Archerfield Operations-Administration Building
& Control Tower
- 1947

The image at right shows the Brisbane/Archerfield Operations/Administration building, which at that time was also the airport's passenger terminal, in April 1947. Note that the building's wartime camouflage has not yet been removed. Archerfield was at that time still Brisbane's main civil airport.

On top of the building can be seen the Control Tower cab. Along with similar buildings at Sydney/Mascot and Adelaide/Parafield, this was Australia's first purpose-designed Control Tower and was constructed in 1940.

In 1947 VHF radio had only just made an appearance in Australian Control Towers. Control was still frequently exercised using visual signals, the the mast for hoisting signal balls can be seen on the Tower cab's roof. At the rear of the Tower cab is the aerodrome's rotating light beacon. rotating aerodrome (light) beaconTower cabFire Service vehicles

A wider view, below, shows Vickers Type 636 Viking Ib G-AJJN (cn 289) on the apron in front of the Ops/Admin building following its arrival from Darwin. The aircraft was on a manufacturer's demonstration and sales tour, and had departed Hurn, UK, on 13 April 1947 under the command of Squadron leader P. Robarts. The aircraft covered some 40,000 miles, ranging as far as New Zealand, and returned to the UK on 15 June.

Unfortunately for Vickers, no sales eventuated in Australia or New Zealand. The Viking was an unpressurised development of the wartime Wellington bomber and could not compete at one end of the scale against the ready availability of cheap, war-surplus DC-3s and at the other end against the pressurised Convair 240, an order for five of which Trans Australia Airlines (TAA) placed the following year.

G-AJJN was sold to B.O.A.C. in 1950 and named Vulcan. From 1955 to 1963 it passed through the hands of a number of second-level UK operators before being retired at Southend and later scrapped.


(Photo: CAHS collection)

Click here to see a rare 1957 colour photo of this building

Click here to read about the history of this building in Control Towers Part 1

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