The collaboration between Parkes Aviation Museum and Parkes High School students is really starting to take off. The museum’s volunteer staff have been working with the students to restore and prepare exhibits to go on display to the public. The students have been refurbishing old planes and engines and have developed some special- ised skills including mechanical, hydraulic, panel beating and spray painting.
The latest project undertaken by the stu- dents has been to remove the cargo handling fittings from the Convair aircraft and to reconfigure the aircraft back to a passenger aircraft with the refitting of seats, overhead lockers, lighting and carpet. Their progress on the conversion was shown on the Prime TV news, which featured the students work- ing to convert the interior back to a passen- ger aircraft.
Convairs first came to Australia in 1948 and were operated by TAA, Ansett, Airlines of NSW, formerly Butler Air Transport, Air- lines of South Australia and the RAAF. The Parkes Convair aircraft arrived in Parkes in April this year when retired after 10 years carrying freight all over Australia. The air- craft was built in 1959 and operated with many US airlines as a passenger aircraft until converted to a freighter in 1967. It was part of a Canadian fleet, where it car- ried freight throughout Canada and north- ern USA, until it was brought to Australia in 2007.
The Parkes Aviation Museum is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm Thursdays and Sundays. Come out to the airport to see what Parkes High School students have achieved, or to talk with our volunteers about becoming in- volved with Parkes Aviation Museum as a tour guide, or to work on actual aircraft res- torations.