Bellman Hangar Restoration at Evans Head Nearing Completion

Neglected  Bellman Hangar at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome before restoration

Neglected Bellman Hangar at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome before restoration

In April VWD reported that the last of the Bellman Hangars at the State Heritage Listed  Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome was being restored and would soon become home to the one remaining F-111 of six being loaned out to various museums around Australia by Defence.

In that picture story the hangar had been taken down for sand-blasting and repainting before being put back up again. Some parts which were beyond recovery were replaced with similar or identical parts from the former Council Works Depot Bellman Hangar which was dismantled by Council in 2010 (see below).  

Former Council Works Depot being dismantled by Council in September 2010

Former Council Works Depot being dismantled by Council in September 2010

Here are some examples of the state of the hangar before recovery.

Door panel beyond repair

Door panel beyond repair

Rusted out uprights ready for the scrap heap

Rusted out uprights ready for the scrap heap.  Council failed in its duty of care to look after the structure as required by the Heritage Act 1977

Once the frame was reassembled the building was given new cladding and lighting and side wall translucent panels.

Refurbished building with new cladding.   This picture taken on the north side of the Bellman shows rehabilitated door frames waiting to be hung and prepared for cladding.

Refurbished building with new cladding. This picture taken on the north side of the Bellman shows rehabilitated door frames waiting to be hung and prepared for cladding.

The transformation from old to new was remarkable.

Stacked rusting door frames before sand-blasting and painting

Before: Stacked rusting door frames before sand-blasting and painting

After: Restored door frames waiting for installation

After: Restored door frames waiting for installation

The doors have now been rehung and the re-cladding has started.  Won’t be long before the hangar is to lock-up stage in time for the F-111’s arrival by trucks at Evans Head on 5 August.  Hurray.

Northern end of hangar shown door frames in place awaiting cladding.

Northern end of hangar shown door frames in place awaiting cladding.

The floor has also been redone.

Floor has been resurfaced and the door frames hung as shown in this picture

Floor has been resurfaced and the door frames hung as shown in this picture

The F-111’s coming on three low-loaders.  It’s that big.  And there will be an opportunity to sit in the cockpit once it’s put together again.  But sadly you won’t be able to take it for a spin.  Its flying days as a versatile fighter-bomber reconnaissance aircraft are over.

F-111 at Evans Head before retirement

F-111 at Evans Head before retirement

 

 

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