Sunday History Photo / SA

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 02:08
ThreadID: 94900 Views:4181 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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The first powered flight in South Australia was of a Blériot Aéronautique monoplane in 1910, south-west of Salisbury. In the 1920s investigations began into construction of an airport in Adelaide. Land was initially purchased in Cheltenham but the cost of acquiring sufficient land, neighbouring residential development and the erection of power transmission lines all interfered with airport plans. In 1927, the Commonwealth government purchased 318 acres of land at Parafield from a family owned farming company for £17,000. The area had been used for fattening sheep on lucerne and other fodder plants. The airport was expanded in 1942, with the boundary extending west to the Gawler railway line.

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On 1 October 1927, H.C. "Horrie" Miller was the first to land on the site, ground preparation was completed on the 17th and flights began on 26 November by the Aero club of South Australia. The site was officially opened as an airport in August 1929 by Governor-General of Australia Alexander Hore-Ruthven. The control tower opened shortly prior to World War II. Prior to the war Gúinea Airways was the main company flying out of the airport using.
During World War II, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) occupied the airfield as a station for basic flight training and was home to No. 1 Elementary Flying Training School between 1939 and 1944 until it moved to Tamworth, New South Wales. A relief landing ground was located near Virginia. No. 34 Squadron utilised Parafield to deliever supplies to operational bases and aerodromes in the Northern Territory and Western Australia between 1943 and February 1945.

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The flight of VH-UZP from Essendon to Parafield was quite Normal until it passed over Parafield at 3800ft and flying in cloudThe Captain then did an unorthodox decent in that he did not follow the procedure laid down for Parafield in the Company’s Op’s Manual.
He was uncertain of his position caused him to look for a landmark whilst at approx’ 800ft , he looked rearward through the Port side Window and did not notice the Altitude of the aircraft change allowing it to fly into the ground. Investigations concluded Captain Ditchburn failed to keep an eye on the Instruments which caused the Accident, All crew and 10 Passengers survived the crash, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Weather report, Essendon to Parafield

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After the war ended, transport was also handled by Australian National Airways and Trans Australia Airlines both moving to Adelaide Airport in 1955 which now handles all regular passenger transport. In 1983 a group of trees was planted by local high school students. When fully grown, from the air they clearly spell out the word "PARAFIELD". As of 2007 the trees had been removed.


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Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 02:15

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 02:15
I forgot to add, this weeks SHP is the 200th

I'd like to thank you all for your support , and NO i have not run out of any ideas for the future SHP's. it's a big country with a lot of history.

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Reply By: Member - GeeTee (NT) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 03:03

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 03:03
Well done Doug !

As usual a very interesting read. I look forward to each weeks contribution.

regards GT
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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 03:19

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 03:19
200 stories, well done Doug, I look forward to your SH lessons. Thanks for your efforts.



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Reply By: Nickywoop - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 06:29

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 06:29
Thanks Doug,

Always look forward to your Sunday contribution.
Congratulations on number 200.

Regards Nick
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 10:05

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 10:05
Hi Doug

Well done and keep the great work up.


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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 10:44

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 10:44
Doug - Thanks for the story and the research effort. The hangar pictured, that was built by "Forwood Down", appears to be incorrectly dated.
In 1933, activity in the aero industry and the construction industry, was at a very low level, and I doubt that the hangar was built in 1933.
Numerous photos in libraries are incorrectly date captioned, and many are even incorrectly described.

This following photo shows the hangar being built, and the construction dates listed state that construction started in June 1937, and it was completed in early 1938. I would expect that this dating is more correct.

Forwood, Downs & Co (the correct company name - but it's often written as "Forwood Down") built a similar hangar at Maylands (Perth) in 1939.

Somewhat amazingly, there appears to be no record, in the papers of the day, of the construction of this hangar at Parafield.
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:15

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:15

All I can do is go by what I find during research , the Hangar you show in the Link is a Guinea Airways Hangar, the one I show I believe it was for Aero Club of South Australia.


Hangar construction 1928

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 12:06

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 12:06
Doug - The hangar you've shown above, in the second picture of your initial post, is the Guinea Airways hangar, built in '37/'38.
This hangar has an extended main roofline, that extends from the vertical posts each end of the main trusses, and which extension ends in a vertical wall.
The 1928 hangar is a simpler construction, with the main roofline ending in a sloped side wall.

1928 hangar -

1938 hangar -
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