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Evans Bay — Wellington's first international airport


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Author Topic: Evans Bay — Wellington's first international airport  (Read 1635 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: February 13, 2011, 10:44:25 pm »


Here are some photographs of TEAL's flying-boat operations at Evans Bay in Wellington between 1950 and 1954. There are also some images of Imperial Airways' S.23 Empire flying-boat “Centaurus” at Wellington on New Year's Eve 1937 and New Year's Day 1938, plus a couple of photographs of TEAL's S.30 Empire 'boat ZK-AMA “Aotearoa” visiting Wellington in 1940. Also some photographs of BOAC's Short S.25 Hythe-class flying-boat G-AGJL “Hobart” during a visit to Wellington in February 1946.

Most of these photos were taken by photographers from Wellington's Evening Post newspaper, although some came from other sources including Whites Aviation. High-resolution copies of all images are available online from The National Library of New Zealand. Click on each individual photograph to view the source and a photo caption. Note that the dates on some of the captions at the National Library website are inaccurate.



On 31st December 1937, Wellington received a visit from Imperial Airways Short S.23 Empire flying-boat “Centaurus” (commanded by Captain John Burgess) as seen here at the Port of Wellington, with the crew welcomed ashore, then the flying-boat was watched by spectators while taxiing past Point Jerningham on Wellington Harbour. “Centaurus” was enroute to Lyttleton Harbour.













On 1st January 1938 “Centaurus” was back on Wellington Harbour and being refuelled from the launch “Wild Duck” in Evans Bay prior to taking-off and flying on to Auckland.































On 19th January 1940, TEAL's Short S.30 Empire Boat ZK-AMA “Aotearoa” alights on Evans Bay bringing dignitaries to visit the Centennial Exhibition — the exhibition site can be seen in the second photograph.







On 28th February 1946, Wellington received a visit from BOAC's Short S.25 Hythe-class flying-boat (civil Sunderland) G-AGJL “Hobart” conveying the British Minister for Civil Aviation, Lord Winster (Reginald Fletcher), to a meeting of the South Pacific Air Transport Council. The Sunderland flying-boat was moored in the bay, then towed in to a floating jetty at the Evans Bay wharves, allowing the minister and his official party to disembark.










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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2011, 10:46:05 pm »


On 18th October 1949, Wellington receives a visit from one of the new Short S.45A Solent 4 flying-boats — ZK-AMM “Ararangi”.













The western shoreline of Evans Bay in December 1949 at Greta Point where TEAL built their flying-boat terminal. In the first photograph the ships “Wahine” and “Wingatui” are berthed at the wharf, while in the second photograph a ship is in the Patent Slip.







Evans Bay on 26th February 1950 several months before TEAL began Solent services between Wellington and Sydney.





The western shoreline of Evans Bay at the Patent Slip on 18th August 1950 with two ships berthed at the wharf. TEAL's flying-boat terminal was built just out of the photograph to the right.





On 28th September 1950, Wellington receives a visit from a Solent flying-boat ZK-AMM “Ararangi” prior to the beginning of TEAL's Wellington to Sydney service the following month. A number of dignitaries were taken for a flight over the Marlborough Sounds. In the second and third photographs you can see the old Rongotai Aerodrome in the background. In the sixth photograph you can see TEAL's launch moored out in the bay.












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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 10:46:58 pm »


On 3rd October 1950 the first scheduled Solent flight departed for Sydney (ZK-AMM “Ararangi”). In the second photograph you can see a block of flats. Two of the lock-up garages were used by TEAL for stores. A third garage was used by Customs to process departing and arriving passengers — this continued until the international terminal building was completed the following year. Passengers were transported by launch from a jetty directly across the road from the block of flats out to the flying-boat moored in the bay until a land reclaimation was completed and the braby pontoon installed. This group of photos also shows the crowd gathered for the official speeches prior to the first flight. Presumably Captain Christopher Griffiths (seen in the launch) commanded the inaugural scheduled flight.

























On 6th October 1950, passengers disembarked from the first scheduled Sydney to Wellington flight.













The weather can be wild in Wellington Harbour at times. ZK-AMM “Ararangi” with a damaged port float on 18th October 1950.









A replacement port float and outboard propellor for ZK-AMM “Ararangi” on a truck at Evans Bay Yacht Club on 19th October 1950.







