Although QAM has been in operation for more than 35 years, the organisation came along too late for many of the more desirable historic aircraft. For this reason, many of our acquisitions were in less than optimal condition and some were even the aircraft that no other museum wanted. This compilation records some of the more dramatic transformations that have taken place in recent years at the hands of our dedicated volunteers.

Caribou A4-173:
Originally destined for the Australian War Memorial, this most historic aircraft survived two crashes in Vietnam. Rebuilt twice, it served the RAAF for another twenty years. Sadly it was then parted-out to within an inch of its life before it was eventually saved by QAM. The airframe is now substantially complete and internal restoration continues.

Gannet XA331:
This aeroplane was totally gutted and had its tail chopped off before it came to QAM. The aircraft is now substantially complete externally.

Ventura A59-96:
After the war, this old warbird was subjected to what some historians call the "Farm Shed Mod" whereby everything that protruded from the fuselage was hacked off to convert it into a storage shed. Although there is still a long way to go, the aircraft now has a tail, wing centre section and an undercarriage. Outer wings are being imported from the USA and the aircraft has been fitted with two engines. Given the difficulty in obtaining parts, this has been QAM's most protracted restoration project to date.

Sabre A94-935:
Although the Sabre was identified as a vital exhibit from day one, QAM had to wait many years before it was able to acquire one. Not only was this aircraft subjected to parts reclamation but it was also literally blown up during munitions testing.

Drover VH-FDS:
This genuine Royal Flying Doctor aeroplane came to QAM after a crash and after it was stripped for parts. Although the airframe is virtually complete, the restoration awaits the acquisition of engines and cowlings.


All images on this page are linked to larger versions.

 

THEN

NOW

Caribou A4-173 - February 2002
Caribou A4-173 - November 2011 (WIP)
Gannet XA331 - May 1992
Gannet XA331 - February 2006
Ventura A59-96 - pre 1991
Ventura A59-96 - January 2012 (WIP)
Sabre A94-935 - 1992
Sabre A94-935 - April 2004
Drover VH-FDS - 1990
Drover VH-FDS - December 2009 (WIP)

 

WIP = Work In Progress

 

Issue
Date
Remarks
3
28MAR12
Added more recent images of the Caribou and Ventura.
2
08JUL11
Substituted a more recent photo of the Ventura with both engines fitted.
1
30SEP10
Original issue.