This mustang is A68-187 and was converted to a RR Dart engine but never flew It is now owned by Frank Borrman and was modified back to standard and now resides in the US.
Ahhh... The famous "Dart-ang," the Rolls Royce Dart conversion of Commonwealth Mustang A68-187, converted at Bankstown Airport in Sydney. Later restored to Merlin power by Square One, this is now Frank Borman's N50FS "Su Su II", registered to Picacho Aviation LLC, Fairacres, NM, and formerly N19WJ and VH-UFO.
This is an Australian built CA-18 Mustang A68-187 registered quite appropriately as VH-OFU and is seen photographed at Canberra Airport. It was re-engined with a Rolls Royce Dart, had the belly scoop removed and a couple of CAC CA-27 Sabre Drop tanks fitted. It also eventually had other significant structural mods to the rear fuselage and tail feathers to offset the new powerplant. It never flew in this configuration. I have further info if required. It is now Frank Borman's Su Su II flying as N50FS.
The enigmatic VH-UFO... This was a CA-18 A68-187 and went through a number of owners, and display modes before ending up on a pole in 1967. Hockley Treloar brought her down from the pole in 69' and by 1973 had begun modifying her with a Viscount RR Dart, completing this around 76 or 77. The Mustang never flew with this engine and the aircraft was stored and shipped to the usa in 1995. Square One finished her rebuild into a TF-51D, and thus her strange story continues...
I was involved with Hockey Treloar and Bill Smith ( Formerly of Aerosmith - Bankstown) I was the the person who helped initiated the transfer of Hockey's Spitfire , spares and Dart Mustang to Toowoomba for further work. I removed the "cracker box" igniter and wiring from the Dart installation on Bill Smith's request to help deter any thoughts of rebuilding as a Dart powered aircraft.
I still have a lot of video of the aircraft and spare Merlins when they first arrived in Toowoomba. It was tragic news to hear that SUSE was destroyed in a crash in the U.S. It certainly was beautiful when Frank Borman owned it.
I remember seeing this aircraft at Canberra airport in late 70's early 80's I was struck by the flaps hanging down. Thanks for your work in keeping the history of these conversions alive
Incredibly I found this thread this morning as I was thinking of my late father Danny Graham.
He was a sheet metal specialist in the RAAF and retired with his final posting at RAAF Fairbourne Canberra in early 70’s.
My father worked on this exact same aircraft at Aerosmith hangar Canberra and I would help him on the weekends.
I was only about 10 or 11 years old but could fit in the fuselage easily and hold the dolly while my old man riveted from the outside.
What makes it clear in my mind is that it’s the exact same aircraft as my old man would always say that Hockey Treloar wanted it to be the fastest Mustang in the world and I remember clearly that the Rolls Royce Dart Turbo Prop engine was going to be installed in Sydney.
I think my dad was involved with the fitting of the drop tanks too as I remember this being talked about a lot.
Other jobs I would do was shoot the Starlings with an air rifle in the hangar which were an introduced species from England The birds were a pest with nesting in the wings and fuselage of the various aircraft in the hangar.
Another particular aircraft at the hangar about the same time was a Spitfire also owned by Hockey Treloar, we think the Starling problem may have began when the Spitfire was brought to Canberra from England as we found Starling nests in the wings.
I don’t remember meeting Hockey but my dad would always talk about him and how he was going to fund an expedition to New Guinea to salvage a crashed Japanese Zero from the jungle. My dad was asked if he wanted to go but for some reason this never occurred.
I do remember Bill Smith quite well as he was usually at the hangar on weekends, he seemed like a nice bloke although my dad said he was never paid for the work he did there for Bill.