Tags: History. Airfield. Caboolture. Air Shows. Brisbane. Queensland Museum. War.
After countless hours of toil and research along with total dedication, Andrew Carter, Nathalie Gochel and the volunteers at The Australian Vintage Aviation Society (TAVAS) witnessed their dream become a reality on June 2nd when Member for Pumicestone Simone Wilson MP declared the TAVAS Museum officially open during a ceremony which was attended by a selection of Society members and other invited guests.
Featured Image(above): Gustav Whitehead’s No. 21 Condor
In welcoming those present, Andrew who, along with Nathalie founded TAVAS in January 2012, talked about the commitment of volunteers such as engineer Dave Walsh who has worked tirelessly to bring the selection of aircraft to the required condition and also paid tribute to the enormous amount of time that Nathalie has spent on research, especially uncovering the history of the Australian air aces whose stories are featured along the front wall of the museum.
He pointed out that very special thanks are owed to Jack McDonald who owns the hangar in which the museum is housed. Following the cutting of the ribbon by Ms. Wilson, all present made their way through the door to what I can best describe as a simply outstanding array of exhibits.
Along both of the side walls are placards which tell the story of early aviation and the people who were involved. Suspended from the museum ceiling are replicas of aircraft from the beginning of the twentieth century including the No. 21 Condor which was the aircraft that was piloted by Gustav Whitehead in August 1901 and now recognised as the first successful attempt at achieving sustained powered flight, replacing the belief that the Wright Brothers’ attempt in 1904 was the first.
Suspended near the Condor is the 1933 Mignet HM.14 Flying Flea On the floor of the museum, visitors are able to take a close look at replicas of several aircraft which were used by both the German and Allied pilots during World War 1 including of course the red Fokker Tri-plane made famous by Manfred von Richtofen (The Red Baron) and the Sopwith Tri-plane.
Andrew explained that the TAVAS Museum houses the only collection of flying WW1 type aircraft in Australia. ‘Of the thirteen aircraft housed here, one can’t be found anywhere else in the world, two of them can’t be seen anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere and another is the only one of its type in the country,’ he said. Whilst most people are aware that there were Australian pilots involved in WW1, very few would know just how many and would be amazed at the number of aces whose stories adorn the tribute wall at the front of the museum.
The brave pilot’s who are featured include Frank Alberry who became a pilot after he lost a leg during the early part of that war whilst fighting with the British Expeditionary Force in France and also Patrick Gordon (Bill) Taylor. As well as distinguishing himself as a fighter pilot during the war, Captain Taylor went on to become navigator and second pilot for Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.
More than six years on from when the idea was born, their desire to “Give Aviation History a Future” has been successful and, whilst the team at TAVAS believe that they can achieve much more than what has already been done, they should be congratulated for creating such a wonderful facility which is a welcome addition to both the aviation community and the community at large.
The TAVAS Museum is at Hangar 106 on Eagle Lane off McNaught Road in Caboolture. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday and the hours are from 10 am until 3 pm. More information about The Australian Vintage Aviation Society can be found on the website which is www.tavas.com.au or by sending an email to [email protected]