HARS Aviation Museum
HARS Aviation Museum

Tarmac Days Special Treats – 14-16 January

HARS Aviation Museum is expecting a number of special treats for visitors to the museum during the monthly Tarmac Days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 14-16 January.

Flying start for aviation heritage during January Tarmac Days at HARS Aviation Museum …


Aviation living heritage goes on show as a transport Caribou takes flight above powered taxi runs for a maritime patrol Neptune and the full-scale replica or Smithy’s famous Southern Cross during this weekend’s January Tarmac Days at HARS Aviation Museum at Shellharbour Airport.

Tour guides will be on hand for visitors while engineers from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) work on other aircraft including a 1960s Neptune, its predecessor a Catalina flying boat and a former World War II C-47 Dakota.

Built by de Havilland in Canada in the 1960s, with its short field performance the Caribou served with the RAAF as a transport replacement for the legendary Dakota.

One of the HARS Caribou is due to fly at 11 am and 2.30 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Neptune 566 is set to conduct engine runs and taxi tests on Sunday at 11.30 am and 1 pm as part of the work required to maintain its operational capability.

President Bob De La Hunty said keeping so many of its aircraft operational is what sets HARS Aviation Museum apart.“

Our visitors can enjoy the sound and sight of living aviation heritage as well as the interactive opportunities at HARS Aviation Museum,” he said.

On Saturday project manager Jim Thurstan plans to fire up the three Jacobs radial piston motors then proudly watch as the replica Southern Cross makes taxi runs outside the museum at 11.30 am and 2 pm on Saturday.

Built in the 1980s the flying replica suffered a broken wing in an emergency landing in South Australia in May 2002, then trucked to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) museum in 2010 for a total rebuild project that has been substantially supported by Dick Smith.

Jim Thurstan and his team have created a magnificent restoration of the replica of arguably one of Australia’s most famous pioneering aircraft in which Smithy and his team made the first flight from America to Australia in 1928.

Almost 50 aircraft of significance to Australia’s heritage are on show for visitors including the record-setting Boeing 747-400, the world’s only still-flying Super Constellation “Connie”, PBY Catalina, Neptune bombers, DC-3 / C-47 Dakotas, the swing-wing F-111, Canberra bomber, Vampire fighters. Mirage IIIO fighter, Sabre jet, a DC-4 in Qantas 1950s livery, Convair, Fokker Friendship F27, and a Winjeel. Plus, the HARS Navy Heritage Fight which includes two Grumman Trackers, a Sea Venom, Sea Fury and Wessex helicopter, with the engineering team aiming to fire up the engines of Tracker 844.

To aid photography the F-111 and Mirage will be out on the tarmac on Saturday and Sunday where visitors also can sit in the cockpit of the supersonic swing-wing F-111 to experience what it was like to fly the fighter-bomber which served with the RAAF for 35 years.

HARS Aviation Museum is open from 9.30 to 3.30 daily for guided tours (last tour at 2.30 pm), located at Shellharbour Airport, just off the old Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail and a short walk from the railway station.

Visitors can make a meal of it when they drop into Café Connie where the menu offers a value selection of hot and cold foods plus excellent coffee.

COVID protocols apply.