A rare chance to see the original Duigan biplane attracted MV Members to a special open day at the museum's offsite collection store on 25 July.
Over 150 members enjoyed the invite-only event that was part of the museum's celebration of the Centenary of Australian Aviation. After a safety briefing, small groups of MV Members entered the collection store which is usually closed to the public. Inside, curators David Crotty and Matthew Churchward showed and spoke about the museum's collection of Duigan material, including orignal plans, photographs, and the aeroplane itself. Also on show in the store were two planes brought back from the Nowra Fleet Air Arm Museum in February this year - the CAC CA-16 Wirraway and the 1959 Millicer Air Tourer Mk1 - and the Aubrey Lock & Azor Robbins aero engine made in 1910.
After many years on display at the museum's former home in Swanston Street, the Duigan biplane is in need of some minor conservation work. Until it is sturdy enough for display it will remain in storage. Meanwhile, a faithful replica of the plane hangs in the entrance of Melbourne Museum.
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Hi Chris! Yes, a group of private enthusiasts have built a flying replica of Duigan’s aeroplane (with assistance from the Museum) which they plan to fly at Bendigo later this year. Details can be found at www.duigancentenaryofflight.org.au
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