Fokker F.27 Friendship VH-CAT

After retirement from Departmental service in 1978, Fokker F.27 Friendship VH-CAT was sold to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Cloud Physics and flew on a variety of research tasks. The aircraft was crewed and maintained by East-West Airlines from 1979 to 1991. In November 1991 VH-CAT was sold to Australian Flight Test Services, but leased back to CSIRO, and in November 1993 it was sold again to Omega Aviation Inc. of Mudjimba, Qld. By the mid-2000s VH-CAT was stored at Adelaide/Parafield Airport.

On 14 December 2008 VH-CAT was dismantled and trucked to the South Australian Aviation Museum at Port Adelaide, where it was installed elevated and less its port outer wing. The top photo shows VH-CAT in later-style CSIRO livery at Parafield in the late 1990s. The photo below shows it at the excellent SAAM in January 2013 wearing its final 'Airborne Research Vehicles' livery. Underneath VH-CAT is Adelaide pilot Jon Johanson's record-breaking Vans RV-4 VH-NOJ, whilst the Supermarine Spitfire in the foreground is Mk Vc A58-146 (marked with its original RAF serial EE853).



(Photos: Top-Phil Vabre collection; Bottom-Phil Vabre)

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