08 November 2010
RAAF's DHC-4 Caribou (photo : aaeg)
For sale: used Caribou, one owner
FOR sale: used Caribou transport aircraft, one careful owner.
Defence is seeking to dispose of the last of its fleet of RAAF Caribou aircraft which entered service in 1964, flew right through the Vietnam war, then delivered flood and disaster aid and much more in a protracted peacetime career.
The RAAF's last operational Caribou made its final flight a year ago, landing at Canberra airport en route to a new home at the Australian War Memorial.
Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare said Defence had now invited tenders for disposal of the retired aircraft.
"The Caribou has had a long and distinguished history with the Australian Defence Force," Mr Clare said in a statement on Monday.
"It was first brought into service in Vietnam and has served with distinction for nearly half a century.
The aircraft was famous for its ability to take off and land on short and unprepared runways.
"This unique ability allowed the Caribou to play a major role in relief operations both within Australia and internationally."
Tender details on the Defence website give no indication of price or how many aircraft are for sale.
The website says only that tenderers must hold the appropriate government licences or permits.
The RAAF acquired 29 of the Canadian-built aircraft between 1964 and 1968.
Three were lost in Vietnam, although no crew were killed.
Others crashed in Papua New Guinea, one killing eight Australians and 21 of 25 PNG cadets aboard.
The aircraft were progressively retired, leaving a final operational fleet of 11.
Mr Clare said two aircraft would be reserved for sale to historical organisations that would preserve them in flying condition.
Two have already been presented to the RAAF Museum at Point Cook near Melbourne and the War Memorial in Canberra.
Mr Clare said some Caribou components would be made available only to historical organisations and returned service organisations.
The tender closes on March 1, 2011.