ADELAIDE - PARAFIELD AIRPORT 1960s


Parafield October 1965, looking north. The last three hangars to the left were DAP military maintenance, with two RAAF
Dakotas parked outside.  The control tower building is on the corner, then the main hangar row commences with Royal Aero
Club of SA, then AeroKair, soon to become Rossair (Cessna dealers). The next two hangars were Robbys Aerial Services,
then Air Mist, Edmund Schneider sailplanes and Aviation Services (Piper dealers) at the top.  

This and the next picture both courtesy Civil Aviation Historical Society.


Parafield 1948, when it was Adelaide's only airport.  TAA hangar on left, the passenger terminal building, first hangar of the
main row was ANA, then Guinea Airways, with their Lockheed 14 VH-AEW parked outside. Behind the hangars were
buildings left behind after RAAF occupation during the war when Parafield was home to No.1 EFTS and other units. 



When the airlines moved to the new West Beach Airport in June 1955, the ANA hangar became home for the Royal Aero Club
of South Australia.  Chipmunk VH-BWB is seen at their hangar in December 1962, by which time Chipmunks had replaced the
Tiger Moth fleet. The imposing terminal building behind was to the same DCA design built at Sydney Airport and Archerfield
Airport, Brisbane. By now it was used for DCA administration, pilot briefing and flight planning, ATC tower cab on the roof.



Aero Club of SA Chipmunks in December 1962



During 1963 the aero club repainted most of its fleet in a dark blue and white scheme.  Curiously, a number of Chipmunks
and early model Cessnas were repainted only months prior to their sale to private owners. Here's VH-BWF in March 1963. 
The Aero Club of SA had used the VH-BW registration series since the mid 1950s.


Aero Club Cessna 172B VH-BWJ visiting a fly-in at Waikerie SA in August 1965.


The first Cessnas purchased by the Royal Aero Club of SA were a pair of new straight-tail Cessna 150s in 1960. 
VH-BWG was photographed at Parafield March 1962, in the original Cessna factory paint scheme.



In 1959 Fawcett Aviation at Bankstown marketed the new Champion models in Australia. This Champion 7FC Tri-Traveler
VH-BWT was purchased by the Royal Aero Club of SA, but proved to be unpopular with members and was sold in 1963.
It is pictured at Parafield in December 1962 on one of its rare outings outside the club hangar. Pale blue and white.



Commencing in 1963 the aero club adopted the new Australian-built Victa Airtourer 100s as their standard training aircraft.
VH-BWH was parked on the club flight line in January 1965, with the hangar and members' lounge behind.



The neat lines of the Victa Airtourer 100 are shown in this photo of VH-BWA which I took from the Parafield terminal building
during January 1964.



A line-up of Royal Aero Club of SA Victa Airtourers seen at a fly-in at Waikerie SA in August 1965.



Cessna 182G VH-BWM was the Aero Club's popular touring aircraft. Seen on a wet day in September 1964.



On a heavier scale, the Department of Aircraft Production hangars at Parafield carried out major overhauls on military aircraft,
mostly RAAF Dakotas, during the decade. A65-111 seen in August 1962 was in the short-lived all metallic silver finish with
dayglo orange nose, wing tips and tail, without  RAAF titles above the windows.



A65-71 at Parafield in November 1966 outside the DAP hangars in standard 1960s RAAF Dakota scheme of silver and white.



Royal Australian Navy Dakota A65-23 under overhaul by DAP in April 1962. It was later reserialled N2-23.



Royal Australian Navy Dakota N2-43 (ex RAAF A65-43) at the DAP hangars in May 1967, painted midnight blue and white.
The nose was modified for its use as a trainer for the tactical systems of the RAN Sea Venoms based at Nowra NSW.



Six RAAF Dakotas parked at the DAP hangars advertised for disposal in 1968 were acquired by US aircraft dealer Stan Booker
from Fresno, California.  They were given US registrations under various company names.  A65-119 became N16896, seen
at Parafield in December 1968. It was sold the following year to the new-start Jetair Australia as VH-EQO.



The former TAA hangar was taken over by Auster agents Aviation Services (SA) Ltd. In the early 1960s was always packed
with Austers in for maintenance, also Tiger Moths and other older types. Auster J-5G Autocar VH-BSX photographed in
December 1962 was unusual in having a landscape oil-painting on its cowling with the name Le Hunte.
Aviation Services operated flying schools at Port Lincoln and Whyalla with Tigers then Chipmunks.  In 1965 the company
was taken over by John Hardingham to become a Piper dealership under the name Aviation Services (Hardingham) Ltd.



