VH-AAD


Type: de Havilland DH.90 Dragonfly
MSN: 7508
Previous Identities: G-AEDT
Subsequent Identities: G-AEDT
N2304
G-AEDT
ZK-AYR


History:


09MAY36 Registered G-AEDT having been built at Hatfield by de Havilland Aircraft Co. Ltd.
19JUN36 British CofA No 5490 issued to Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Albert Gustave David Sassoon, London. Sir Philip Sassoon was Under Secretary of State for Air and also Honorary Air Commodore of 601 (County of London) Squadron. The aircraft carried a snake mascot mounted externally on the nose and listed on the aircraft weight and balance documentation. The aircraft was based at Lympne. (Source: 1)
38 Shipped to Australia.
02FEB38 Adastra Airways took delivery of the Dragonfly at Mascot, having purchased it for £2,650/-/-
17MAR38 Australian CofA issued and added to the Register as VH-AAD to Adastra Airways Ltd., Mascot, Sydney. Test flown at Mascot by L.J. Bruchhausen. Log book shows total time 396 hours 45 minutes. The aircraft subsequently entered service on Adastra's subsidised service between Sydney and Bega.
20JAN39 Forced landing on Gerringong Beach, NSW while operating the Sydney - Bega service. Pilot N. Rodoni and three passengers unhurt and only minor damage to aircraft.
12AUG40 Adastra advises DCA that the Dragonfly is being modified for aerial survey. The Dragonfly was withdrawn from the Bega run and replaced by B.A. Eagle VH-UUY when the government subsidy was withdrawn on 28JUL40.
28MAY42 A camera hatch was installed forward of the pilot's seat.
16JUN42 The Dragonfly departed Mascot for Coolangatta to commence a photographic survey of the north coast of NSW under contract to the Army. Flown by pilot Clarke.
Refer to The Army Survey of 1942
.
06NOV45 Survey practice Mascot to North Shore & return. Pilot A. Morrison. (Source:2)
07NOV45 Mascot to Baulkham Hills & return. Pilot A. Morrison. (Source:2)
07NOV45 Mascot to Baulkham Hills & return. Pilot A. Morrison. (Source:2)
29NOV45
Oblique photography Mascot (Davis Gelatine). (Source: 2)
11DEC45
Wind finding Mascot-Local. (Source: 2)
14DEC45
Pin pointing Mascot-Local. (Source: 2)
14DEC45
Practice runs Mascot-Camden-Mascot. (Source: 2)
17DEC45
Practice runs Mascot-Baulkham Hills & return. (Source: 2)
19DEC45
Photography Mascot-Roxborough Hall Estate. (Source: 2)
20DEC45
Photography Mascot-Roxborough Hall Estate. (Source: 2)
21DEC45
Photography Mascot-Roxborough Hall Estate. (Source: 2)
22DEC45
Transport Mascot-Essendon. (Source: 2)
01JAN46
Reconnaissance Essendon-Maryborough-Essendon. (Source: 2)
03JAN46
Transport Essendon-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
08JAN46
Photography Ballarat-Maryborough. (Source: 2)
09JAN46
Photography Ballarat-Maryborough. (Source: 2)
11JAN46
Photography Ballarat-Maryborough. (Source: 2)
12JAN46
Photography Ballarat-Maryborough. (Source: 2)
09FEB46
Photography Ballarat-Maryborough-Castlemaine. (Source: 2)
12FEB46
Photography Ballarat-Castlemaine. (Source: 2)
13FEB46
Photography Ballarat-Castlemaine. (Source: 2)
24FEB46
Attempted photo Ballarat-County of Evelyn. (Source: 2)
22FEB46
Photographing Ballarat-County of Evelyn. (Source: 2)
23FEB46
Photographing Ballarat-Maryborough-Castlemaine. (Source: 2)
01MAR46
Photographing Ballarat-Yan Yean . (Source: 2)
02MAR46
Transport (control box) Ballarat-Essendon. (Source: 2)
03MAR46
Photographing Ballarat-Yan Yean . (Source: 2)
04MAR46
Photographing Ballarat-Yan Yean-Eildon Weir. (Source: 2)
13MAR46
Transport Ballarat-Hamilton. (Source: 2)
14MAR46
Photographing Hamilton-Nelson. (Source: 2)
19MAR46
Survey of flood areas Hamilton-Macarther (sic). (Source: 2)
20MAR46
CofA Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
21MAR46
Survey for Vic Railways Hamilton-Dartmoor-Casterton. (Source: 2)
21MAR46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
22MAR46
Photographing Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
28MAR46
CofA Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
02APR46
