Wangaratta Historic Motor Show & Fly In 18-4-2021



With Australia emerging out of weeks and months of lockdown, normal life is slowly returning. And Airshows and Flyins are no exception. Recently the Wangaratta Historic Motor Show & Fly In was held at Wangaratta Airport.  It was a truly great event and one the organisers should be very happy to have hosted. 

As a child, I can remember driving up the Hume Highway which felt like forever a child, and my father saying to me we are stopping at the Drage Airworld. Airworld was like nothing I had seen before planes everywhere. Larger than life, able to climb aboard and some you could hop in. Every aviation-loving kid’s dream. 

Having been to the Airworld complex a number of times since it has closed the facility has been privately used for aircraft restorations. Having visited a number of times I am no stranger to the feel of this place. 

Turning off the highway again this time reminded me of days gone by. A lineup of cars queuing to go in. Displays everywhere and aircraft lined up along the perimeter fence. It was almost like going back in time. And in some respects it was. 

Hosted at the site and within the complex now owned by Doug Hamilton was a tribute to all forms of Machinery. Tractors, Buses, Cars, and Planes absolutely something for everyone was assembled and looking its best. 


So let’s have a look at the assembled aircraft at this great event. 

Trundling along the taxiway was one of Australia’s oldest airworthy aircraft VH-JUV. Built in 1929 this Curtis J-1 Robin owned by John Vevers flew up from Tyabb. 


Just as we arrived the glorious sound of radial noise was able to be heard across the airport. Just in time to see to Classics airliners take off. Lockeed 12A Electra, VH-HID, and Beechcraft 18S VH-FID both owned by Doug Hamilton departed for their flying display. 


Delivered new to the USAAC as a C-40A serial 38-545. The aircraft moved to Australia in 1982. It has been a part of Doug’s fleet since its purchase in 2007.


VH-FID was built in the USA in 1948 and was imported into Australia in 1961 by Flinders Island Airlines. Hence the ‘FI’ in the registration, to replace their aging Avro Ansons. Today it wears RAAF Markings.

These two fantastic airliners looked and sounded fantastic. 




And on landing back at the airport, these two classy classics needed period-looking images. 




Next on display was VH-PEM. This North American T-6 Harvard served with the Royal New Zealand Air Force as NZ1061. Serving from 1943 until 1977, the aircraft was sold to Australian interests and joined the VH register in 1980 becoming VH-PEM. Today it is owned by David Salter from Wanderriby, Wlacha, NSW. 






With flying, displays flown every hour, and plenty of things to see on the ground the atmosphere was fantastic. Tractors, vintage cars buses, emergency services vehicles, and many more the airfield was alive. 



VH-WLF, is owned by Chris Mayr. The FW-190 was assembled in the United States using new build Flugwerk parts and comprises about 90 percent new construction and the rest original components. The color scheme and markings are of Luftwaffe ace Hans Dortenmann. 


Judy Pay’s rare Merlin engined P-40F VH-HWK is always an impressive site where ever it goes.


Alan Arthurs, P-40N-1-CU Kittyhawk, originally flew with the Royal New Zealand Air Force as Serial NZ3125. Today it is operated as VH-ZOC. Painted in the markings of RAF Kittyhawk Mark III, serial number FR309 fuselage code GA-Q assigned to 112 Squadron in Italy piloted by Maurice Neville Mathias.


1929 built Curtis J-1 was originally registered NC766M. Later it became N766M. On 5 June 1990, it was re-registered in Australia as VH-JUV.


Always an excuse to post multiple photos of the Stang.


The RAAF Museum’s CAC built Mustang CA-18 Mark 23 with RAAF serial A68-170. Now operating as VH-SVU the aircraft is painted as A68-750. Now part of the newly reformed No. 100 Squadron. The Air Force’s Heritage Squadron will operate from two locations RAAF Base Point Cook and Temora.


Long-time resident in Australia and part of the fleet of vintage aircraft operated by Judy Pay is T-28B VH-NAW.


VH-PFO is owned by Doug Hamilton. P-40N-5-CU C/N 28748 USAAC tail No 42-104986 flew as part of the 49th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter Squadron. Imported as wreck Doug started Precision Aeromotive which uses the former Airworld premises completed the aircraft restoration.


