Memorial launches latest 360-degree digital experience

13 February 2020


The Australian War Memorial has launched the third in its On Closer Inspection series of immersive digital experiences, with visitors now able to explore the Memorial’s Lockheed Hudson bomber A16-105 through virtual 360-degree video and digital modelling.

On Closer Inspection – the Hudson Bomber was unveiled at Canberra Airport by Memorial Acting Director Major General Brian Dawson (Ret’d), standing under the aeroplane featured in the new digital experience.

The aircraft is one of 52 Mark IV A Model Hudsons used by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during the Second World War. After the war it was flown as a photographic survey aircraft, helping to chart much of Australia. It completed its last flight in 1998, and was acquired by the Memorial in 2001. The A16-105 is now on display at the Canberra Airport.

Major General Dawson said the On Closer Inspection series gives the public unprecedented access to some of the Memorial’s most iconic large technology objects.

“Online experiences like this allow wider and more diverse audiences to share the stories of our history in ways that can’t always be done in a traditional museum setting.

“For most people, this is the closest they will ever get to being inside a Hudson bomber. Pop-up icons let the user see photos, watch videos, hear recordings, and uncover the stories behind a plane that has played such an important role in Australia’s experience of the Second World War,” Major General Dawson said.

On Closer Inspection is available in two versions to ensure that the experience is accessible to as wide an audience as possible: one using React 360 VR technology, and one for YouTube 360.

The series is being delivered in partnership with Leidos Australia. Over the next six months, the Memorial will deliver two further 360-degree immersive experiences: the Avro Lancaster B1 ‘‘G for George” from the Second World War, and HMAS Sydney (IV), deployed in the First Gulf War.

These innovative experiences will complement those previously launched, including the Mark IV tank “Grit” and a Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle.

View the Hudson Bomber 360-degree interactive experience here:


 About the Hudson Bomber: “The Old Boomerang”

In June 1938, with the Second World War looming, Britain signed a contract with the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for the production of a new war plane.

The British Empire needed military aircraft as soon as possible. By modifying a Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra into a convertible transport bomber, the American company was able to deliver.

The first Hudson took to the skies in December 1938. By the end of 1939, around 250 Hudsons had rolled off the production line. By the end of the war, almost 3,000 of the light bombers had been built.

The Hudson proved to be versatile aircraft. It was used as a light bomber, transporter, and for reconnaissance missions by the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, United States Navy, and United States Army Air Forces. It hunted submarines, escorted convoys, and dropped spies behind enemy lines. Used extensively by Australia in the Pacific War, the Hudson gained the nickname “the Old Boomerang” because of its ability to withstand attack and return home.


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