Temora Aviation Museum April Aircraft Showcase 2021


The silhouettes of the crowd watching a display at Temora Aviation Museum. Photographed by Megan Kennedy

The flat terrain and fair weather conditions north-east of the Riverina area have long been favoured by Australian aviators. Once home to the RAAF's No. 10 Elementary Flying Training School, the town of Temora has since thrived on aviation activity. The Temora Aviation Museum, which holds regular flying days for the public, opened the gates last Saturday for an April showcase. From the extensive line-up, it was the Skymaster and Dragonfly I was most looking forward to seeing.

The Cessna O-2A Skymaster in black and white photographed by Megan Kennedy

The Cessna O-2A Skymaster and the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly are both as quirky as each other. The Skymaster's unusual propeller and tail configuration lends to its cute box-like appearance, while the squished cockpit of the Dragonfly gives the light attack aircraft a somewhat amiable façade. That said, both aircraft have served critical roles in wartime. Over its service in conflict zones, the Temora Aviation Museum's Cessna O-2A sustained enemy fire on a number of occasions. After being purchased by David Lowy in 2000, the aircraft was donated to the museum where it is flown as both a utility workhorse and a display aircraft.

The Temora Aviation Museum's Cessna O-2A Skymaster in flight. Photographed by Megan Kennedy
A display by the Temora Aviation Museum's  Cessna A-37B Dragonfly. Photograph by Megan Kennedy

Developed from the T-37 Tweet trainer, the Cessna A-37B Dragonfly was used extensively in support of Australian ground units during the Vietnam War. In 1975, a total of ninety-five VNAF Dragonflies were captured and subsequently deployed by the Vietnamese People’s Air Force. In 1989 several of the aircraft were discovered in Vietnam. These aircraft were purchased from the Vietnamese Government and transported to Australia. Two of the relocated aircraft were donated to the Temora Aviation Museum in 2000 and 2001 by David Lowy. After considerable restoration on VH-XVA, the aircraft returned to flight in 2018.

Cessna A-37B Dragonfly in flight. Photographed by Megan Kennedy
Smoke trails in the sky left by the Cessna Dragonfly. Photographed by Megan Kennedy

Other aircraft flying on the day included the Ryan STM S2, the CA-25 Winjeel, the Supermarine Spitfire MkVIII and the CA-18 Mustang Mk23:

An airborne Ryan STM S2 in black and white photographed by Megan Kennedy
 An airborne CA-25 Winjeel in black and white photographed by Megan Kennedy
The Supermarine Spitfire MkVIII photographed in black and white by Megan Kennedy
A CA-18 Mustang Mk23 in flight photographed by Megan Kennedy