$1.2m aviation museum project set for take off in Ashburton

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Ashburton Aviation Museum president Stephen Johnston and building committee chairman Owen Moore...
Ashburton Aviation Museum president Stephen Johnston and building committee chairman Owen Moore look over the initial plans for the new hangar. Photo: Ashburton Courier
It’s already rated one of the best in the country, but plans for a big hangar extension will cement Ashburton Aviation Museum’s place as one of the best in Australasia.

A build committee has been formed to guide and co-ordinate the 1880m2 hangar project which will house aircraft and cabinet displays.

A shop and reception area will add another 160m2 to the build and will link the new building to the current round hangar to create a huge aviation display complex.

In 2008 the aviation museum built and opened the super hangar (1920m2) to provide a home for the Southern DC3 aircraft ZK AMY and other planes.

The museum has 40 aircraft in its fleet and is eyeing a couple more.

Space is a major issue and to do the collection justice the way forward was to be build a new hangar, Ashburton Aviation Museum building committee chairman Owen Moore said.

An air ambulance was sitting around without its wings because there was no room and a Cessna ag wagon and other items were in storage.

Mr Moore said the museum would be 50-years-old in 2024 and it hoped to have the new hangar built by then.

“We’re not in a hurry to do it. We want to do it once and do it right.”

The estimated cost of the project is $1.2 million.

Mr Moore said the new hangar would feature a mezzanine floor that would be used to display memorabilia.

Setting up the displays on wheels would enable the space to be cleared and used as a function area that the community would be encouraged to use.

Museum consultant Richard Arlidge has been employed to help the museum group come up with a project plan and planned workshops will fill in the gaps as the project progresses.

A feasibility study, including costings, will follow, and also detailed design plans.

Mr Moore said a number of different funding bodies would be approached and it was hoped to have the project open by November 2024.

The round hanger at the museum houses a dozen aircraft including a Polish Mig 17, Tiger Moth, Spartan and aero club planes.

The super hangar is home to the DC3 and two dozen other planes and exhibits.

-By Mick Jensen

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