HomeWelcomeUpdatesCompanyAircraftPeopleProjectsEquipmentOperationsPhoto AlbumGuest BookSearchAdastrianaQuestions


(MSN 363)

A de Havilland DH.60X Moth believed to be VH-UFT at Lake Illawarra South circa 1929-30.

Photo: via Paul Hockey


Whilst this aeroplane was never owned by Adastra, there is an Adastra connection.

The original print, which came via Paul Hockey, carries the following notation on the reverse: "Captain Hammond's plane at the lake". The Captain Hammond is doubtless H.T. (Bunny) Hammond, who was one of the founders of Adastra in 1930. Paul believes that the location is Lake Illawarra South as that area has always been known by the locals as "The Lake". Unfortunately, the photo does not yield enough detail to read the inscription on the fuselage aft of the foot step but it is conceivable that it says "Hammond Aerial Transport".

It is known that two DH.60X Moths were registered to Hammond Aerial Transport, G-AUGL and G-AUFT (later VH-UFT).

DH.60X G-AUGL (msn 6) was destroyed by fire after a crash at Coonabarabran on 22 August 1928, a mere four months after being sold new to Bunny Hammond. This aeroplane never took up VH registration markings, therefore it cannot be the aircraft in the photo as the letters VH are clearly visible under the starboard wing. Unfortunately, the registration under the port wing is indecipherable.

From this point, it is assumed that the aeroplane in the photo is VH-UFT.

This aeroplane was initially registered G-AUFT on 11 April 1927 to Sun Newspapers of Sydney. On 31 October 1929 it was registered to Hammond Aerial Transport Ltd. of Sydney. After the introduction of the VH registration markings (in 1928), G-AUFT became VH-UFT and the aeroplane was wearing these markings by 31 August 1930. .

Bunny Hammond sold VH-UFT to N.F. Porter of Sydney on 4 June 1930. This predated the formation of Adastra Airways by approximately three months. On 26 February 1931, VH-UFT was registered to de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd of Mascot. From this point the aeroplane was destined for fame. In June 1931 it was sold to J.A. Mollison, husband of Amy Johnson and an accomplished aviator in his own right. Jim Mollison used the aeroplane for his record-breaking (8 days 19 hours) flight from Australia to England in July-August 1931. Subsequently, the aeroplane was re-registered G-ABUB and in November 1939 it was impressed into service by the Royal Air Force with the serial X5029. It is reported that the aeroplane was used as an airfield decoy, so presumably it was destroyed during the performance of this role.

Thanks to Paul Hockey for providing the photograph and to Graham Orphan for identifying the aeroplane. Additional information is drawn from "The Historic Civil Aircraft Register of Australia" compiled by Bert Cookson and published by AustAirData.