PARAFIELD AIRPORT, ADELAIDE 1960s
A selection of my photographs (apart from the two heading pictures) taken at Adelaide's general aviation airport during the 1960s
|Parafield October 1965, looking north. From the left of picture:
The first three hangars were DAP military maintenance, two RAAF Dakotas are parked outside. Next hangar was the former Auster
agents but by 1965 was light aircraft servicing. The Department of Civil Aviation administration building and Control Tower is on the
corner. The main hangar row begins with Royal Aero Club of SA, then Aerokair, about to become Rossair (Cessna dealers). The next
two hangars were both used by aerial agriculture company Robbys Aerial Services, then another aerial agricultural operator Air Mist,
Edmund Schneider sailplane works and at the top of the row Aviation Services (Piper dealers).
These two heading pictures courtesy of the Civil Aviation Historical Society.
|Parafield 1948, when
it was Adelaide's only airport. Trans-Australia Airlines hangar on left with a TAA DC-3, the DCA Administration
building with control tower on top was the passenger terminal. The first hangar of the main row was Australian National Airways with
an ANA DC-3 and DC-4, then the Guinea Airways hangar, with their Lockheed 14 VH-AEW parked outside. Behind the hangars were
buildings left behind from RAAF occupation during WWII when Parafield was home to No.1 EFTS, 34 Squadron 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 DCA terminal building behind was built just before WWII to the same design as Sydney Airport and
Archerfield Airport, Brisbane. By the 1960s it was used for administration, pilot briefing and flight planning, ATC tower on the roof.
|Royal Aero Club of SA Chipmunk VH-BWK in August 1962, when the club still had six Chipmunks in service.
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 Chipmunk VH-BWF in March 1963.
The Royal 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 two new straight-tail Cessna 150s delivered 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 was not popular 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.
The WWII Department of Aircraft Production DAP hangars at Parafield were now operated by Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) for
military aircraft overhauls, mostly RAAF Dakotas. The hangar doors were usually kept closed amid a strong sense of military security
but we managed to photograph most of the remaining RAAF Dakotas as they rotated through the DAP hangars during the 1960s.
A65-118 and two other RAAF Dakotas undergoing major overhauls in a DAP hangar during September 1963.
|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 Dalota A65-23 undergoing 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.
|Seven retired RAAF Dakotas parked at the DAP hangars in 1968 were advertised for disposal and acquired by US aircraft dealer
Stan Booker from Fresno, California. I photographed N16896 (formerly A65-119) at Parafield in December 1968.
For detailed coverage of their adventurous fates, refer this website: Australian Aviation/ Propliners delivered to SE Asia (Part 3).
|The former TAA hangar was taken over by Auster agents Aviation Services (SA) Ltd. In the early 1960s it 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 Tiger Moths then Chipmunks. In 1965 the company was
taken over by John Hardingham to become the Parafield Piper dealership under the name Aviation Services (Hardingham) Ltd.
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. This Ryan had a DH Gipsy Major engine replacing the original American Menasco Pirate.
|This Cherokee 235 was one of Aviation Services (Hardingham) Ltd's sales stock of new Pipers at Parafield in February 1967.
|PA-32 Cherokee Six 260 VH-FDY at Aviation Services in June 1966 ready for delivery 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
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. My photo shows it parked before the parking areas behind became packed with the 145 following aircraft. The hangar row
looking back towards the Tower building: Air Mist, then two Robby's Aircraft hangars, Rossair then Aero Club.
Aircraft Co Ltd based this immaculate Dove 5 VH-RAJ at Parafield for
charter work. Photographed in February 1962 outside
Robbys main hangar. It was sold to SA Air Taxis later that year to become VH-TLU, later VH-RCI then VH-CTS.
Agriculture Pty Ltd, Sydney took over the Robby's Aircraft operation in
1962 and it was reorganised as Robby's Aerial Services.
DHC-2 Beavers transferred 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.
|Another of Robby's large fleet of Beavers. 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 medevac 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. It is now displayed at Moorabbin, painted as the RAAF's only Proctor A75-1.
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, dumped outside Aviation Services (SA) Ltd's hangar June 1963.