If it's part NZ5503 then that was the 2nd Corsair my dad ever flew. 10th May 1944. That was a Corsair conversion coarse at Ardmore. He won't have been the only RNZAF pilot to have flown it that's for sure.
This airframe appears to predate the FG-1D's and F4U-5 that have fleetingly been part of the MOTAT and RNZAF Museum collections. Although not of indigenous manufacture there might have been a case for it to qualify as a protected NZ object. If it had gained that qualification prior to export then it should have only been sold overseas with the knowledge and approval of the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. I've no idea what the real circumstances were here but just sad to see such NZ relevant historic material is already off shore. Looking at the pictures I think most of the metal would be discarded in a rebuild to fly while a static display restoration could retain much original material. Also the centre section main spar is a major issue with many of recent time restorations requiring total replacement. I think all of the batch of commercially produced spar kits have now been used. I agree that it's probably beyond the means and the will of either of the NZ Museums alone to acquire this but it must be the most complete set with NZ heritage available in that price range.
Ref the comments above regarding a static restoration being able to retain much of the original material. This surely is they key. If a thorough survey of the project revealed this indeed could be the case, then this project would make a perfect candidate to place with RNZAF museum. I'm also one of those people who get a bit niggly with the "everything has to be restored to fly" brigade. I love watching flying WWII aircraft but I'm equally happy viewing various static aircraft appropriately conserved and displayed. There's room for balance and both in my book.
Post by angelsonefive on Oct 4, 2014 10:58:03 GMT 12
The wings are probably not from an RNZAF Corsair which, as far as I know, were all originally intended for the Fleet Air Arm and thus had the "clipped" wing tips required to fit the hangar decks of RN carriers.
I for one think that a campaign to have the aircraft purchased "By New Zealand" would be a great idea and achieveable if the right people were behind the push. Lottery money and donations through organisations like the RSA (even small ones at - say - $100 per group) would start to make themselves felt. A push across the celebrity world in NZ of all celebs to support the drive publically would get the ears of prople from disparate interests, age groups etc. If a well recognised advertising agency in NZ were able to contact people like Lorde, Richie McCaw, Greg Murphy and others of that ilk across all NZ areas of endeavour then perhaps the idea would appeal to a far wider group than those just interested in aviation or NZ history. Restoration, if Warren, Paul and their respective teams could not do the job I for one would eat my hat. Airoewrthy or static - both have their place and followers. As to where to keep it.....lots of choice there. If airworthy, perhaps Biggin Hill with ongoing support from a fund - Brendon could not be expected to fund something like that himself - and if static the RNZAF Museum is the logical choice. Lots of those arguements/discussions/decisions could be resolved following the decision to go after it.
I note the words regarding the cultural significance etc and the people tasked with retention of such items. Like in Australia its a 'crock'. For years aircraft that were significant were exported with no view as to their real significance to the nation. I know as I was directly involved in trying to stop the mass exodus. Eventually legislation was emplaced but as it is the product of too much input by too many people with different ideas it is about as useful as a hip pocket in a singlet and subject to the whims of highly paid conservators who themselves never see the light of day. For example, a WW.II fighter (the only virtually complete example of its type in Australia) was approved for export. On what basis you may ask - the approval was granted as an example existed in the ocean off the coast!!! Don't believe me? Have a look in the official papers !Don't let the bean counters get involved in something like this. They will quite happily spend all the money raised having lunch in Paris and buying crayons in Rome to discuss why the lower engine cowl panel has ten and not nine fasteners when the task at hand slips through their fingers......... Ok, Ok, I'll take my Prosac now.... Aeromedia.... get some good people alongside you, Perhaps talk to Sir Peter for patronage, get the celebs involved and shame the pollies and you shall have the basis of getting somewhere. I'll put in $NZ1,000 if the ball gets rolling.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 7, 2014 9:10:40 GMT 12
Maybe an approach to NZ On Air and tell them you're creating a reality television programme about renovating an old aeroplane, Mitre 10 Dream Plane? ..... well they gave out $8 million for some waste of space TV2 series this week, so why not?
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 7, 2014 9:24:00 GMT 12
Regarding Pete's suggestion of involving celebrities, there are a few around with aviation interests who are known to the public for other endeavours too: - Sir Peter Jackson (film maker) - Sir Tim Wallis (Otago legend) - Richie McCaw (rugby player) - Simon Gault (TV chef) - Jim Hickey (TV weatherman) - Phil Rudd (ACDC drummer, flies helicopters) - Amelia Reid (actress, daughter of Bill Reid)
Post by Andy Wright on Oct 7, 2014 10:59:58 GMT 12
Can anyone think of a 'personality' whose Dad or Grandfather or Uncle flew Corsairs in the RNZAF? Someone with that direct connection would surely have a bit of passion there they can communicate widely.
This is an opportunity that probably won't come up again so I'm keen for NZ to make this happen. Will chip in if a fundraising effort is started.
Someone best get organised quickly then - this won't necessarily stay on the market indefinitely.
I have also suggested something similar on this forum before for Glyn's Mosquito project, and also for the eventuality of John Smith's Mosquito eventually coming on the market (for display at AFW), and I don't think either suggestion got so much as a comment....
Just an update. I am working in the background and have approached the RNZAF Museum and received a relatively encouraging initial reaction. Also had a reply today from the broker who says there is quite a bit of interest already in the project. He points out, no doubt from years of experience, that generally museums don't have this sort of money and that the private collectors are the usual clients. However, for this to have a reasonable shot at success, the project would need to be funded through the Cultural and Heritage avenues with a substantial grant to "return a treasure home." Any piecemeal funding campaign could be put towards the later restoration. But the upfront amount would need to be pitched and found relatively quickly. And placed with the RNZAF Museum on behalf of the people of New Zealand.
I would be inclined to go through our local MP in the first instance to get the idea in front of the applicable Minister. But I have to get the horse in front of the cart first. I would expect an idea sometime next week whether the museums top brass have enough interest to set the ball rolling. That's about as much as I want to say at this stage as this is all very conceptual at this point and I don't want to play the nitty gritty out publicly until, and if, there's a positive way forward. Primarily this is out of respect to the museum. So don't read a lack of update from me as a sign nothing's happening. Alright, here we go...........
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 9, 2014 21:57:28 GMT 12
That's wrong Brenton. None of those aircraft came back, they were all burned on sight. NZ5648 was not one of those planes. And when they went to Japan they went as deck cargo, with round wing-tips intact.