Caribou, Tracker take centre stage at HARS Aviation Museum this weekend

Short field take-off and landing capability made the Caribou a vital transport aircraft in service with the RAAF. Mark Keech photo.
Short field take-off and landing capability made the Caribou a vital transport aircraft in service with the RAAF. Mark Keech photo.

Two classic former Australian defence warbirds - a RAN submarine hunting Grumman Tracker and aRAAF transport de Haviland Caribou - will take centre stage at HARS Aviation Museum during January Tarmac Days this weekend.

Monthly tarmac days give the museum volunteers an opportunity to operate some of the almost 50 classics of Australian aviation on display across hangars at the Shellharbour Airport facility, just off the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail.

Former carrier-based Tracker 844 now flies as part of the HARS Heritage Flight. Ian Badham photo.

Former carrier-based Tracker 844 now flies as part of the HARS Heritage Flight. Ian Badham photo.

On Saturday of the Tarmac Days one of the two DHC-4 Caribou at HARS Aviation Museum is scheduled to fly, while the newly-restored Tracker will conduct spectacular engine runs.

Visitors can check out four versions of the legendary Douglas DC-3, or C-47 Dakota in military designation, which last month marked 85 years of the type entering service.

More than 16,000 were made between 1935 and 1949, with HARS Aviation Museum continuing to fly two in RAAF C-47 Dakota configuration, one as the DC-3 which in 1946 operated the first

passenger flight for Trans-Australia Airlines as well as a former RAN Dakota which is undergoing restoration.

In Australia, the DC-3 was operated by many airlines including Qantas, Australian National Airways, Ansett ANA and Trans-Australia Airlines while as a military transport the Dakota flew nearly 60 years of operational service until March 1999 - a record that has not yet been passed.

HARS Aviation Museum at Shellharbour Airport maintains a remarkable collection of aircraft - almost half still operational - where almost 50 aircraft have been carefully preserved for future generations as a heritage of aviation history in Australia.

HARS Aviation Museum is open daily from 9.30 to 3.30 and later to 5 pm during January school holidays.

HARS Aviation Museum and its Café Connie provides a Covid-safe environment with visitors required to sign in via the Service NSW site as well as get their temperature checked then practise safe distancing.

Visitor details at www.hars.org.au

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