Last updated 25 June 2020

COMMONWEALTH AIRCRAFT CORP

CA-28 CERES

Production history compiled by Geoff Goodall

                        

CA-28 production line at CAC's Fishermans Bend factory, Melbourne during 1961. VH-CEQ (c/n CA28-15) is in the foreground. 

Photo: Ben Dannecker collection


            Super Spread Aviation’s VH-SSZ (c/n CA28-5) at Parafield SA in August 1962.                                      Photo by Geoff Goodall


 

    The CA-28 Ceres was developed by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd, Melbourne as a heavy payload agricultural aircraft based on the CAC Wirraway trainer.  It had a completely redesigned fuselage centre section, modified outer wings with extended ailerons, fixed leading edge slats and slotted flaps. The redesigned cockpit area incorporated an overturn truss to protect the pilot's head in the event of the aircraft turning over in an accident. A stainless steel hopper of 3.43 square metre capacity, which could handle solids or liquids was fitted immediately above the wing.


  Wirraway components incorporated in the CA-28 included the empennage, outer wings, fixed undercarriage and power unit. The name Ceres was chosen from the Greek Goddess of Corn and Fertility. The concept was not entirely new, Super Spread Aviation having earlier fitted two ex RAAF Wirraways for agricultural work three years earlier. However this involved no changes to the Wirraway airframe structure. For details see The Super Spread Wirraway Connection at the end of the individual Ceres listing below.


  Ceres construction at CAC's plant at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne commenced in 1957. The prototype VH-CEA was first test-flown on 18 February 1958 but not publicised. The prototype was fitted with a modified direct-drive Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340 S3H1-GMD engine. Although this power plant gave a 30% increase in thrust, propeller noise was found to be excessively for the pilot and those on the ground within several miles.  After tests with the second prototype VH-CEB, it was decided that all production CA-28s would be fitted with the standard geared 600hp Wasp S1H1-G Wasp.


  The Ceres made its public debut on 1 July 1958 when Ceres program test pilot Roy Goon gave a crop dusting display in VH-CEA to a large gathering of invited guests and media at Fishermans Bend.  CAC Manager and Australian aircraft construction pioneer Sir Lawrence Wackett stated that he was hopeful of selling 50 or 60 Ceres. The Ceres could carry 2860 pounds of superphosphate or 230 gallons of liquids.


                                                          

                                                          Ceres production test pilot Roy Goon in VH-CEA, July 1958


    Early Ceres sales were promising, with orders from Australian agricultural operators and six for CAC’s New Zealand agents Aerial Farming (NZ) Ltd at Palmerston North. Sir Lawrence Wackett, CAC’s founder and Managing Director was quoted as estimating a market for over 60 aircraft. However a combination of a slump in the agriculture industry in the Australian Eastern states and a national financial credit squeeze slowed sales of new aircraft.  The CA-28 production line was shut down after just 20 were built. CAC transferred the production capacity at Fishermans Bend to the RAAF Mirage jet fighter project.

    There were three models of Ceres:

Ceres A:  Prototype, uncowled engine, direct drive propeller

Ceres B:  Production standard, cowled engine, geared propeller, numerous small design improvents

Ceres C:  Different propeller, design improvements, cockpit area lengthened to provide a rear-facing seat behind the pilot, for use by a loader driver.

Production was to Ceres C standard from the 6th Ceres. Most earlier aircraft were subsequently field-modified to Ceres C.


The Wirraway Stock

  CAC purchased RAAF disposals Wirraways to be used as basis for Ceres production. A total of over 70 were acquired, dismantled and stored.  Two Wirraways were held airworthy at Fishermans Bend, A20-562 painted as "CA9-763" and radio callsign "VH-AAZ", and A20-651, the latter being donated by CAC to the Institute of Applied Sciences, Melbourne. A20-649 was used by CAC as an engine test rig for Ceres engines.


  When CA-28 production ceased in early 1962, five Wirraways were stripped for Ceres spare parts: A20-22, -135, -148, -222, & -646. The remaining 37 Wirraways were offered for sale by CAC, the majority being in good condition.  Scrap metal dealers W. Gordon & Sons of Werribee Vic purchased A20-10, -13, -164, -185, -223, 224, 234, 252, -563, -598, -601, -605, -647, -670, -683, -695, -719, -733, -735, -738, -741, -743, -743, -746, -747, & -756.  Some of these were later acquired from the scrap yard by private owners, as restoration projects.  


Others sold by CAC at £40 each, included:

A20-10 to Mr. John Hopton, Melbourne, displayed at Moorabbin Air Museum

A20-13 to Mr. Tom King, Melbourne, later to National Museum, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

A20-16 to Mr. Bruce Hearn, Melbourne

A20-606 to Airfarm Associates, Tamworth NSW for Ceres parts

A20-652 to Mr. J. A. Frierson, Fleetwings Service Station, Laverton Vic for display use

A20-656 to Airland Improvements, Cootamundra NSW for Ceres parts


  Several Ceres operators acquired other RAAF disposals Wirraways for Ceres parts, and the occasional Ceres was seen in service with a silver rudder or other parts from a RAAF Wirraway. Jack Marshall of Marshall Spreading Service, Albury NSW acquired two Wirraways A20-685 & -687 from a scrap dealer at RAAF Tocumwal and towed them on their wheels to Albury, to use their engines for his Ceres. A20-685 was maintained in airworthy condition at Albury for some years and taxied occasionally.


  

  A20-652 at a motor garage in the Melbourne suburb of Pascoe Vale in November 1967.                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  A20-685 at Albury NSW in March 1965 while maintained in taxying condition.                                                                            Photo by Colin Redding



CA-28 CERES PRODUCTION:

Summaries of all Ceres built.


For a far more detailed history of  CA-28 development, engineering, test flying and commercial careers, a definitive book is highly recommended:

CAC Ceres - Australia's Heavyweight Cropduster by Derek Buckmaster, self-published  (240 pages).

Available at derek@dbdesignbureau.net, www.dbdesignbureau.net/ceres



c/n CA28-1           Ceres A , to Ceres B                                                                                                                                                      VH-CEA

25.1.57 CA-16 Wirraway III A20-680 in storage at RAAF Tocumwal NSW with No.1 Aircraft Depot Detachment B. RAAF status card entry this date: "Offered for disposal in favour of CAC to enable development of an agricultural aircraft"
20.3.57 A20-680 dispatched to CAC ex Tocumwal

Rebuilt at Fishermans Bend as prototype CA-28 Ceres

CAC requested registration VH-WAA be reserved for the prototype Ceres

CAC changed the registration request to the block VH-WIA to VH-WIZ be reserved for Ceres production, later changing the request to VH-CEA to VH-CEZ.

CAC requested VH-CER be reserved for the prototype Ceres, later changing the request to VH-CEA.

Construction completed at Fishermans Bend. The aircraft with wings removed was moved by road in January 1958 to Avalon airfield, near Geelong for the test-flying program. This was a DCA requirement for prototype testing due to the proximity of built-up areas to the CAC plant airfield.
18.2.58 CA-28 first flight at Avalon Vic. 20 minutes, flown by RAAF test pilot Flight Lieutenant William "Bill" Scott, who was attached to CAC as test pilot for the CAC Avon Sabre production.

Flight test program commenced at Avalon
4.3.58 Flew Avalon-Fishermans Bend, where it was based for remainder of testing. Modifications to engine and propeller.
25.6.58 Test program completed: 111 hrs 30 mins of flight testing and 20 hours of ground engine running
1.7.58 Public unveiling at Fishermans Bend. Flew superphosphate dropping demonstrations, pilot Roy Goon. No engine cowlings.
9.7.58 VH-CEA flew a dusting demonstration at the Australian Aerial Agricultural Association Conference at Hawkesbury Agricultural College NSW,
pilot Roy Goon.
13.8.58 Registered VH-CEA Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
13.8.58 CofA issued

Modified at Fishermans Bend to Ceres B configuration
14.4.59 Sold to Proctor's Rural Services Pty Ltd, Alexandra Vic
17.4.59 Handed over to Proctor’s Rural Services' pilot Eric Robertson, who delivered it to Alexcandra
3.61 Leased to Aerial Missions, Melbourne
22.3.61 Crashed Bungle Boori, near Seymour Vic during agricultural operations. Pilot received minor injuries.
DCA accident report: "Shortly after becoming airborne the aircraft began to bank and turn to the left until the port wing tip contacted the ground and the aircraft cartwheeled."
22.3.61 Struck-off Civil Register
23.3.61
Wreck arrived by road at CAC FIshermans Bend to be rebuilt
24.8.61 Registered VH-CEX Proctor's Rural Services Pty Ltd, Alexandra Vic

CAC issued a new c/n CA28-18 to the rebuilt VH-CEX: see CA-28-18



note: the damaged fuselage frame of VH-CEA was still at Fishermans Bend 5.64

  

  Prototype Ceres VH-CEA in 1958, flown by CAC test pilot Roy Goon.                                                                                      John Hopton Collection


  

  Alexandra Vic, home base for Proctor's Rural Services.                                                                                                     Photo by Dick Hourigan



c/n CA28-2           Ceres A, to Ceres B, to Ceres C                                                                                                                                           VH-CEB  

25.1.57 CA-16 Wirraway III A20-697 in storage at RAAF Tocumwal NSW with No.1 Aircraft Depot Detachment B. RAAF status card records on this date:  "Offered for disposal in favour of CAC to enable development of an agricultural aircraft"
15.5.57 Held under cover at Tocumwal
3.7.57 A20-680 delivery completed

Rebuilt at Fishermans Bend as CA-28 Ceres
6.58 Construction completed as Ceres A
6.6.58 First flight at Fishermans Bend
13.8.58 Registered VH-CEB Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
22.9.58
Loaned to Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW for 3 weeks for evaluation
12.58
CofA renewed after modification at Fishermans Bend to Ceres B configuration
16.2.59 Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
17.2.59 Delivered to Airfarm Associates
3.6.60 Crashed on takeoff, Glenrock Station, Scone NSW, pilot Bill Pearson unhurt
DCA accident report: "The pilot selected a near empty fuel tank and when engine power failed, he abandoned the takeoff but the aircraft over-ran the strip and struck fallen timber and a fence."
30.8.60 Test flown Tamworth on completion of repair by Airfrarm Associates. The damaged wing centre-section and power plant had been sent to CAC Fishermans Bend.
11.63
Overhaul and modification to Ceres C
19.1.64 noted dusting at Guyra NSW, "Airfarm Associates" titles, red & yellow scheme, Ceres C two-seat cockpit.
7.1.65 noted at Tamworth, Airfarm red & yellow scheme
27.12.65 noted at Armidale NSW, Airfarm red & yellow scheme
4.4.66 noted at Tamworth
24.7.66 noted at Tamworth, "Airfarm Associates" titles, red and yellow
20.12.66 noted at Tamworth with VH-SSY, SSV, CEB, CEC, CEG
4.7.67 noted at Tamworth, green tinted “blown” widened cockpit canopy
31.1.69 Crashed on takeoff from ag strip 9 miles east of Walcha NSW.  Aircraft was struck by a strong willy-willy rotating wind squall, struck a fence and a pole, crashed to the ground tearing the engine from the airframe. Pilot Brian Binskin unhurt.

