Western Australian Aircraft Hall of Fame
Aircraft Registration before 1937
Early British (Australian) registration G-AU..
Changed in 1930 to Australian registration VH-U..
note - many early registrations have been re-used
Bristol Box Kite
First Flight in Western Australia, 3rd January 1911
"Starting in Perth, Western Australia in December 1911, to the bewilderment of inhabitants of that City, Mr Hammond flew from the Belmont Racecourse over the city, across Kings Park and back to the starting place, a distance of 20 miles. He even flew down the swan river and back again to the city, on another occasion, a 30 mile flight. After several other flights in Perth, The Bristol Biplane was shipped to Melbourne where the success was again repeated.
Flight March 16 1912
(Note - the date was actually 3rd January)
Western Australia Airways (WAA) - founded 1921 Wing Commander, Sir Norman Brearley
The first aircraft to operate commercially in Perth were two Avro 504 war surplus aircraft and a spare engine brought back from England by Norman Brearley. Records indicate that only one was registered when registrations began at 28th June 1921.
G-AUCL registered 28-11-1921 Rereg 28.3.29 Lapsed 27.6.31
Australia’s 1st aircraft registrations were recorded on 28th June, 1921.
Bristol Tourer Coupe Type 28
Australia’s 1st scheduled air service was operated by Western Australian Airways Limited, departing Geraldton, W.A., on 5 December, 1921.
G-AUDF 28-11-1921 Damaged beyond flying, Onslow 27-1-1925
G-AUDG 28-11-1921 sold to Wilson Air Services Sydney
G-AUDI 28-11-1921 crashed nr Murchison River 5-12-1921 two killed
G-AUDJ 26-11-1921 sold to Kingsford Smith & Anderson
G-AUDK 26-11-1921 crashed on takeoff Port Headland 30-1-1923 rebuilt sold to Kingsford Smith & Anderson
WAA aircraft sold to Charles Kingsford Smith now at Geraldton Museum
de Havilland D.H. 50A
G-AUEL/VH-UEL 28-10-1924 handed on to Adelaide Airways
G-AUEM/VH-UEM 28-10-1924 handed on to Adelaide Airways
G-AUEY/VH-UEY 13-4-1926 widthdrawn from use 21-9-1933
G-AUFD 1-12 1928 crashed Geraldton 11-5-1929
G-AUFE/VH-UFE 22-12-1926 handed on to Adelaide Airways
G-AUFN/VH-UFN 8-7-1927 widthdrawn from use 7-7-1933
On 30 June 1926, Alan Cobham and mechanic A.B. Elliot departed the River Medway, England, on a survey flight to Australia in De Havilland DH50J G-EBFO. The aircraft was powered by a 385hp Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar and was equipped with floats. Cobham later wrote "The reason for taking a seaplane on this flight was chiefly one of protection... From Calcutta to Australia it is simply impossible to land anywhere but on a specially prepared aerodrome. I did not like to contemplate being caught out in a severe monsoon storm over...tropical jungle, with no prospects of landing - and so decided that although a seaplane has many disadvantages as compared with an aeroplane, it would certainly be a far more practical and safe proposition."
Over Iraq Bedouin tribesmen fired at the aircraft breaking a fuel line and fatally wounding Elliot: he later died in hospital. Cobham took on Sgt. R W Ward of 84 Squadron, RAF, as a replacement and they arrived at Port Darwin on 5 August 1926.
At Darwin the floats were changed for wheels, more practical in Australia's dry interior, and Cobham and Ward set off for Melbourne, arriving on 15 August. The photo above shows the aircraft being lifted on the beach at Darwin prior to the wheels being fitted. The signwriting on the side of the aircraft reads 'SIR CHARLES WAKEFIELD / FLIGHT / TO AUSTRALIA / DH50' (Wakefield was the flight's sponsor).
