The June 2018 Classic TF Registrar’s Report

Read on for all the news in Classic TFs, including the May run to Wings Over Illawarra 2018, thanks to Michael Hough’s latest report.

June 2018 Classic TF Registrar’s Report

By Michael Hough

Photos by, and thanks to, Michael Hough, Graeme Lord and Ingo Weinberger

Hi, and welcome to another successful month of interest and activity in MG related motoring.

In this Fifth Classic TF Registrar’s report for Opposite Lock 2018 I want to cover:

  • A full report on the 1st half year Classic TF run Wings Over Illawarra 2018 on Sunday 6 May
  • Give some advice about preparing your classic TF for the MG Car Club Display Day and Concours in October 2018, our second half year Classic TF activity
  • Continue a dialogue started last month on whether we can organise an import of some 5 speed classic TF gearbox conversions
  • Encourage you to write about your own experiences by providing another short story about the MGs I have owned

So, let’s get started!

The Annual TF Register Run:  Wings Over Illawarra 2018

The first half year Classic TF Register run was the Sunday of the two day air show – Wings Over Illawarra 2018.

I hope that your enthusiasm and support for classic aviation will be boosted by this report of a very successful annual air show.

This is the twelfth WOI annual air show and we can all take great pride that the east coast aviation fraternity now run the only annual air show offered each year in Australia – a very significant achievement in its own right.

The full details follow but the quick summary is:

  • The weather was terrific, and we had a great two days
  • The air show was the most successful ever, with over 35,000 people attending
  • The “Swing Into Wings” Dinner on the Saturday night was excellent, with approximately 240 people attending, and a great line-up of after dinner speakers commemorating “The Old” – The 747 London-Sydney record breaking flight crews, and “The New”. The main speaker was Qantas Captain Lisa Norman who recently piloted the inaugural non-stop flight for Perth to London in a 787 Dreamliner.

So, if you meant to come but decided not to, you missed a really spectacular event!

Next year’s event, Wings Over Illawarra 2019, is scheduled for Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 May, so please put those dates into your forward planning diary now!

Some extra information about Wings 18

The 12TH consecutive and annual air show was held at the Illawarra Regional Airport and was extremely successful, with an estimated 35,000 attending across the two days. It is now fair to say that the Wings Over Illawarra has become a major east coast tourist event. It is reported to have become the largest regional tourist event in NSW, besides the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival, and also holds the distinction of being the only major air show to run annually in Australia!

The event was a deserved success, with a great range of aircraft flying.

We saw a very strong Australian Defence Force commitment this year, including the RAAF F/A-18, Hawk 127, P-8A Poseidon (first ever Australian air show appearance), C-17 Globemaster III, Roulettes, Army Blackhawk and RAN Seahawk and MRH-90.  We also saw historic warbirds such as Focke-Wulf 190, Spitfire, Hurricane, Mustang, Avenger, and Sabre, all complemented by the spectacular stunt flying of the Paul Bennett Airshow team and Matt Hall.

HARS (the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society) took the decision this year not to include its aircraft in the flying display, choosing instead to make more aircraft available for public tours.  HARS believes this move was more beneficial to support its operations, as HARS relies entirely on donations and sponsors to support all of its aviation activities. Accordingly, HARS had fourteen historic aircraft open for inspection and the rest of its fleet available for close viewing across the two days of the air show.

The Air Show Program

The two-day air show had a very active flying program which can be seen by going to:- The program was an excellent mix of current military and civil aircraft and warbirds type aircraft.

Of equal or greater interest were the airshow stunt pilots, Paul Bennett’s Airshows and Matt Hall, who gave great displays in specialist aircraft like the Pitt Specials.

