Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Flight of the Flightless Houdini Biplane Model

Melton has recently claimed a heritage biplane model from Diggers Rest.

Ian Satur with Lion Silvan Francis 2010
In the lead up to the 2010 Centenary of Flight celebrations, Ian Satur of Melton, undertook a 700 hour labour of love to build a third scale model of the famous Houdini biplane. The Lions Club of Diggers Rest sponsored Ian for the sum of the materials and, on completion of the construction, Ian gratefully gave the Lions Club the model for safe keeping.

The model was proudly displayed during the centenary of flight celebrations.

For three years, the Lions Club housed the biplane in the heritage school house for safe keeping and display to the local community. However, it became apparent that the biplane should be placed in a more public location. So the Lions Club, Ian Satur and the Aviation Heritage Society agreed that the biplane should be moved to Australian National Aviation Museum. The location was chosen for the benefit of the Victorian public interested in aviation and to put Diggers Rest on the map for Australia.

More recently the model biplane was taken from the Australian National Aviation Museum and transported to Melton. It is unclear why Melton was chosen as a location. Melton is an unreasonable distance from the location of the original flight - 25 minute drive or a 2 hour bus trip to travel from Diggers Rest to Melton. According to a recent report on, a Melton resident has lobbied to move the biplane to its new location. The report also states that the model has been severely damaged in the transport.

For now, it is taken away from its previously rightful places in either Diggers Rest or the Australian Aviation Museum. It is undergoing repairs and then a new location is suggested as the Melton library or the Melton Learning Hub.

Wherever, the artifact model goes to next may also be temporary. Perhaps it will never find a home.

Have your say. Should the Houdini biplane be placed in Melton, Diggers Rest, the aviation museum, the Victorian state museum, or somewhere else?

How much is the model really worth if it attracts so much attention?

Share This Page

Twitter Facebook Favorites More