The RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre will open the doors to its World War 2 era Bellman hangars for a free public open day this Sunday (20 March) with aviation and other displays reflecting 75 years of military aviation at the nation’s largest air force base.
A team of knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers is on hand to guide visitors around the displays, willing and able to provide a lot of background information and interesting titbits to round out the Heritage Centre experience.
The iconic F-111 supersonic strike bomber dwarfs the early jet fighters, the Sabre and Mirage, in the jet era hangar which also houses a display of jet engines as well as the F-111 cockpit modules in which aircrews could eject to safety in an emergency.
The Heritage Centre entrance hangar houses a display of Air Force, and some Army aviation, support to post World War 2 conflicts including the Malayan Confrontation, Korean and Vietnam Wars, while immediately outside visitors can climb into the venerable Caribou Battlefield airlifter which saw service in Vietnam, and then served the country for another 40 years including delivering aid supplies during floods and other natural disasters.
In the World War 2 hangar story boards trace the history of the development of RAAF Amberley from 1940 to the present day, while two heavily modified Landrovers showcase a display by the Air Force’s Airfield Defence Guards.
The Lockyer Valley Light Horse Troop will be out in force, the popular F/A-18F flight simulator where visitors are able to purchase a simulator ride at $40 for twenty minutes will be operating – and visitors can enjoy a sausage sizzle and delicious barista coffee.
Due to RAAF security requirements all visitors over the age of 16 must provide photographic identification, and have their identification details recorded as a condition of entry.
The RAAF Amberley Aviation Heritage Centre is open this Sunday (20 March), and then on the third Sunday of each month, between 9am and 3pm. Simply turn off the Cunningham Highway to RAAF Amberley near Ipswich and follow the signs. Admission is free and photography is welcomed.
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