New Zealand Broadcaster and media artist Paul Brennan has launched the ‘Bring Our Birds Home’ campaign to mount the greatest historic airliner artifact recovery effort in New Zealand history with the potential to help an entire nation feel good about itself, that could explain why our new BOBH (Bring Our Birds Home) trailer has gone semi viral with over 10K views.
‘I’ve been in to planes since I was a kid and I love hands on history, I’ve always enjoyed trips to some of the great aviation museums and airliner grave yards and witnessed the inspired/dedicated volunteers working away so history is preserved and displayed for future generations.
I look upon our five air frames of national significance as modern day equivalents to the mighty ocean going ancestral waka, that transported Maori to Aotearoa (New Zealand) almost a thousand years ago, they really are that culturally significant.
Our social media campaign is getting thousands of video views steadily increasing ‘likes’ and a ton of engagement as we prepare for a crowd funding campaign launch to run the month of May, starting phase one of the process.
It’s a miracle our birds exist at all after being out of service for so long. We’re already talking with an embassy about securing at least one of the air frames and we are recording our effort, both ‘behind’ and ‘in front of’ the scenes, as the drama unfolds so we can tell the story on film.
‘Bring Our Birds Home’ started off with an idea to check and see if any original TEAL, Air NZ and NZ National Airways Corporation aircraft types, missing from our country’s aviation artifact collection, were surviving intact… I figured maybe one or two, but it turns out that just one remaining original copy of each of the five types has remarkably survived, ranging in age between 36 and 60 years, all but one standing derelict and abandoned at locations around the world.
Our growing following considers these ‘five air frames of national significance’ taonga (treasure)… they include the airliner that brought the Beatles to NZ, a now derelict freighter that was once fit to carry our Queen, the actual plane that flew the NZ’s very first commercial domestic jet service, the airliner responsible for taking our Koru all the way to London and how many Kiwi OEs began on our first our 1st 747? Time is running out to save them, these are the only ones left.
Our social media launched on February 16th 2017 and now with thousands of video views and a steadily building base of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ we are receiving great early engagement, fantastic words of encouragement and even pledges to donate to the cause, so logically we have decided to go to the next level, for this reason we have consulted with one of New Zealand’s top crowdfunded experts to help us formulate a scale-able crowdfunded effort with phase one planned to run late April to late May 2017.
This is a race against time and could be an exciting ride as we seek to recover national treasure that played a vital part in taking Kiwis and our unique culture to the World, helping us build the nation we are so proud of today.
Phase one of the campaign will involve recce trips to the locations of the five air frames… Russia, Canada, U.S.A, Cuba and Brazil, to build the relationships necessary to go on to successfully negotiating either the facilitation of a donation to us or the purchase of the airframe/s. The ‘ball park’ phase one target range is 20 – 35K, to fund up to three individuals (including a highly qualified airliner maintenance engineer and experienced negotiator/broker) travel, accommodation and down time from day jobs to make the five recce trips hopefully by mid – late 2017. We already have the consultant engineer on board.
The second phase only kicks in if we are successful in phase one. We will then seek to raise further funding to cover securing the air frames and paying any local parking or storage costs incurred until such time as BOBH can initiate engineered dismantling and transportation.
Phase three will be the most challenging and costly involving the engineered dismantling and local/international shipping of the air frame components. Storage options include the existing location (short to medium term), long term storage options include US desert boneyard or a location in New Zealand. Phase four is to provide for safe storage of the air frames in New Zealand, that need will be seriously looked at later in the effort.
‘We know our air frames exist, we know where they are, now all we have to do is save them and make them safe before it’s too late, then bring them home so one day future generations of Kiwis will see these historic aircraft close up and personal. They are our birds because they were made for us, so let’s make an effort to get them back home – what do you reckon?’
Paul Brennan, Bring Our Birds Home – ‘Whakahokia mai tou manu ki te kinga’.
Image Attribution: Paul Brennan, Bring Our Birds Home
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