Aug-Sep-Oct 2019

Flightpath is an upmarket magazine for devotees and owners of antique, classic and ex-military aeroplanes. It focuses on the preservation of our Australian Aviation heritage. Each issue of Flightpath covers the latest news on the recovery and restoration of antique, vintage and warbird aircraft in both museums and private collections. The ultimate aviation journal, Jane’s Historic Military Aircraft, recently rated Flightpath among the world’s top six historical aviation publications.

Yaffa Publishing Group PTY LTD
Back issues only

in this issue

3 min
farewell flightpath

It was July 1998, 21 years ago, that I assumed the big chair at Flightpath. As momentous as this anniversary should be, it’s my sad duty to inform you that this, my 84th issue, is the second last edition of Flightpath. After 31 years of bringing the historic aviation movement into the homes of you, our loyal readers, from this November Flightpath will be no more. I have endeavoured, with the help of many talented contributors from around the globe, to maintain the magazine’s position at the forefront of Australia's historic aviation movement. From my first edition, I’ve kept our focus on the preservation of aviation heritage, covering the latest antique, vintage and war-bird aircraft news worldwide, including detailed historical and technical feature articles, to keep readers current on aviation’s past. When…

3 min
ryan resurrection

Quietly making steady progress in a hangar at the Temora Airpark, New South Wales, in the hands of owner (Wing Commander ret.) Martin Susans, a Ryan STM is nearing completion. This long-term project began when Martin’s late brother, (Wing Commander ret.) Geoff Susans, acquired the wreck of Ryan VH-RAE (s/n 467) in 1974. A year later the brothers bought another crashed STM, VH-AGQ (s/n 473), and moved both to RAAF Amberley, Queensland, where they were serving at the time. The aircraft were later relocated to Canberra where work concentrated on rebuilding a pair of wings. In 2011 the fuselage of VH-RAE was transported to Wagga, NSW, for structural repair by the late Mark Wallace of Encore Aviation. Mark was also working on the restoration of Guy Kendall’s STM VH-DBD at…

1 min
two pigs in a pen

At the South Australian Aviation Museum (SAAM), Port Adelaide, on 18 May, two F-111Cs were reunited for a brief time. The supersonic all-weather strike jet was affectionately known as the ‘Pig’ in Australian service due to its ability to fly ‘in the weeds’. A reconnaissance variant on loan from the RAAF and on static display at the museum since March 2013, A8-134 was delivered to the RAAF on 25 July 1973 and converted to a RF-111C in 1980 with the installation of cameras in the weapons bay. Of great historical significance, it saw active service over East Timor and is the only remaining example of this variant. With its wings, elevators and tail removed, the aircraft was transported to Canberra and is now on display at the Australian War Memorial. The…

1 min
sopwith snipe for raaf point cook

The RAAF Museum recently acquired Sopwith Snipe replica VH-SNP. The Snipe was scratch built by Nick Caudwell from the original Sopwith plans. The project, completed in 2014, consumed more than ten years and approximately 10,000 hours of work before Nick made the first flight at Tyabb on 17 October that year. He was able to incorporate many original parts, including all the cockpit instruments, switches and the gunsight, during the build (see Flightpath Vol.25 No.4). The Snipe entered service in September 1918 and, in the short period before the Armistice, earned the reputation as the best Allied fighter of the war. It was only used by three squadrons during that time – 43 and 208 Squadrons RAF and 4 Squadron AFC. Production of the Snipe ceased in 1919, but it remained…

1 min
spectacular fury

One of the newest warbird restorations in the US is a spectacularly prepared and highly polished Sea Fury known as ‘On Eagles’ Wings’. Based in Centennial, Colorado, the Hawker fighter (serial 87954, N63SF) is a T Mk.20 originally built as a T.20 and delivered to the Iraqi Air Force. The aircraft was saved, alongside other Furies, by famed warbird collectors Ed Jurist and David Tallichet. The incomplete airframe lingered at various storage sites for years until being meticulously restored by Sanders Aircraft in Ione, California. As is common in the US, the Bristol Centaurus was replaced by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800. Components from other Sea Furies, including the outer wings of ‘Cottonmouth’/’Conch Fury’ (now under rebuild in Germany), were used to complete the project. Now owned by Eagle’s Wings…

1 min
a daughter’s tribute

Few feats of Australian aviation can compare with PG Taylor’s desperate in-flight draining of the Southern Cross’ crippled starboard engine oil into a suitcase using a thermos flask, at night, over a menacing Tasman Sea. All so the process could then be repeated, replenishing the critical but labouring port engine so it would not fail. The story has been told many times in print, on celluloid, even appearing in this issue on page 24, but the sight of PG Taylor’s daughter Gai, standing beneath the broad wing of the Southern Cross replica at this year’s Wings over Illawarra, re-telling her father’s courageous deeds, was a rare treat, enthralling adults and children alike. A unique, inspiring, and very personal tribute to this true great of Australian aviation.…