The history of the latest addition to the HARS Parkes Aviation Museum collection is a story filled with adventure doing maritime search and rescue missions and playing a vital role in many other areas.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Parkes Mayor Ken Keith were present at the official handover of the recently retired AP3-C Orion in Parkes last week.
This aircraft served in a multitude of roles since joining the RAAF in 1978 that include a tour of duty in Afghanistan, tracking Russian subs in the South East Asian and Pacific regions, border protection and fishery patrols. It also participated in the search for Malaysian airliner MH370 and the lone French female sailor in the Southern Ocean some years ago.
The Orion type first entered service with the RAAF in 1968 and has been steadily upgraded over the years with more powerful engines and advanced avionics and intelligence gathering capability. The AP3-C Orion is the pinnacle of that development.
The aircraft flew into Parkes Airport some months ago and has been moved to the museum area and is being prepared so the public can visit on board.
The Museum works with students from Parkes High School and member volunteers to restore and prepare the exhibits for display. There is always a need for more volunteers to help out with hands on restoration or being a tour guide.
The Museum is open 9:30am to 3:30pm on Sundays and Thursdays.
By Mike De La Hunty