Flight Deck of Fokker F.27 Friendship VH-CAT

This photo shows the flight deck of DCA's Fokker F.27 Mk 100 Friendship VH-CAT (c/n 10132). This aircraft was ordered during 1959 and delivered in September of that year. Along with sister-ship VH-CAV, VH-CAT was used for airways survey and calibration work - click here for a view of the cabin. Indeed, the Captain's ILS indicator to the right of his altimeter is marked 'FLT SURVEY ONLY'.

Neither the date nor the place of the photo are known, however certain details can be made out from the original slide. The aircraft is cruising at 8,000 ft and 178 kt IAS. They are 25 DME from somewhere and heading 260 degrees, but they are tracking using RMIs with two NDBs tuned up, one behind and one in front. Finally, the two Rolls Royce Darts are turning at 13,750 rpm with a Jet Pipe Temperature of 420 degrees C and burning 900 pounds per hour per engine of fuel.

Note the weather radar cathode ray tube display above the throttle quadrant. DCA's F.27s were delivered without radar and it was retro-fitted at a later date. The value of weather radar was realised, in part, following the crash of Viscount VH-TVC into Botany Bay on 30 November 1961. Following that accident DCA mandated the fitting of weather radar to all turbine powered aircraft.

The image below shows VH-CAT's instrument panel on 2 March 2013. The aircraft is now preserved in the South Australian Aviation Museum in Adelaide. Some updating of the instruments is evident when compared with the photo above.



(Photos: top - CAHS collection / bottom - Ken Watson)

Click here to read about VH-CAT's post-Departmental history


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