The last few years at HARS have seen a revolution. 2015 was the year everything changed, with the arrival of the Mirage and then OJA, our record breaking 747-438. With OJA’s arrival, our history collection really took off. Then last year saw the arrival of DC3 “Hawdon”, TAA’s first aeroplane and the one that flew its first service. The number of projects has grown and with that, the demand on our resources.
There is the line of thought that we should “cut our cloth” to match our finances, however we also have to realise that aviation history is perishable, and that something on offer now may never appear again and will be lost forever.
With that in mind, I’m reminded of a photograph from our time in Wonderboom, taken from the Tower, and showing in the distance the fire training aid, a derelict F-27 Friendship. One commenter on the post opined that wouldn’t it be wonderful to have one of them for presentation.
So yes, we have been offered two F-27 500 aircraft. The catch is that they do need some maintenance work before we can fly them in, and of course we need the fuel as well.
Where, I hear you ask would two be found? This newspaper article will explain all.
New Zealand Post have replaced their fleet and so the two Friendship 500 aircraft are looking for a home. ZK-PAX and ZK-POH are poised, with some effort on our part, to make their final destination Australia. Those of you that know the Friendship will remember that many airlines in Australia used the 500 series so I’m sure a suitable paint scheme could be found to honour one of them.
Here, to the best of my knowledge at the moment are some specs:
ZK-PAX 1980 cn 10596 RR Dart 528 F-27-500 41 seats
ZK-POH 1984 cn 10680 RR Dart 532 F-27-500 freighter
Fuel capacity – 1339 us gal 8971 lb fuel. about 4 tonnes.
How much will this cost? Well the fuel will probably be about $10,000 per aircraft and with other costs, we are looking at needing money in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.
What will we do with them? Well, hopefully we will be able to get both back to HARS and we are thinking of HARS Parkes and perhaps Wagga as bases for them, with visits all around.
An estimated arrival time – well that is way too early to think of at this stage – one thing at a time.
Your support for this project will have one or maybe even two Fokker Friendships flying in Australia in Historic Airline Colours, displaying our Aviation Heritage.
Whilst we here at HARS have all the people needed to maintain and fly the aircraft, with so many projects on the go .. well .. we would hate for this part of the World to lose the opportunity to preserve some history.
Over to you.
Direct link to the Fund -Raising page:
East West Fokker – Daniel Tanner