Accompanied by Ward and Armstrong-Siddeley representative C. Capel, Cobham departed Melbourne/Point Cook on 29 August for Adelaide and Darwin, where the floats were re-fitted, and thence England, arriving on 1 October. Cobham thus became the first pilot to make a return flight from England to Australia in the same aircraft. On arrival, Cobham was knighted, Ward received the AFC and Capel an MBE.
In 1929 the fuselage of G-EBFO was later purchased by Norman Brearley of Western Australian Airways (WAA), fitted with a 300hp ADC Nimbus engine and shipped to Perth. There, wings, tail and undercarriage manufactured by WAA were fitted and the aircraft entered WAA service as VH-UMC. The aircraft's CofA lapsed in 1934.
DH.60X Moth (Malcolm Filmore - the DH60 file http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/dh60.pdf )
277-9 These were three DH.60s shipped to Australia in kit form in 1926 and were completed by West Australian Airways (two) and Qantas (one). The precise tie-ups are not known. G-AUFI was one of these serial numbers.
G-AUFI [CofR 154] regd 15.2.27 to West Australian Airways, Maylands; fitted with Cirrus II. Operated by Perth Flying School, Maylands. Crashed East Perth, WA 18.7.27, when being flown solo by student pilot, Ray Wilson. It spun in from 2000 ft, struck an electrical power standard and fell back into road in flames; Mr Wilson killed.
G-AUFK/VH-UFK [CofR 162] regd 13.4.27 to West Australian Airways, Maylands; fitted with Cirrus II. First flight 19.5.27. Reregd VH-UFK 7.12.29. Regd 4.30 to Civil Aviation Branch, Dept of Defence and operated by Australian Aero Club (WA Section), Maylands. Badly damaged in heavy landing Maylands 9.10.31. Regn closed 27.4.32.
G-AUGO/VH-UGO c/n424 DH.60X [Cirrus II] to West Australian Airways Ltd with CofA 1201 issued 28.8.27. Regd G-AUGO [CofR 178] 13.9.27 to West Australian Airways Ltd, Perth. Reregd VH-UGO .29. Regd 4.30 to Civil Aviation Branch, Dept of Defence and operated by Aero Club of Western Australia, Maylands. Crashed Picton Junction, WA 29.11.33; pilot S Catlett & passenger C Teede killed. Regn cld 16.2.34.
de Havilland D.H.61 Giant Moth
G-AAAN/VH-UQJ "Geraldine" bought from National Flying Services
Damaged beyond repair Wau NG 20.8.35 Scrapped 19.9.36 www.goldenyears.ukf.net/reg_VH-U1.htm
G-AUTL/VH-UTL "Old Gold" bought from MMA Cancelled in NG 18.9.36
Both sold in 1935 to Guinea Airways
de Havilland DH.66 Hercules
G-AUJO/VH-UJO "City of Perth" 28-5-1929 sold, crashed in New Guinea 6-2-1941
G-AUJP/VH-UJP "City of Adelaide" 27-5-1929 sold destroyed in enemy action New Guinea 21-1-1942
G-AUJQ/VH-UJQ/G-ABMT 27-5-1929 sold scrapped 1943
G-AUJR/VH-AUJR/G-ABCP sold, crashed in Uganda 23-11-1935
de Havilland D.H.84 Dragon
VH-URE Registered to WAA in August 1923 transfered to Adelaide Airways 1936
VH-URO transfered to Adelaide Airways 1936 Crashed at Black Cat Ridge near
Wau, New Guinea 30 Sept 1935 - The instrument panel badge (right) was presented to the wife of the pilot Colin Ferguson and is still held by the family.
de Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide
VH-UUO transfered to Adelaide Airways 1936
de Havilland D.H.89
W.A.A.’s November 1934
Director’s Report advised that W.A.A. had ordered 2 D.H.89s from England.
Vickers 198 Viastra (Vickers Disasters)
VH-UOM Arrived Fremantle 29 Sept 1931 fitted with a searchlight for night landings (lots of forced landings on Nullabor) written off in forced landing in a market garden at Redcliffe south of Maylands and passengers then boarded a DH-66 with the same pilot to complete the flight.