Pilot Brian Binskin recalls the accident:
The property was “Europambla”, a few miles east of Walcha.  The airstrip was situated inside the Europambla horse race track on the property.  The fence in question was the inside running fence on the race track which had been built extremely strong in case a galloping racehorse fell in a race and crashed into it.
The superphosphate stockpile dump was at one end of the airstrip with the loader-driver and we always started our take off run from that end. This final load carried the last of the superphosphate dump which had all the scrapings in it. There was a downwind component in the wind of around five to ten knots. Just as the aircraft was about to leave the ground, there was a strong tailwind gust and I crashed through the racetrack fence at the end of the strip, ripping off the undercarriage.
About two hundred yards off the end of the strip over the racetrack fence there were poles from a disused telephone line. When the aircraft stalled, one wing dropped onto the top of one of the upright poles and the aircraft cartwheeled as it came down on its nose.
Fearing fire, as soon as I could get the cockpit canopy open, I jumped out and ran – but saw the engine, the main thing that would start a fire, completely detached away from the aircraft. Then I sheepishly returned to the cockpit to turn off the stall-warning horn, which was still blaring.
I was back up there the next day in a Pawnee 235 doing the property next door Another day, another dollar."

31.1.69 Struck-off Register
7.10.69 noted at Tamworth, damaged fuselage with wing centre-section stacked vertically against the outside of the Airfarm hangar, alongside a stripped Wirraway fuselage.

  

     Ceres B VH-CEB at Fishermans Bend 1958, having its hopper loaded.                                                                               Barrie Colledge collection


  

    Tamworth July 1966 modified to Ceres C cockpit                                                                                                         Photo by Roger McDonald


  

  Tamworth July 1967, now fitted with "blown" perspex canopy for improved visibility.                                                                         Photo by Geoff Goodall


  
                        VH-CEB with engine torn off after the takeoff crash near Walcha NSW on 31 January 1969.        Photo: Brian Binskin                             


c/n CA28-3           Ceres B, to Ceres C                                                                                                                                                    VH-CEC  


Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type B
28.4.59 First flight at Fishermans Bend
1.5.59 Registered VH-CEC Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
5.59 Used by CAC for development of spraying equipment
8.7.59
Flew spraying demonstrations at Moorabbin by Super Spread pilot Keith Hill
17.7.59
CAC test pilot Roy Goon completed test flying at Fishermans Bend and ferried the aircraft to Moorabbin
19.7.59
Flown to Bordertown SA for dusting demonstrations to Super Spread Aviation, returned to Fishermans Bend 29.7.59
6.12.59 Flew ag demo at airshow Avalon Vic.
7.3.60
Flew ag demo at  airshow at RAAF Point Cook. "Airfarm Associates" painted on fuselage in preparation for sale
15.3.60 Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
18.3.60 Departed Fishermans Bend on delivery to Airfarm Associates
15.10.60 flew ag demo at airshow Tamworth
23.3.62 Damaged when struck a post on takeoff from an ag strip near Walcha NSW, pilot Ernest Follington was uninjured
19.3.63
During the landing roll on an ag strip at Highfield Farm near Guyra NSW, the aircraft struck a semi-trailer truck loaded with sheep which crossed the unmarked airstrip. Pilot Ernest Follington and the truck driver received minor injuries
11.63
Modified to Ceres C cockpit during major overhaul by Airfarm at Tamworth
19.1.64 noted at Guyra NSW, "Airfarm Associates" titles, red and yellow scheme. By now modified to Ceres C cockpit with footholds and guidelines painted on fuselage sides for pilot and passenger.
4.4.66 noted at Tamworth
24.7.66 noted at Tamworth, "Airfarm Associates" titles, red and yellow
20.12.66 noted at Tamworth: SSY, SSV, CEB, CEC, CEG
4.7.67 noted at Tamworth, green tinted "blown" sliding cockpit canopy, Airfarm Associates
28.10.68 noted at Tamworth, "Airfarm Associates" titles, red and yellow scheme, in service
8.10.69 noted at Glen Innes NSW
12.6.70
Annual CofA expired, Airfarm Associates advised DCA that they would retire the aircraft, which was replaced by a new Transavia Airtruk
29.6.70 Struck-off Register : Withdrawn from service at Tamworth
25.9.70 noted at Tamworth with 5 other Airfarm Associates Ceres
13.8.71 noted at Tamworth with 4 other Airfarm Associates Ceres, all appear retired
18.1.72 noted at Tamworth, parked outside. Also 27.12.72, 18.5.73, 8.8.74, 28.12.74
.78 Acquired by Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld
18.4.78 Fuselage in Airfarm red and yellow paint scheme noted at CGFAM, stored at museum in shed, dismantled no damage, with wings of VH-CEG
23.4.80 Fuselage VH-CEC and wings of CEG noted in a storage shed on CGFAM grounds.  Also 14.8.80, 26.12.83, 8.12.85

Acquired by Bill Martin, Wryeema via Toowoomba Qld.

Bill Martin was associated with Darling Downs Aviation Museum, Oakey Qld. He had collected military aircraft remains since 1980, including Boomerang frames ex Oakey. His own restoration projects included Spitfire A58-642 and P-40N Kittyhawk A29-915.

Dismantled Ceres further reduced to parts  

Yellow vertical fin and rudder marked VH-CEC among stored parts for Mathew Denning's Boomerang project, Brisbane

Michael Higgins, Stonehaven Vic acquired a ollection of components including VH-CEC’s engine, cowling sections, tail section, plus a Wirraway cockpit and outer wings 

Higgins' parts collection sold to Kent Lee, Coffs Harbour NSW for a Wirraway restoration project

VH-CEC’s fuselage, centre section and rear section acquired by Donald Brown, Kongwak Vic
Don Brown was a collector of military airframes, mostly significantly stripped:  included ex-Laotian T-28D, CAC Winjeel, Wirraway, Boomerang fuselage sections. Also Auster J5G Autocar VH-MRD ex Royal Australian Navy.
5.12 These Ceres fuselage sections modified by Don Brown to provide a wing platform to mate to his Wirraway restoration project, based on fuselage of A20-636  


  

  VH-CEC on an early testflight in 1959 from Fishermans Bend, seen over nearby Williamstown.                                                         John Hopton Collection


  

  Moorabbin 1959, all silver, no titles. Hopper hatch is open.                                                                                                 Photo by Neil Follett


  

  Visiting RAAF Point Cook in March 1960 with Airfarm Associates titles.                                                                                             Geoff Goodall collection


 

  VH-CEC & VH-CEB in Airfarm Associates' distinctive paint scheme at home base Tamworth NSW in May 1966.                        Photo by Lindsay Nothrop


  

  Tamworth October 1968 now fiited with “blown” canopy.                                                                                                    John Hopton Collection



c/n CA28-4            Ceres B, to Ceres C                                                                                                                                       VH-CED, ZK-BPU


Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type B
21.8.59 First flight at Fishermans Bend
7.9.59 Registered VH-CED Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
10.12.59 Struck-off Register, sold to New Zealand
12.59 Shipped to NZ to CAC agents Aerial Farming (NZ) Ltd, which was to import six Ceres to NZ
23.12.59 Registered ZK-BPU Aerial Farming (NZ) Ltd, Palmerston North
20.2.60 Flew demonstrations at air show at Nelson, "Aerial Farming Ltd" titles. Metallic with maroon top
7.1.61 noted at Milson NZ, in service, "Aerial Farming Ltd" titles
3.2.61 Damaged when struck ground during landing approach Turangarere
.61
Modified to Ceres C cockpit configuration
18.2.64 Damaged in accident at Waipukurau, pilot Derek Erskine
26.10.65 noted at Taupo, now fitted Ceres C two-seat cockpit, repainted all over white with red trim, with titles
“Aerial Farming”
.65 James Aviation, Hamilton NZ acquired the assets of Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd, including their Ceres. In 1967 James was standardising on Fletcher Fu-24s and DC-3s for agricultural work, so the Ceres were retired when operationally convenient
7.10.67 noted at Taumarunui, all over white with red trim, James Aviation logo
1.9.68 noted at Taumarunui, all over white with red trim, James Aviation logo
9.12.68 Civil Register Change of ownership: James Aviation, Hamilton
13.2.70 Landed short of airstrip and dislodged the starboard undercarriage, Tokorimu near Taumarunui.
Pilot Bruce McMillan unhurt. Aircraft was repaired and quickly returned to service.
17.4.70 Crashed after takeoff, also at Tokorimu due engine failure,  pilot Bruce McMillan unhurt.  Undercarriage torn off and airframe damaged
27.5.70 Struck-off Register
6.5.71 noted at Hamilton, standing on its wheels with damaged prop, tailplane, wings removed. James Aviation emblem.
c71 Donated to Museum of Transport & Technology, Auckland.
Spare parts including spare outer wings were included, and these were stored by MoTaT
11.7.77 noted at MoTaT, Auckland, parked outside complete, fuselage panels repainted
10/13 After a period of storage in the museuem workshop, restored for display inside MoTaT, repainted white and red as ZK-BPU, James Aviation logo.
00 Sections of ZK-BZO & ZK-BPU acquired by Paul Wheeler, Romsey Vic for a Wirraway restoration project. By 2007 Wheeler had moved to Queensland.

  

  VH-CED testflight at Fishermans Bend in 1959 before being shipped to NZ.                                                                      John Hopton Collection


  

  ZK-BPU at Milson NZ in January 1961.                                                                                                                             Photo by Charles Darby


 

  Palmerston North after modifed with the Ceres cockpit, repainted in James Aviation scheme but with Aerial Farming titles.             David Ansderson collection


  

   Now with James Aviation, showing the rearward facing second seat of the Ceres C cockpit                                                          Ben Dannecker collection


  

  Stored damaged at Hamilton NZ in May 1971 after its final accident.                                                                                                 Photo by John Chapman


  

  Museum of Transport & Technology, Auckland, July 1977.                                                                                             Photo by Geoff Goodall



c/n CA28-5           Ceres B, to Ceres C                                                                                                                      (VH-CEF), VH-SSZ, VH-CDO  

.59
Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type B
4.11.59 First flight at Fishermans Bend

