Plane wings its way to auto museum

A car museum in Joostenberg Vlakte has a new attraction that is turning heads.

Visitors to the Wijnland Auto Museum and motorists passing by on the nearby N1 have been intrigued by the aeroplane parked next to all the old cars.

The museum’s owner, Leslie Boshoff, bought the Convair CV-580 from its Nigerian owner in September last year. Mr Boshoff saw the plane advertised online.

Because its flying days are over it had to be shipped by air.

Mr Boshoff won’t say how much it cost him to do that, but he says it wasn’t cheap and there was a lot of red tape involved.

“One has to dismantle certain parts of the aeroplane, such a wings and a tail, as required by the regulations prior to transportation. To execute this process, there are additional costs involved to disassemble and assemble the parts.”

He says he had got the idea to buy a plane while visiting an aviation museum in Germany last year.

“I was fascinated by that particular aviation museum, and gave it deep thought.”

The plane has proved to be the museum’s star attraction since its arrival, says Mr Boshoff. A film company wants to use it for a shoot, and now Mr Boshoff plans to buy a helicopter.

“What I am doing is very enjoyable, I must admit,” he says.

His personal assistant, Belinda Maree, says the museum is preparing for visits from several pre-primary and primary schools, with pupils eager to see the plane up close. “This is going to be a wonderful experience for the kids as most of them have never be in an aircraft before,” Mr Boshoff says.

He hopes to ramp up the plane’s visitor-pulling power by installing a flight simulator in it at some stage in the future.