From a Sydney based warbird journalist / flying gear collector and restorer, comes a new display act for airshows – designed to bring historical flightgear to the public at warbird airshows through out Australia.The purpose of my heritage re-enactor displays acts, are a long term vision of mine to bring to airshows, a largely hidden and unknown side to miltary aviation history in Australia/world.
It is also a way to encourage kids and adults to learn more about the Warbirds that fly in Australia and around the world. Warbird aircraft are a link to the far flung past that needs to be kept, to ensure future generations know why we pay respect to the war veterans from various wars.
The scope of this web blog is to enlighten the general public to the basics as to the role of flying gear and how/why pilots use it. Additonally this webpage is insight to some of my extensive collection of flying gear as worn by Royal Australian Air Force, RAF and USAAF/USAF from WW2 (1940-1945) , Korean war era (1950-3), Vietnam war (1960-1973) thru to modern times 2009 .
BRINGING AVIATION HISTORY TO THE PUBLIC
The public displaying of heritage re-enactor flying gear is a relatively new and very unqiue concept for Australia. It helps to form part of a complementary link and adds value to the warbird/museum/airshow scene in Australia. Reenacting helps to give museums and warbird aircraft at flying days, a more human touch to the line ups.
The reason that the displaying of flight gear on the warbird/airshow scene is new, is due to many collectors are unwilling to release their collection outside for major public viewing like airshows or museums. Not many Australians collect flight gear due to the cost of buying the items and space needed to store the items.
The main restriction that curtails the public displays is due to the fragile, rarity and wear+ tear of these very old material used in the clothing and equipment items.
These limitations means that many interesting flying gear items/sets are never seen by the public on display and are limited to museums. The general public cant see the warbird and pilot gear outside in their natural environment – thus can not appreciate it properly.
Flight gear displays overseas tho is a very different situation.
Flying gear displays at airshows are very large scale and popular events in USA and UK/Europe. Some airshows draw whole teams dressed as fighter/bomber crews. Some airshows are now dedicated to massive areas just for the reenacting groups. The amount of effort and dedication that goes into these large events is well regarded by the airshow public. It creates something different and fun in their eyes.
I have been doing my heritage flight gear displays since early 2008 at various locations around Australia. The general public is slowly beginning to become interested and more aware that pilots/aircrews in order to fly, had to wear a lot of gear in aircraft.