|PERTH AIRPORT 1970s
A selection of my photographs taken during the 1970s, many from the old Control Tower balcony which provided a perfect vantage point
Perth Airport was developed iimmediately after WWII from a wartime RAAF
airfield established on the site of the Dunreath Golf Course at
Guildford, on the edge of the Perth suburbs. Perth's original
civil aerodrome was Maylands, on the edge of the Swan River closer to
the city but unable to expand and prone to flooding through levee banks
along the river. When airline services moved to Perth
(Guildford), Maylands Aerodrome continued as an allover grass
field for light aircraft until 1963.
Airlines' yellow & white Bristol Britannia G-ANCF taxies to a
parking bay in front of the Perth Airport passenger terminal
building in February 1974. Unfortunately nobody is taking advantage the excellent observation deck to enjoy the sight and sound of the mighty Britannia on its regular Air Ministry charter flights between Britain and Adelaide.
1978 the observation deck had been replaced by an enlarged
International passengers processing hall and I had progressed to the
occasional roll of colour film. Ansett's cargo Electras were
regulars on the Melbourne-Perth run.
|Resident airline MacRobertson Miller Airlines (MMA) had become a subsidiary of Ansett Airlines of Australia. From 1969 the MMA
fleet was repainted into Ansett Airlines red, white & black scheme. Here Fokker F.28 VH-FKA taxies past the last MMA DC-3 in June 1971. A visiting NASA Lockheed Super Constellation is parked at the rear.
|Qantas Boeing 707-338C VH-EBT in the Qantas V-Jet scheme, June 1968.
|New Qantas colour scheme. Boeing 707-338C VH-EBV arrives from Johannesburg via Mauritius in July 1972.
The Beech Queenairs parked behind operated Civil Flying Services' scheduled passenger routes
airlines Trans Australia Airlines and Ansett Airlines competed on the
long run to Perth with Boeing 727s throughout the 1970s.
Australia's notorious Two Airline Policy ensured that both airlines flew the same schedules with the same aircraft types.
After flying for 3 hours or more from the Eastern States, light-hearted competition to land first at Perth was often high.
On this occasion in April 1972, Ansett won and TAA's Boeing 727-76 VH-TJB taxies behind to its parking bay.
RAAF Dakota A65-102 taxies past a JAT Boeing 707 N724PA in June 1971. Dakotas were regular visitors from RAAF Pearce,
north of Perth, often bringing crews to test-fly RAAF Macchi jet trainers after overhaul by Hawker De Havilland at Perth Airport.
At the time JAT were flying a series of charters from Yugoslavia to Perth.
|Perth was Cathay Pacific's only
Australian port in the early 1970s, serviced at first by their Convair
880M fleet. On arrival
from Hong Kong, the Convairs would easily outpace Boeing 727s on descent. On their early morning departures,
the shatteringly noisy first-generation jet engines woke half of Perth, leaving a long black smokey trail in the sky.
|Cathay Pacific replaced their aging Convair CV880Ms with Boeing 707s. Here's VR-HHJ in December 1978.
This ground level photo was taken from the Control Tower entrance doorway with standard lens. Glory days indeed.
|Hawker de Havilland Australia built a hangar at Perth Airport in 1966 when awarded a contract for major servicing of RAAF
Vampires and later Macchi trainers from RAAF Pearce. Here Macchi MB326 A7-016 taxies for a test flight in February 1970
The original RAAF Macchi metallic finish was replaced by a standard orange and white scheme.
A7-069 is parked outside the Hawker de Havilland Australia hangar in April 1972 in the new scheme.
|NASA's two Lockheed C121G Super Constellations regularly visited Perth during the Gemini Space Program, to provide calibration
checking for the Carnarvon Tracking Station north of Perth. The Connie would hold overhead Carnarvon at 9,000 feet for hours,
flying precisely calculated eliptical patterns simulating a spacecraft's earth orbit. NASA420 was photographed on 30 June 1968.
|To track spacecraft orbits over the Indian Ocean, beyond land tracking stations, USAF Boeing EC-135Ns were deployed to Perth,
accompanied by KC-135 tankers to provide air-to-air refuelling while on station. 10329 seen on 11 April 1970.
|Perth Airport was home to some of the first executive jets in Australia. HS125 Series 403B VH-TOM, seen in June 1971,
was used by Mr. Tom Wardle, who established a Perth chain of supermarkets Tom The Cheap Grocer.
|VH-BBJ was a HS125 Series 3B/RA, purchased in 1969 by Perth heavy construction company Bell Brothers Pty Ltd.
|Perth Airport's General Aviation parking area was to the north of the Ansett Air Freight hangar.
Wigmore Tractors' resident Beech C55 Baron VH-TOE passes Electra VH-RMB still in Ansett-ANA markings, October 1969
|One of numerous light twins using the GA parking ramp, Cessna 421 Golden Eagle VH-RIG in June 1971
|DHA-3 Drover 3 VH-FDS was based at Perth for five years after it was purchased by Murchison Air Services in 1969.
Pictured in February 1972 now with Air-Rep Service, used to deliver supplies to remote properties in the north of WA
This Swearingen Merlin 4 VH-CFO flew oil rig drilling workers from Perth to Barrow Island in the north of WA during 1975.
To win this contract from other Perth charter operators, CFS fitted the Merlin with top of range stereo headsets for all passengers.
bright red DHC-1 Chipmunk VH-RHW escaped the busy circuit of Perth's
Jandakot airport to fly some circuits at Perth Airport
in June 1973. Pilots were Perth ATCs Peter Christophersen (front) and John Welsh
|A Perth Airport landmark was Avro Lancaster Mk.VIII NX622, donated to the WA branch of the Air Force Association in 1962
by the French Aeronavale at New Caledonia (ex WU-16) . It was displayed on a grassed area behind the main carpark, in the French
all white finish until repainted in RAF camouflage as "AF-C". In 1979 it was moved to the AFA's new Aviation Heritage Museum.
|Flash-back: here's the same Lancaster on 1st December 1962 at Adelaide, during the ferry flight from New Caledonia to Perth.
It was painted all white, with Aeronavale serial WU-16 and radio callsign "FYCIA". The Lanc reached Perth that afternoon.
|By the end if the decade, Skywest Airlines had become the main charter and secondary airline operator based at Perth Airport.
This flypast of their parking area shows some of their growing fleet of turbine equipment
|The way it was. Michael Austin, John Chapman and Stuart Bremner enjoy a coffee while photographing from the balcony
of the old Perth Tower. A new highrise Tower was built on the other side of the airport in the 1980s