Rebuilt from the inside out

21:46, Jan 24 2013
Southland Times photo
Gore Airforce Museum curator Roy Richardson hopes to restore the Hughes 500 C Helicopter to its former glory.

It used to work the tuna boats, but now an old helicopter has opted for the quiet life in rural New Zealand.

The Hughes 500 C model helicopter has been intriguing visitors from around the world at its new base at Gore Airforce Museum.

Curator Roy Richardson said the major drawcard for people was the chance to see the chopper in a dismantled state, something many may not have seen before.

For people with mechanical minds, it's interesting to see how everything fits together he said.

"A lot of people have been through. They can see how things like rotor blades have been put together, and they are quite fascinated how they've been built."

The helicopter arrived at the museum about 18 months ago as a shell. Richardson has gathered parts from across New Zealand and painstakingly put it back together, though it's still far from finished, he said.


"I can put it back together, it's just a matter of getting the parts."

History buffs would also get a kick out the museum, which has a wide array of knick knacks collected over its 31-year history.

"There's a lot of history in the place.

"Everyone's been behind us at one stage or another . . . we try to remember everyone who has helped us out over the years."

"We've had a lot of fun here."

The Southland Times