Allocated registration VH-CEF, NTU
23.12.59 Registered VH-SSZ Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
24.12.59 Change of ownership:  Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
13.1.60 Crashed on takeoff while engaged on ag operations Heytesbury near Cobden Vic.
DCA accident report: "The pilot attempted takeoff in less than the available strip length which proved less than adequate for the load carried. The aircraft stalled immediately after becoming airborne, struck the ground and came to rest against a fence."
Starboard undercarriage collapsed, pilot unhurt.
60 rebuilt by Super Spread at Moorabbin
23.6.60 flew demonstrations at outer Perth suburb of Armidale WA before commencing a 3 month WA spraying contract on charter to Shell Chemical Co
24.6.60 Commenced WA spraying contract at York WA
6.60 Based in WA operating with titles "Shell Chemical (Australia) Pty Ltd Aerial Spraying Service"
9.7.61 noted at Moorabbin, "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd" lightning bolt and dayglo patches scheme, Ceres B cockpit
18.11.61 Flew demonstrations at the Australian Aerial Agricultural Association conference at Ballarat Vic. Described as Ceres Type B
6.4.62 Super Spread Ceres VH-SSY & SSZ flew experimental fire retardant drops at Wonga Park Vic, using Firebrake (calcium sodium borate), each dropping 820 litres
5.62 noted at Moorabbin
8.62 noted at Parafield, landed, Super Spread lightning strike and dayglo scheme
14.11.62 noted at Moorabbin, freshly repainted all silver with maroon upper decking, with titles "Super Spread Aviation Inc. Proctor's"
.63
Modified to Ceres C cockpit
8.1.64 noted at Ballarat Vic, now silver with maroon upper decking, "Super Spread Pty Ltd" titles.
16.1.64 noted at Scone NSW, silver with maroon upper decking, no titles. Flying.
24.2.64 noted at Moorabbin, silver with maroon upper decking, no titles
1.10.64 Change of ownership: Coondair Pty Ltd, Tintinara SA
3.11.64 Reregistered VH-CDO
23.12.64
VH-CDO noted at Parafield SA, pale yellow "Coondair Pty Ltd, Tintinara SA"
22.1.65 VH-CDO first noted at Moorabbin ex VH-SSZ. Overall silver with pale fawn upper decking replacing the Super Spread red.
28.1.65 VH-CDO noted at Moorabbin, parked on grass, silver with pale fawn upper fuselage, titles "Coondair Pty Ltd, Tintinara" on fuselage
1.2.65 Departed Moorabbin on delivery flight to Tintinara SA. Pilot had arrived in Coondair’s Cessna 180 VH-CDX. Both aircraft then departed for Tintinara.
4.65 noted at Parafield
22.8.65 noted at Tintinara, being repainted yellow and white. Wings removed for the respray.
28.8.65 noted at Parafield, yellow and white, also 28.8.65, 2.4.66, 10.9.66
12.66 Leased to Doggett Aviation & Engineering Co Pty Ltd, Jandakot Airport WA
To avoid the cost of a scheduled engine overhaul, Bob McCabe of Coondair arranged a 10 month lease to Doggett Aviation for 10 months, during which Doggett would carry out the engine overhaul. In return Coondair received Doggett PA-25 Pawnee 235 VH-DAZ on loan.
At end of lease period VH-CDO was returned to Coondair with a financial adjustment.
1012.66 VH-CDO ferried from SA to Jandakot Airport, Perth to commence lease to Doggett Aviation
11.2.67 noted at Jandakot
5.3.67 noted at Jandakot with "Doggett" titles. Also 6.3.67, 27.3.67
9.67 noted at Tintinara SA
9.67 Advertised for sale by Coondair Pty Ltd, Tintinara SA: VH-CDO total time 4872 hours, engine 70 hours to run, asking $12K
11.7.69 Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service effective 8.10.68 at Tintinara
30.12.69 noted at Tintinara SA, also 1.1.72
.72
DCA ferry permit for delivery from Tintinara to Bankstown
2.72 noted at Bankstown Airport, Sydney under maintenance.
30.10.72 noted at Bankstown
28.11.72 Restored to Register: Airland, Cootamundra NSW

The rear fuselage sides of VH-CDO had been "metallised" prior to delivery to Airland who experienced continuing problems with the metal panels popping their fasteners due engine vibration.  A pilot who flew Airland Ceres said that it confirmed that CAC's original fabric-covering of panels aft of the cockpit was the best solution for quick removal for maintenance access.
20.12.72 noted at Cootamundra
31.12.73 noted at Cootamundra, Airland’s standard allover pale yellow (Lockhart Cream) with red trim, yellow wingtips and rudder, "Airland" titles in red.
12.74 noted at Cootamundra, operational with SSY
20.2.75 Struck-off Register as Withdrawn from Service
21.4.75 noted at Cootamundra, pale yellow with "Airland" titles in red, also 31.7.76
30.9.76 noted at Coffs Harbour NSW, with SSY
.77 Sold to: Rural Helicopters (Australia) Pty Ltd, Coffs Harbour NSW c/- Ross Mace
8.4.77 Noted at Coffs Harbour, undergoing complete overhaul
7.2.79 Restored to Register VH-CDO: Rural Helicopters (Australia) Pty Ltd, Coffs Harbour NSW
5.79 noted at Kempsey NSW, cream and white
28.9.79 Crashed destroyed "Linden Park"farm near Grafton NSW. Overturned during landing, pilot Keith Mace killed
28.9.79 Struck-off Register


98/09 An outer wing of VH-CDO was part of a Wirraway restoration project by Matthew Grigg at Ballarat Vic. The Wirraway fuselage had fabric panel from A20-670
08/12 This outer wing of VH-CDO stored with Wirraway parts at Robert Greinert’s warbirds recovery area at the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) complex at Albion Park Airport, Wollongong NSW

  

  Perth Airport June 1960 during a 3 month WA crop spraying contract.                                                                                              Neil Follett collection


  

  Parafield SA August 1962, original Ceres B cockpit.                                                                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Ballarat Vic, January 1964, silver with red decking, now with Ceres C cockpit.                                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Now VH-CDO, at Moorabbin 28 January 1965 with Coondair titles.                                                                         John Hopton Collection


  

  Parafield in January 1966, repainted yellow and white.                                                                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Jerilderie NSW in November 1974 with Airland.                                                                                                                  Geoff Goodall collection


  

  At Airland's home base Cootamundra 1974.                                                                                                                                 Ben Dannecker collection


  

  VH-CDO wing section with Matthew Grigg's Wirraway restoration project, near Ballarat Vic.  




c/n CA28-6            Ceres C                                                                                                                                                        VH-CEG, VH-NWB  

.60
Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type C
28.4.60 First flight at Fishermans Bend
14.4.60 Registered VH-CEG Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
11.9.60 Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
19.9.60 Delivered to Airfarm Associates
17.1.64 noted at Tamworth, no titles, red & yellow scheme
7.1.65 noted at Tamworth, Airfarm Associates, red & yellow scheme
27.12.65 noted at Guyra NSW, Airfarm Associates, red & yellow scheme
20.12.66 noted at Tamworth: SSY, SSV, CEB, CEC, CEG
5.3.67 noted at Guyra, Airfarm Associates, flying from strip, also 1.5.67, 4.7.67
8.8.69 noted at Tamworth, Airfarm Associates, red & yellow scheme, “blown” cockpit canopy
10.4.70 Struck-off Register as WFS (same date as VH-CEW)
25.9.70 noted at Tamworth with 4 other Airfarm Associates Ceres all appear retired. Also 13.8.71, 18.1.72, 27.12.72
13.3.73 Restored to Register Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
18.5.73 noted at Tamworth, inside Airfarm hangar with VH-SSV
6.4.74 Damaged 20 miles west of Glen Innes NSW when struck trees while spreading
8.4.74 Struck-off Register due accident 6.4.74
8.8.74 noted at Tamworth, also 28.12.74, 8.76, 22.9.77
20.4.78 noted at Tamworth, complete, Airfarm scheme, in their hangar
7.3.79 Restored to Register Tamair Pty Ltd trading as Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
1.9.79 noted at Tamworth, also 25.4.80, 15.8.80
5.81 Leased by Tamair to Gerald Finch, Thangool Qld trading as Thangool Aerial Spray

Refurbished from duster to sprayer with a new liquid hopper and original spray booms and pump, flown on cotton spraying in Thangool district by Gerry Finch
7.3.82 Damaged by engine fire at Thangool Qld.  
7.3.82 Struck-off Register
30.8.82 Restored to Register: Allan H. Baker, Womerah, Wee Waa NSW
19.9.85 Struck-off Register as WFS
19.5.88 noted parked at "Weetawaa", Wee Waa NSW, home of Allan Baker, also 18.10.88
3.2.95 Restored to Register as VH-NWB Arthur E. Johnson, Alcina Pty Ltd, Townsville Qld, trading as Northern Warbirds, Townsville
1.5.95
Last recorded flight in airframe log book

(long-term restoration project, new engine purchased)
6.7.06 Struck-off Register

Sold to Donald Brown, Kongwak Vic
Don Brown was a collector of military airframes, mostly significantly stripped:  included ex-Laotian T-28D, CAC Winjeel, Wirraway, Boomerang fuselage sections. Also Auster J5G Autocar VH-MRD ex Royal Australian Navy.
5.12 Don Brown confirms the fuselage, centre section, engine and propeller were stored on his property at Kongwak.  Long-term plan to restore as an airworthy Ceres

  

  VH-CEG passing through Wagga NSW during 1964.                                                                                                                         Photo by Bob Neate


  

  Tamworth August 1976, repainted in Airfarm Associates house colours.                                                                                         Photo by Mike Vincent




c/n CA28-7             Ceres C                                                                                                                                                      VH-CEH,  ZK-BXW  

.60
Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type C
1.7.60 Registered VH-CEH Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
20.7.60 First flight at Fishermans Bend
10.8.60 Struck-off Register as sold to New Zealand
.60 Shipped to NZ
30.8.60 Registered ZK-BXW Aerial Farming of NZ Ltd, Palmerston North
5.3.63 Damaged in accident at Huiroa, pilot Bruce McMillan
27.12.64 noted at Hamilton-Rukuhia, now repainted white and red, “Aerial Farming Ltd” titles
.65
James Aviation Ltd, Hamilton took over Aerial Farming of NZ Ltd, which continued to operate under its own name
1.1.67 noted at Palmerston North, white and red “Aerial Farming Ltd” titles
.67 James Aviation was standardising on Fletcher Fu-24s and DC-3s for agricultural work, so the Ceres were retired when operationally convenient
67/68 Operated by James Aviation Ltd, Hamilton
28.8.67 noted at Hamilton-Rukuhia, same white and red paintwork but James Aviation logo, also 21.11.67
22.5.68 Struck-off Register, retired at Palmerston North
9.12.68 Restored to Register ZK-BXW: James Aviation Ltd, Hamilton
.69
Retired at Hamilton. Stripped for spare parts by James Aviation
2.12.69 Struck-off Civil Register
by 87 Wings and parts of ZK-BXW acquired by a private owner. Parts were stored at Silverstream Railway & Vintage Transport Museum, Hutt Valley, Wellington
87 Wings of ZK-BXW stacked alongside fuselage of Ceres ZK-BZO at the museum
90s
Ceres parts collection removed from museum

Silver Stream Museum confirms it did not own ZK-BZO and components, but just stored them for a period

  

  Gisborne 1960, soon after arrival in NZ.                                                                                                                                    Don Noble Collection


  

  Hamilton-Rukuhia in August 1967, with James Aviation logo.                                                                                         Don Noble collection




c/n CA28-8           Ceres C                                                                                                                                                              VH-CEI, ZK-BXY  

.60
Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type C
4.8.60 Registered VH-CEI Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
1.9.60 First flight at Fishermans Bend
23.9.60 Struck-off Register as sold to New Zealand
.60 Shipped to NZ
21.9.60 Registered ZK-BXY Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd, Palmerston North
20.10.60 noted at Piriaka, "Aerial Farming (World Wide) Ltd" titles
3.2.61 Crashed, ran off runway landing near Turangarere, near Taihape. Pilot Barry Cook was not hurt.

