Temora Aviation Museum received the Royal Australian Air Force Sabre A94-983 aircraft today as the result of a landmark agreement which was signed in Temora in November 2005.
Under the agreement, co-signed by the Founder and President of the Museum Mr David Lowy, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will loan one of its historic aircraft to the Temora Aviation Museum (TAM).
History of CAC Avon Sabre A94-983
Delivered from Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) in November 1957, A94-983 was brought into service at No 1 Aircraft Depot at Laverton before undergoing test flights at the Aircraft Research and Development Unit for three weeks. Upon completion the aircraft was delivered to No 78 Wing at Williamtown, and was subsequently allotted to No 3 Squadron at Butterworth in October 1958. In February 1959, the aircraft made a wheels-up landing at Butterworth, with extensive damage to the underside of the airframe, and was transported back to CAC at Avalon for survey and costing of repair work.
After repair, A94-983 was allotted to No 76 Squadron in February 1961, and was operated until July 1963, when the aircraft was dismantled and put into storage at No 78 Wing, Williamtown. In November 1966, the aircraft was put back into service, this time with No 2 (Fighter) Operational Conversion Unit. By July 1970, the aircraft had moved to No 5 Operational Training Unit, before returning to No 2 (Fighter) Operational Conversion Unit in August 1971. In November 1971 the aircraft was ferried to Base Squadron Butterworth, for transfer to the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
Transferred to No 11 Squadron of the Royal Malaysian Air Force in December 1971 as serial no FMI983, the aircraft flew until 1976, when grounded awaiting disposal. Rescued from its fate by No 75 Squadron, based at Butterworth, an E Servicing was carried out over 12 months and A94-983 flew again in July 1978 in RAAF hands. A94-983 was then shipped back to Australia, and restored by No 2 Aircraft Depot. A94-983 was first displayed in public in March 1981.
In November 1984 the aircraft carried out a forced landing and over-run at Bendigo, Victoria. The aircraft continued to be displayed by the RAAF Museum, and operated under the auspices of the Caribou and Historic Aircraft Section (CHAS) located at Richmond until 1992, and was relocated to Point Cook upon the disbandment of CHAS in 1997.
The Temora Aviation Museum will begin restoration on the Sabre aircraft with the aim of having the aircraft airworthy within twelve months to eighteen months.