known over the years.

Bringing a large collection of fragile flightgear involved quite a bit of work.
I spent around 3 days preparing and packing, 4.5hrs travelling to get to HARS.
The airshow was worth taking my flightgear to educate the general public after all of this effort.

The big attraction at my display booth, was the F-4 PHANTOM II H7 ejection seat which i have spent the last year restoring.
It was sat in by many kids and adults for a photo while wearing a flight helmet.
They all came away with a deeper understanding for what a fighter pilot sits in on a daily basis.

My pilot cut out gave people a bit of fun to have and stand behind for their photo. Been a life size display it enables people to see what a pilot wore in 1960s flying a RAAF Sabre jet.

The main flightgear display was – my table displays with 4 flight helmets, a life vest, a flight suit, a parachute, a C-47 flight manual, various patches on sale and some models – was also a talking point as many people haven’t seen this large assorted type and scale of flightgear before.

Interesting for me – my hobbie of ensuring the heritage of WW2-1990s flightgear is not forgotten and remembered via “living history displays” / reenactment was receiving much attention… as during the day i was interviewed by 2 newspaper journalists at the airshow.

See here for details http://heritageflightgear.blogspot.com/p/media-and-in-news.html

I was asked questions regarding why i attended the HARS airshow , why i did the heritage flightgear displays and what was the public perception to what i do. I gave further information on what enthusiasm motivates people like me and others to do these kind of unique displays.

I was also approached by other people – that are connected to a RAAF historical unit / airport history association and are seeking advice on flightgear information.

Reenacting has many benefits and networking pays off.
Last year i met the family of the pilot whose name is on the HARS Museum CAC Sabre jet – Jim Flemming – this year i didn’t have any such luck of meeting such historical connections.

I am also working on my donations to HARS with some flightgear in 2011 for their flying and museum aircraft. The 2 projects i am looking to help ensure the displays are authentic as possible.

I did photo shoots with the HARS Catalina and HARS Sabre Jet this year.
I was expecting a few other aircraft but they didn’t eventuate on the day.

I was reenacting the flightgear as worn by a typical RAAF “Black Cat” Catalina aircrew in the Pacific theatre in 1945.

I was displaying a HS-33 headset with extended lead, 1944 issued Mae-west life vest, RAAF wings, RAAF tropical flight shirt and pants ( 2 of the members at the Catalina said …if you really want to reenact properly a RAAF Cat aircrew – go shirtless – as it was hot humid and no shirt was more comfortable), RAAF flight boots for high altitude flying and a USAAF issued AN- 6510 seat parachute and harness. Click on photos for more detail.

I will be donating to the HARS Black Cat 2 of these headsets in 2011 for them to use to help educate people at airshows on flightgear.

Some of the general public getting to learn what heritage flightgear is all about.


The CAC Sabre A94-101 was the first production type Sabre jet in RAAF service. It has been part of the HARS collection for a few years. It has been restored to the mid 1960s markings of Sqr Ldr Jim Flemming. The Black Panther of 76 Sqn dominates the fuselage.

I wore a typical 1970 RAAF Sabre fast jet pilot flight gear – HGU-2A/P flight helmet with a MBU-5/P oxygen mask, Frankenstein yellow colour LPU, 1970 Nomex flight suit, backpack parachute harness, CSU-3/P G suit and flight boots.

Here we see a photo of Jim Flemming in 1960s with a HGU-2A/P flight helmet, MS22001 oxygen mask in a hardmann harness, British issued G suit over a RAAF flight suit.

2 of the men from the Narromine Mosquito restoration project – visited the airshow – whose aim is to restore a WW2 era Mosquito bomber in Australia back to flight – dropped in to say hello when i was at the Sabre.

The public got up close and personal with the Sabre and me for their photos.

I didnt get much chances to see the airshow flying action but saw brief bits.
I did get some static photos. Click on photos for more detail.

HARS did have a few other aircraft of interest located around the hangars under restoration – 3 Thunderbolts, Wirraway, Trojan, T-41, Macchi.
There is even more to still arrive at the museum… in the long term if all goes well on the many projects underway.

A variety of RAAF and RAN military aircraft and helicopters such as Seahawk, F/A-18 Hornet, Squirrel and Hercules were on display during the day.
Temora brought their Hudson and Spitfire.

Others interesting aviation events were –
A A-37 Dragonfly flew over a few times.
A S-64 Skycrane made a windy depature in the afternoon…

CAC Sabre

Sabre and some of the people at the airshow i mingled with showing my heritage flightgear

A view of the ramp and RAAF C-130H Hercules

A few of the other warbirds on display and a set of stairs for the Constellation

A future flying HARS jet maybe is this Hawker Hunter and a RAAF Macchi jet trainer undergoing repaint.

HARS collection – Vampire trainer, C-47 Dakota and DC-4

HARS Canberra T.21 trainer bomber undergoing restoration and the Lockheed Constellation airliner – it is only regular flying Constellation aircraft in the world.

S-2 Tracker former Royal Australian Navy, under going restoration

CAC Sabre jet

CAC Sabre jet and Canberra bomber Mk 21.

CAC Canberra bomber Mk 21.

A ramp view of some of the HARS collection.

2 maritime aircraft meet – Neptune and Catalina

HARS Neptune

CAC Sabre jet

Thanks goes to HARS for allowing me to display my heritage flightgear collection once again. Thanks to Bob, Phil, Mike, Jim, Dick, Ken, Tony and Paul for their encouragements and support.

Appreciation and to the kind assistance and great photo skills on the heritage photo shoots again from my good mate Christian. He is is organising the Ingham airshow in North Quuensland which i am attending in September 2011 with similar flight gear on display.

Thanks for the help and assistance from Warbirdz internet forum memeber John at end of the day.

Hopefully the 2012 Airshow may bring a few interesting surprises for the general public as several interesting warbird projects /aircraft may by then be added to the growing HARS collection.

Keep watching HARS as they expand, saving Australia’s precious aviation heritage. If interested become a member and help if your are located locally.

Visit HARS at www.hars.org.au for more information on the museum and the large collection of aircraft.

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