Written off. Total airframe time only 123 hours 55mins
14.6.61 Struck-off Register

  

  ZK-BXY at Piriaka NZ 20 October 1960. It had the shortest career of any Ceres.                                                                                         Ray Deerness collection

 
  
   The scene at Turangarere in February 1963 after ZK-BXY overshot the landing strip and ran through a fence.   David Anderson collection


c/n CA28-9          Ceres C                                                                                                                                                              VH-CEL, ZK-BZO

.60
Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type C
20.9.60 Registered VH-CEL Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
20.9.60 First flight at Fishermans Bend
3.2.61 Struck-off Register as sold to New Zealand
.61 Shipped to NZ
30.1.61 Testflown after assembly in NZ
1.61 ZK-BZO photo at Hamilton NZ, all silver, no titles
3.2.61 Registered ZK-BZO Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd, Palmerston North. (CAC agents for New Zealand)
10.2.61 Change of ownership: Cookson Airpread Ltd, Wairoa
9.3.61 Ran off strip on takeoff, Kahika Station, Tutira, Hawkes Bay. Struck a fence, ran into a gully on nose, engine torn from airframe and other extensive damage. Pilot Bill Cookson not hurt. Aircraft flying time since new only 12 hours. All silver finish.
61/62 Rebuild by Tasman Empire Aitways (TEAL) at Auckland Airport, took over a year
4.7.62 Incident report at Kahina, no damage. Pilot Don Cameron of Cookson Airspread.
17.7.64 Incident report at Waireoa no damage. Pilot Don Cameron of Cookson Airspread.
8.1.68 noted at Wairoa, white and dark green paint scheme, "Cookson Airspread Co Ltd" titles, in service
3.8.69 noted at Fielding, same markings
11.12.69 Change of ownership: Manawatu Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd, Palmerston North
22.2.70 noted at Fielding, freshly repainted, no titles
9.10.70 noted at Fielding, in service, no titles, also 29.10.70
3.71 Photo at Fielding, Manawatu Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd
8.4.71 noted at Paraparaumu in service as a duster, no titles
17.1.72
Crashed during forced landing, Pahiatua Track, Tararau Ranges.  Pilot George Hatterscheid unhurt.
Accident Report states:
"While the aircraft was on an uphill sowing run the engine stopped. The throttle was opened fully but there was no response from the engine. The pilot elected to land immediately on the only relatively flat piece of ground available. During the landing run the starboard undercarriage leg struck a fence and became separated from the aircraft. Fuel exhaustion in the selected tank was the cause of the engine stoppage. The gauge was subsequently calibrated and found to be accurate."

This was the last operational Ceres in NZ. Operated by Manawatu Aerial Topdressing Ltd.
20.11.72 Parked at Fielding with wings removed. Prop blades badly bent and other damage.
.73
Wreck donated to an aircraft restoration group at Paraparaumu, near Wellington. The group, formed by Ross MacPherson and John Regan, was also restoring an ex RNZAF Grumman Avenger NZ2505
30.3.76 Struck-off Register
76 Reported under rebuild for static display
By 85 Restoration completed for static display at Silverstream Aeronautical Society, Hutt Valley NZ
Associated with the Silverstream Railway & Vintage Transport Museum, Hutt Valley, Wellington
27.5.87 noted at Silverstream museum, fuselage standing on its wheels, basically complete but unrestored, with wings of ZK-BXW stacked alongside

Aircraft at Silverstream museum were removed in the early 1990s when group disbanded

Reported stored Wellington NZ

Sections of ZK-BZO were acquired by Mike Nicholls, Ohakea for planned rebuild as a Wirraway
00 Sections of ZK-BZO & ZK-BPU held by Paul Wheeler, Romsey Vic for a Wirraway restoration project
07 Paul Wheeler has now moved his Wirraway project to Queensland

Fate unknown

  

  ZK-BZO in New Zealand in the early 1960s.                                                                                                                             Geoff Goodall collection


  

  ZK-BZO at Wairoa NZ in January 1968.                                                                                                                                     Ray Deerness collection


  
ZK-BZO ended its flying days with this forced landing Pahiatua Track January 1972.                                                                          Don Noble collection



c/n CA28-10          Ceres C                                                                                                                                                          VH-CEK, VH-SSY

.60
Built by CAC at Fishermans Bend, Melbourne as production Ceres Type C
20.9.60 Registered VH-CEK Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
20.10.60 First flight at Fishermans Bend
24.11.60 VH-CEK flew at Australian Aerial Agricultural Association conference at Wagga NSW
22.12.60 Change of ownership & reregistered VH-SSY:  Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
1.61 VH-SSY photo at Moorabbin, "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd" lighting bolt and dayglo scheme
25.2.61 VH-SSY flew agricultural demo at airshow Avalon Vic
2.7.61 noted at Moorabbin, "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd" lighting bolt and dayglo scheme
6.4.62 Super Spread Ceres VH-SSY & SSZ flew experimental fire retardant drops at Wonga Park Vic, using Firebrake (calcium sodium borate), each dropping 820 litres
62 VH-SSY flew experimental drops of fingerling trout at Lake Eildon. They were carried in water in the hopper and released over the lake from 200 feet with no ill effects.
28.10.62 flew ag demo at airshow Bendigo Vic, pilot John McKeachie
23.2.63 noted at Moorabbin, silver with maroon upper decking, titles "Super Spread Aviation Inc. Proctor's"
13.11.63 Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
16.1.64 noted at Tamworth, silver with maroon upper decking, "Airfarm Associates" titles
9.12.66 noted at Tamworth: SSY, SSV, CEW
20.12.66 noted at Tamworth: SSY, SSV, CEB, CEC, CEG
30.12.68 Crashed near Walcha NSW while on agricultural operations. Pilot was seriously injured.
DCA Accident report: "The engine lost power because of water ingestion shortly after taking off on the second flight following refuelling and, in the ensuing forced landing, the aircraft overturned."
30.12.68 Struck-off Register due crash

Rebuilt at Tamworth
27.5.70 Restored to Register: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
16.9.70 noted at Tamworth, red & yellow, "Airfarm" (only) titles, in service, parked outside with 5 other Ceres
7.6.71 Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
13.8.71 noted at Tamworth, red & yellow Airfarm scheme, with 4 other retired Ceres
18.1.72 noted at Tamworth in Airfarm red & yellow scheme, open storage. Also 27.12.72
23.2.73 Restored Register: Airland Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW
10.73 noted at Wee Waa NSW
16.11.73 Undercarriage collapsed in ground-loop on landing on ag strip near Leeton NSW

Rebuilt at Cootamundra, painted pale yellow (Lockhart Cream) with "Airland" in red
10.73 noted at Wee Waa NSW
12.74 noted at Cootamundra, operational with SSY
20.2.75 Struck-off Register as withdrawn from service
2.75 noted at Cootamundra, pale yellow, red "Airland" titles. Also 21.4.75
8.10.75 Restored to Register: Airland Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW
c75
Airland Pty Ltd business and assets purchased by Rural Helicopters, Coffs Harbour (Ross Mace)
7.76 noted at Coffs Harbour NSW no titles    
31.7.76 noted at Cootamundra NSW
30.9.76 noted at Coffs Harbour NSW, parked outside, pale yellow, no titles, with Ceres VH-CDO
4.2.77 Change of ownership: Rural Helicopters (Australia) Pty Ltd, Coffs Harbour NSW c/- Ross Mace
8.4.77 noted at Coffs Harbour, no titles. Also 11.1.78
21.8.79 VH-SSY noted at Port Macquarie NSW in Rural Helicopters hangar, plus another Ceres dismantled in two sections
17.8.82 Struck-off Register as Withdrawn From Service effective 20.3.78
21.7.83 Change of ownership: Agro Air Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
29.7.83 noted at Tamworth NSW
20.7.84 Restored to Register: Rural Helicopters (Australia) Pty Ltd, Port Macquarie NSW
26.10.84 Change of ownership: Aerotechnics Pty Ltd, Canberra ACT
Traded on a Thrush Commander agricultural aircraft. Aerotechnics had recently imported 4 Thrush Commanders and 3 Cessna 188s from USA
12.84 noted at Canberra, all silver no titles at Aerotechnics hangar. Also 10.2.85, 3.85
15.7.85 Change of ownership:  Jack N. Tully, Beechworth Vic
Tully was farmer in the Wodonga-Wangaratta district who donated the Ceres to Joe Drage's Airworld museum collection at Wangaratta Airport
7.85 Donated by Tully to Airworld, Wangaratta Vic.
15.12.85
Damaged in a forced landing on Wangaratta Airport. The left undercarriage leg collapsed.  
DCA accident report: “A fly-in had taken place on the site of an aviation museum. At the conclusion of the organised activities, it was decided to position the Ceres in such a manner as to allow it to be photographed against the background of the museum hangar. Shortly after start-up, the engine stopped of its own volition, and after the restart it faltered again prior to a normal take-off. During the flight the engine again lost power and the pilot was committed to a forced landing. The only area suitable for landing had a group of Tiger Moth aircraft at the far end, and after touchdown the pilot initiated a ground loop in order to avoid these aircraft. The left gear leg collapsed and the aircraft slewed to a stop short of the parked aircraft. Examination of the fuel system revealed that seals in the hand-operated fuel pump had deteriorated and cracked. This allowed air to enter the system and cause fuel starvation.”
29.3.86 noted at Wangaratta, inside Air World
28.5.86 noted at Wangaratta under overhaul, hopper being removed
2.12.86 Change of ownership: City of Wangaratta, Wangaratta Vic
Local council took over financial responsibility for the renamed Air World at Wangaratta Airport
12.10.88 visited RAAF Richmond airshow, displayed by Airworld, all silver
20.2.89 noted at Airworld, Wangaratta
24.10.92 visited Avalon Vic airshow
26.4.98 noted at Airworld, Wangaratta
1.02 Airworld closed in late January due falling visitor numbers and costs
8.2.02 VH-SSY noted at Airworld, complete, awaiting disposal
8.03 Ceres advertised for sale as part of the disposal of the Wangaratta Airworld collection:  stated as last flew 1997, total time 6528 hours, asking $65K
04 Drage Airworld closed down, aircraft collection offered for sale
.04 Change of ownership: Doug Hamilton, Whorouly Vic
25.2.05 Ferried Wangaratta-Albury by Steve Death of Hazair Albury, for inspection to renew CofA
1.4.05 Civil Register Change of Ownership to Hamilton
17.7.05 visited Temora NSW for airshow at Temora Aviation Museum, flown by Doug Hamilton. Carried passengers in rear seat for local flights.
18.4.10 visited Tyabb Vic airshow, all silver

Current, airworthy. Regular performer at airshows, flown by Doug Hamilton.