Photographing Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
15APR46
CofA Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
16APR46
Experimental photography Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
17APR46
Attempted photography Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
20APR46
Attempted photography Hamilton-Edenhope. (Source: 2)
30APR46
Attempted photography Hamilton-Edenhope. (Source: 2)
01MAY46
CofA Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
02MAY46
Photographing Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
04MAY46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Edenhope. (Source: 2)
06MAY46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Willaura. (Source: 2)
07MAY46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Willaura. (Source: 2)
08MAY46
Photographing Hamilton-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
09MAY46
CofA Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
10MAY46
Photographing Hamilton-Heywood-Branxholme. (Source: 2)
11MAY46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Edenhope. (Source: 2)
15MAY46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Heywood. (Source: 2)
15MAY46
Photographing Hamilton-Willaura. (Source: 2)
16MAY46
Photographing & CofA Hamilton-Edenhope-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
17MAY46
Transport Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
23MAY46
Transport Ballarat-Sydney. (Source: 2)
19JUN46
Test flight Sydney-Bankstown. (Source: 2)
JUN46 The Dragonfly operated on a survey contract to the Victorian Government. The aircraft escaped impressment during the war because it was performing work for the military.
24JUN46
Transport Sydney-Benalla-Kerang. (Source: 2)
26JUN46
Attempted photo Kerang-Wedderburne. (Source: 2)
01JUL46
CofA Kerang-Benalla. (Source: 2)
04JUL46
Attempted photo Kerang-Wedderburne-Wycheproof. (Source: 2)
05JUL46
Photographing Kerang-Quambatook. (Source: 2)
07JUL46
Photographing Kerang-Wycheproof-Narrung. (Source: 2)
08JUL46
Photographing Kerang-Nyah-Narrung-Ultima. (Source: 2)
10JUL46
Photographing Kerang-Wedderburne-Huntly. (Source: 2)
13JUL46
Attempted photo Kerang-Wycheproof etc . (Source: 2)
17JUL46
Attempted photo Kerang-Quambatook. (Source: 2)
19JUL46
Photographing Kerang-Wycheproof. (Source: 2)
29JUL46
Photographing Kerang-Wycheproof. (Source: 2)
02AUG46
Attempted photo Kerang-Wedderburne etc . (Source: 2)
04AUG46
Photographing Kerang-Wedderburne. (Source: 2)
05AUG46
Photographing Kerang-Beulah. (Source: 2)
09AUG46
Attempted photo Kerang-Beulah. (Source: 2)
10AUG46
Photographing Kerang-Wycheproof. (Source: 2)
14AUG46
Attempted photo Kerang-Wycheproof. (Source: 2)
19AUG46
Transport (car) Kerang-Benalla (Logged as air time. Ed.). (Source: 2)
23AUG46
Photographing Kerang-Wycheproof-Wedderburne-Quambatook. (Source: 2)
26AUG46
Photographing Kerang-Wedderburne. (Source: 2)
29AUG46
Survey of flood areas Kerang-Balranald. (Source: 2)
31AUG46
Attempted photo Kerang-Beulah. (Source: 2)
02SEP46
Photographing Kerang-Beulah. (Source: 2)
03SEP46
Photographing Kerang-Watchem. (Source: 2)
04SEP46
Attempted photo Kerang-Watchem. (Source: 2)
10SEP46
Photographing Kerang-Brambrook. (Source: 2)
16SEP46
CofA Kerang-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
19SEP46
Photographing Kerang-Wycheproof-Wedderburne. (Source: 2)
27SEP46
Photographing Kerang-Tyrrell. (Source: 2)
28SEP46
Attempted photo Kerang-Tyrrell. (Source: 2)
30SEP46
Attempted photo Kerang-Tyrrell. (Source: 2)
03OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Tyrrell-Lascelles. (Source: 2)
05OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Lascelles. (Source: 2)
06OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Lascelles. (Source: 2)
07OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Lalbert-Lascelles. (Source: 2)
08OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Wedderburne. (Source: 2)
09OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Lalbert. (Source: 2)
11OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Nullawil-Boort. (Source: 2)
18OCT46
Attempted photo Kerang-all areas . (Source: 2)
27OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Nullawil. (Source: 2)
29OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Lascelles-Nullawil. (Source: 2)
30OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Birchip. (Source: 2)
31OCT46
Photographing Kerang-Birchip-Lalbert. (Source: 2)
02NOV46
Photographing Kerang-Watchem. (Source: 2)
04NOV46
50 hourly check Kerang-Mildura. (Source: 2)
05NOV46
50 hourly check Mildura-Kerang. (Source: 2)
16NOV46
Photographing Kerang-Nullawil-Charlton. (Source: 2)
21NOV46
Photographing Kerang-Birchip-Lalbert-Lascelles. (Source: 2)
23NOV46
Transport Kerang-Hamilton. (Source: 2)
26NOV46
Attempted photo Hamilton-Grampians. (Source: 2)
28NOV46
Test air speed Hamilton-Local . (Source: 2)
02DEC46
Certification Hamilton-Nhill. (Source: 2)
03DEC46
Certification Nhill-Hamilton. (Source: 2)
12DEC46
Photographing Hamilton-Heywood. (Source: 2)
19DEC46
Photographing Hamilton-Heywood-Coleraine. (Source: 2)
20DEC46
Transport Hamilton-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
21DEC46
Transport Ballarat-Sydney. (Source: 2)
06JAN47
Transport Sydney-Wagga. (Source: 2)
07JAN47
Transport Wagga-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
08JAN47
Transport Ballarat-Hamilton. (Source: 2)
10JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Coleraine. (Source: 2)
11JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Coleraine . (Source: 2)
12JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Dartmoor . (Source: 2)
13JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Dartmoor-Nelson. (Source: 2)
14JAN47
Attempted photo Hamilton-Willaura. (Source: 2)
18JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Nelson-Portland. (Source: 2)
19JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Portland-Port Fairy . (Source: 2)
22JAN47
Attempted photo Hamilton-Port Fairy etc. (Source: 2)
23JAN47
Attempted photo Hamilton-Casterton etc . (Source: 2)
25JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Heywood-Port Fairy-Hawksdale . (Source: 2)
28JAN47
Photographing Hamilton-Hawksdale. (Source: 2)
01FEB47
Photographing Hamilton-Penshurst. (Source: 2)
18FEB47
Camera test Hamilton-Local . (Source: 2)
20FEB47
Photographing Hamilton-Dartmoor-Nelson. (Source: 2)
21FEB47
Transport Hamilton-Ballarat-Deniliquin. (Source: 2)
05MAR47
Transport Deniliquin-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
06MAR47
Transport Ballarat-Hamilton. (Source: 2)
11MAR47
Attempted photo Hamilton-Coleraine. (Source: 2)
21MAR47
Photography Hamilton-Willaura. (Source: 2)
23MAR47
Photography Hamilton-Coleraine. (Source: 2)
02APR47
Transport Hamilton-Nhill. (Source: 2)
03APR47
Photography Nhill-Nurcoung. (Source: 2)
04APR47
Photography Nhill-Nurcoung-Natimuk. (Source: 2)
05APR47
Photography Nhill-Natimuk. (Source: 2)
06APR47
Attempted photo Nhill-Local . (Source: 2)
08APR47
Photography Nhill-Willaura-Ballarat. (Source: 2)
10APR47
Transport Ballarat-Nhill. (Source: 2)
18APR47
Photography Nhill-Apsley. (Source: 2)
21APR47
Attempted photo Nhill-Brambrook. (Source: 2)
27APR47
Photography Nhill-Brambrook. (Source: 2)
30APR47
Photography Nhill-Apsley. (Source: 2)
01MAY47
Photography Nhill-Apsley. (Source: 2)
02MAY47
Photography Nhill-Edenhope. (Source: 2)
03MAY47
Photography Nhill-Natimuk-Apsley-Nurcoung. (Source: 2)
08MAY47
Transport Nhill-Hamilton-Ballarat-Nhill. (Source: 2)
13MAY47
Photography Nhill-Albacutya. (Source: 2)
14MAY47
Photography Nhill-Albacutya. (Source: 2)
18MAY47
Attempted photo Nhill-Local . (Source: 2)
19MAY47
Attempted photo Nhill-Brambrook. (Source: 2)
21MAY47
Photographing Nhill-Brambrook. (Source: 2)
27MAY47
Cloud survey Nhill-Local . (Source: 2)
03JUN47
Photographing Nhill-Natimuk-Nurcoung. (Source: 2)
12JUN47
Transport Nhill-Wagga-Sydney. (Source: 2)
02FEB48 Damaged on landing at Bankstown but quickly repaired.
