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Alan Blencowe's Microsoft Flight Simulator Airfield Design - 3D FSX models for Western Australia!

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YCDN Corunna Downs Station

Uploaded 26th December 2010, revised 23rd February, 2013 with improved textures and models and starts now at homestead strip.


Corunna Downs RAAF Base was a secret airfield located in scrub and spinifex country, about 16 kms south west of Marble Bar, the hottest part of the "The Pilbara" area of Western Australia. Not a very ideal place to have a tent city with high temperatures.  The nearby town of Marble Bar is known as 'the hottest town in Australia' a fact which is still recorded by the Guinness Book of Records. For 161 consecutive days to 20 April 1924 the temperature in the town never dropped below 100F (37.8C). This record still stands after eighty  years.

Today there are very few reminders of the once busy airfield. One can see some crumbling foundations and half filled post holes. 73 OBU operated the Corunna Downs airfield which comprised two intersecting bitumen runways, now regressed and graded occasionally. One ran approximately north-south, 5,000 feet in length while the other ran approximately east-west, 7,000 feet in length. Both runways were approximately 150 feet wide. A 50 foot wide taxiway linked the northern end of the north-south runway to the western end of the east-west runway. Approximately 20 camouflaged revetments to disperse aircraft to minimise bomb damage were constructed at Corunna Downs. Permission is required for landing and there may be vegetation on the strip if not graded recently. No cones or windsock so be careful.

This place has historic, scientific and social significance. Airforce Historian, Lindsay Peet. classed Corunna secret airbase as "strategically crucial to Australia's northern defence". Maintained under top secret security, Corunna was never located by Japanese reconnaissance. U.S. airmen and B-24 liberators based at Corunna hit Japanese targets in occupied Indonesia. A round trip to Surabaya was about 4,000 kms. These were the longest bombing raids flown anywhere before 1943. The base had a significant social influence on the township of Marble Bar.

Corunna Downs Station and Former Wartime Airbase (1903, 1940s) OTHER NAME Brockman's Station
1. Portion of De Grey Location 92 being part of Crown Lease 483/1968 and part of the land contained in Crown Land Title Volume 3065 Folio 322, portion of De Grey Location 22 being part of Reserve 13672 and portion of Corunna Downs Road being an unnumbered road reserve, together as shown on Heritage Council of Western Australia Survey Drawing No. 3695 prepared by Whelans and dated 25 January 2005
OWNER State of Western Australia (Lease: Laurence Anthony Glenn as to De Grey Location 92 only.) (Responsible Agencies: Shire of East Pilbara as to road reserve)

Corunna Downs Station and Former Wartime Airbase, comprising Corunna Downs Station, a group of single-storey ant bed mud, off-form concrete and corrugated iron station buildings including the cemetery (1897+), homestead (1903) with Federation Bungalow style features, Pygmy date palm or cycad (Phoenix or Cycas sp), and the runaways, taxiways, revetments and base camp site of the Corunna Downs Wartime Airbase (c1940s), has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons:

The Homestead (1903) of Corunna Downs Station is a unique building with Federation Bungalow style features constructed for North West conditions incorporating ant bed mud walls, an elevated roof for passive cooling and steel framing to prevent termite damage.  Corunna Downs Wartime Airbase is a rare example in Western Australia of a strategic Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base established specifically as a heavy bomber base; Corunna Downs Station was part of the development of the pastoral industry in the Pilbara district and demonstrates the evolution of a pastoral settlement since 1891 and the particular lifestyle for the owners and workers; Corunna Downs Wartime Airbase is significant for its ability to illustrate World War Two associations in the North West and as a reminder of the way of life for the forces personnel who were based there; the various elements that comprise Corunna Downs Wartime Airbase are significant in the remote landscape of the Pilbara; Corunna Downs Station is associated with pastoralists Dudley and Howden Drake-Brockman (1891 to 1923), Ernest Foulkes-Taylor (1924- 1951)

Corunna Downs Station is associated with the many Aboriginal people who worked and lived on the property and who were integral to the success and development of the pastoral industry in the North-West of the State.

The 1940s reconstructed steel framed farm buildings and concrete workers' quarters have some heritage significance and contribute to the understanding of the history of the place.

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Declaration:  Alan Blencowe does not have any financial interests in any payware companies or sites and apart from FSX and FenceBuilderPro, all scenery projects are developed totally free of reliance on payware.  Models created by Alan Blencowe with freeware can be used in freeware projects with permission.