A new phase opens with this issue with production is now
in my hands with Hon Secretary Ron Ark alongside. Errol
Martyn1 has stood down as production editor, precipitating
the change. So, we lose his experience and I commence a
long learning climb.
Before he shifted to Blenheim, John Best, a well-known
member of the society, gave me three small photographs
showing the recovery of Harvard NZ917. I was intrigued
by the boy in the photos and the location. I visited the
Wellington archives (Archives New Zealand) with the serial
number of the Harvard and obtained the report on the
NZPAF/RNZAF AIRCRAFT COLOUR SCHEMES
The Bristol type 170 designed by A. E. Russell of the Bristol
Aeroplane Company, was built in 1944 and intended as a
short range general transport aircraft, capable of being
operated in and out of jungle airstrips. The design was
an all-metal, twin-engined, high wing monoplane of
98 ft (29.8m) wingspan, built at low cost using numerous
steel components, rather than expensive alloys, and
was fitted with a fixed undercarriage in the ‘taildragger’
configuration. The Bristol company had carried out quite
extensive research into the use of fixed undercarriages as
opposed to the fully retractable types. This led the company
to adopting the rugged, low drag, fixed type undercarriage
for the type 170, mainly because of its cheapness of
construction and minimum of ongoing maintenance.
This is the story of two New Zealanders and one epic
battle which they fought alongside Australian pilots in
true Anzac spirit. In 1950, the Cold War heated up, when
conflict between North and South Korea brought the
United Nations (UN) into the struggle, and China later
joined the war in support of the faltering North Koreans.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) did not deploy
combat aircraft to Korea as part of its UN contribution
but it is often forgotten that several New Zealanders flew
operationally with other air forces, most notably the Royal
Australian Air force (RAAF) and British Fleet Air Arm
Seek & Destroy … the history of 3 Squadron RNZAF Auster – The Company and the Aircraft
Readers will wonder what this has to do with to do with New Zealand let alone the Aviation Historical Society? Well, had plans come to fruition, in 1955 Christchurch Airport (then known as Harewood) would have been home to a massive USAF operation involving nearly 300 servicemen, six B-36, several C-124 Globemasters, a Boeing Superfortress, specifically an SB-29 air-sea rescue version carrying a droppable A-3 lifeboat along with additional radio equipment, provisions, survival kits and extra crew. Support would be provided by USAF C-54 while the US Navy would provide two weather ships to be stationed along the track.
The activities of the nine De Havilland DH9 light bombers given to New Zealand in 1920 under the Imperial Gift programme for Commonwealth countries have been covered extensively in a series of articles in several journals beginning in September 1964 (vol 7 no 8). The momentous Invercargill-Auckland flight by DH9 D3139 in 1921 was also recorded in the journal of November 1962 (vol 5 no 11).