A former police officer has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to donate Victoria first Airwing helicopter to the Australian National Aviation Museum.
Mark Whorlow tracked down and bought the Aerospatiale AS-365C1 Dauphine II, VH-PVF, himself but now wants it to be put on public display at Moorabbin Airport and is seeking to recoup his acquisition costs.
The aircraft, affectionally named Daphne, was put into service in the early 1980s and served for 20 years in police, ambulance, and search and rescue roles.
The helicopter saved lives in the deadly Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 1998 and evacuated people during the Ash Wednesday bushfires in 1983.
You can make a donation to Whorlow’s page here, where he is seeking $20,000.
“Most would agree, Daphne is the most iconic and historically important helicopter in Australia,” wrote Whorlow.
“Many Victorians would remember the distinctive sound Daphne made as she flew overhead, on the way to save someone in danger, or out patrolling the streets late at night.
“Daphne was decommissioned in 2001 and was lost to the public until she was located and purchased by me once being positively identified.
“Sadly, Daphne will never fly again, so my intention is to see her donated to the Moorabbin Aviation Museum where she will be restored for static display for future generations.
“I am seeking to recover my acquisition costs. Once repaid, I will donate Daphne along with sourced major components to the museum.
“Any money over the costs of repaying the debts will be donated directly to the Museum to assist in her restoration.
“It would be a great shame to see this valuable piece of Australian and Victorian aviation history lost forever.”