Fokker F.28 Fellowship VH-ATD - 1977
DOT logo - click for moreDOT logo - click for more

The last of the three Airways Survey F.28s to enter service, VH-ATD (c/n 11047) was purchased at a cost of $5,212,000 and first registered to the Department of Transport on 10 May 1977.

The aircraft had originally been registered N289FH in the USA as a demonstrator for Fairchild-Hiller Corp in February 1972 (Fairchild had built the earlier Fokker F.27 under licence). The aircraft was taken back and stored by Fokker in December 1974. When Australia's DoT purchased the aircraft, it was temporarily re-registered in the Netherlands to Fokker as PH-EXI on 27 April 1977. It became VH-ATD on 10 May 1977, and was delivered on 23 May.

The photo above shows VH-ATD shortly after delivery in 1977 with sister-ship VH-ATE behind, on the far northern apron at Melbourne/Essendon. Both aircraft wear their original DoT livery with the 'Irish Compass' logo. The photo below was taken at Essendon 5 years later, in 1982, shortly before the Departmental re-badging as the Department of Aviation.



The photo above shows VH-ATD at Karratha, WA, in March 1986 prior to departing for some airways calibration work. By this time the organisation had become the Department of Aviation, whose titles can be seen on the aircraft. Note also the Civil Air Ensign on the fin and forward fuselage.

The Department's F.28s had a comprehensive suite of navigation aids for flight survey work, including dual INS, VOR, ADF, DME(A), DME(I) and TACAN. Two consoles for Flight Surveyors were located in the forward cabin, whilst the rear cabin was fitted out with a number of passenger seats.



This evocative mid-'80s shot, above, shows VH-ATD at sunset, parked for the night on the apron at one of the many regional airports frequented by the Department’s Fokkers on navigation aid calibration and survey work.


Click here to see more photos of VH-ATD

(Photos: 1-CAHS collection / 2-CAHS/Ben Dannecker collection / 3-David Eyre / 4-CAHS collection)

Back to the main Departmental F28 index

Back to Departmental Aircraft index page

If this page appears without a menu bar at top and left, click here