NEWLY restored de Havilland Gypsy Moth, VH-UQH, flew into Archerfield Airport on Sunday April 14, with a supporting flight of five other 'Moths' to mark 88 years since it broke the England to Australia solo flight record.
Not only that, Tim Barron, the grandson of aviator Captain Charles Kennedy Scott who flew the Gypsy Moth on that historic journey, flew in his gransfather's restored aircraft, having jetted in from the UK a few days earlier, to participate in the commemorative flight.
Mr Barron was a passenger aboard the newly restored de Havilland Gypsy Moth, VH-UQH, flown by his grandfather 88 years ago to set an England to Australia solo flight record and become the first aircraft to land at Archerfield Airport on its opening day in April 1931.
Sunday’s flight into Archerfield Airport commemorated these historic events, and was the aircraft’s first major flight since the 1950s.
The Gypsy Moth arrived among a gaggle of other Gypsy Moths and Tiger Moths at about 2pm for an airside presentation and series of TV interviews, in front of the Archerfield Airport Terminal Building.
The aircraft was piloted by Captain Charles Kennedy Scott in 1931 to set a world flight record from London to Darwin of 9 hours, 4 hours and 11 minutes. This broke an earlier record set by fellow aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, by 19 hours.
Scott then flew to Camooweal and Longreach, before heading to Brisbane to land the first aircraft at the then brand-new city airport at Archerfield.
English-born Captain Scott left the RAF in 1926 to emigrate to Australia. He was one of the original pilots for the fledgling outback airline, Qantas.
Today, his aircraft, VH-UQH, is co-owned by Ed Field of the Sunshine Coast and Peter Gartshore of Brisbane. Ed Field flew the Moth with Mr Barron aboard, from Caboolture Airport, where the aircraft is hangared, to Archerfield Airport. The flight was its first major flight since the 1950s.
Ed Field found VH-UQH and two log books among a shed full of Tiger Moth parts in the outback WA town of Trayning. The aircraft had been damaged in a cyclone in 1953 and was considered beyond repair.
After researching VH-UQH and discovering its historical significance, Mr Field brought the Gypsy Moth to Melbourne, then Caboolture. Its on-and-off restoration project started in the mid-1980s and was completed only last week, returning VH-UQH to as it was 88 years ago – including the original British registration markings (G-ABHY) which required special approval by CASA.
VH-UQH will be accompanied to Archerfield Airport by two antique aircraft owned by Bill Finlen of Boonah: Gypsy Moth VH-UMK – which was involved in the search for Lassetters Gold Reef in 1930 – and a Tiger Moth originally from the RAF in England and used as a wartime trainer.
TAE AEROSPACE will develop its Turbine Engine Maintenance Facility (TEMF) in Bundamba, South East Queensland, to support in-country sustainment of Australia’s fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike fighter jets.
The TEMF will enable deeper-level maintenance, where JSF F135 engine modules are disassembled, repaired and reassembled for testing, according to Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne.
“TAE Aerospace’s new facility will support maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) activities for not only Australian F135 engines but also engines from around the Asia Pacific region and the world,” Mr Pyne said.
“TAE Aerospace is 100 percent Australian-owned with 237 employees at several sites across Australia, with contracts to support Classic Hornet, Super Hornet, Growler and M1 Abram tank engines.
“The addition of the F135 engine MRO&U activities will add a minimum of 15 aerospace technician jobs to its workforce and up to 85 additional jobs as part of the future F-35 Global Support Solution.”
The Australian Government has approved the acquisition of 72 F-35A JSF aircraft to replace the current fleet of 71 ageing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets.
“The global F-35 Program has had a positive impact on Australia’s growing defence industry, which has collectively been awarded in excess of $1 billion in production contracts and will support up to 5000 Australian jobs by 2023,” Mr Pyne said.
WESTERN Sydney Airport Company (WSA Co) has marked its first year in business, moving from a ‘startup’ phase and into infrastructure delivery.
The Australian Government established WSA Co just over a year ago, following through on its equity investment of $5.3 billion to build and operate Western Sydney Airport.
“This time last year, we established WSA Co with four board members charged with delivering one of the most significant transport infrastructure projects in Australia,” Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister, Paul Fletcher said.
“The full board complement was appointed by November 2017, resulting in a board of seven with the right mix of skills and expertise to lead the delivery of Western Sydney Airport.
“WSA Co has since transitioned from start up to delivery. The company has established its base in central Liverpool and has its first critical project well underway – the nearly $100 million project to move an overhead high voltage cable is already well ahead of schedule.
“WSA Co has also awarded three major contracts, for early earthworks and multi-year contracts for delivery partners and project managers,” he said. “WSA Co is also engaging local Western Sydney firms, for example in site security, site maintenance, and for site preparatory activities.
“The company is on track to commence early earthworks at the Western Sydney Airport before the end of the year. Early earthworks will support up to 300 jobs in Western Sydney.”
Mr Fletcher said the Western Sydney Airport construction activity would support more than 11,000 direct and indirect jobs overall, “and WSA Co has also made a firm commitment to the people of Western Sydney, by setting strict local workforce targets”.
“The Australian Government continues to work closely with WSA Co to ensure the company meets its regulatory obligations and the project stays on track for the airport to open in 2026,” Mr Fletcher said.
Construction on Western Sydney Airport began on September 24.
Western Sydney Airport chief executive Graham Millett said it marked “both the end of a long journey and the start of an exciting new one”.
“It’s been talked about for decades, but now we’re ending the speculation – Western Sydney Airport is coming,” Mr Millett said.
QANTAS AND JETSTAR AGREE
QANTAS and Jetstar will operate from Western Sydney Airport. This follows the recent announcement that Virgin Australia intends to operate both Virgin and Tiger Airways flights from the new airport currently under construction.
The airport will have a 3.7km runway, capable of servicing the largest commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, and will have a high quality design reflecting the confidence and aspirations of Western Sydney, according to Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher.
“Reports which confirm that both major domestic airlines will operate full service carriers from Western Sydney Airport is great news for Western Sydney,” Mr Fletcher said.
“More than 2 million people live closer to Western Sydney Airport than the existing airport at Mascot, and being an international airport will ensure that the people of Western Sydney get access to the air services that they deserve.”
Federal Urban Infrastructure and Cities Minister, Paul Fletcher.