Friday, May 6, 2011

Whitsunday Airport Grand Airshow - A Closer Look at the Warbird and Antique Aeroplane Visitors

As well as the previously featured Grumman TBM-3E Avenger Warbird VH-MML, that gave the crowd two thunderous flying displays at the Whitsunday Airshow on Sunday 1 May, there were also some other fantastic warbird and antique aircraft that were on static display.

Pictured above with the Avenger is a lovely antique Stinson, VH-UXL. Kevin & Vicki Bailey are travelling in their restored 1935 Stinson Reliant SR-8C around Australia. Their journey began in Western Australia - where they are based - and has so far taken them through South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. They then travelled up the Queensland coast, and paid a visit to the Whitsundays and Central Queensland region, before heading for the Northern Territory.

While this aircraft didn’t fly, it certainly provided a great drawcard for the crowd with people noted all day having photos in front of the big Textron Lycoming engine - and even seeking shade under the wings!

Another lovely antique plane that flew in from the Sunshine Coast was De Havalland DHC-1 T-MK 10 Chipmunk VH-RSP.

The 1951 Chipmunk was also on static display during the Airshow and proved to be quite a popular aircraft to look at.

From down the road at Mackay, CQ Warbird Adventures flew in their newly acquired Yakovlev Yak-52 VH-YAF. The beautifully presented warbird was on static display, and also proved quite popular during the day.

During this time, they were also taking bookings for aerobatic joyflights that the Yak operated later in the afternoon after the Airshow. From all indications, these quickly sold out, and the Yak was still noted flying these adventure joyflights at the airport Monday morning!

One other notable antique aircraft was Bell UH-1B Iroquois Helicopter VH-THY owned and operated by Tude's Choppers (Dwyer Aviation) in Townsville. The thunderous sound of the Huey could be heard for ages as the giant war-era chopper flew down finals, before executing a go-around and eventually landing on the grass on the Eastern side of the airport.

Unfortunately, the Huey didn’t get to put on a show, but for those who were lucky enough to see this lovely helicopter arrive and depart, it certainly provided a specular sight and sound!

Lastly, a Mackay/Whitsunday Car Club was also invited to participate at the Airshow, and provided a great sight on their arrival and departure as they drove past the Airshow crowd.

The lovely old cars were parked on the Eastern side of the Airport.

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