 
CAC test pilot Roy Goon in VH-CEK at the agricultural aviation symposium at Wagga NSW November 1960.                                                Photo by Kurt Finger

  

  Now VH-SSY, seen at Moorabbin 1961 as a duster                                                                                                                                           Photo by Neil Follett


 
  Bendigo Vic October 1962 fitted for spraying.                                                                                            John Hopton Collection

  

  Lake Eildon Vic 1962 restocking trout supplies by dropping live fishlings                                                                                                 Ben Dannecker collection


  

  Moorabbin February 1963 in a more conservative Super Spread scheme.                                                                                             Ben Dannecker collection 


  

  On an ag strip near Tamworth, soon after acquired by Airfarm Associates.                                                                                         Photo via John Patterson


  

  Tamworth September 1968, red and yellow with "blown" pilot canopy.                                                                                             Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Cootamundra NSW April 1975, now in service with Airland.                                                                                                 Photo by Mike Madden


  

  Coffs Harbour NSW September 1976 with Rural Helicopters.                                                                                                 Photo by Mike Vincent


  

  Canberra December 1984, now with original flat-sided cockpit canopy.                                                                                                         Photo by Mike Vincent


 

  Outside the Drage Air World display hangar at Wangaratta Airport Vic January 1990                                                          Photo by Geoff Goodall



c/n CA28-11         Ceres C                                                                                                                                                              VH-CEM, ZK-BSQ  

4.12.58 Wirraway A20-661 in storage at RAAF Tocumwal NSW with No.1 Aircraft Depot Detachment B. RAAF status card entry this date: "Offered for disposal in favour of CAC
3.3.59 A20-661 delivery taken by CAC

Rebuilt at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
13.9.60 Registered VH-CEM Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
7.2.61 First flight as Ceres at Fishermans Bend, Vic. Pilot was CAC test pilot Roy Goon
8.3.61 Struck-off Register as sold to New Zealand
8.3.61 Shipped from Melbourne to NZ with VH-CEN on MV Waimea
9.3.61 Registered ZK-BSQ Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd, Palmerston North
61 Assembled at Palmerston North, but not test flown until a customer found. Stored in NZNAC airline hangar, which later became Fieldair’s hangar
6.63 Leased to: Wanganui Aero Work Ltd, Wanganui
28.6.63 First NZ test flight Palmerston North
28.6.63 Richmond "Ditch" Harding of Wanganui Air Work was endorsed on ZK-BSQ.  His log book records that he flew ZK-BSQ continuously until 5.66 when it was retired for a major overhaul.
29.6.63 Noted at Wanganaui
12.63 noted at Taumaranui, metallic with red "Wanganui Aero Work Ltd" titles
7.2.64 noted at Wanganui, metallic with red "Wanganui Aero Work Ltd" titles
11.10.64 noted at Piriaka, topdressing. Metallic with red "Wanganui Aero Work Ltd" titles. Also 23.11.64
26.7.65 Change of ownership: Wanganui Aero Work Ltd, Wanganui   Name Taringamotu
13.8.66 noted at Wanganui, repainted all white, also 1.1.67
67 Large titles painted on in red “Wanganui Aero Work Ltd”
24.5.68 Damaged in forced landing near Raetihi. Forced landing due engine failure on Coleman's farm strip near Raetihi, 60 miles SE of New Plymouth.
5.68 Moved by truck to Wanganui and stored damaged.
8.6.68 noted at Wanganui, parked outside on its wheels with damaged wings removed and stacked along the fuselage. "Wanganui Aero Work Ltd" titles. Also 16.6.68.
69 Wreck sold to Manawatu Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd, Fielding.  Used for parts

Stripped airframe moved from Wanganui airfield to storage on a family farm at Blinkbonnie near Wanganui
18.1.73 Struck-off Register
73 Fuselage ZK-BSQ stored on a farm near Wanaganui, stripped for parts by Manawatu Aerial Topdressing Co Ltd for their Ceres ZK-BZO
1.89 Fuselage and engine of ZK-BSQ on ground next to a container at Auckland-Ardmore Airport. Red and white scheme: reported that the owner had considered restoring it as a CAC Wirraway but now intends restoring it a Ceres.
16.10.95 Stripped forward fuselage, cockpit and engine unmoved at Ardmore
7.11 Report: had been owned by Ken Jacobs, Riverhead, Auckland: restoration project had been abandoned and airframe reduced to parts.

  

  ZK-BSQ at Piriaka in October 1964. Don Noble collection


  

  At Wanganui in March 1966, in new paint scheme. Don Noble collection





c/n CA28-12         Ceres C                                                                                                                                                  VH-CEN, ZK-BVS  

.60
Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
20.10.60 Registered VH-CEN Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
6.2.61 First flight as Ceres at Fishermans Bend by CAC test pilot Roy Goon
8.3.61 Struck-off Register as sold to New Zealand
8.3.61 Shipped from Melbourne to NZ with VH-CEM on MV Waimea
9.3.61 Registered ZK-BVS Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd, Palmerston North  (CAC agents for New Zealand)
23.6.63 noted at Felding, all silver, titles "Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd", also 28.12.65, 12.2.66
.65
Aerial Farming was taken over by James Aviation. Continued operating under its own name
1.1.67 noted at Palmerston North,  titles "Aerial Farming (Holdings) Ltd"
67
James Aviation was standardising on Fletcher Fu-24s and DC-3s for agricultural work, so the Ceres were retired when operationally convenient
9.12.68
Change of ownership: James Aviation Ltd, Hamilton
17.12.68 Retired at Hamilton, broken up for parts
5.3.69 noted at Hamilton, inside James Aviation hangar, all fuselage panels removed
2.12.69 Struck-off Register

  

  Fielding NZ 1965.                                                                                                                                          Don Noble collection




c/n CA28-13       Ceres C                                                                                                                                                      VH-CEO, VH-SSF  

3.7.58
CA-16 Wirraway II A20-129 in storage at RAAF Point Cook Vic.
RAAF status card entry this date: "Department of Air approves disposal of aircraft complete with installed engine in favour of CAC.”
21.7.58
A20-129 disposed by Department of Supply to CAC on Sales Advice dated 11.7.58
60
Construction completed at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
23.1.61
Registered VH-CEO Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
8.2.61
VH-CEO log book: fitted with P&W Wasp No.331 and propeller No.3024.
“Agricultural type CA28-13 converted from Wirraway received ex RAAF on Rv5805 21 July 1958 by CAC Airframe Division, Port Melbourne.”
15.2.61
First flight at Fishermans Bend, Vic.
25.2.61
flew agricultural demo at airshow Avalon Vic, all silver no titles
8.3.61
noted at Moorabbin, all silver
18.11.61
Flew display at Australian Aerial Agricultural Association conference at Ballarat Vic.
9.4.63
Change of ownership and re-registered VH-SSF Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
11.4.63
VH-SSF noted at Moorabbin, all silver, no titles
20.4.63
VH-SSF noted at Parafield, tied down outside Aviation Services hangar. Back again 27.5.63, 8.6.63
11.7.63
noted at Ballarat Vic, fire bombing trial with Bentonite suppressant. All silver, Super Spread Aviation titles
10.12.63
noted at Parafield, undergoing maintenance in Aviation Services (SA) Ltd hangar
1.1.64
noted at Moorabbin, all silver "Super Spread Aviation" titles
27.1.64
noted at Bankstown, all silver, no titles on fuselage
25.2.64
Change of ownership: Marshall's Spreading Service Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
2.3.65
noted at Albury, "Marshall's Spreading Service" titles
9.3.65
noted at Albury, also 19.4.65, 8.65, 6.2.66 when fitetd with a Wirraway rudder
15.11.66
noted at Bankstown
27.1.67
Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
29.6.67
Log book: during 12 monthly inspection, “blown” canopy installed to cockpit
10.6.68
noted at Tamworth, silver allover with "Airfarm Associates" in red.
9.68
noted at Tamworth, freshly repainted in red and yellow scheme with Airfarm Associates titles
26.12.68
Noted at Tamworth, red and yellow, Airfarm Associates titles
8.8.69
Struck-off Register as WFS. Airfarm were replacing their Ceres fleet with Transavia Airtruks
25.9.70
noted at Tamworth 25.9.70 with 5 other Airfarm Associates Ceres, all appear retired
1.10.71
Restored to Register: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
18.1.72
noted at Tamworth
13.3.72
Minor damage when struck by Cessna 172 VH-AAC while flying in formation, near Armidale NSW
15.4.72
noted at Armidale NSW, Airfarm Associates
8.8.74
noted at Tamworth
24.10.74
noted at Tamworth, freshly repainted red and yellow with just “Airfarm” on fuselage side
28.12.74
noted at Tamworth
27.2.75
Struck-off Register as WFS
17.4.75
noted at Tamworth, Airfarm titles, red & yellow
6.7.76
Restored to Register: Blayney Airfarmers, Blayney NSW
7.76
noted at Blayney, still red & yellow with "Airfarm" titles although now owned by Cliff Kearney trading as Blayney Airfarmers.
7.8.76
Struck-off Register as WFS
24.10.76
noted at Blayney dismantled undergong overhaul
21.12.77
Restored to Register: Blayney Airfarmers, Blayney NSW
31.1.78
Crashed after takeoff from strip Carcoar NSW
1.3.78
Struck-off Register due crash 31.1.78
25.7.78
noted at Bankstown under rebuild in Aerial Agriculture hangar
22.8.78
Restored to Register: Cliff J. Kearney t/a Blayney Airfarmers, Blayney NSW
18.2.79
visited airshow Bathurst NSW, "Airfarmers" titles
3.82
visited airshow Goulburn NSW, pilot Cliff Kearney "Airfarmers" titles
28.3.81
visited airshow, Schofields NSW, "Airfarmers" titles, sprayer
22.8.82
Struck-off Register as WFS
17.6.83
Restored to Register: Cliff J. Kearney t/a Blayney Airfarmers, Blayney NSW
16.8.85
Struck-off Register as WFS
28.3.87
noted at Bankstown, "Airfarmers" markings, looks airworthy
2.4.87
Restored to Register: Blayney Airfarmers, Blayney NSW
c90
painted at Bankstown in temporary washable khaki green with Japanese markings for movie filming
22.4.95
noted at Blayney, operational, "Airfarmers"
1.96
noted at Blayney, Cliff Kearney running up engine
18.1.97
Last flight. Forced landing on sloping hillside due engine failure after takeoff Blayney NSW.
No airframe damage
24.5.04
noted at Blayney,
08
Stored partly dismantled in hangar at Blayney. Advertised for sale.
19.1.09
Change of ownership: William J. Smith c/- Historical Aircraft Restoration Society, Wollongong NSW
1.09
VH-SSF dismantled and moved in two stages from Blayney to HARS hangar at Wollongong-Albion Park Airport. "Airfarmers" titles

Long-term restoration to fly at Wollongong-Albion Park Airport NSW

During restoration the reassembled aircraft is displayed at HARS, Albion Park NSW.  Still in "Airfarmers" paintwork.



Some sources have incorrectly assumed this Ceres was rebuilt from Super Spread Aviation's CAC Wirraway VH-SSF, one of two used for experimental agricultural flying between 1954-56. Both Wirraways were retired and parked in the open at Moorabbin as late as December 1960 before being dismantled for parts.  See “The Super Spread Wirraway Connection” at end of listing below.