JUN48 Returned to service on the Victorian survey contract replacing Anson VH-BGO which had been destroyed in a hangar fire.
14JUN51 Change of ownership to Bush Pilots Airways Pty. Ltd., Cairns, Qld.
19JUN51 Departed Sydney on delivery to Cairns. Flown by Bush Pilots founder Bob Norman. (Source: 3)
23JUN51 Entered service with Bush Pilots Airways on a charter for the Queerah Meatworks taking the manager to Georgetown on a cattle buying trip. (Source: 3)
26NOV51 The Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade's Cairns based Dragon Rapide VH-CFA ditched into the sea on this date. Dragonfly VH-AAD was leased as a replacement until the delivery of another Dragon Rapide (also registered VH-CFA) in November 1952.
26OCT53 The Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade's Cairns based Dragon Rapide VH-CFA (the second!) ditched into the sea on this date. Dragonfly VH-AAD was again leased as a replacement until the delivery of another Dragon Rapide (VH-BFS) in February 1955.
NOV54 Sold to Kingsford Smith Aviation. (Source: 1)
JUN56 Change of ownership to Griffith Aero Club, Griffith, NSW. (Source: 1)
AUG63 Change of ownership to Charles Masefield and Lord David Trefgarne of London. These two gentlemen had ferried a new Beagle Airedale (G-ASBI) from England to Adelaide in June 1963 and purchased the Dragonfly to fly back to England.
02SEP63 Cancelled from Australian Register.
02NOV63 The Dragonfly was christened "Endeavour" in a ceremony at Bankstown. The aircraft was painted white with blue and gold trim.
21NOV63 British CofA renewed. (Source: 4)
DEC63 Restored to the British Register as G-AEDT to Lord Trefgarne, Shoreham, U.K..
01DEC63 Departed Bankstown for Brisbane on the first leg of its flight to England. Fitted with 175 gallons capacity fuel tanks, giving a range of 1100 miles or an endurance of 11½ hours. The route was to be via New Guinea and Palau to Singapore but at the last moment the Indonesian Government approved a landing at Djakarta so the more direct route was taken.
24DEC63 Arrived at London Gatwick Airport, from Australia.
24DEC63 Arrived at Shoreham ex Australia, name "Endeavour", "Australia to England" and badges of Royal Aero Club of NSW on its blue & white paint scheme. Since then it has been receiving a leisurely overhaul. (Source: 4)
64 Sold to the Tallmantz Museum Collection, California.
07MAY64 Report on the Biggin Hill Air Fair: "A ping pong batted marshal, weaned on Bolkow Juniors, heroically jousting with a backwards-taxying Globemaster....a Hermes scything its way through a receding tide of mums and dads....their precious offspring devouring a Proctor with all the measured restraint of vultures at the corpse of a time expired zebra.... These - and others - were the lasting impressions of the Air Fair which erupted on May 7th. The eruption was supposed to coincide with the departure for America of the Dragonfly G-AEDT, but the presence of its wings at Rearsby and its fuselage at Shoreham probably contributed to its non-appearance at Biggin." (Source: Report on the Biggin Hill Air Fair of 07MAY64 which appeared in Air-Britain's BCAN edited by Dennis Fox).
30JUL64 Departed Gatwick on ferry flight to the USA. Flown by Charles Masefield and Lord Trefgarne.
31JUL64 Departed Prestwick for Stornoway, Reykjavik, Sondre Stromford, Goose Bay, Montreal and New York. Painted as G-AEDT "Endeavour" with additional titles "Australia to England to USA". (Source: 4)
05AUG64 Arrived in New York.(Source: 4)
AUG64 Added to the US Register as N2304 to Tallmantz Collection, Santa Ana, California.