VH-XKY is a former Australian Army CAC-built CA-32 Kiowa former A17-032. Delivered in 1975, the helicopter was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy for a period. Sold as part of the Kiowa disposals in 2019 it is now operated in its former markings. Of note though is the door from another aircraft A17-035.


John Kempton’s Vultee BT-13A Valiant VH-JKV, is currently the only example flying in Australia.


Aeronca 7AC Champion 24-7836.


VH-SLY is a 1951 build Cessna 170A. Owned by Michael Poole.


This CT-4A was delivered to the RAAF as A19-039 on 12 June 1975. It served with 1 FTS at Point Cook and was retired in the early ’90s, civilianised, and became VH-WCT on 17 January 1994. Today it is owned by John Gallagher of Loftus, NSW.


VH-CRR is a 1946 build Auster J4. Owned by Donald Harvie.


VH-DNW a Piper PA-22 built in 1957 is owned by Phillip Prapulenis.


CT-4B or A19-095 is not what it seems. The RAAF scheme was applied to VH-YCW during the 2018 “Parrot Party” which was the retirement celebrations for the CT-4 operations at BAE Systems Tamworth. Now owned by Ian Dodds from Barnawartha VIC.


VH-UXX was built in 1952 as an L-19A-CE (model 305A), USAF serial 51-5019. Later converted to O-1G FAC standard with, unusually, a constant-speed prop. later transferred to the Royal Thai Air Force as 60402. Today it is owned by Leonardo Canteri.


VH-CCP is a 1952 model Cessna 170B


VH-JSG is an Auster J5G with a 180 h.p. Lycoming O-360 engine up front. Owned by Lloyd Galloway.


VH-BFR is a 1944 build Stinson L-5. It is owned by Geoffrey Hill.



VH-CZBB is a 1939 built De havilland DH-94. Imported for civilian use, however, things were so desperate for Australia in the early years of World War Two that it was ‘impressed’ into RAAF service, serving at various bases in Queensland and New South Wales. At the end of the war, it saw some use once again as a civilian machine, resuming its initial civilian registration of VH-ACR, however, it was not long before it too fell into disuse. For many years, it hung from the roof inside Gilltrap’s Auto Museum on the Gold Coast, then exhibited in various other museums until acquired by Mark Carr. Mark restored the aircraft and today bases it Benalla Airfield.


VH-YAV is a Yakovlev Yak-52. This 1990 build aircraft is owned by Christopher Abbott.


VH-NTN is a CAC CA-25 Winjeel. Delivered to the RAAF in 1956. Currently flying in the RAAF Forward Air Control (FAC) scheme. It is owned by Stephen Fielder.


VH-BFX was delivered to the RAAF in 1955. After retirement, the aircraft was displayed at Air World Wangaratta. Today it is owned by Stuart Lee.


VH-AZF is an Australian built DH.82 Tigermoth. Originally with the RAAF as A17-357, this aircraft was civilianised in 1956 as VH-AZF and initially owned by the Royal Queensland Aero Club.


I didn’t get the registration of this plane, but though it looked interesting.


VH-KCW is a 1957 built Auster J1N. Owned by Andrew Kendrick.


VH-WMF is another example of the Winjeel on display. Delivered in 1956 to the RAAF, today it is owned by Roger McKay.


VH-STN was built in 1948. The Stinson 108-3 Voyager is one very smart-looking machine. Now owned by Stephen Guilmartin.


VH-WGD is a Cessna C-180. Again not quiet what it seems. Marked as an Australian Army C-180 A98-043 this aircraft never flew with the army. It is painted in tribute to the same aircraft the Army lost in Vietnam in 1968. Owned by Anthony Edwards.


VH-HOY is another example of the CAC CA-25 Winjeel. This example was delivered to the RAAF in 1957 as A85-450. Today it is owned by Matt Grigg.


VH-HFT is a Piper PA-18 Cub. Owned by Louise O’Grady.


VH-SCW is a 1938 built Ryan SCW-145. Owned by Stephen Carter.


VH-CPI is a 1952 built DHC-1 Chipmunk. It served with the RAF as WP786.

P-40 Display

The final display I was present for was the three flight of Curtis P-40 Kittyhawks. With two P-40Ns and a P-40E the sight and sounds of Merlin and Alison engines made for a very impressive display.  
















Overall a great day out and one I hope we get to see more of as the world begins to return to a normal one.