Blog: Aircraft 1914 - 1918
The digitisation of the whole series of Australian Imperial Force (AIF) war diaries from the First World War, (Official Records series AWM4), recently passed the 400,000 image mark. Included in the 400,000 images are all the available diaries for the Australian Flying Corps, (AFC) . Digitised versions of the diaries are being regularly uploaded to the Memorial’s website as they are completed.
A new permanent exhibition, Over the Front: the Great War in the air, will open on 28 November 2008 at the eastern end of ANZAC Hall. The story of military flight and aerial combat during the First World War will be brought to life through the Memorial’s collection of five original and extraordinary aircraft and an exciting sound-and-light show.
Upon removal of the fabric from the upper mainplane it was discovered that an extensive number of the ribs were damaged.
The Memorial has been able to gain access to substantial amounts of the original fabric, which was removed from the Albatros during the 1960's restoration with the exception of the rudder and the ailerons. Significant analysis of this material has been carried out in order to determine the correct details for fabric colours, panel widths and orientations, seam widths, rib stitching and the dimensions of rib tapes.Photographic evidence shows the starboard aileron to have been covered in lozenge on both upper and lower surfaces.
Work is underway to clean and repair the fuselage of the Albatros.
During the course of the last nine decades, a significant amount of grease, dust and general grime has built up inside the fuselage of the Albatros, particularly in the engine bay.
The Large Technology Conservation Section are currently working on five aircraft for the upcoming First World War exhibition "Over The Front" due to open in November 2008.
The Albatros D.Va was last restored in the mid 1960s and there are a number of areas which need attention.
Crashes and fires were everyday hazards for the First World War flier. Second Lieutenant Frederick Gulley suffered both when trying to land his aircraft in England on 17 October 1918. Gulley was on a cross country flight and struck a post whilst attempting to land in a field close to Tidworth Barracks, Wiltshire. In the resulting fire Gulley’s clothes, harness, face and hands were burnt. He was taken to Tidworth Hospital with superficial burns to his face, neck and both hands, including all fingers.
First World War 'war birds' will have their covers restored ready for display at the Australian War Memorial tomorrow.
A special team of French vintage aircraft experts will tomorrow make the ‘last stitch’ of their conservation work on rare First World War aircraft, or ’war birds’ as the aircraft are affectionately known. The war birds are progressively being ‘clothed’ as part of the restoration process, in preparation for the upcoming exhibition, Over the Front.
Just a year after the end of the First World War, and only a decade after the short first powered flight in Australia, a twin-engine Vickers Vimy, with a crew of 4, flew from England to Australia. This 1919 exploit exemplified the progress in world aviation. During the First World War there were men who had never before seen an aeroplane or driven a motor car, who had learned how to fly.
In March 1919, four months after the war was over, the Australian government announced that it would give a £10,000 prize for the first successful flight from England to Australia. Despite the obvious dangers, this appealed to some airmen, not yet discharged, who were awaiting repatriation home.