Early Aerodrome Site Selection - 1921

One of the Historical Society's earliest photographs, above, taken in 1921 shortly after the creation of the Civil Aviation Branch, shows Superintendent of Aerodromes Capt. Edgar Johnston (L) with Major Harry Shaw inspecting potential aerodrome sites near Old Man Plain in north-western Victoria.


Above is another photo, this one from the collection of Capt E.C. Johnston, showing aerodrome inspection on the Sydney to Adelaide air route.

Larkin Aerial Supply Company, which had a contract to operate services on the route, was dissatisfied with the state of the aerodromes so Captain Larkin, Captain Johnston and Major Harry Turner Shaw (an idependent observer) carried out an inspection by car. On the left is the CAB's T-model Ford and on the right is Jimmy Larkin's vehicle, a Gregoire with the chassis improved and a body built locally by a Mr Dunkely. The exact date of this photo is not known, but it was almost certainly taken in 1921.



Above and below are two more photographs from the 1921 route survey showing the CAB's T-model Ford at camp at Kalnine (above) and at the Victoria/South Australia border (below). It has not been possible to identify the location of 'Kalnine'.


SA border

Site selection trips were also conducted in one or other of the CAB's aircraft. Click here to see some photos of these early Departmental aircraft.

Most of the aerodrome sites selected remained little more than patches cleared of scrub for many years to come. See, for example, photos of Longreach, Qld., in 1925.

Read about The Early Days of Civil Aerodromes


(Photos: Second from top-CAHS/E.C. Johnston collection / Rest-CAHS collection)

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