|1990s AUSTRALIAN AERIAL AGRICULTURE - 2
Continuing a selection of my photographs of Australian aerial agricultural aircraft during the 1990s
Canadian DHC-2 Beaver had been the mainstay of Australian big-load
aerial agriculture for 30 years. However by the 1990s only
a few remained in this role, as the Beaver was now in demand for new lives as reconditioned a passenger floatplanes.
VH-IDG was at Guyra NSW in February 1994.
|Another 1960s heavy ag aircraft, Australian built CAC CA-28 Ceres VH-SSY in January 1990 at Wangatta Vic where it flew regularly as
one of the airworthy aircraft of the much-missed Drage Air World attraction. It was just so good - then it was gone.
original New Zealand-built Fletcher Fu24 series with 225p Continental
had only 5 sales to Australia prior to production being
taken over by James Aviation associate companies Air Parts(NZ) Ltd and Aero Engine Services Ltd (AESL). From 1967 a range of new
agricultural and utility models with increasingly powerful engines enjoyed success with Australian operators. In later years
Pacific Aerospace has developed the PAC750XL utility range with an enlarged cabin.
This is an Air Parts (NZ) Ltd Fletcher Fu24 VH-FLB, imported from NZ in 1968, seen at Goulburn NSW in May 1994 as a duster.
|Also at Goulburn in May 1994 was Fletcher VH-BBH re-engined with a 400hp Lycoming IO-720
|Fletcher Fu24-950 model VH-EMQ at Tenterfield NSW in February 1994 was also powered by a 400hp Lycoming IO-720
|VH-JIY at Ingham Qld in August 1990 was a 400hp Fu24-950M which had been imported from NZ the previous year.
|Hiller UH-12E sprayer VH-FXK at Ayr Qld in January 1990
|Grumman G-164B Super Ag-cat B VH-IFE at Cairns Qld in May 1992
|Grumman G-164A Super Ag-Cat VH-CCF fitted with a spreader. at Caboolture Qld in March 1991
|The Polish PZL-Mielec M-18 Dromader was a new type on the Australian aerial agriculture scene during the 1990s.
VH-WAS operated by Woorayl Air Services was at Forbes NSW in September 1998.
Now to the beefy 600hp Rockwell S-2 Commander and its derivatives which evolved from designers Leland P.Snow and Fred Ayers.
|In the foreground at Dalby Qld in January 1990 is Rockwell S-2D VH-FCN painted as the currrent equivalent "Snow S-2D Commander".
|1966 model Rockwell S-2D Commander VH-FCN at Dalby Qld in January 1990 with Ag-Av.
|Ag-Av's Rockwell S-2R Thrush Commander VH-SSN at Dalby Qld in February 1994
|Rockwell S-2R Thrush Commander VH-DQW at Dubbo NSW in January 1990 had been imported from NZ three years earlier
|Just imported from USA, Rockwell S-2R Thrush Commander N8435V was at Narrandera NSW in September 1998. It became VH-RRB.
|VH-WBW was an Ayers S-2R-600, which evolved from the Rockwell S-2 series. Dalby Qld February 1994 with Ag-Av.
Keyland Aviation's Ayers S-2R-T34 VH-JVE at Dalby Qld in January 1990, powered by a PT-6A turbine
|Gwyder Air's Ayers S-2R-T15 waits in line to refuel at Boggabilla NSW in January 1990
Meanwhile the Air Tractor range of ag machines was being imported from USA in growing numbers.
Here's a base model Air Tractor AT-301 with a P&W R-1340 radial. VH-FEI at Forbes NSW during September 1998
Air Tractor AT-301 VH-JAI at Benalla Vic in January 1990, one of the large Air Tractor fleet of Field Air, Ballarat
|VH-ABJ was an Air Tractor AT-502 with PT-6A turboprop, seen at Boggabilla NSW in January 1990 when owned by Aircare.
|Air Tractor AT-502B VH-AWH at Moree NSW in September 1998
The Air Tractor AT-802 was a bigger machine with PT-6A turbine power, which is also in widespread use in the fire bombing role.
Sprayer VH-ODV at Parafield SA in July 1997 had been delivered by air from the USA only a week earlier.