Tiny plane with a fierce reputation is back
IT MAY be tiny, but the Fairey Battle led the advance into France in 1939 during the early stages of World War II.
As part of the Advance Air Striking Force (AASF), it was responsible for shooting down the first German aircraft in the assault, and one of its pilots, Flying Officer Garland, was awarded the first RAF Victoria Cross of World War II.
A replica of the plane has been welcoming visitors to Evans Head for many years, but they may have noticed its absence in recent times.
Evans Head Heritage Aviation Museum president Rod Kinnish said Richmond Valley Council approached the Evans Head Heritage Aviation Museum and asked if the museum could clean and restore the Fairey Battle replica on display at the roundabout approaching Evans Head.
Decaying and in need of repainting and repair, museum manager Ken Duplock researched the history of the aircraft and proposed a paint scheme representative of an aircraft which operated at Evans Head.
Museum volunteers removed the display with the help of Craig Knox from Broadwater Cranes and over a few months, lovingly repaired and completely repainted the display aircraft in representative livery.
The aircraft has now been returned to its display position.
Volunteers engaged in this project were pleased to see the results of this labour of love, it had only been up for about 10 minutes when a pedestrian stopped and remarked, "looks fantastic”.
"Very well done to the restoration team on this project restoring a wonderful display representing the history of RAAF Station Evans Head,” Mr Kinnish said.
Check out the new display when you visit the Great Eastern Fly-in this weekend.
It starts today and runs until Sunday.