What is the HARS Navy Heritage Flight (NHF)?
The purpose of the HARS NHF is to restore and operate selected Australian Naval Aviation heritage aircraft – essentially those that are feasible and realistic to operate, and within the constraint that some of these airframes may only be restored and operated at taxi-able as distinct from fly-able status.
The HARS Navy Heritage Flight is the wholly owned subsidiary of HARS which controls and operates the airframes and activities of the ex-Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm (RANFAA) historic aircraft.
However, for both conceptual and practical reasons, only selected airframes have been acquired – see following.
It should be stressed that the HARS NHF operates in support of the RAN but is legally and operationally separate to it, and that the directly owned and controlled RAN Fleet Air Arm Museum (see website here) houses a complete collection of aircraft types operated by the RAN Fleet Air Arm.
What Aircraft Does the NHF Currently Hold?
At the time of creation of the NHF (December 2018) HARS was advised by ADF disposals that it was the successful tenderer to acquire selected aircraft and spares previously operated by the RAN’s Fleet Air Arm.
This announcement was the result of over 14 years of dialogue between the RAN and HARS to develop acceptable ways of preserving Naval Aviation heritage, a dialogue which resulted in a Restricted Tender process where Australian Heritage Organizations were invited to tender to acquire the whole set of aircraft and spares.
Over the period December 2018 to Feb 2019, the following aircraft and spares will be progressively transferred to HARS’ ownership, and all will be removed from the operational sections of HMAS Albatross to a deadline of 15 Feb set by ADF disposals.
They are all being removed off base – mostly through the generous sponsorship of Air Affairs Australia (see website here), and in the short term will be housed at Air Affairs or transferred immediately to HARS Albion Park or HARS Parkes.
The airframes involved are: Grumman Trackers (2), Iroquois (2), Sea Venom, Sea Fury, Wessex (2), and C47 (1).
A summary of the aircraft, their status and location can be viewed here.
How Does the NHF Operate?
HARS is an all voluntary organization which welcomes appropriate volunteers who are interested in working without pay to preserve and operate these selected historic airframes. For information about how to enquire about future HARS’ membership click here
Can Anyone Join the NHF?
Anyone is welcome to apply, but there is a selection and interview process applied to all HARS prospective members and HARS reserves the right not to accept anyone who simply wishes to apply.
For further information check the HARS website (www.hars.org.au) and Facebook pages (www.facebook.com/HARSAviationMuseum) regularly. See or contact the HARS NHF Project Leader at email: HARSNHF@hars.org.au.