Warbird Flying Adventure has arrived at Tooradin Airport
Courtesy of Wendy Morriss - Country to Coast Journal - September 2012
Experienced aerobatic pilot Laurie Jones and his wife Rebecca Green who live at Koo Wee Rup have invested in a Chinese warbird Nanchang CJ-6A and launched their new business 'Adventure Wings' at the Tooradin Airport for the thrill and excitement of warbird aerobatics.
Nanchang 39' or VH-CJE was built in China in 1983 to train Chinese airforce pilots. It arrived in Australia in the mid-90s where it was rebuilt, and it resided at Tyabb for several years before moving to Gatton in Queensland. Proud new owners Laurie and Rebecca of Adventure Wings Pty Ltd are now operating adventure flights in the Nanchang 39' from Tooradin Airport with an on-board HD video system to record the flights, so passengers can revisit their unique experience and share it with others.
Due to its sturdy construction, the CJ-6A trainer is a popular plane and used extensively for adventure flights. The aircraft appears on the civil register of the USA, Australia, UK, South Africa and other countries. The design dates back to 1958 and it was so successful that the type is still being flown and produced without any modifications other than modern radios and a heater. The People's Republic of China Airforce continues to use it today.
The CJ-6A is an all-original Chinese design that is commonly mistaken for a Yak 18A developed by the Soviet Union. Its predecessor, the Nanchang CJ-5, was a licence-built version of the Yak-1 8A; however, advancements in pilot training brought a need for a new aircraft with improved performance and tricycle landing gear.
During late 1957, aeronautical engineers began work on the trainer design that addressed the shortcomings of the Yak-1 8A. The design they delivered featured an aluminum semi-monocoque fuselage, flush-riveted throughout, and introduced a modified Clark aerofoil wing design with pronounced dihedral in the outer sections. Wind tunnel testing validated the design, and in May 1958, the program was transferred to the Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing factory for the production of the CJ-6A.