Ansett Airways Ltd Hangar Fire - 1939
33 Mc 'Lorenz' Radio Range antenna

The rear fuselage of Ansett Airways Ltd Lockheed 10B Electra VH-UZN Ansirius lies forlornly in the mud outside the Ansett hangar at Melbourne/Essendon following a disastrous hangar fire on 28 February 1939. The fire, which quickly spread throughout the hangar, was thought to have broken out in the fuselage of VH-UZN, whose tail was dragged from the flames. Six other aircraft were destroyed including Ansett's original passenger aircraft, Fokker Universal VH-UTO, and Porterfield 35/70 Flyabout VH-UVH, in which Reg Ansett had won the Brisbane to Adelaide air race in 1936.

Somewhat ironically, the hangars in the background of the photo above belong to the airline giant of the pre- and early post-war years, Australian National Airlines (ANA). Despite the 1939 disaster, ANA would eventually be taken over by its smaller rival in October 1957 to form Ansett-ANA. Note also the tower in the left background of the photo above which is the antenna for the new Essendon 33 Mc 'Lorenz' Radio Range.


click here to look insideclick here to look inside

Click here to see some photos inside the hangar.

(Photos: Lindsay Wise collection)

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