ENGINES ALIVE: The A-40 Allison engine, with it's timber cooling propellers, will be fired up for the first time in 40 years.
ENGINES ALIVE: The A-40 Allison engine, with it's timber cooling propellers, will be fired up for the first time in 40 years. Queensland Air Museum

Roaring good time ahead at Air Museum

THE roar of the powerful engines that have driven the mechanical birds of the sky in the past will be fired up again for the pleasure of aviation enthusiasts at the Queensland Air Museum on April 7.

Engines Alive is a special event for vintage aircraft converts new and old, men and women. While the museum at Caloundra is open every day, except for Christmas Day, the Engines Alive Day sits at the top of the museum's list of exceptional experiences.

The museum's 100-strong volunteers, of which about 98 per cent are seniors, have been working overtime to restore and prepare for operation the classic engines.

QAM's marketing and promotions manager Geoff Smith said the engines would be run in-aircraft and free-standing on the hour throughout the day.

"Where else will you see about 80 aircraft with historical significance including Australia's first DC3, a F-111 Mirage Jet and our recently restored Lockheed Neptune which is an ex-RAAF aircraft that operated in the Torres Strait area for many years," Geoff said. "Where else can you see aircraft of that vintage in such close proximity?

"We've got a 28-litre V-12 Allison engine that hasn't run for 40 years that the boys have bought back to life. The Allison was an American manufactured engine, a subsidiary of General Motors, and they made a range of aircraft engines starting from quite small up to quite large, and they powered a range of aircraft throughout the '40s, '50s and '60s."

On the day there will also be carnival-type attractions like WWII jeep rides, a jumping castle for kids, the jazz and blues band Girl Friday and a sausage sizzle.

The QAM is located at 7 Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra. Engines Alive Day is open from 10am to 4pm. The entry cost for the volunteer run museum is $38 (family), $17 (adult), $12 (concession) and $10 (child).

For more information on Engines Alive Day, go to www.qam.com.au.


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