Ryan STM VH-RAE in the Aviation Services hangar in February 1962. It was the last Ryan based in SA, owned by a farmer
at Goolwa SA until sold to Queensland later that year.



One of Aviation Services (Hardingham) Ltd's sales stock of new Pipers at Parafield in February 1967 was this Cherokee 235.



PA-32 Cherokee Six 260 VH-FDY at Aviation Services in June 1966  about to be delivered to the RFDS (SA Section) at
Whyalla. It was all white with black lettering and was modified for a stretcher to be rolled into the cabin behind the pilot.



Unusual visitor at the Aero Club hangar in December 1962 was Australia's only Zlin 126 Trener, silver with red trim



The R.M. Ansett Air Race from Brisbane to Adelaide finished at Parafield on 31 March 1964.  Mustang VH-FCB was the first
to cross the finish line and this photo of it parked before any of the 145 following aircraft arrived. It shows the top end of the
hangar row looking back towards the Tower building: Air Mist, then two Robby's Aircraft hangars.



Robbys Aircraft Co Ltd based this immaculate Dove 5 VH-RAJ at Parafield for charter work.  Photographed in February 1962
outside the Robbys hangars. It was sold to SA Air Taxis later that year to become VH-TLU, VH-RCI then VH-CTS.



Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney took over the Robby's Aircraft operation in 1962 and it was reorganised as Robby's Aerial
Services.  Beavers from Aerial Agriculture became the the mainstay of Robby's fleet.  VH-AAL was at Parafield in November
1963 while being flown as a duster by Robby's.  The large Australian-designed and built hopper can be seen in the cabin.



Robby's large fleet of Beavers were based at Parafield. VH-RAS in December 1963 was fitted for spraying.

 

Next hangar to Robby's was Air Mist, an agricultural operator founded in Tasmania but with a base at Parafield. Their fleet was
Tiger Moths, Cessna 180s, later Pawnees, as well as this single Edgar Percival EP-9 VH-TCA.  Seen in August 1962, when it
was freshly repainted in a one-off mustard yellow and green scheme.  The windows of the cabin area have been faired over.



DH.82 Tiger Moths were a common sight early in the decade. VH-UEQ was based at Parafield, photographed in June 1962.



Cropdressing Tiger Moths operated from Parafield until 1965 when DCA grounded the the type for agricultural flying because
of the high pilot casualty rate compared with newer purpose-designed ag aircraft.  VH-BLH was a sprayer with Coveair from
Kangaroo Island SA, seen departing the Aero Kair hangar in May 1964.



DHA-3 Drover 3B VH-FDA The Inlander from the RFDS base at Broken Hill NSW on a medivac at Parafield in August 1963.
Green and white with red cross.



Cessna 210A VH-AEC Tom Jones of the Bush Church Aid Society at Ceduna SA, arrives at Parafield in June 1963. Behind
the St Johns Ambulance Ford Customline ambulance is driving up to collect the stretcher patient. The BCAS had been based
at Ceduna since 1938 providing medical clinic runs and emergency flights, until taken over by RFDS in 1968.



DCA restrictions on glued wood construction grounded many Australian Percival Proctors in the early 1960s.  Two survivors
VH-SCC & VH-GGB continued to fly from Parafield. Here's blue and white Proctor 3 VH-GGB in August 1964.



Lining up in Proctor VH-GGB behind a departing Auster in July 1965. At that time Parafield was an all-over field operation.



Proctor 1 VH-AUC flew into Parafield in January 1963 for a routine CofA inspection but failed the DCA glue adhesion tests.
When it was donated to the Moorabbin Air Museum, a team from the West Beach Aviation Group moved it from Parafield in
June 1965, towed behind my Ford Zephyr.  This Proctor is now displayed at the renamed Australian National Aviation Museum
at Moorabbin Airport, painted as silver RAAF "A75.1". 



For us old aeroplane tragics, dumped aircraft parts outside hangars provided much interest, attempting to identify these last
mortal remains. Here's a Tiger Moth fuselage and damaged Chipmunk wings, outside Aviation Services (SA) Ltd's hangar
in June 1963.  The Tiger's fabric had been decorated by hangar humorists.



In 1965 the crashed fuselage of Trojan Aerial Spraying Tiger Moth VH-TSD was dumped with an Auster fuselage, which
defied identification, outside old RAAF buildings used for storage by Aero Kair.

See the accompanying 1960s aircraft photograph sets for many other pictures taken at Parafield Airport

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