I have always loved old aeroplanes. I can remember as a small boy going along to air shows and being thrilled by the rumble of big radial engines and the spine-tingling noise of a 12-cylinder Merlin engine on a Spitfire. And the smooth sound of the ubiquitous Lycoming or Continental flat four. There’s just something about the smell, sound and look of an antique aircraft that pushes all my buttons – well, many of them, anyway!
A while back, I joined the Antique Aeroplane Association of Australia – AAAA – which is (strangely as its name suggests) an association for the owners and operators of older aircraft. They have a great website at: http://www.antique-aeroplane.com.au where you can find out all about old planes and how to join AAAA.
They categorise their aircraft in four ways – Antiques are those aircraft in production in or before 1945; Classics are from 1945-1955; Contemporary are 1956-1970; and Warbirds are what they say – aircraft of any age, ooperated by the military of any country. The AAAA has gatherings all over Australia and they have a current events list on their website. Of particular enjoyment each year are the various State & Territory ‘Toy Runs’ for collecting presents for disadvantaged children – check the AAAA website for details later in the year.
Meanwhile, I’ll soon be flying my own antique aeroplane, which is older than me but in much better condition! Watch this space…