THE AIRCRAFT

THE AIRCRAFT COLLECTION

General Dynamics F-111C fighter-bomber

This is the aircraft that became the showpiece of the Museum collection when it arrived in 2013. The F111 featured variable geometry wings, that could be swept back to enable high altitude flight at up to mach 2.5, more than 2600 kmh, carrying advanced weapons delivery systems and terrain-following radar. F-111’s were in service with the RAAF an incredible 37 years, from 1973 to 2010, and were flown extensively over the South Evans Head bombing range.

Canberra Bomber

The English Electric Canberra was first flown in 1949. Powered by 2 Rolls-Royce jet engines, it could fly higher than any fighter aircraft, with a maximum speed of 871 km/h. RAAF Canberras were built in Australia and saw service in the Vietnam War.

Caribou DHC-4

Made in Canada by De Havilland, the Caribou was chosen by the RAAF to replace the Dakota. It was used for transport of equipment and troops, with the capability of parachute airdrops via the rear hatch. It was particularly valuable for its ability to access rough and short runways. It saw service in Vietnam and later was used for domestic emergency supply missions. The aircraft on display had 45 years of operation, greatly exceeding its expected lifespan.

Drifter Ultralight

A very successful tail-dragger design, originating in the USA, with later models also made locally in Ballina.

The aircraft is built on an aluminium tube, with aluminium wing spars and wire bracing.

Donated to the museum by Geoff Johns.

Schliecher K7 Sailplane

This is a 2-seat glider made in Germany in the 1950’s. Known as the ‘Rhonadler’ or ‘Eagle of the Rhine’.

It was used by the Bottrop Glider Club (Germany) until 1978, then brought to Australia, where it was registered VH-IUU. It flew with the Leeton Gliding Club to 2001 and then the Casino Gliding Club to 2002. All up it flew 3643 hours.

Donated to the museum by Peter Hinson.

MiG-15 Jet Fighter

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 is a single-engine one or two seater trainer jet aircraft produced by Mikoyan between 1949 and 1952. 12,000 were built by the Soviet Union and another 6,000 were built by other nations including China, Poland and Czechoslovakia.


Bell OH-58 Kiowa Helicopter

The Bell OH-58 Kiowa is a single-engine, single-rotor, helicopter used for observation, utility, and direct fire support. It was based on the civilian model 206A JetRanger and used by the Australian army. The aircraft on display was delivered in 1973, ADF Serial No. A17-018. It was acquired by the museum in 8/2017.

Avro Anson

Acquired by the museum in 2018, the Anson is an important aircraft in the history of the Evans Head RAAF station. It was used extensively for training of navigators and air observers.

Bensen Gyrocopter

This minimalist aircraft was designed in the 1950’s by Dr. Igor Bensen, originally as a glider, then subsequently as a powered rotorcraft, available as a kit or just plans. Over 4000 have been built. The gyro on display, once registered as G333, is an Australian modified version known as the Cyclone Mk.2, and was built at Evans Head in 1978. It is on loan from the owner.

Dickenson Hang Glider

This is the earliest surviving glider made by John Dickenson, who is recognised as one of the pioneers of this type of aircraft, using a triangular frame to control the craft by weight shift. It is constructed from sailcloth, timber and aluminium, with a timber seat suspended by rope.

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Australian Lightwing SP2000TW

The SP2000 (“Speed”) and later variants were the most advanced aircraft built by Lightwing in their Ballina factory. The plane on show is the prototype, previously registered 19-4353. First flown in 2005, it was intially powered by a Rotax engine, then used as a test bed for other engines including a turbocharged Subaru. It was donated in 2021 by the family of the late Howard Hughes who started the company.

Skycraft Scout Mk III

A minimalist aircraft designed by Ron Wheeler and built in Australia. The Mk III was an improved version which added wing-warp to give 3-axis control. The engine is a 244cc Fuji-Robin single cylinder 2-stroke, with a top speed of 105 kmh. This aircraft was loaned by local Bob Maiden, and restored by Andrew Harrington and students from the Evans River K-12 school. The Scout was the first ultralight approved for flight in Australia.