ZK-AMN “Awatere” receiving maintenance to the No.3 engine, then taking off from Evans Bay on 24th October 1950.










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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 10:47:59 pm »


On 20th November 1950, two-month-old Mervyn Lee, TEAL's youngest passenger (to that date) on the trans-Tasman flying-boat services, is shown with his mother and a colour picture of ZK-AML “Aotearoa II” that was presented to him.





NZ Prime Minister Sidney Holland and Mrs Holland departing from Evans Bay on 28th December 1950 bound for Rose Bay, Sydney then onwards by connecting Qantas Kangaroo Route flight to London.









ZK-AMM “Ararangi” taxis for takeoff then is raced by Len Southward's speedboat “Redhead” across Evans Bay on 17th January 1951.







Evans Bay on 3rd February 1951 with a TEAL Solent moored out in the bay. The photographs were taken from above the Patent Slip.




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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 10:48:52 pm »


A truck dumps a load of soil into the water at Greta Point in Evans Bay at the beginning of the reclaimation for TEAL's flying-boat base on 6th April 1951,





Three photographs taken on the 7th & 21st April, and on 6th May 1951 showing the reclaimation in progress for TEAL's Evans Bay terminal.









Members of the All Blacks team being transported by launch out to ZK-AML “Aotearoa II” on 8th June 1951, heading off for a rugby tour to Australia.







Work under way on the reclaimation for TEAL's Evans Bay flying-boat base on 13th June 1951,





TEAL's braby pontoon under construction at Seaview, Lower Hutt on 24th August 1951.





These photographs were taken on 7th September 1951 when a group of school children were taken from the Evans Bay Yacht Club out to ZK-AMN “Awatere” moored in the bay.















A view of TEAL's new flying-boat terminal building and engineering workshop under construction on the new reclaimation at Greta Point, Evans Bay on 7th September 1951.





On 2nd October 1951, TEAL's new braby pontoon was launched in sections down the slipway at Seaview and towed by the pilot boat “Tuna” to Evans Bay where the individual sections were assembled together at Greta Point at the new flying-boat terminal.









ZK-AMM “Ararangi” on Evans Bay with a missing starboard float and damaged port float following a landing mishap on 18th October 1951.





ZK-AMM “Ararangi” berthed at the still uncompleted braby pontoon undergoing repairs on 19th October 1951 after losing a float the day before, with ZK-AMO “Aranui” moored out in the bay.







A view of TEAL's reclaimation and braby pontoon at Evans Bay on 1st December 1951.


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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2011, 10:49:37 pm »


On 31st December 1951 ZK-AMN “Awatere” is berthed at TEAL's Evans Bay terminal for the first scheduled departure to Sydney using the new international terminal building and braby pontoon.

















A Solent flying-boat approaching TEAL's Evans Bay terminal on 12th January 1952 then being towed back into the braby pontoon.







A TEAL Solent docked at the Evans Bay terminal on 16th April 1954 about two months before the flying-boat service to Sydney ended.





• CLICK HERE to view more photographs of TEAL's Short Solent flying-boat operations at Evans Bay, Wellington.



TEAL operated four return Solent services a week from Sydney to Wellington as an extension of their Auckland to Sydney services.

Flights from Sydney to Auckland were scheduled to take seven hours, departing Sydney on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30pm (Australian Eastern Time) and arriving at Wellington the following morning at 7:30am (NZ Standard Time). The return trips departed Wellington on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 11:00am and arrived at Rose Bay, Sydney at 4:15pm, with a scheduled flight duration of seven hours fifteen minutes.

The one-way fare was NZ£28 0s 0d or A£35 0s 0d and the return fare was NZ£50 8s 0d or A£63 0s 0d.

TEAL's Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 flying-boat services between Auckland-Sydney and Auckland-Nadi (Fiji) ended at about the same time the Wellington-Sydney services ceased in June 1954.

ZK-AML “Aotearoa II” and ZK-AMN “Awatere” were sold to Aquila Airways.

ZK-AMM “Ararangi” was cut up for scrap at Auckland following an engine fire during maintenance.

ZK-AMO “Aranui” continued on the Coral Route between Fiji-Western Samoa-Aitutaki (Cook Islands)-Tahiti, as well as Fiji-Tonga until September 1960, when it flew back to Auckland and was retired.

