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See Charles Kingsford Smith Southern Cross II taxi this weekend

written by Hannah Dowling | January 12, 2022

The restored Southern Cross undergoes a run of one of its three piston motors under the careful eyes of volunteers at HARS Aviation Museum. (Howard Mitchell)

Visitors will be welcome to come and see the rebuilt replica of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith’s Southern Cross II aircraft taxi down the tarmac at the HARS Aviation Museum this weekend, as part of the museum’s January Tarmac Days.

It comes just two weeks after the replica, modelled after the aircraft that took the pioneering Australian aviator across the Pacific Ocean in 1928, completed its first powered taxi run at the museum.

Southern Cross II is expected to undergo its next powered taxi runs at 11:30am and 2pm on Saturday, 15 January.

The replica aircraft was originally created in the 1980s but suffered a broken wing in an emergency landing in SA in May 2002. Its restoration team, led by project manager Jim Thurston, hopes it will take to the air later this year.

Southern Cross II is a flying close replica of the famous record-breaking Southern Cross Fokker F.Viib-3m of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith from the 1920s and 1930s.


Built in South Australia in the period 1980 to 1987, the aircraft toured Australia during the 1988 bicentenary.

The Southern Cross II is a faithful replica built to modern standards using the traditional aircraft construction of steel tubing and timber with doped Irish linen for the fuselage and an all-wooden (spruce and plywood) wing.

It’s thought to be the largest “exact replica” aircraft in the world and has the biggest one-piece wing ever made in Australia.

Aside from the iconic Southern Cross II, visitors to the HARS museum this weekend will be able to see a 1960s-era transport Caribou take flight, as well as another taxi run of a 1960s Neptune 566.

The Caribou will fly at 11am and 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday, while the Neptune 566 will perform its engine runs and taxi tests on Sunday at both 11:30am and 1pm.

HARS president Bob De La Hunty said keeping so many of its aircraft operational is what sets HARS Aviation Museum apart.

“Our visitors can enjoy the sound and sight of living aviation heritage as well as the interactive opportunities at HARS Aviation Museum,” he said.

In total, almost 50 aircraft of significance to Australia’s heritage will be on show for visitors including the record-setting Boeing 747-400, the world’s only still-flying Super Constellation “Connie”, PBY Catalina, Neptune bombers, DC-3 / C-47 Dakotas, the swing-wing F-111, Canberra bomber, Vampire fighters, Mirage IIIO fighter, Sabre jet, a DC-4 in Qantas 1950s livery, Convair, Fokker Friendship F27, and a Winjeel.

Plus, there are the HARS Navy Heritage Fight, which includes two Grumman Trackers, a Sea Venom, Sea Fury and Wessex helicopter, with the engineering team aiming to fire up the engines of Tracker 844.

Aviation photographers will be happy to note that HARS will have the F-111 and Mirage out on the tarmac on both Saturday and Sunday.

Visitors are also allowed to sit in the cockpit of the supersonic swing-wing F-111, and experience what it was like to fly the fighter-bomber which served with the RAAF for 35 years.

Check out a video of the replica Southern Cross II’s first powered taxi run here:

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