Parkes Aviation Museum now open twice a week

The newly acquired Convair 580 VH-PDW is now on display next to the ex-RAAF Caribou A4-275 at the HARS Parkes Aviation Museum.
The newly acquired Convair 580 VH-PDW is now on display next to the ex-RAAF Caribou A4-275 at the HARS Parkes Aviation Museum.

The Parkes Aviation Museum is now officially open on Sundays, thanks to an increase in interest and number of exhibits available to the public.

And to add to the good news, the facility is now on Facebook, establishing a Parkes Aviation Museum profile on June 17.

The museum has been steadily increasing the number of exhibits at its location at the Parkes Regional Airport and has recently added the Convair 580 to the line up.

The Convair airliner arrived in Parkes in April and has now gone on display, and is available to visitors to the museum on Thursdays and Sundays.

It is located outside and is parked next to the Vietnam era Caribou transport. The public is welcome to go aboard both these aircraft.

The Convair aircraft first came to Australia in 1948 and saw service with TAA, Butler Air Transport, Ansett ANA and the RAAF. The Convair was extremely successful and reliable, and only ceased regular airline service in 1970.

Since then Convairs have visited Australia as fire bombers and freighter aircraft.

The Convair airframe is extremely robust and many have been converted to more durable turbo prop engines to allow higher speeds, heavier cargo loads, less maintenance and lower fuel costs.

The museum aircraft was built in 1959 and converted to turbo prop engines and cargo configuration in 1967. It arrived in Australia in 2007 and carried freight to all parts of the country, including New Guinea.

The Convair joins the Vietnam era Caribou that was trucked in to Parkes last year and the de Havilland Heron that arrived from Tooraweenah earlier this year. The  museum can show you a Gulf War veteran Cobra helicopter gunship, a WW2 Harvard trainer, a brightly painted Jindivik target towing drone and a 1938 Lockheed 12 Electra Junior. In addition there are engines and other artefacts on display.

The museum has also been working closely with students from Parkes High School, who have been preparing and painting aircraft for display.

The public is welcome to come along and inspect Australian aviation history, and see what young people from Parkes have achieved preparing these aircraft for display.

The museum is open from 9.30am to 3.30am Thursdays and Sundays, and admission is adults $5, family $10, and children $2.