In my role as co-host & producer of the Plane Crazy Down Under aviation show, I’ve been fortunate to have a few visits of the B24 Liberator Restoration Project‘s hangar in Werribee. A group of enthusiastic volunteers have been working for many years to restore a Consolidated B24 Liberator heavy bomber from World War II to an all-but-flyable state.Back in 2010 we produced an episode entirely on the B24 project, including a chat with Ed Crabtree & John Temby who flew the B24 during World War II. I also had a subsequent update on progress during a visit back in 2012.
In keeping with the “every two years” aspect of my visits, I dropped by again last weekend to see how the restoration was progressing. Admittedly, it wasn’t just to catch up & show my support for the project: I was also there to capture content as a very special ceremony was taking place.
The ceremony was arranged by Engineers Australia who have recognised the significance of the B24 aircraft (& its restoration) along with the hangar it sits in as part of their Engineering Heritage programme. Presentations were made by Professor Alex Baitch (National President of Engineers Australia), Doug Lindsay (President of the B24 Restoration Project) and Andrew Elsbury MLC (State Member of Parliament) After this, two plaques & explanatory signs were unveiled at the site, with one inside next to the aircraft and the other outside next to the hangar’s wall.
I was able to record some content with a number of the people there and will be presenting that in a future PCDU episode. I also got to catch up with the state of the restoration as lots of amazing work is being done inside the fuselage & wings to run electrical cables, fuel lines, hydraulics and more.
Even better was hearing that the B24 project team are extremely close to securing permanent residence at the Werribee site and even have a very good chance of getting a new hangar. It’s not a done deal but they’re a lot closer to that big goal than they have been and the Engineers Australia Heritage Recognition is certainly helping.
I’m looking forward to going back for another visit to see how the restoration is progressing. Hopefully it won’t be another two years before I can get back down there :)