Vampire T35

De Havilland Vampire T Mk35 advanced trainer of the RAAF Historic Flight during a low pass at Tamworth Air Show, April 1992. A79-636 was flown by the Historic Flight from 1988 until 1997, then retired to Point Cook RAAF Museum as it neared the end of its design fatigue life.


Tiger on the beach.

Well, ok – a few hundred feet above the beach.This is Jack Davidson’s De Havilland DH 82A Tiger Moth VH-BGX (ex- A17-518) near Newcastle NSW, c1972. We were just returning from a trip to Forster-Tuncurry Aero Club’s new airstrip*, between the Lakes Way and the beach north of Tuncurry. Jack’s Tiger had been fitted with a canopy from a Wackett trainer, a tailwheel and brakes. The canopy made the Tiger much more comfortable in cold weather, while the tailwheel and brakes made it a lot easier to handle on tarmac runways and taxiways. It was later sold, and destroyed in Darwin in 1974 by cyclone Tracy; although according to Ed Coates it has resurfaced now, rebuilt as VH-DHA. Which goes to show that in Aviation anything is possible, given enough time, effort and money. Photo taken from De Havilland DH 80A Puss Moth VH-UQB.

*The Tuncurry airstrip was deemed unsuitable for training and eventually closed when the older but previously abandoned Wallis Island strip was reopened.

Heavy traffic, Bundaberg.

De Havilland DH-85 Leopard Moth VH-BAH, standing in for Bert Hinkler’s Avro Baby during the 1973 Hinkler 1000 Air Race. The aircraft was re-enacting the occasion when pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler landed his Avro in the main street of Bundaberg, Qld in the 1920s, taxied to his mother’s house and parked outside.

An unusual and historic event, but I’ll bet the town that invented Bundaberg Rum has seen stranger things over the years.