Of special interest were:

  • The first east coast appearance at an air show of the RAAF Poseidon long range surveillance aircraft which are beginning to replace the Lockheed P3C Orion in service. This was accompanied by the fact that on the ground HARS was displaying all of this aircraft’s operational predecessors back to WW2, namely the WW2 PBY6 Catalina, the P2V7 Neptune (3 a/c) and the P3C Orion!
  • The final appearance of the RAAF Roulettes in formation flying in their PC9 aircraft. The Roulettes are transitioning to the PC21 immediately after the Avalon International Air Show in Feb 2019. They have advised that they will not be available as a formation routine for WOI 19 due to their need to work up safe formation flying routines with new aircraft.
  • The “flying display only “appearance of the new RAN Seahawk Romeo anti-submarine attack helicopter, which for security reasons could display but not land and be open for public inspection as per all the other navy helos.
  • The appearance and public display of the new Airbus (Eurocopter) selected for the new Joint Army/Navy helicopter flying training school at HMAS Albatross. This is the EC135 T2+ with very distinctive and attractive markings; army on the starboard side rotor assembly and navy on the port side of the rotor assembly.
  • The appearance in one air show display of four rare WW2 era single engine fighters: the Focke Wulf 190 (Luftwaffe); the Supermarine Spitfire (RAF and RAAF); the Hawker Hurricane (RAF) and the North American Mustang (both USAF, RAF and RAAF).

The Car Show Component

Unfortunately the numbers and range of cars on display at WOI has been steadily shrinking and this is a trend that is occurring at all car shows whenever the event organisers require a long full day attendance at an event with no option for release before a nominated and usually late time e.g. 4.30pm.

As this means a very long day including a very early start and a very late arrival home, car show events such as CARnivale on Australia Day and WOI have seen an associated decline in numbers.

The MG Car Car Club Sydney display attracted six cars,  and I would like to thank our ever faithful Ingo Weinberger who turned up and took many of the photos that accompany his article. Here is his report:

TF Run & Wings Over Illawarra – only six club members attended – Leonie, Michael, Ross Freeman, Greg Fereday, Bruce Smith and myself, only one other TF, (red)Tony Mitchell’s from Wollongong’s Classic and Veterans’ Car Club. Brilliant sunshine and good flying weather, meaning little wind.

No HARS planes were flying, no Connie, no Catalina, no Caribou but the Roulettes did (naturally) plus ‘Warbirds’, the ex-military craft now in private hands, such as Wirraway, Boomerang, Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang.

There were formation displays by Russian ex-training aircraft in numbers, aerobatics by ‘Pitt Specials’ and others whose names have slipped from my memory.

A finale by a F18 Hornet, setting off an explosion on the runway, was a great end to the Air Show flying program!

There were fewer ‘classic’ cars attending than in previous years, and the car park emptied very quickly. Those going north were allowed to use the one way section to pick up the Princes Hwy which meant it was under 10 minutes to the roundabout and then you were travelling at highway speeds. Only 1 h 30 mins to get home! Cheers, Ingo“.

Preparing your Classic TF for our 2018 Car Show and Display Day in October

It is very satisfying to report that our classic TF turnout is now one of the strongest register turnouts on each October Display Day, and again I want to thank each and every one who supports us in this way.

The competition was again very strong and the standard of the Classic TFs on display each year just gets better and better!

Accordingly, I have obtained a copy of an advice guide to prepare your Classic TF for concours and show presentation. It is in pdf copy and you can view it at this link [PDF].

5 Speed Gearboxes for Classic TFs

In last month’s Opposite Lock, I began a dialogue about whether we could get a significantly large number of interested purchasers to consider importing some 5 speed gearbox conversions from the UK which do not require alterations of the car’s interior to fit.

I would still like to have a dialogue with interested person(s) who might consider purchasing one. A bulk buy and import of say five or so of these conversion kits would considerably reduce the cost.

So, without prejudice or commitment, I again request: could you let me know of your ‘in principle” interest in purchasing a 5 speed conversion for a classic TF and, depending upon the levels of response, we may or may not proceed any further.

Enjoy your motoring

Michael Hough

Classic TF Registrar

[email protected]


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