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RFDS restoration project

Wednesday, 13th March, 2019

RFDS Aviation Heritage curator Noel Passlow stands ready to restore their historic Nomad aircraft with the help of volunteers. PICTURE: Myles Burt RFDS Aviation Heritage curator Noel Passlow stands ready to restore their historic Nomad aircraft with the help of volunteers. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

The RFDS is looking for volunteers to help restore its historic Nomad aircraft.

The plane has been displayed at the RFDS entrance for 20 years, but has been moved for restoration works led by RFDS Aviation Heritage curator Noel Passlow.

The work will take about three months before the aircraft is moved back to its original position.

Mr Passlow said the Nomad was one of three the RFDS hoped to restore.

An ex-army Nomad and an original Flying Doctor Drover, on loan from the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, sit in the old hangar.

“This one is the first and foremost one, because it’s right in the public eye,” Mr Passlow said.

“As you’ve seen in the past, it’s in terrible condition.

“It enhances the visitor experience, and it will project a better image for the RFDS than having a motley-looking aeroplane sitting out on the mound.”

Mr Passlow said volunteers did not need experience, but prior experience and mechanical knowledge, especially in fibreglass, panel beating and aluminium repairs, would be useful.

“You can never have too many volunteers,” he said.

“Happy to have them, but we’ve got a lot more than three months’ worth of work.

“It’s very much a stop-start sort of thing because people have their own lives to live so we’re looking for long-term people as well.”

Volunteers would ideally be available to start work within the next two weeks. 

Restoration would take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 5pm. Volunteers can choose their hours.

Mr Passlow said by the time they’ve finish restoring the old Nomad it would “look like it’s ready to fly”.

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