The kick-start was Alf Bettany's donation of the remains of P-40K NZ3048. This was judged to be beyond restoration, but a deal was done with Larsen to swap this for another P-40
I've just read about this in John King's "The Whole Nine Yards" - does this mean Larsen got back, and presumably scrapped, the fuselage of NZ3048 in exchange for releasing what turned out to be NZ3009 and the wing of NZ3201? The book never says anything else about NZ3048 except that Alf Bettany offered and gave it to Darby and co.
Pretty pissed off with Photobucket mutilating all my photos with their damned watermark! Isn't there some protocol about altering copyright articles without the holders consent? They sure as hell didn't ask me before they added their graffiti to everything!
If there is a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven is that an indication as to the expected traffic flows?
I have picked up on Zacs comment and re read Peter Lewis's account of Sept 2008 which is pretty correct. Like him I was a sprog in the AHSNZ but well into the P40 project. I went down with Bunny , Don Noble and others in Bunny's mothers A40 which used more oil than petrol and my share of this bill was a weeks wages. But the selection of 3009 was because it was the oldest airframe there , not because of access. There were certainly better examples on the field in 1964. No body else seemed keen but Don and I went to Rukuhia week after week ( in his much more economical mini) maybe 13 times , the exact number will be in the AHSA Auckland branch minutes. I took maybe the only photo of the hulk and it clearly shows MOTAT spray painted across the tailplane . This was after the Society banned any project in their name . The painting was done at the last minute prior to the bulldozers coming in to ensure that 3009 wasnt included in the last minute shift to Asplins , or like many cockpit sections just dumped along the roadside for a while. When the move became very urgent , the wings and fuselage were trucked up to Auckland while my father , with truck and trailer , loaded all the other collected gear and spares and took them back to our house in Mt Albert . They stayed there until taken away by a group presumably from MOTAT . I have another old photo of this stash in our yard and it included fairings , cockpit canopy , instruments , tail plane , under carriage parts and gun ports by the dozen .
A little later Don and I went over to MOTAT to get into the reassembly task but were told , hands off , its ours. I didnt bother going back until 2000 and joining the Bomber boys.
The photos and minutes came in handy later during the legal fight over ownership as they all showed MOTAT clearly , and certainly Don and I were never aware of any "private deal "
Perhaps the final outcome is ideal , NZ3009 flies , while MOTAT has one on show . and the other bits that werent raided from home in 65 , have gone into a new restoration to fly.
And just one other bit , I am sure that the AHSNZ Auckland branch at one stage when "we" owned it , or thought we did , offered the aircraft to the Mangere airport people to be restored and displayed . They declined and years later have the more appropriate Gull doing the job.