Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The RAAF Museum at Point Cook

Our friends Bill and Sue yesterday drove us out to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook. It's a beautifully laid out facility and includes a wide variety of "flying machines," along with displays presenting information and exhibits from the earliest days of military flight in Australia right up to the present.

We visited a couple of hangars full of planes, and one hangar reserved for aircraft restoration. One plane in there, with only part of its largely wooden fuselage visible, is scheduled to be completely restored in something like seven years, and given that it's a huge task and that volunteers are involved, that appears to be a realistic timeline.

We couldn't have had a better guide than Bill, a veteran RAAF pilot and instructor before he started piloting helicopters for Esso. A couple of hours there went by very quickly - we could easily have spent the entire day, especially when escorted by a guide who could answer every question we threw at him. He pointed out the number on one of the planes in the exhibit and said he'd actually flown that very plane. We also saw quite a number of other planes and helicopters which he'd piloted and, in some instances, instructed.

On our way there out of Melbourne, we drove over a large bridge and Bill casually mentioned that he'd led the air force team that performed a fly-over when it officially opened in the early 1970s.

Photos will follow at some point after our return home. It was a terrific grand finale to our trip, especially when capped off by an enjoyable late lunch at the Blue Train Cafe back in Melbourne.

We're already missing Australia and our Aussie friends. On the other hand, we're greatly looking forward to seeing our grandkids.

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