  

  VH-CEO at Moorabbin March 1961 in all silver factory finish.                                                                                                    John Hopton Collection


  

  Now VH-SSF, seen at Parafield SA August 1963.                                                                                                                       Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Bankstown October 1966, with Marshall's Spreading Service, Albury.                                                                                                     Photo by Ian McDonell


  

  Tamworth September 1968, red & yellow paint scheme, green tinted “blown” canopy.                                                                         Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Blayney NSW July 1976, in Airfarm scheme although just sold to Blayney Airfarmers.                                                                                 Photo by Mike Vincent


  

  At an airshow at Goulburn NSW March 1982, in Blayney Airfarmers scheme.                                                                                                Photo by Mike Vincent


  

  VH-SSF at Bankstown c1990 having Japanese markings applied for a filming job.                                                                                Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Under restoration at HARS, Wolongong NSW during 2012.                                                                                                                                 Photo HARS


                                               

                                                               Original CAC plates in VH-SSF.                       via Peter Reardon




c/n CA28-14          Ceres C                                                                                                                                                                VH-CEP, VH-DAT  

.60
Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
23.1.61 Registered VH-CEP Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
16.3.61 First flight at Fishermans Bend, Vic.
5.11.61 Change of ownership: Doggett Aviation & Engineering Co Pty Ltd, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth WA
20.11.61 Arrived Maylands on delivery flight ex CAC, flown by aero club instructor Phil Hicks
10.12.61 arrived Maylands via Canning Dam, penetrated Perth Airport controlled airspace: Air Safety Incident Report
4.1.62 arrived Maylands from Brookton: penetrated Perth Airport controlled airspace: Air Safety Incident Report
31.1.62 noted at Maylands, all silver "Doggett Aviation" titles
24.3.62 Diverted to land Guildford en route York to Maylands due poor weather
16.9.62 VH-CEP visited RAAF Pearce air pageant, flew agricultural demonstration
10.62 Re-registered VH-DAT
23.2.63 VH-DAT noted at Maylands.all silver. Also 2.3.63, 4.3.63
3.4.63 Forced landing Moora WA due engine failure, pilot Morton. No damage.
30.6.63 Maylands Aerodrome closed to operations by DCA due close proximity to Perth Airport. Doggett Aviation was having a hangar constructed at the newly established Jandakot Airport, but shifted its aircraft to grass areas at Perth Airport in the interim.
18.8.63 noted at Perth Airport
15.10.66 noted at Jandakot, white with red trim, Doggett titles. Also 15.10.66,25.12.66, 27.3.67, 30.12.67
16.1.68 Damaged by fire on ground, Kojonup WA.  During engine start in a paddock on the edge of town, a grass fire started underneath the aircraft. An engine backfire ignited grass under the belly. The pilot kept the engine turning on the starter-motor to fan the flames away from the undersides of the aircraft because the aircraft had just been refuelled.  The flames were drawn through the motor for 90 seconds and burnt the undersides of the fuselage and badly damaged the tailplane.
3.68 Moved by road to Jandakot, where engine was written off, and the airframe declared uneconomical to repair. Doggett was planning to shortly retire this aircraft, having standardised on PA-25 Pawnee 235s.
24.3.68 noted at Jandakot, dismantled with burnt tail fabric
1.1.69 noted at Jandakot, parked on its wheels with wings removed in Doggett's truck compound. It has been stored here for several months
1.69 Sold "as is" to Channel TVW7 Vintage Museum, Tuart Hill, Perth
22.1.69 Trucked from Jandakot to Channel 7 Studios in Tuart Hill.  Parked standing on its undercarriage, wings removed. Planned to be cosmetically restored as a Wirraway for a small transport museum at the Studio. (Derelict agricultural Tiger Moth VH-AHP trucked Jandakot to Tuart Hill 14.1.69)
19.2.69 Struck-off Register due damage 16.2.68
3.3.70 noted at TVW7 Studios, parked on wheels between studio buildings with wings removed. Tailplane fabric wad been restored.
25.7.70 noted at TVW7 Studios, fuselage on wheels parked on grass under conversion to Wirraway. Fuselage upper decking has been removed and a new Wirraway canopy installed. Tail still marked VH-DAT.
8.11.70 noted at TVW7 Studios, fuselage on wheels parked on grass, conversion to Wirraway progressed. Fuselage and tailplane fabric completed and painted in undercoat.
71 Rebuild as a Wirraway completed, painted as RAAF green camouflage "A20-47/GA-B"
(GA- was squadron code for RAAF 75 Squadron which flew Buffalo and Kittyhawk fighters, but not Wirraways)

Displayed under a roof in Channel 7 museum mounted in a flying attitude with undercarriage retracted. Also displayed was Tiger Moth VH-AHP as RAAF yellow "A17-161" and two RAAF Vampires
1.12.74 noted at TVW7 Studios, displayed on pole in museum area, "A20-47/GA-B"

Channel 7 Museum closed after change of management at the TV Station

Stored dismantled at the TV Studio
.87 Sold to West Australian Museum of Aviation, Jandakot Airport, Perth WA
.87 Trucked from TVW7 Studios to Perth suburb of Riverton for storage
88 Remained stored dismantled at Riverton, planned to be restored for display as a Wirraway
.91 Sold to Dennis Baxter & Bob Mather, Sydney NSW. Moved by road from Perth to Sydney. Planned to be used in Baxter & Mather's restoration project of Wirraway A20-223
98 Fuselage frame VH-DAT stored in WA Aviation Museum open compound at Jandakot

  

  Maylands Aerodrome, Perth 20 November 1961 on arrival after delivery flight from CAC to Doggett Aviation.                                                  Geoff Goodall collection


 

   VH-CEP hard at work dusting from the ag strip at Ballingup WA, March 1962.                                             Geoff Goodall collection

  

   Reregistered VH-DAT, at Jandakot WA in April 1965.                                                                                                                             Photo by Neil Follett


  

  VH-DAT “Reverse-engineered” back to a Wirraway at the TVW7 Studio museum, Mount Yokine, Perth 1973.                                                  Photo by Geoff Goodall




c/n CA28-15    Ceres C                                                                                                                                                            VH-CEQ, VH-WAX  

.61
Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
8.3.61 Registered VH-CEQ Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
8.3.61 Struck-off Register (same day). Backdated by DCA. Stored pending sale.
7.12.61 First flight at Fishermans Bend
12.12.61 Delivered to Airland Improvements
3.1.62 Restored to Register as VH-WAX:  Airland Improvements, Cootamundra NSW
29.4.62 noted at Cootamundra, "Airland" titles, all over pale yellow (Lockhart Cream) with chequerboard wingtips and rudder.Also 5.1.63, 16.3.64, 24.9.65
18.4.66 Crashed on takeoff Galong near Harden NSW while on agricultural operations. Pilot unhurt.
DCA accident report: "The aircraft failed to climb away after takeoff and clipped a fence. After passing between trees, the port wing struck the ground followed by the aircraft. It is probable that the takeoff was attempted without propeller fine pitch being selected."
.66 Wreck trucked to Archerfield for rebuild
15.5.66 noted at Archerfield, VH-WAX wrecked cockpit centre section outside a hangar, wings stacked behind
25.5.66 noted at Archerfield as a wreck in Air Express hangar
7.66 Under rebuild at Archerfield in Air Express hangar
11.8.66 First flight Archerfield after rebuild
17.3.67 Crashed destroyed by fire near Cootamundra NSW. Pilot seriously injured.
DCA accident report:  "Whilst turning to commence spreading on the 16th flight at the site, the aircraft struck a tree, crashed to the ground and was destroyed by fire."
25.3.67 VH-WAX burnt wreck noted at Cootamundra, burnt fuselage and wing sections dumped near Airland hangar
7.4.67 Struck-off Register due crash 17.3.67
.75
Wreckage sections of VH-WAX were included in the derelict Airland Ceres collection acquired by Moorabbin Air Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne

 
 Cootamundra June 1962 configured as a duster..                                                                                    Alan Fraser via Maurice Austin collection

  

  Cootamundra NSW September 1965 as a sprayer.                                                                                                                                     Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  The burnt remains of VH-WAX, Cootamundra, March 1967.                                                                                                               Geoff Goodall collection  



c/n CA28-16          Ceres C                                                                                                                                                                VH-CER  

.61
Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
7.4.61 Registered VH-CER Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
7.4.61 Struck-off Register (same day). Back-dated by DCA. Stored pending sale.
14.12.61 First flight at Fishermans Bend, Vic.
18.12.61 Restored to Register: Marshall's Spreading Service Pty Ltd, Albury NSW
19.12.61 Delivered to Marshall's Spreading Service
2.4.62 noted at Albury, all silver "Marshall's Spreading Service" titles in red
28.4.62 noted at Albury
7.2.64 noted at Albury, all silver "Marshall's Spreading Service" titles
8.2.64 noted at Moorabbin, visiting from Albury, all silver, "Marshall's Spreading Service" titles in black and red lettering
10.5.64 visited West Wyalong NSW airshow, all silver "Marshall's Spreading Service Albury" titles
19.6.64 noted at Temora NSW, reportedly operating on contract to Inland Aviation, Temora
2.9.64 visited Wagga from Albury
12.9.64 noted at Albury. Also 9.3.65, 19.4.65, 6.2.66
2.3.67
Crashed destroyed Weule near Tumbarumba NSW. Pilot Ted Brodie was seriously injured.
DCA accident report: "While still spreading superphosphate the aircraft was seen to proceed in level flight well beyond the boundary of the treatment area. It then crashed in a stalled condition on rising ground. Two brief periods of power surge were heard just prior to impact and there is evidence consistent with fuel starvation."
23.3.67 Struck-off Register due crash 2.3.67
6.67 Report: VH-CER damage is not economical to rebuild. Has been acquired by Mr.Fuller of Airserve, Albury who will strip it of useful components then scrap the remainder.
13.5.67 noted at Albury, wreck stored in Airserve Albury hangar. Also 3.3.68, 8.3.69

  
   VH-CER at Moorabbin 1962 soon after delivery new to Marshall's Spreading Service.                                                     Photo by Neil Follett

  

  West Wyalong NSW May 1964.                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Bob Neate


  

  VH-CER arrives home at Albury February 1966 with shirtless pilot, aircraft covered superphosphate after a day's work.                           Photo by Geoff Goodall




c/n CA28-17      Ceres C                                                                                                                                                              VH-CET, VH-WHY, "VH-WOT" 


Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
20.2.62 First flight at Fishermans Bend, Vic.
23.2.62 Registered VH-CET Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
25.2.62 visited airshow Moorabbin Vic, flew an agricultural demonstration
1.4.62 noted at Bankstown, all silver no titles
6.3.63 Change of ownership and reregistered VH-WHY: Airland Improvements Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW
1.64 noted at Cootamundra, pale yellow with red trim. yellow & black checks on wingtips & rudder. Also 28.3.64, 24.9.65, 13.11.66, 31.12.67, 9.3.69
4.11.69 struck vehicle during landing on ag strip, Binalong NSW. Pilot Noel F. Fuller was unhurt.
DCA accident report: "the pilot flew from Cootamundra to an agricultural strip near Binalong to familiarise himself with it and the adjoining property over which he was to conduct spraying operations later that morning. The strip, which is 1350 feet in length, has a 5% upslope to the north-west, and the uneven gradient obscures the top of the strip for approximately half of the landing run available. The strip was covered with green grass nine Inches high and the grass was wet from dew. The weather was fine with a light easterly wind. The pilot flew around the area, observing a stationary loader truck on the north-west end of the strip, and on final approach aligned the aircraft to the right of it. The aircraft touched down approximately 150 feet inside the boundary. About 600 feet from the north-west end the pilot applied brakes but without effect. He released and re-applied the brakes but the wheels locked. The aircraft appeared to be sliding towards the stationary truck and the pilot attempted to avoid it but the outer section of the port mainplane struck the cabin of the truck at a speed of approximately 10 knots."
4.1.70 noted at Cootamundra
17.2.70 Crashed wrecked Coleabally near Griffith NSW, wingtip struck crop during rice spraying
26.9.70 noted at Cootamundra NSW as wreck in Airland hangar, tail broken off
17.2.71 Struck-off Register due crash 17.2.70
9.4.72 wreck VH-WHY noted at Cootamundra
.75 Collection of wrecked Airland Ceres acquired by Moorabbin Air Museum, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
8.8.75 Wrecks and parts arrived Moorabbin by road from Cootamundra: included cockpit fuselage of VH-WHY on wing centresection with undercarriage

