De Havilland DH37 G-AUAA

As well as requiring an aircraft capable of operating around Australia for its own use, the CAB was keen to set an example by proving the latest types of civil aircraft in Australia's rugged environment. Thus, in 1924 the CAB purchased a new De Havilland DH37, in the event one of only two built. This aircraft was a three-seat sporting and touring aircraft of wooden construction, designed to an order from Alan Butler, De Havilland Aircraft Co. Chairman.

The CAB's aircraft was built by De Havilland at their Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, Middlesex, UK (c/n 105) and was powered by a Rolls Royce Falcon III of 275hp. It was shipped to Australia and assembled by the Pratt brothers' Geelong Air Service at Geelong's Belmont Common aerodrome. The aircraft was registered as G-AUAA to the CAB on 1 July 1924 - Certificate of Registration #98. It was the first aircraft to be registered in the block G-AUAA to G-AUAZ which was reserved for use by the CAB (the CAB's previous aircraft, Tourer G-AUCA, was given an 'out of sequence' registration).


Fortunately for later generations, Charlie Pratt kept good photographic records of many of the early aircraft that passed through the hands of Geelong Air Service and the photographs on this page show G-AUAA after assembly at Geelong. The upper shot shows the aircraft in the Geelong Air Service hangar, whilst the photos above and below show the aircraft about to undergo engine runs - note the two chaps holding down the tail in the photo below.


Click here to read more about this aircraft's service with the CAB



(Photos: C.D. Pratt/John Hopton collection)

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