Front and centre

A crane lifts the Hornet from a low loader.

AIR Force Memorial Estate residents in the new Cirrus apartment block had Bull Creek’s best seats when the Aviation Heritage Museum welcomed its latest display, an FA-18 Hornet on March 14.

The museum’s latest warbird was retired from active duty with the RAAF in 2021 it is destined to finish the remainder of its time with curator and manager Trent Norris and his team of aviation volunteers.

The first sign that the day was going to be different was when people enjoying lunch at the retirement facility’s club noticed a semi-trailer with a long, slender aircraft aboard passing the front door.

Closer inspection revealed it was the main fuselage of the aircraft which explained the appearance of large packing crates and other equipment which had been placed in the car park the previous day.

Padding was placed over parts of the jet to prevent damage, while standing by were three undercarriage assemblies which had been unpacked and were now waiting for the Hornet to be lifted and the semi driven away. 

It was like a scene from a Grand Prix Formula One pit stop. 

As soon as the semi was clear and the aircraft lowered onto specially contoured stands, a swarm of RAAF aircraft engineers descended on the aircraft and all three wheels had been fixed in place in a matter of minutes, ready for the warbird to be towed over to its new home alongside the museum’s Tornado where its main wings and other components were fitted.

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