8 year rebuild of a composite Ceres to engine ground-running condition at Moorabbin Air Museum. Based on fuselage of VH-WHY.
Completed by 1989, painted all over yellow as “VH-WOT” with red “Airland” titles.
21.11.92
Roll-out ceremony at Moorabbin Air Museum
00 Moorabbin Air Museum renamed Australian National Aviation Museum, Moorabbin Airport
8.11.14
Engine run at ANAM

Curently displayed at ANAM, Moorabbin Airport

  

  Moorabbin airshow, February 1962, pilot Roy Goon.                                                                                                                                 Photo by Neil Follett


  

  Bankstown April 1962, while being used as a CAC demonstrator.                                                                                                             Photo by Roger McDonald


  

  Cootamundra, September 1965 in Airland Improvements' creamy yellow finish.                                                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  The composite Ceres being constructed at Moorabbin Air Museum.                                                                                John Hopton Collection



c/n CA28-18          Ceres B to Ceres C                                                                                                                            VH-CEX, VH-SSV  

61 Rebuild by CAC of prototype Ceres VH-CEA c/n CA28-1 after it crashed 22.3.61 : see CA28-1
8.61 Test flown Fishermans Bend Vic as Ceres B
24.8.61 Registered VH-CEX Proctor's Rural Services Pty Ltd, Alexandra Vic
25.8.61
Acceptance flights by Proctor's Rural Service pilots R. Lane and I. Robertson at Fishermans Bend
29.8.61 Delivered to Alexandra Vic
24.9.61 VH-CEX noted at Swan Hill Vic, "Proctor's Rural Services" titles, spraybars
18.11.61 attended Australian Aerial Agricultural Association symposium at Ballarat Vic.
62 Leased to Airfarm Associates, Tamworth NSW
27.9.62 noted at Moorabbin under maintenance in Super Spread hangar, "Airfarm" titles
.62 Proctor's Rural Services taken over by Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
2.63 Reregistered VH-SSV
29.6.63 VH-SSV noted at Moorabbin, silver with red-maroon upper decking, titles "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd Inc. Proctor's". Cockpit area had been modified to Ceres C standard.
15.1.64 noted at Parafield, silver with red upper decking, "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd". Also 3.64
29.3.64 noted at Moorabbin outside Super Spread hangar, silver with red upper decking, "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd", paintwork very tattered
10.5.64 noted at Moorbbin, faded paintwork, silver with maroon upper decking "Super Spread Aviation Pty Ltd" titles
30.9.64 Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
8.10.64 SSV refuelled at Wagga on delivery flight from Moorabbin to Tamworth. Silver with maroon decking "Airfarm Associates" titles
9.10.64 Arrived Tamworth on delivery flight
6.8.65 noted at Cootamundra in Airland Improvement hangar
24.9.65 noted at Cootamundra, "Aifarm Associates" titles removed, indicating probably on lease to Airland Improvements
4.4.66 noted at Tamworth "Airfarm Associates", red and yellow. Also 24.7.66, 9.12.66,20.12.66,
23.8.69 Struck-off Register as WFS. Open storage at Tamworth.
7.10.69 noted Tamworth, "Airfarm Associates" titles, red and yellow, “blown” canopy
25.9.70 noted at Tamworth with 5 others Airfarm Associates Ceres, appear retired. Also 13.8.71, 18.1.72, 27.12.72
18.5.73 noted at Tamworth, inside Airfarm hangar with VH-CEG
27.8.73 Restored to Register: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
7.10.74 noted at Tamworth red and yellow "Airfarm" in service. Also 28.12.74
21.3.75 Stuck-off Register as Withdrawn from service
19.4.75 noted at Tamworth, "Airfarm" (only) titles, red & yellow scheme
c77 Sold to Allan H. Baker, "Womerah", Wee Waa NSW
5.4.78 noted at "Womerah", near Wee Waa, property of Allan Baker who owned Airland. Also 25.8.79, 18.4.80
80s
Sold as a restoration project to Ray Adams, Lilydale Vic.

Adams recalls purchasing a dismantled Ceres from a property owner at Wee Waa who had two Ceres. This Ceres had suffered an engine fire prior to his purchase as a restoration project.  Ray Adams collected the wings from Tamworth Airport.

Ceres stored dismantled in a shed on his farm near Lilydale. Adams also had a Boeing Stearman project at the farm, and flew his Cessna 180 and Luscombe from a dirt strip through the crop on the property.

P&W engine was rebuilt to operational condition
Mid 90s Adams lost his pilot licence due serious medical conditions. He sold his Cessna 180 VH-SDB and Stearman project. He sold the rebuilt Ceres P&W to Murray Griffiths for use in Griffith's airworthy Wirraway
c94 Ceres airframe sold by Ray Adams to Michael "Doc" Connelly, Benambra Vic
Connelly removed the aircraft from Ray Adams' property by road c5.95

2.7.95 Connelly was killed in crash of a Sapphire ultralite.

Ceres fuselage, centre section and rear section acquired by Donald Brown, Kongwak Vic
Don Brown was a collector of military airframes, mostly significantly stripped:  included ex-Laotian T-28D, CAC Winjeel, Wirraway, Boomerang fuselage sections. Also Auster J5G Autocar VH-MRD ex Royal Australian Navy.
5.12 Don Brown confirms he has the majority of components for this Ceres stored on his property at Kongwak. He has long-term plans to restore the airframe as either a Ceres or a Wirraway.

  

  VH-CEX in service with Proctor’s Rural Services.                                                                                                             Bob Neate collection


  

   VH-CEX at Crickston Farm strip near Lake Eildon Vic in 1961 having trout loaded into fresh water in the hopper, to be dropped into the lake.               Ben Dannecker collection


  

  Moorabbin in 1962 after Super Spread Aviation took over Proctor’s.                                                                                                          Photo by Neil Follett


  

  VH-CEX at Moorabbin in September 1962, leased to Airfarm Associates.                                                                                         Photo by Dick Hourigan


  

  VH-CEX on lease to Airfarm Associates at Tamworth during 1962.                                                                                             Ben Dannecker collection


  

Moorabbin June 1963, back with Super Spread, re-registered VH-SSV with Ceres C cockpit.                                               John Hopton Collection


 

  Parafield SA March 1964 with paintwork changes, silver with maroon upper decking.                                                                        Photo by Geoff Goodall


 

  Refuelling at Wagga 8 October 1964 during delivery flight to Airfarm Associates at Tamworth, same maroon upper decking.                             Photo by Bob Neate


  

  Cootamundra NSW September 1966, Airfarm Associates name removed, probably on lease to Airland Improvements.                                     Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Tamworth NSW July 1966, repainted in Airfarm Associates' red and yellow scheme.                                                                         Photo by Mike Croker


 
  Tamworth October 1974 still in service with Airfarm.                                                                                  Photo by Greg Banfield


c/n CA28-19    Ceres C                                                                                                                                                    (VH-CEU), VH-WOT

9.61 Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C.  

Manufacturer's plate quotes "CA28-19" "VH-CEU" and "Date of Manufacture 9.61"
Component plates on this airframe quote "CA28-18": believed CA28-18 was originally allocated but changed to CA28-19 when prototype VH-CEA was rebuilt and allocated a sequential c/n CA28-18.
30.3.62 First flight at Fishermans Bend, Vic.
.62 Allotted registration VH-CEU Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne.

VH-CEU not taken up.
7.12.62 Registered VH-WOT Airland Improvements Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW
11.12.61
Delivered from Fishermans Bend to Cootamundra
1.63 noted at Cootamundra "Airland" titles, pale yellow (Lockhart Cream) with red trim and and yellow/black checks on wingtips and rudder.
Also 9.1.64, 11.9.64, 8.3.65, 6.2.66, 13.11.66, 7.7.67, 31.12.67, 9.3.69, 26.9.70
13.2.71 noted at Narrandera NSW, Airland titles
6.1.72 noted at Cootamundra, "Airland" titles and colour scheme, all silver rudder fitted
9.4.72 noted at Cootamundra, "Airland" titles
27.11.73 Change of ownership (company name change): Airland Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW
31.12.73 noted at Cootamundra, "Airland" titles and scheme, in service
28.5.74 Crashed on takeoff 3 miles NE of Muttama NSW, power loss, struck windmill & water tower.
Pilot Pat Crowther: "I clipped the top of a tree trying to turn away and when you have a load of super and 600 horses dying all at once, you've only got one way to go and that's downhill - fast."
28.5.74 Struck off Register
21.4.75 noted at Cootamundra as wreck
.75 Collection of derelict Airland Ceres parts acquired by Moorabbin Air Museum
8.8.75 Fuselage of VH-WHY & wreckage of VH-WOT and another Airland Ceres arrived at Moorabbin Air Museum by road from Cootamundra
c82 VH-WOT cockpit section to engine firewall acquired by Monty Armstrong/ Australian Aerospace museum, Essendon Airport, Melbourne
6.83
Ceres cockpit section noted in Australian Aerospace Museum’s leased hangar at RAAF Point Cook
.91 VH-WOT cockpit section to engine firewall acquired by Mark Pilkington, Melbourne when AAM vacated the Essendon hangar where its collection was housed. Mark added a Ceres windscreen, canopy & rear seat hatch acquired from Paul Wheeler who acquired parts from ZK-BPU & ZK-BZO.

Mark Pilkington commented "When I received the cockpit section it still had the stripped fuselage frame to the firewall location (effectively the Wirraway forward cockpit) where the hopper was fitted. However the steelwork was badly twisted and bent, so I removed it back to the structure as it exists today"
11.11.06 VH-WOT cockpit section acquired by Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Qld.
4.5.07 Cockpit section arrived by road at QAM

Cockpit section currently displayed at QAM

"VH-WOT" displayed complete at Moorabbin Air Museum is composite rebuild of VH-WHY

  

  Dusting from an agricultural strip near Harden NSW in 1964.                                                                                                         Photo by Ben Dannecker


  

  Cootamundra April 1965, now with chequerboard paintwork added to rudder and wingtips.                                                                         Photo by Neil Follett


  

  Dusting at Bethungra NSW, flown by Airland founder Les Ward.                                                                                                                 Photo by Ben Dannecker


  

  VH-WOT dusting superphosphate on a farm near Bethungra NSW.                                                                                                         Photo by Ben Dannecker


  

  Cootamundra March 1970, with further changes to the paint scheme.                                                                                                     Photo by Roger McDonald


  

  Three Ceres wrecks dumped in the grass at Cootamundra 1975.                                                                                                             Photo by Ben Dannecker


  

  VH-WOT dumped at Cootamundra in 1975.                                                                                                                            John Hopton Collection


  

  CAC plate in VH-WOT’s cockpit section held by QAM shows VH-CEU.                                                                                      Photo by Nick Sayer via Ron Cuskelly      




c/n CA28-20          Ceres C                                                                                                                                                                VH-CEV

