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[photos] Australia: B-24 Restoration - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-10-04 05:18
Subject: [photos] Australia: B-24 Restoration
Security: Public
Tags:australia, photos, tech, travel
Shortly after leaving Werribee Open Range Zoo, we drove past a sign advertising a B-24 restoration in progress. catvalente was indifferent to a 70-year-old warbird (being sane and all) but jackwilliambell and I were compelled to visit the project.

A team of folks working under a nonprofit umbrella have been working for some years on restoring an RAAF B-24 to flying condition. The airframe had been in someone's backyard as a shed for many years. Wings were sourced from a wreck site in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Portions of the tailplane came from an aviation salvage yard in the United States, while other portions were fabricated as part of the project.

We received a tour from a pleasant and garrolous old gentleman who'd served as a gunner on an Australian B-24 during WWII. The hangar included maps and displays of the history of the aircraft type in the RAAF, but mostly it included the B-24 itself.

The welcoming sign.

The old bird her own self.

Starboard wing with engine mount.

Nose assembly.

Peering up at the interior from the port side.

A turbocharger for one of the engines.

Another turbocharger installed in place.

Electrical box (I think) with Pratt & Whitney logo.

Oxygen cylinders.

Cockpit assembly, nearly fully restored.

Turbo boost selector.

jackwilliambell and our guide inspect one of the enormous radial engines.

The same rogues discussing the airframe.

Our guide, his own self.

Model tri-motor created for promotional purposes.

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

© 2010, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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User: martyn44
Date: 2010-10-04 12:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Good to see one of the forgotten types being restored rather than yet another Spitfire or Lancaster or 109. Don't suppose it will ever happen - for obvious reasons - but a restored Mosquito would be a delight.
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User: arcadiagt5
Date: 2010-10-04 12:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Are they still planning to restore it to Taxi-worthy state? I saw it a couple of years ago and it looks like they've made some progress.

Did you also visit the Point Cook RAAF Museum in the same area?
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Jay Lake: signs-kangaroo_crossing
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-10-04 14:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sadly did not make it to Point Cook. I would have loved that.
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User: nojay
Date: 2010-10-04 13:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As far as I know there are only two Lancasters still flying so getting another Lanc in the air would be neat. It's usually easier to restore single-seat warbirds as there were a lot more of them built and there's a lot less material to source and assemble to complete the project.

As for Mossies the last one flying crashed a few years back, total write-off. Being made of wood they tended to rot out or the glue failed and unlike metal and metal/fabric aircraft there is no existing restoration industry infrastructure available to make panels, supply rivetting equipment etc. and no market for spare S/H fuselage and wing parts.
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User: martyn44
Date: 2010-10-04 16:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For all those reasons, of course, a Mossie would be an ab initio replica rather than a rebuild (and the CAA regulations would be mind bending) It is, of course, the most beautiful aircraft ever built - surpassing even the Spitfire and Cocorde (although for 'built to a purpose' attractiveness the P47(D) and FW190D come close, as does the F-15)

The B24 does, of course, have a purposeful brutality that is very attractive to a heavy metal fan like me.
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User: nojay
Date: 2010-10-04 19:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There are two B-24s in restored flying condition in the US, possibly more. This one is unusual in that it is an RAAF model, not originally a USAAF aircraft.

A while back the grandson of Willy Messerschmidt was lending his name to a short production run of new-build Me262s using Learjet engines in place of the unavailable Jumo 004 WW2-era jet engines. The replacements are about half the size of the originals and are hard-wired to only produce 50% of maximum thrust to match the original's lesser output.

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User: bondo_ba
Date: 2010-10-04 12:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Deeply cool indeed. Always enjoy a nice resto, especially of an iconic bomber like this one!
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scarlettina: Airplane
User: scarlettina
Date: 2010-10-04 15:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Very cool. Jack told me about this particular discovery, so I was looking forward to seeing pictures. My brother would have enjoyed this enormously. As it is, I'm going to send him a pointer to this post and the Flickr set. I know he'll get a kick out of it.
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