66 Advertised for sale by Tallmantz for $8,000.
JAN67 Registered to Rosen Novak Auto Co., Omaha, Nebraska as N2304.
APR69 Registered to J.L. Tertling of Boise, Idaho and held in a deteriorating condition at Glider Field, Boise, Idaho as part of the Tertling collection of vintage aircraft and gliders.
20SEP86 The entire Tertling collection went to auction with the Dragonfly described as "dismantled and needs total restoration".
SEP86 Purchased by Brian Woodford, Wessex Aviation and Transport Ltd., Henstridge, Somerset, England for US$41,000. The aircraft was shipped to the U.K. in late 1986 to undergo restoration to airworthy standard by Ron Souch and his team at The Aeroplane Company, Sarisbury Green, Hampshire. On arrival in the U.K. the aeroplane was still painted as G-AEDT so it is doubtful if the U.S. registration N2304 was ever applied to the aircraft. Although the wings were found to be in relatively good condition, a new fuselage had to be built using many of the original steel parts and some of the original spruce parts. The aircraft was restored to the UK Register as G-AEDT in the name of Brian Woodford, Wessex Aviation and Transport Ltd. and painted in the blue and silver colours which the aircraft wore during its ownership by Sir Philip Sassoon. (Source: 1)
15JUL88 First flight after 18 months of restoration. Piloted by Martin Barraclough. (Source: 1)
24JUL88 First public post-restoration appearance at the Badminton Fly-in. (Source: 1)
96 Sold to Barry Donovan of New Zealand having flown only 58 hours in England since its restoration. (Source: 5)
AUG97 Barry Donovan engaged the services of Colin Smith of the Croydon Aircraft Company, Mandeville, Gore, New Zealand, to travel to England to pack the aircraft at Cliff Lovell's hangar at Chilbolton. (Source: 5)
19DEC97 The shipping container with the Dragonfly arrived at Mandeville, NZ. Around this time the aircraft was registered ZK-AYR to Barry Donovan, a flight engineer with Cathay Pacific. (Source: 1)
07APR98 First flown at Mandeville. (Source: 1)
31JAN05 As of this date, the aircraft had flown 208 hours since restoration and was still based at Mandeville. (Source: 1)
MAR12 The aircraft is advertised for sale on Trade-A-Plane at US$1,980,000.00.

 

 

SOURCES
1
Richard Waugh
2
Log Book of Adastra camera operator Harry Morrell. The pilot on all of these flights was G.A. Bigg. The complete log book entries can be viewed HERE
3
Bush Pilot by Bob Norman 1976
4
Air-Britain Historians
5
Barry Donovan's son Mark



Issue Date Remarks
11 08JAN18
Added an Adastra photo of the aircraft surrounded by RAAF Ansons at Ballarat in 1946. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.
10 04JAN18
Added flights from the log book of Adastra camera operator Harry Morrel (Source:2) Pilot on all of these flights was Gordon Bigg unless shown otherwise. Thanks to Harry's daughter Deb Duckmanton and Nigel Daw of the South Australian Aviation Museum.
9 02SEP15
Advice received from Mark Donovan that the aircraft was sold to his father Barry in 1996 and not to Colin Smith who was subsequently employed by Barry Donovan to travel to the UK to pack the aeroplane for shipment to NZ. The relevant entries have been corrected accordingly. Thanks Mark.
8 22MAR12
The aircraft is advertised for sale.
7 25JUL11
Added a photograph of the aircraft at Nhill in 1950 thanks to Paul Miller.
6 10MAY07
Added a magnificent air-to-air photo of ZK-AYR thanks to Xavier Méal.
5 14DEC05
Added more detail from DEC63 to AUG64 from Air-Britain sources thanks to Geoff Goodall.
4 24AUG05
Several additions and amendments thanks to Richard Waugh (annotated RW).
3 23OCT04
Thanks to Ed Coates I have added an image of the aeroplane with Bush Pilots Airways and another with the Griffith Aero Club.
2 27APR04
Added the date of entry into service with Bush Pilots (23JUN51).
1 18APR03
Original Issue. Thanks to Geoff Goodall.