|1980s DOUGLAS DC-6s - THE LAST VISITS TO AUSTRALIA
A selection of my photographs of some of the last visits of the Douglas DC-6 series
|Conair DC-6B C-GKUG turning in for a retardant drop in the Nowa Nowa State Forest in eastern Victoria in January 1984.
CSIRO Project Aquarius attempted to evaluate the air tanker's effectiveness on a controlled fire in an area of the forest.
The CSIRO's academic findings delayed the introduction of heavy air tankers in Australia for another decade
|DC-6B C-GKUG tanker 50 makes a three-stage retardant drop on this pass over the carefully managed forest fire
|Following the DC-6B in a CSIRO helicopter
|Alongside the DC-6B in the chopper as the Canadian crew line up for another drop run on the fire zone.
This DC-6B began life in 1957 with Western Air Lines, and flew with Conair as Tanker 50 until 2012 when sold in Alaska
|The DC-6B rumbles past on an inspection run
|Emerging from the smoke in a low pass over the hilltop CSIRO observation camp
|C-GKUG flew from RAAF East Sale, where it is seen after being hosed down to remove retardant stains
|The pleasing view from the right hand seat
|Fellow lifetime propliner tragic Gordon Reid tries out the left-hand seat while the DC-6B was parked at East Sale.
A few days later the Canadians departed for the long flight home to Conair's base at Abbotsford near Vancouver
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|The last of the DC-6 line seen at Perth WA was this US Navy C-118B Bu128424 in August 1980,
|Built for the US Navy in 1952 as a R6D-1, Bu128424 was scheduled to continue in service for a while yet because it had just
been repainted at NAS Alameda in California in January 1980. The Admiral's 3 star flag is displayed below the cockpit
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|A DC-6 in the Essendon arrivals schedule on 23 April 1984 brought propliner officianados to the runway theshold for its arrival
|It was a USAF disposals C-118A N43872 operated by the International Shoe Machine Company of Nashua New Hampshire.
It arrived from Sydney on an Australian tour demonstrating the firm's range of shoe manufacturing equipment
|Taxying to its Essendon parking bay on just the two inner P&W R-2800 Double Wasps
|The cabin was fitted as a showroom of the latest footware manufacturing machinery and accessories
| Hello Melbourne! Convivial Captain Mac Edwards greets admirers of his C-118, the last of the DC-6 series to visit Melbourne
Drawing a long bow, but I have included my pictures of former British Commonwealth Pacific Airways DC-6 VH-BPG Adventure,
which was still going strong in 1989 as fire bomber N80MA with Macavia International Corporation based at Santa Rosa, California:
|DC-6 N80MA Tanker 20 in the smoke from the wild fire it was fighting, returning to Billings, Montana in August 1989
|Coming over the fence at Billings to tank up for another retardant drop on the fire in the mountains to the south of town
|Early next morning at Billings, the fire was under control and the tankers were on stand-down.
Macavia had a fleet of C-118 and DC-6 tankers, including DC-6 N90MA ex BCPA VH-BPH Discovery