‘Wheels for the Wirraway’ Event
The Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre is hosting an action-packed day on Saturday, March 10th, 2018, featuring ‘wheels’ of all sorts and sizes. Visitors are invited to participate in the ‘Wheels for the Wirraway’ event by arriving at the aerodrome on any form of wheels, from roller skates to trucks, ride-on mowers to classic cars and everything in between.
More than 1,000 visitors from across Victoria and interstate are expected to attend this event. A feature of the day will be a large display of vintage cycles, along with penny farthings, motor cycles, cars, tandem bikes, unicycles, human powered vehicles and a roller skating demonstration. Joy flights, Harley rides, a car boot sale and market, children’s activities and food stalls will all add to the festival scene. This event is supported by the Hindmarsh Shire and the local community.
‘Wheels for the Wirraway’ will be the last major fundraiser in the campaign to purchase the magnificent Wirraway aircraft, restored by Borg Sorensen from Tyabb. There is about $55,000 of the $300,000 purchase price yet to be raised and it is hoped that the Wirraway will be on permanent display in Nhill by mid-2018. The Avro Anson, Link Trainer and Tiger Moth, together with the Wirraway will complete the collection of four main aircraft stationed at the Nhill RAAF training base during WWII. This will be an extremely rare, if not the only example of a combination of four 70-year-old working aircraft located at a former RAAF Base.
Wheels for the Wirraway will be held at the Nhill aerodrome from 10am – 4pm. For more information visit the website www.nhillaviationheritagecentre.com.au or Facebook page. If you have an unusual set of wheels you would like to display, or if you would like to participate in the special touring routes being organised for bicycles and motorbikes earlier on the day then please contact John Deckert 0437 351 753 or Jenny Creek 0417 014 278.
The Wirraway Project
There were 755 Wirraway aircraft built in Australia at Port Melbourne by Australian engineers. The Wirraway was found to be too slow for combat but became a valuable aircraft for the training of pilots and as support aircraft in New Guinea during WWII. Most of these aircraft were decommissioned after WWII and destroyed for parts and the aluminium they contained. This makes Wirraway 722 a rare aircraft.
When Wirraway 722, one of only four airworthy Wirraway in Australia was offered to the community of Nhill, it was agreed that this rare opportunity of major significance to the area could not be ignored. So, it is coming to Nhill.
Wirraway 722 will be maintained to taxiing status but will not remain airworthy once it lands at Nhill. This is a stipulation of the purchase from Borg Sorenson, the man who invested 18 years in rebuilding this pristine aircraft from parts gathered up from all over the country with a lot of parts coming from the Wimmera. Borg wishes this aircraft to remain an example of Australian engineering for generations to come.