Victa Airtourer Scrapbook & Brochures
Victa Airtourer VH-CTM

The Victa Airtourer was an important indigenous Australian light aircraft, designed by Henry Millicer in the late 1950s and manufactured in Australia during the 1960s.

A wooden prototype was constructed by a small group of enthusiasts from the Ultralight Aircraft Association of Australia (ULAA - later SAAA) in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown during the late 1950s. This prototype, registered VH-FMM, was first flown on 31 March 1959 by Flt. Lt. Randell Green, a test pilot with De Havilland Australia. The aircraft initially had a 65 hp Continental engine but was later re-engined with a 95 hp Continental to serve as an aerodynamic prototype for the production all-metal aircraft.

Interest was shown in the design by Mervyn Richardson, Chairman of Victa Ltd., which at that time was best known for making lawn mowers and light two-stroke engines. Development continued of an all-metal version. The prototype to production standard, VH-MVA, flew at Sydney/Bankstown on 12 December 1961. During the period 1961 to 1966, Victa Ltd. produced the Airtourer at Milpera, building both 100 hp and 115 hp models. Keen to support local industry,
DCA bought one aircraft for transporting departmental personnel, VH-CAP.

Development also commenced on a similar but larger, four-seat aircraft known as the Aircruiser. The prototype, registered VH-MVR, first flew on 18 July 1966 but the type was not put into production.

Right: Click on the image to download The Story of the Air Tourer, DCA airworthiness inspector Tom Webb's scrapbook of the construction and early test-flying of the Airtourer prototype, VH-FMM. This scrapbook also includes a number of early magazine articles, etc. about the Airtourer.

(Note: This is a 9.4 MB .pdf file)





Below: Click on the images to download copies of an Airtourer sales brochure and and early Victa News Bulletin.

(Note: These are 3.6 and 4.1 MB .pdf files)

Vitca Airtourer scrapbook
Victa brochure   Victa brochure

The early 1960s saw an influx of relatively cheap imported light aircraft, principally from the USA. Victa sought tariff protection or funding assistance from the Australian government to keep production viable. However, the government rejected Victa's appeals and the company closed down its Aviation Division in February 1966, at which time it had built a total of 168 aircraft.

The manufacturing rights to the Airtourer were purchased the following year by the New Zealand maintenance business Aero Engine Services Ltd. (AESL). AESL successfully manufactured 115 hp and 150 hp Airtourers until 1973.

Ironically, one of AESL's largest orders came from the RAAF. AESL had also acquired the rights to the Aircruiser and this was re-engineered into a fully aerobatic military trainer, the CT/4 Airtrainer. The RAAF purchased 51 CT/4 Airtrainers between 1975 and 1982. These remained in service as the RAAF’s ab initio trainer until 1993. Following the privatisation of military flight screening and basic training, the CT/4 was used until 2018 by British Aerospace (BAe) in Tamworth as the basic trainer for all Australian military pilot training.

(Scrapbook: CAHS collection / Brochures: Roger McDonald collection)

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Air Tourer Scrapbook Airtourer sales brochure Airtourer News Bulletin