De Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth VH-CAF
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One of six Tiger Moths acquired by the Department of Civil Aviation after the war as communications aircraft, DH82a Mk2 VH-CAF has an uncertain history. Built by De Havilland Australia at Bankstown, NSW, the aircraft initially saw RAAF service although its RAAF identity is not conclusively known at this time (possibly A17-665).

After the war it was acquired by DCA from RAAF stock for £400 and converted for civil use with a raked-forward undercarriage which permitted the use of a tailwheel. It was registered to DCA as VH-AZK on 10 February 1948. At the time of its initial conversion, or shortly afterwards, it was fitted with a canopy of a style developed by De Havilland Canada.

Following a change of policy, VH-AZK was re-registered in DCA’s block as VH-CAE on 3 June 1949. It appears to have been allocated to DCA's Vic/Tas region and it is seen here in DCA's hangar at Melbourne/Essendon in the early 1950s with one of DCA's DC-3s in the background. Note the DCA badge on the fin.

The aircraft was later sold to the Aero Club of Southern Tasmania on 17 August 1953 and re-registered as VH-BSE on 15 September.

(Photo: John M Smith collection)

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