The Department's Fleet of Drovers


Immediately after the end of the Second World War de Havilland Australia, which had been manufacturing Tiger Moths and Mosquitoes, identified a need to replace the ubiquitous de Havilland DH84 Dragon and DH86 Dragon Rapide biplanes then in widespread use in Australia. Design work on the DHA-3 began in 1946, although the British parent company's DH104 Dove was being produced at the same time.

DHA saw that the Dove was not entirely suitable for Australian conditions and, using the Dove as a starting point, DHA designed an aircraft with three four-cylinder Gipsy Major engines instead of the Dove's two Gipsy Queen six-cylinder engines and a fixed tailwheel undercarriage instead of the Dove's retractable tricycle undercarriage. Like the Dove, the DHA-3 was sized to carry 8 to 9 passengers with a single pilot. The result was an aircraft with the same wingspan as the Dove and a slightly shorter fuselage. The name 'Drover' was selected by Sir Geoffrey de Havilland after suggestions for a name were invited from DHA employees.

Keen to support the local aircraft industry, on 28 May 1948 a Federal Government Cabinet Agendum sponsored by the Minister for Civil Aviation (A S Drakeford) and Minister for Supply (J Armstrong) proposed the purchase of 12 De Havilland Australia (DHA) Drovers with an option on another 10. These were to be allocated to Trans Australia Airlines (6), Qantas Empire Airlines (4) and DCA (2) at a total cost of £216,000.

Click on the images below to see photos of the Department's Drovers:



< VH-DHA with TAA



Back to the Departmental Aircraft index page

If this page appears without menu bars at top or left, click here