ZK-AMO is on display at Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology along with an ex-RNZAF S.25 Sunderland Mk.5 flying-boat.

TEAL's four Solent Mk.4s (construction numbers SH.1556, SH.1557, SH.1558 and SH.1559) were the last big Short flying-boats to be manufactured. They were built at the Short & Harland factory at Belfast in 1949.

TEAL also operated a Short Solent Mk.3, ZK-AMQ “Aparima” (S.1296) which previously flew with BOAC as G-AKNR “City of Belfast” and before the Solent conversion was Seaford NJ204 with the Royal Air Force. It was scrapped at Auckland in 1957.
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DidiMau69
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 06:11:36 pm »

Thanks for posting that KTJ. A fascinating piece of history.
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 09:07:05 pm »


I've got a friend in Wellington whose father was one of the pilots who flew those Solent flying-boats for TEAL on trans-Tasman services as well as on the Coral Route across the South Pacific to Tahiti. His Dad (who is still alive and living in Australia) also flew Douglas DC-6 airliners, Lockheed Electras, DC-8s and DC-10s for TEAL/Air NZ before he retired. He was the captain of the last DC-10 sightseeing service to Antarctica and return the weekend before the flight which crashed on Mount Erebus.
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 12:29:35 pm »


Power boating into the history books

By CHRISTOPHER MOOR - The Wellingtonian | 3:50PM - Wednesday, 20 February 2013

DOING THE TON: Redhead breaks the 100mph barrier on Evans Bay, February 22nd, 1953. — Photo: ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY.
DOING THE TON: Redhead breaks the 100mph barrier on Evans Bay, February 22nd, 1953.
 — Photo: ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY.


SIXTY YEARS AGO, Len Southward (later Sir Len) drove his speedboat Redhead into Australasian power boating history as the first in the region to travel at more than 100mph.

The hundreds of spectators lining Evans Bay and Shelly Bay on Sunday, February 22nd, 1953, cheered when they heard the boat had covered the two-mile course at an average speed of 101.266mph (162.91km/h).

He told reporters that Redhead was powered by a 1450hp Allison V12 engine.

It was originally a stepped-up hydroplane converted to a three-pointer by the addition of inboard sponsons, or riding planes, that increased its speed.

Earlier that morning Redhead had clocked 98.227mph.

Its propeller was changed for one with a slightly larger diameter and less pitch before it made history in near-perfect conditions.

Southward gave much of the credit to the backroom boys who helped him prepare Redhead.

"I would say it will do another five miles an hour, but I am quite happy to leave it until somebody beats it," he said.

It was three years before Redhead's Australasian water speed record got broken. Australian boat Fleetwing hit 103mph in 1956 to break the record.

Southward reclaimed the speed record with a 109.29mph (175.89km/h) run off Point England in Auckland, on May 8th, 1956.

In September 1956, Donald Campbell more than doubled the speed in his Bluebird hydroplane on Coniston in the English Lake District, with a world water speed record of 225.6mph (383.07km/h).

Redhead held Australasia's major water speed trophies for most of the 1950s.

The boat won Australian Griffiths Cup from 1949, and with the exception of 1954 it held New Zealand's Masport Cup from 1948.

Its last victory was at Picton on Easter Saturday, 1959, when it easily won the Griffiths Cup.

While leading Mystic Miss in the Masport Cup, Redhead suddenly veered left and stopped.

A crowd of several thousand watched in disbelief as the defending champion sank seconds later — a buckled propeller shaft had ripped a gaping hole in its hull.

Redhead never raced again, and is now displayed in the Southward Car Museum in Paraparaumu, as it was when it was lifted out of the water.

The Southward Car Museum Trust opened the museum on December 22, 1979, to house the collection Len Southward began.

Vintage cars were not mentioned in Southward's post-record interviews. The collection that grew into a car museum began in 1956.

He was knighted in 1986 and died in 2004, aged 98.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/the-wellingtonian/8328999/Power-boating-into-the-history-books
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« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2013, 06:20:58 pm »


Len Southward's speedboat “Redhead” (and a Solent flying-boat) on Evans Bay; and Catalinas at Hobsonville in Auckland....



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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2014, 01:01:11 pm »





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