VH-UOO registered 1931 and allowed to lapse in 1936
VH-UON - ordered but not accepted
MacRobertson Millar Aviation Co. (MMA)
Curtiss Seagull G-AUCU
de Havilland D.H.83 Fox Moth VH-UDD
VH-ABV VH-ABW VH-AIY VH-AYN G-AUEU G-AUHT VH-URF VH-URW VH-URX VH-URY VH-USC VH-USD VH-USF VH-USJ VH-USW VH-UTF VH-UTL VH-UVK VH-UVL VH-UZU
Airlines (WA) Ltd - founded 1935 Captain C.W. Snook
GAL Monospar ST11 VH-UAZ
VH-ADG VH-AQO VH-AQP VH-ARU VH-AWD VH-AXV VH-URB VH-UZY VH-UZZ VH-UTW VH-UVJ
Woods Airways Ltd (Rottnest Island Airlines) VH-WAB VH-WAC
Woods Airways which was run by pioneer aviator Jimmy Woods, operated the Perth to Rottnest service from about 1948 with two war-surplus RAAF Avro Anson aircraft. The service closed in 1961 after concerns about the safety of the ageing aircraft and recurring conflict with the Department of Civil Aviation over minor infringements of regulations. In 14 years of operations, it had made more than 13,000 crossings.
The Bull Creek Museum possesses the nose section of one of Jimmy Woods' Ansons. It was delivered to the RAAF with RAF serial number MG271, and moved between several training establishments during World War II. It is reported at the "5 Crash Repair Depot" in 1st February 1946, and was sold on 23rd September 1947. Its iniital registration was VH-BJY, but was registered as VH-WAA to Woods Airways on 15th January 1948, and named 'The Islander'.
It was re-registered as VH-WAC in December 1948, and flew between Perth and Rottnest Island from 1948 to 1961. Its Certificate of Airworthiness expired on 2nd December 1958, and it remained at Perth Airport until it was flown to Seabourne Farm, Greenhills, WA, on 25th March 1962, where it was used as a cubby house. The nose section was restored in 1977.
Perth Flying School - Australian Aero Club (Maylands) - Royal Aero Club (RACWA)
D.H.60G Moth VH-UAO (see above)
VH-ARA de Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth
Here's VH-ARA at Maylands on 12 December 1955 after a
landing accident while with Royal Aero Club of WA. The wreck was purchased by
Basil Taylor & Co and rebuilt at Maylands as crop-duster VH-BTX in December
1959. It ended up with Bob Couper Co at Cunderdin WA who modified it as a
utility aircraft to carry spare parts and freight in the enlarged front cockpit
compartment to their wide-spread Tiger fleet across the WA wheatbelt. BTX was
badly damaged by fire while tied down at Cunderdin on 6 January 1964 and was
part of the large collection of agricultural Tigers in the Couper hangar at
Cunderdin in 1968, along with several sets of wings marked "VH-ARA". The
original one, seen above in this photo from the Geoff Goodall collection, was ex
VH-KAL Auster JB5 Autocar
VH-AJI VH-AMP VH-AMQ VH-AMR VH-AMX G-AUFI G-AUFK VH-UAO VH-UJX VH-UKY VH-ULD VH-ULP VH-ULT
Australian National Airways
This was the second airline to operate under this name and bought out Western Australian Airways. The grass runways were not long enough to support any aircraft larger than the DC3 and companies were moving to Guildford Airport, Later to become YPPH Perth International Airport. Because this was a large national line, the aircraft were used through Australia and are not listed here.
VH-AAE VH-ABM VH-AHA VH-AHM VH-AHN VH-AHP VH-AHS VH-AKN VH-AMD VH-AMI VH-AMU VH-AMV VH-AMW VH-AMX(2) VH-AMY VH-AMZ VH-APQ VH-AST VH-AXN VH-UKM VH-ULU VH-IMQ VH-UNG VH-UPD VH-URG VH-UZH
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