AviationHeritage.org - Working to document aviation heritage and history through the use of modern technologies
RAAF De Havilland Mosquito A52-609 at Coomalie, NT (State Library of SA [PRG 1435/4/1], 1945)
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Digital Air Force updates and happy new year

Daniel J. Leahy & Fiona Shanahan
28 December 2016

Since the website went live in July, our team has been quite busy working on a number of projects relating to Australia’s aviation heritage of World War II.

Photographs taken during our visit to the Benalla Airport in June were used to test the feasibility of 3D scanning large, World War II era hangars and buildings. Although a 3D model of one of the buildings was partially successful, further time needs to be spent at the site in ideal weather conditions to allow this project to be fully completed.

Fig. 1 - 3D model of WWII era building at Benalla Airport (Daniel Leahy, 2016)

Scanning of a second test site - that of a memorial to an American killed in the crash of a Bell P-400 Airacobra near Sydney (Traynor 2014) - was successful and this model has been brought into a virtual reality (VR) test environment. Further work is continuing to be done on the model of this site to ensure that the ‘gaming’ environment will run efficiently on all systems.

Fig. 2 - 3D model of Lt. George Cantello Memorial in VR test environment (Shane Wicke, 2016)

These two sites form part of our ‘Digital Air Force’ project, the initial work of which was presented during the Conflict Archaeology session of the 2016 Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA) Conference held in Christchurch, New Zealand, during September. The presentation was eagerly accepted by those in attendance and has led to a number of contacts being made for potential future projects. The slide pack for the presentation has been made publicly available through the Academia.edu system.

We have also created a Sketchfab profile where 3D models of smaller artefacts and sites can now be accessed.

Further research was conducted at the Australian War Memorial in December and included a guided tour for one of our members through the Treloar Technology Centre – the Memorial’s storage facility for large technology items (including aircraft). The Memorial’s Hudson bomber, A16-105, was recently put on display at the Canberra Airport (Winchester 2016) and was also visited during this time.

Fig. 3 - Lockheed Hudson A16-105 located at the Canberra Airport (Daniel Leahy, 2016)

We are continually searching for sponsorship or donations of computer hardware and equipment which will allow us to continue to document Australia’s aviation heritage and history. If you feel that you might be able to assist, please feel free to contact us.

We would also like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for 2017! We hope to be able to provide further updates on our projects over the coming months.

Thanks to the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology (ASHA), Australian War Memorial, Benalla Aviation Museum and Benalla Rural City Council for their assistance with our projects over the past five months.

External Links

Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology
Australian War Memorial
Benalla Aviation Museum
Benalla Rural City Council


Traynor, G. 2014 P-39 Airacobras in defence of Australia, Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 28 December 2016 from <https://www.awm.gov.au/blog/2014/06/13/p-39-airacobras-defence-australia/>.

Winchester, B. 2016 The ultimate reverse park? Hudson bomber installed at airport, The Canberra Times. Retrieved 28 December 2016 from <http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/the-ultimate-reverse-park-hudson-bomber-installed-at-airport-20161202-gt32tb.html>.


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Website Designed and Built by Daniel J. Leahy, 2016-18.