Queensland’s only operational warplane museum
Drive 50 minutes north from Brisbane or south from the Sunshine Coast and you’ll be in the Moreton Bay region, home to the Caboolture Warplane Museum, Queensland’s only operational warplane museum, where you can fly in a warplane.
The museum was set up in 1995 to promote the history of military and civil aviation to the wider community and is dedicated to preserving and publicly displaying artefacts from Australian Aviation History, with particular reference to WW11 and Vietnam.
It’s an important role honouring our pioneering and heroic aviators and educating new generations on the developments in machinery and technology that has brought them to the world they know today.
The Caboolture Warplane Museum shows what our country’s fathers and grandfathers experienced in building a proud tradition based on the highest standards of efficiency, expertise and courage.
For enquiries for warplane flights, please visit https://cwpmuseum.com.au/warplane-flights/
Hey kids, you can ‘fly’ the Huey helicopter!
The Caboolture Warplane Museum plays host to special interest groups, photography events, disability tours, wings and wheels events, aviation interest school groups and air cadets and, most of the time, to families, where kids can hop into the Bell Iroquois helicopter and ‘fly’.
Adults also enjoy the experience, where you can grab a photograph wearing a real helmet.
Skytrain of the Skies, the D-C47 Dakota
When a nose section is all that’s left of a DC3, there is much to learn of its youthful flying days and the historically famous who flew in her.
The C47 Dakota served with No.2 Squadron RAF and was used to transport Field Marshall Henry Maitland Wilson, Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean and successor to Dwight D Eisenhower. During its RAF career, the aircraft had the privilege of flying dignitaries such as Sir Winston Churchill and King George VI. After a compelling RAF career, it serviced commercial operations and was eventually mounted on a pole and became the guardian of the Cairns Airport.
Queensland’s first Aboriginal fighter pilot, Len Waters
Len Waters, Queensland’s first Aboriginal fighter pilot, flew his Kittyhawk in the Southwest Pacific Theatre (based on an island off Dutch New Guinea and later in Borneo) where he completed 95 missions mainly as close air support bombing and strafing enemy ground positions. In 2018, author Peter Rees wrote The Missing Man about Len’s life, acknowledging that he should have had a world of opportunity ahead of him at war’s end, yet he became the missing man in Australia’s wartime flying history. The book is available for purchase at the museum.
Vintage aircraft – admirable icons in early aviation
It’s 1931 – imagine nine days of flight, from England to Australia, in a vintage classic biplane and only a flying jacket and headwear for protection against harsh weather. A total distance of 16,898 kms or 10,500 miles will leave your mind boggling at the bravery of the pilot and sheer guts it took to fly into a night sky with sudden engine cuts due to water in the fuel.
It’s 1953 – the severely cyclone damaged aircraft was discovered in storage in outback Western Australian town of Trayning by pilot Edward Field. Ed’s passion to see it fly again set in motion the future of this aircraft’s second-life along with two dusty log books.
In the mid 1980’s, Ed Field bought the Gipsy Moth to Caboolture to begin a project to return it to its original condition, as it was, 88 years ago, and include the original British registration markings (G-ABHY). Nowadays, VH-UQH remains airworthy and is an admirable icon in early aviation memories of yesteryear.
F-111 aircraft crew module
The F-1II might spark your memory with the afterburner effect from the night fly-pasts for Riverfire.
The crew module, when jettisoned, had to be watertight, self-righting, floating and provide protection for the crew members from environment hazards on land or water. When crew action the jettisoning, a single large parachute reduces speed for the descent and on landing, an airbag system cushions the impact. It could also serve as a survival shelter for the crew until a rescue could be mounted.
F-111’s are no longer used and ended up in landfill at the Queensland Thiess Services Swannbank Renewable Energy and Waste Management Facility. Carbon fibre, used extensively in the aircraft industry is light but very strong. It is used in areas where chaffing may or will occur such as the moving flaps and trimming flaps. When carbon fibre breaks down it creates a very fine powder, which, once ingested, will cause symptoms similar to Asbestosis.
Exhibits and Displays
A decent collection of exhibits at the Caboolture Warplane Museum provides over an hour of interesting learning. These include:
- Bren Gun Carrier
- Bofors gun
- An operating search light
- Taylor mono plane
- F111 aircrew escape module
- Full sized Iroquois helicopter
- Radial engines
- WWI & WWII memorabilia
- Model airplanes
- Animated movies for kids in the museum’s theatrette
Visiting the Caboolture Warplane Museum
- Adults – $10.00
- Pensioners/concession card holders – $7.00
- Children 5 to 15 – $5.00
- Family entry (2 adults + 2 children under 15 – $25.00)
The Caboolture Warplane Museum is open 7 days a week, between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm, with the exception of Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. There is plenty of parking available at the front of the museum as well as seating within the hangar space.
Where to find the Caboolture Warplane Museum
The Caboolture Warplane Museum is located at Hangar 101, 157 McNaught Road, Caboolture, Queensland 4510. Phone (07) 5330 1969 / 0401 493 999.
Heading north, take Bribie Island exit 152 off the highway, cross over the bridge and turn left at the lights into Aerodrome Road. After approximately 700 metres the road veers right, then follow McNaught Road about 200 metres and turn left into Eagle Lane. The museum resides to the left of Eagle Lane.
Heading south, watch for the exit to Caboolture into Bribie Island Road.
To find out more, please visit the Caboolture Warplane Museum website.