Transformation of vane plane

If you have driven past the Clare Valley Aerodrome recently, you will likely have noticed a new addition to the entrance way.

And while it might just look like a ‘plane on a pole’, it is in fact the site’s new wind vane, and quite an engineering feat.

The plane and propeller move with the wind, it has a retractable undercarriage, and at night, solar navigation and cockpit lights illuminate.

The full-size, Tobago TB10 – a French-made trainer plane – was donated to the group by Flight Training Adelaide.

Fully engineered and overseen by experienced engineers along the way, Flying Group public officer Peter Eaton’s bold vision to transform the plane into a working wind vane was a truly team effort.

“There has been a core group of about four of us working on this over the last six months, but there was a lot of input by the committee members, everyone had some involvement at some stage,” Peter said.

“The engineering by our vice chair Peter Roberts has been amazing, plus we’ve had other voluntary engineering input assisting along the way.

“I said somewhat tongue-in-cheek that it’s a world first. I don’t know how many of these are around, but I wouldn’t think there would be many that are on a pole, spin with the wind and have retractable undercarriage and lights.

“I think this is going to be a tourist attraction in itself.”