.61
Built at Fishermans Bend as production CA-28 Ceres C
18.3.63 First flight at Fishermans Bend, Vic by CAC test pilot Roy Goon
19.3.63 Registered VH-CEV Commonwealth Aircraft Corp, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne.
9.4.63 Change of ownership: Mutual Acceptance Co, Sydney. Operated by Warwick Pratley trading as Super Air, Kelso NSW
9.4.63
Acceptance flight at Fishermans Bend by Warwick Pratley
13.11.63 flew display at Orange NSW at the annual Orange Agricultural Field Day, all silver, no titles
12.5.64 Change of ownership: New England Aerial Topdressing, Armidale NSW
11.12.64 noted at Armidale NSW, all silver no titles. Also 26.12.64, 4.4.65, 27.12.65, 6.66, 20.12.66, 31.1.67, 1.5.67
4.7.67 noted at Armidale NSW "New England Aerial Topdressing" titles, named "Wirrawilly"
9.12.67 Change of ownership: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
28.10.68 noted at Tamworth, all silver, "Airfarm Associates" in red on fuselage sides
7.10.69 noted at Tamworth, all silver "Airfarm" (only) titles
29.6.70 Struck-off Register as WFS
25.9.70 noted at Tamworth with other Airfarm Ceres, appear retired. Red & yellow Airfarm paint scheme. Also 13.8.71, 18.1.72, 27.12.72, 18.5.73
15.5.74 Restored to Register: Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
8.8.74 noted at Tamworth. Also 28.12.74
10.1.75 Crashed 15 miles SE of Inverell NSW when struck power lines while crop spraying. Pilot hurt.
13.1.75 Struck-off Register due crash 10.1.75
80s
Some parts held at Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld

Upper fuselage decking of VH-CEV was acquired from CGFAM by Mathew Baker. By 2013 it was stored in the Caboolture Warplane Museum hangar at Caboolture Airport Qld.

  

  Orange NSW November 1963.                                                                                                                                             Photo by Bob Neate


  

  Armidale NSW July 1967, named Wirrawilly.                                                                                                                                  Photo by Geoff Goodall


   
    VH-CEV at Tamworth March 1970, now owned by Airfarm Associates and seen parked in a row of Airfarm Ceres. It retains the name Wirrawilly and has been fitted with the
    Airfarm modified blown tinted cockpit canopy.                                                                                                                
Photo by David Carter 
                                                         


c/n CA28-21          Ceres C                                                                                                                                                                        VH-CEW  

61
Built at Fishermans Bend as final production CA-28 Ceres

Stored at Fishermans Bend pending sale
25.7.63 First flown at Fishermans Bend by CAC test pilot Roy Goon
1.8.63 Registered VH-CEW Airfarm Associates Pty Ltd, Tamworth NSW
5.8.63
Delivered from Fishermans Bend to Tamworth by Airfram pilot Bill Myers
19.1.64 noted at Armidale NSW. all silver, "Airfarm Associates" titles
1.64 noted at Tamworth, all silver, "Airfarm Associates" titles
9.10.64 noted at Tamworth. Also 9.12.66, 31.1.67, 5.3.67
4.7.67 noted at Armidale, red and yellow Airfarm Associates titles. Also 6.9.68so
10.4.70 Struck-off Register as WFS (same date as VH-CEG)
21.5.70 Restored to Register: Raymond J. Whitbread t/a R. J. Whitbread Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
Acquired to give owner heavy tailwheel experience prior to flying his CAC Mustang VH-IVI.
20.9.70 noted at Bankstown, red and yellow, no titles. Also 12.12.70, 10.2.71, 12.6.71
2.72 noted at Bankstown, still in Airfarm's red & yellow scheme, no titles, parked at Fawcett Aviation hangar area with Whitbread's CAC Mustang VH-IVI
16.11.72 Change of ownership: Airland Pty Ltd, Cootamundra NSW
31.12.73 noted at Cootamundra, stripped for overhaul, still red and yellow paint scheme
30.3.74 noted at Albury NSW, landed at dusk with 4 other agricultural aircraft
6.4.74 noted at Benalla Vic, "Airland" titles, tied down in open
2.75 noted at Cootamundra, pale yellow (Lockhart Cream) with "Airland" titles. Also 4.75
76 Leased to: Len Tesorieo trading as Agricare, Cootamundra NSW
7.76 noted at Cootamundra "Agricare" titles.Also 11.76
4.2.77 Change of ownership: Rural Helicopters (Australia) Pty Ltd, Coffs Harbour NSW c/- Ross Mace
25.7.77 noted at Coffs Harbour, parked outside with hotizontal tailplane and fuselage panels removed, “Agricare” titles
12.77 noted at Coffs Harbour, also 11.1.78
20.3.78 Struck-off Register

Fate unknown

Note:  Some sources state this CA-28 was based on airframe of Wirraway A20-23: however it was scrapped at RAAF Tocumwal in 10.51

  

  Armidale NSW January 1964, silver with Airfarm Associates titles in red.                                                                                                 Photo by Dick Hourigan


  

  Armidale NSW July 1967, red and yellow.                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  Tamworth November 1970, now fitted with the green tinted "blown" canopy.                                                                                                 Photo by Mike Madden


  

  VH-CEW super spreading in the Tamworth district circa 1970.                                                                                                     Photo via John Patterson


  

  Cootamundra NSW February 1975, now owned by Airland.                                                                                                             Roger McDonald collection


  

  Cootamundra 1975, three Airland Ceres at home base.                                                                                                                            Photo by Ben Dannecker


  

  Cootamundra July 1976, with Agricare. A portrait of a hard-working agricultural aircraft.                                                                         Photo by Mike Vincent



Unidentified Ceres accidents:

21.9.60 near Ebor NSW Power loss on takeoff, compacted fertilizer failed to dump, struck ground and trees immediately after takeoff collapsing the undercarriage
9.62 Guyra NSW On or after 26.9.62: forced landing due engine failure during spreading run, ran through a fence into the bank of creek
29.12.62 Flinders Island Tas Undercarriage torn off during takeoff when the aircraft struck a drain obscured by grass.
21.9.67
near Walcha NSW
Ground-looped on landing due defective port brake. Substantial damage
11.67 near Young NSW Starboard undercarriage collapsed due to heavy braking and skidding when starboard tyre was punctured on touchdown.



THE SUPER SPREAD WIRRAWAY CONNECTION


  Although not directly connected with the CAC Ceres, four years earlier Super Spread Pty Ltd at Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport had decided to trial the Wirraway for agricultural work. The founding partners Austin Miller and Ernie Tadgell, both previously flew in the RAAF before establishing their agricultural company in 1952 with a growing fleet of DH.82 Tiger Moths. In 1954 they advised DCA that they intended acquiring two Wirraways from RAAF retired stocks to evaluate on agricultural work. DCA required Tadgell and Miller to receive training for a  Wirraway endorsement at RAAF Point Cook Vic where the type was still in use for RAAF training.


  Retired Wirraways A20-692 & A20-696 were purchased through the Department of Supply for £500 each, and the first collected was A20-696 which had been stored at RAAF Tocumwal. It was flown to Moorabbin 10 June 1954, followed several days later by A20-692 and they were registered VH-SSG & -SSF respectively. Both were fitted with a hopper behind the front pilot seat and several different designs of spray gear. They were used for brigalow spraying in Queensland and locust spraying in northern Victoria. Both were fitted with RAAF underwing auxiliary fuel tanks. They were taken out of service in January 1956 at Moorabbin, where the two Wirraways were parked up out on the grass for years until dismantled for parts.


  When CAC commenced the Ceres program, CAC Managing Director Sir Lawrence Wackett invited Austin Miller to be their test pilot. However he was too busy managing Super Spread's operations which had expanded to SA and Tasmania, and recommended Roy Goon, a RAAF pilot during WWII and an experienced instructor at Moorabbin.


c/n 1144      CA-16 Wirraway Mk. III A20-692                                                                                                              VH-SSF

3.4.45 RAAF Tocumwal: delivered for storage
25.5.54 Sold to Super Spread Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
28.5.54 Testflown Tocumwal after inspection for civil ferry flight
6.54 Ferried Tocumwal to Moorabbin
4.6.54 Civil Registration Application: Super Spread Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne Vic
11.6.54 Registered VH-SSF
30.9.54 CofA issued at Moorabbin

Operated on agricultural trials by Super Spread
1.56 Retired at Moorabbin, left parked on grass for 4 years
10.4.56 Struck-off Register
23.10.60 Wirraways VH-SSF & SSG noted at Moorabbin, parked together, retired on grass
1.12.61 Wirraways VH-SSF & SSG noted at Moorabbin, parked together, retired on grass
.61 Acquired by parts dealer Harry Wallace, Moorabbin: broken up for parts

  

  Moorabbin 1955, with experimental chemical applicators                                                                                                    Photo by Eddie Coates


  

  VH-SSF with more conventional spray bars installed.                                                                                                                     Geoff Goodall collection



c/n 1148      CA-16 Wirraway Mk. III A20-696                                                                                                              VH-SSG

2.3.45 RAAF Tocumwal: delivered for storage
25.5.54 Sold to Super Spread Pty Ltd, Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne
28.5.54 Testflown Tocumwal after inspection for civil ferry flight
10.6.54 Ferried Tocumwal to Moorabbin
4.6.54 Civil Registration Application: Super Spread Pty Ltd. Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne Vic
11.6.54 Registered VH-SSG
6.54 CofA issued at Moorabbin

Operated on agricultural trials by Super Spread
18.11.54 CofA renewed, to be used for agricultural pilot training
1.56 Retired at Moorabbin, left parked on grass for 4 years
10.4.56 Struck-off Register
23.10.60 Wirraways VH-SSF & SSG noted at Moorabbin, parked together, retired on grass
1.12.61 Wirraways VH-SSF & SSG noted at Moorabbin, parked together, retired on grass
.61 Acquired by parts dealer Harry Wallace, Moorabbin: broken up for parts

  

  VH-SSG during trials of an experimental spray bar design.                                                                                                         Geoff Goodall collection


  

  VH-SSG at Moorabbin in 1957.                                                                                                                                                             Photo by Eddie Coates



References:

Information from fellow Australian historians John Hopton, Mel Davis, Ben Dannecker

- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation and its successors

- DCA Annual Survey of Aircraft Accidents, 1956-1968

- DCA files for Wirraways VH-SSF, SSG: National Archives of Australia, Melbourne

- DCA files for CA-28s: National Archives of Australia, Melbourne

- RAAF Airframe Status Cards, A20- series, Air Historical Section, Department of Defence, Canberra

- Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, numerous references 1960-1980

- Australian Air Log, monthly, numerous references 1965-1968

- Air Britain Archive: quarterly journal, New Zealand Civil Register series

- Aircraft magazine, Melbourne, numerous references 1957-1964

- National Library of Australia - Trove newspaper archive website

- Ceres Pilot Notes, CAC, November 1961, supplied by Ben Dannecker

- Flypast A record of Aviation in Australia, Neville Parnell and Trevor Boughton, AGPS 1988

- Aerial Agriculture in Australia, Derrick Rolland, Aerial Agriculture Association of Australia, 1996

- Classic Wings Downunder magazine, renamed Classic Wings: various references

- A Consolidated History of the CA-28, Peter Reardon, Canberra ACT: self-published CD 2014

- CAC Ceres, Australia's Heayweight Croduster, Derek Buckmaster, self-published 2017


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