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Rose Bay, Sydney back during 1974


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Author Topic: Rose Bay, Sydney back during 1974  (Read 647 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: October 12, 2009, 02:42:59 pm »


Any Sydneysiders or ex-Sydneysiders remember this?



Back in early-1974, I flew a return trip from Sydney to Lord Howe Island in VH-BRC....Grin
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2009, 02:44:00 pm »


VH-BRC at Rose Bay, Sydney in 1974....




VH-BRC taxiing in the lagoon at Lord Howe Island with VH-BRF taking off in the background in April 1974....




VH-BRC “Beachcomber” was originally built as a Sunderland Mk.III with the RAF serial number JM715 but never saw active service during WWII. It was flown from the Short factory at Rochester to Lake Windermere and hauled out of the water to storage as a reserve airframe. At the end of WWII, it was overhauled and put back in the water, then flew to Short & Hartland at Belfast where it was rebuilt into a Sandringham Mk.4 (serial number SH.55C) and delivered to Auckland, NZ in early 1947. For the next 2½ years, it was ZK-AMH “Auckland” flying passengers between Auckland and Sydney as part of TEAL's fleet. When TEAL replaced their four Sandringhams with four Short Solent Mk.4 and one Short Solent Mk.3 flying-boats in late 1949, ZK-AMH was sold to Barrier Reef Airways and was based at Brisbane, flying services to Hayman Island and Heron Island as VH-BRC “Coral Princess”. In 1952, Ansett took over Barrier Reef Airways and the Sandringham became VH-BRC “Beachcomber” and was operated on the Sydney to Lord Howe Island route along with another ex-TEAL Sandringham (which was destroyed while moored at Lord Howe during a tropical cyclone in 1962). VH-BRC flew the very last flying-boat service from Sydney to Lord Howe Island on 9th September 1974, returning to Sydney the following day. “Beachcomber” was then sold to Antilles Air Boats and became N148C “Southern Cross”, departing Sydney on 25th September 1974, the last big four-engined flying-boat to fly in Australian airspace. The 'boat crossed the Tasman to Auckland, then headed across the Pacific to the US Virgin Islands in the Carribbean. During the late-1970s while owned by Antilles Air Boats, “Southern Cross” spent some time in Ireland flying charter services by then the aeroplane was on the Irish civil aviation register as VP-LVE. In 1981, the 'boat was sold to a museum in Southampton, UK, where it is still on display, with its identity being returned to VH-BRC “Beachcomber”.

Ansett's other big flying-boat during the early-1970s was a Short Sunderland Mk.5, VH-BRF. This 'boat was orginally built as a Sunderland Mk.III by Short & Harland at Belfast (serial number SH.974) and was flying by the RAF with the military serial number ML814. At the end of WWII, the Sunderland was placed in storage at Belfast until 1950, when it was rebuilt into a Sunderland MR.5 and sold to the RNZAF who operated it as NZ4108 with No.6 Maritime Squadron. When that squadron was disbanded in the late-1950s, NZ4108 was hauled out of the water at RNZAF Hobsonville and placed in storage as an attrition airframe for the Sunderlands of No.5 Maritime Squadron. When Ansett lost VH-BRE “Pacific Chiefton” (an ex-TEAL Sandringham Mk.4) at Lord Howe in 1962, they approached the RNZAF about purchasing one of their spare Sunderland airframes, and obtained NZ4108. It was launched back into the water and towed to Mechanics Bay, Auckland where TEAL overhauled the flying-boat, then it was flown across the Tasman to Rose Bay and converted into a passenger airliner by Ansett before entering service as VH-BRF “Islander” on the Lord Howe Island route. “Islander” flew her last trips to Lord Howe on 15th August 1974, returning to Sydney on the same day. The flying-boat was sold to Antilles Air Boats and departed Sydney on 25th September 1974 as N158J “Excalibur III” enroute to the US Virgin Islands. In 1982, the flying-boat was purchased by a Briton, Edward Hulton and flown to the UK where it became G-BJHS “Islander”. It was flown around the British Isles for several years before being purchased by Kermit Weeks and registed N814ML “Fantasy of Flight” and flown to Florida. For several years, the Sunderland was flown to various airshows around the USA, but for the past few years it has been parked up at the Fantasy of Flight museum in Florida, although it has been maintained in an airworthy condition, but not actually flown.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 02:44:18 pm »


VH-BRC departing Lord Howe Island during the early-1960s....




Ball's Pyramid near Lord Howe Island as viewed from one of Ansett's flying-boats in January 1963....

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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 07:29:52 pm »


Some more Aussie flying-boat action....

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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 12:35:18 am »


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