A selection of my photos of some favourite classic round-engined twins

John Love fires up the P&W R-985 Wasp Juniors of his Lockheed 12A VH-ABH Silver City at Joe Drage's farm airstrip near
Wodonga Victoria in September 1984.  This Lockheed was built in 1937 and shipped new to Australia for BHP

Joe Drage's farm airstrip from VH-ABH in the late afternoon, as John Love departs for home at Albury NSW.
The hangar housed the Drage Historical Aircraft Collection, which was relocated a few months later to the newly-built
Drage Air World facility at Wangaratta Airport. This magnificent Lockheed is still flying today with a Queensland owner.

Silver City turns off the active runway on arrival at the 1984 Mangalore Airshow

Lockheed 12A VH-FMS at John Love's Albury NSW base in September 1984. This dismantled airframe was a spares ship for
VH-ABH and had been moved around by successive owners ever since an undercarriage collapse at Ceduna SA in 1960.
The teardrop cockpit window mod goes back to its time in Britain as G-AGWN with legendary Australian Sidney Cotton

This Lockheed 12A N712FM was ferried from USA to Cairns in June 1982 for its Mareeba Qld purchaser.
When officialdom thwarted tourist charter plans, the aircraft flew only occasionally. Seen at Mareeba in March 1984

N712FM after sale to Jeff Rundle of Nor Cape Mining, Perth and registered VH-HID, at Jandakot WA in November 1987

Jandakot September 1988. The Lockheed was used for long flights between Perth and Horn Island, Far North Queensland

The Beech 18 series was manufactured by Beechcraft for over 30 years, following the prototype's first flight in January 1937.
Although sharing the same twin radial, twin tail concept of the Lockheed 12, they were very different aircraft.
Surprisingly few of the 8,000 built were imported to Australia over the years, all models here having P&W Wasp Juniors 
VH-FIE seen taking off at Mangalore Vic in April 1984 was a model D18S, built at Wichita Kansas in 1952.

Owner Rod Lovell taxying VH-FIE at Mangalore 1984.  The 3 bladed propellers and extended wingtips were part of a
Beech upgrade kit installed by the previous owners Flinders Island Airlines, which gave mproved payload and performance

Former Flinders Island Airlines Beech D18S VH-FID arrives at Mangalore in March 1983, now owned by Malcolm Long's
Wings of Yesterday Flying Museum at Coolangatta Qld.  It was built in October 1948

VH-FID arrives at the following year's Mangalore airshow in April 1984

Savage Air Services Beech D18S VH-SAU flew small parcel freight work from Ballarat Vic, where it is seen in January 1984.
Built in 1949 on the D18S production line, it was one of an order for bomber trainers for the Chinese Nationalist Air Force
on Taiwan, with transparent nose and dorsal gun turrets. Later civilianised at Taipei, it went on to fly clandestine operations
for the CIA's Air America, fitted with camera hatch and a drop chute, before Alan Savage ferried it to Sydney in 1973

            VH-SAU at Townsville Qld in November 1987, now based here on tourist flights with Crocodile Air

The first trigear Beech 18 imported to Australia was this 1964 model Super H18 VH-PDI, with the factory-fitted Volpar trigear option.
In 1975 it was ferried from USA by Helitrans Australia at Cairns to support their widespread chopper operations in New Guinea.
Three years later it joined associate company Sunbird Airlines. Photographed by Michael Austin at Cairns November 1979

In 1980 VH-PDI went to Eagle Airways, Sydney for a contract delivering day-old chickens to poultry farms all over Australia.
It regularly flew the long haul to Perth, where it is seen in September 1980, sporfing a Big Bird motif on the nose

           The last of the British Avro Ansons flying was VH-BAF owned by Terry Brain, co-founder of Brain & Brown Airfreighters
back in 1950 in Melbourne. When DCA grounded their wooden wing Ansons in 1962, Terry had this aircraft rebuilt with a
metal Avro 19 mainplane, more powerful Cheetah XV engines, hydraulic undercarriage retraction and many other mods.

The characteristic clouds of oil smoke as Terry starts the Cheetahs at Ballarat Vic in February 1985

Terry Brain in the left hand seat with Russell Legg in the right

Ballarat February 1987, I was on board when Terry and Russ flew VH-BAF for another airshow display.
Bob Livingstone caught us getting airborne

The Anson was turning in for a fly past with Beech D18S VH-FIE in formation, Ballarat February 1987

Another surviving wartime RAAF Anson was VH-ASM, which flew the first East West Airlines passenger service in June 1947.
John Gallagher and his wife Chris completed the remarkable feat of rebuilding the Anson from a collection of derelict parts.
Seen at its public unveiling at Sydney Airport in June 1987 at East West Airlines' 40th Anniversary celebrations

John Gallagher tows the Anson into position

Retired East West pilots from the Anson era said the cabin was exactly as they remembered and even smelt the same
Unruly passengers at the back were Bob Livingstone and in the rear row Chris O'Neill (standing) and Geoff Goodall

Australian airline history tragics: Roger McDonald, Chris O'Neill, Geoff Goodall.  East West Airlines housed the Anson in a
display building at home base Tamworth Airport, but this independent airline was to be absorbed into Ansett five years later

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer VH-AIS at Bankstown in July 1983, used by Aerial Agriculture Pty Ltd for mineral survey.
Built in 1958, it was imported in 1961 by Australian Iron & Steel to fly between Derby WA and iron ore mines in the area

VH-EVB was one four retired Malaysian Air Force Twin Pioneers purchased by Aerial Agriculture in 1972.
No work was found for it and it was in long-term storage at Banktown in July 1983

VH-EVB looking a lot happier in October 1988, with an enthusiastic new owner Capricorn Air at Coolangatta Qld.
It was used for scenic flights along the Gold Coast and further afield. as shown by the curtains in the windows

 VH-EVB with the clever name Double Scotch was part of the static display at the 1988 Richmond air show

Back to the Photographs Menu