Airco DH.9 A6-5

Above and below: Two photographs of the first aeroplane operated by the fledgeling CAB - Airco DH.9 A6-5, taken at Geelong/Belmont Common, Vic, in early 1924.

DH.9's A6-4 and A6-5 were used by the CAB on loan from the RAAF. They initially retained their military identities, but both aircraft later spent brief periods on the civil Register.


A6-5 started life as the RAF’s D1187, built by the Crossley Motor Company under Contract No A S 32754/17, but did not see use during the War. The aircraft was powered by a 230hp Siddeley Puma and became A6-5 in RAAF service.

Twenty-eight Airco DH.9s were provided to Australia as supplement to the post-War 'Imperial Gift' donation of 100-aircraft to Australia by Great Britain. The DH.9s were intended as a repayment for the many aircraft that were 'subscribed for by public donation' during the War, some of which were actually included in the group shipped out to Australia. It seems that the 28 had been readied for despatch to the White Russian Armies then fighting in the Russian Territories, but that plan fell through and the British Government passed them on to Australia.

Following CAB use in its military guise, A6-5 was transferred to the civil Register as G-AUEG (Certificate of Registration No. 102) on 8 August 1924 for use by the Civil Aviation Branch, Department of Defence. It was also operated on lease by the Larkin Aircraft Supply Company Ltd (LASCo) as a reserve aircraft on their Sydney-Adelaide service before returning to the RAAF on 18 December 1924 (along with A6-4/G-AUEH).

On 21 April 1927, A6-5 collided with A6-26 over Melbourne while on a flypast to welcome the Duke and Duchess of York to Australia. The crew, Flt Lt R I Dines and Cpl J Ramsden, were killed.

(Photos: C D Pratt/John Hopton collection)

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