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HARS to display 50 heritage aircraft at Wings Over Illawarra

written by Isabella Richards | November 23, 2021
Neptune start up. (HARS, Howard Mitchell)

Fifty heritage aircraft from the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) Aviation Museum will be on display at Australia’s largest air show, Wings over Illawarra next week.

The show is returning after being cancelled last year, and will now take place from 27-28 November in Illawarra on the NSW south coast, just over an hour south of Sydney.

Australian Aviation is offering readers the chance to win one of four family passes to Wings Over Illawarra this weekend.

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For your chance to win, sign up to our Australian Aviation email newsletter by Wednesday, 24 November 12pm AEDT to go in the draw. 

HARS Aviation Museum will be exhibiting various types of Australian aircraft, including the Super Constellation “Connie”, which arrived in Australia in 1991 for restoration, former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Neptune 273 – ordered by Australia in 1951 – and former Vietnam War RAAF Caribou, first ordered in 1963 to replace its existing Dakota aircraft.

“It’s not just a case of displaying Australia’s aviation heritage which makes HARS Aviation Museum special for visitors from around the world, but that many still operate and fly that sets the experience apart,” said HARS in a statement.

The HARS museum is comprised of an all-volunteer group of aviation professionals and enthusiasts who maintain and restore historical aircraft.

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The show will be held at the Shellharbour Airport, just off the old highway at Albion Park Rail, where the WOI will also be.

Other Navy Heritage aircraft on display will include Sea Fury, Sea Venom, former Queen’s Flight Dakota – which is under restoration – a Wessex helicopter and trackers.

HARS president Bob De La Hunty said some onboard visits will be available for a $5 donation for adults and a gold coin donation for children.

A Tracker 844 is also set to do a wing fold demonstration alongside visiting Corsair and Avenger aircraft, the museum said.

Others include the Boeing 747-400, Connie (when not flying), PBY Catalina, Neptune 281, DC-3 / C-47 Dakotas, the swing-wing F-111, Mirage fighter, Sabre jet, a DC-4 in Qantas 1950s livery, Convair, Fokker Friendship F27, the Southern Cross II and a Wingeel, according to HARS.

An engine run by HARS former Neptune 273, which will also be on display, is slated to fly during the WOI.

The WOI comes as the organisers of AVALON cancelled this year’s show entirely in August due to COVID-19.

The AMDA Foundation, which organises the iconic Australian air show and exhibition, said it had to make the “difficult decision” in order to minimise risk and disruption for both industry participants and attendees.

The next AVALON event is now scheduled for 2023, currently expected to take place from 28 February to 5 March 2023.

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