View Full Version : Identify Aircraft Type?

tail wheel
27th Sep 2012, 09:33
Could one of you historical aircraft buffs identify this aircraft type please?


That will give me a lead to the approximate year. The photo suggests "circa 1970" but if that aircraft has radial engines - which appears to be the case - the photo would be much earlier than 1970 as by that time TAA were operating Viscount, Electra, B727 and DC9 aircraft.

TAA radial engine aircraft were the Convair 240, DC4 and DC6B. If turbine engines the options were the Viscount and Electra.

My interest is not so much in the aircraft but in identifying when and where the Massey Ferguson MF35 was used on an Australian airport. :}

As it is fitted with lumpy ag tyres, rather than turf tyres, I'm wondering if it was a temporary "ring in", although it has a spark arrestor on the exhaust and DCA roundel on the rear guard?


27th Sep 2012, 09:42
Definitely NOT a Viscount, Electra nor Convair 240.
The visible main gear looks like a Douglas quad - and the small round windows would mean a DC-4/C-54 as the DC-6/7 had square windows.

If I'm correct, then the latest this photo could have been taken would be around 1969, but probably much earlier - a clue to the timeframe might be the livery of the plane, note there's a small stripe above the main window stripe, and the stylised letters similar to this Viscount shot (taken 1959):

Photos: Vickers 816 Viscount Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Trans-Australia-Airlines/Vickers-816-Viscount/2109464/L/&sid=c73233a1ada43c00479a66b5cf843f40)

Later TAA titles had more regular 'square' lettering.

27th Sep 2012, 10:06
It's a DC-4 which, I think, were in service from '46 - '58. Can't pin it down more than that I'm afraid.

27th Sep 2012, 10:07
Agree with DH106, it's a DC-4.

tail wheel
27th Sep 2012, 10:19
Interesting. Been a long time since I've been near a C54/DC4 and I thought the aircraft looked too large. I think the tractor is an MF35 which would make the photo sometime after approximately 1958.

If VH-TAB (see below) the aircraft remained in TAA service until:
"Withdrawn from service and stored at Melbourne's Essendon Airport - March 31, 1969"

27th Sep 2012, 10:50
Could have been this one......


27th Sep 2012, 13:19
TAA seem to have had 8 DC-4 / C-54's over the years 1946-69(ish):

VH-TAC (x2 different at different times)

27th Sep 2012, 19:00
Might be able to find out more about the MF 35 here:

Museum_Victoria (http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/1708130/photograph-massey-ferguson-mf35-tractors-at-raaf-base-australia-circa-1960s)

Sir George Cayley
27th Sep 2012, 21:01
And I thought I was a sad b'stard:8

I'm an International Harvester kinda guy.


Fris B. Fairing
27th Sep 2012, 23:00

All that can be said for certain is that it's a DC-4 and it hasn't had the full freighter conversion as there is no internal liner to protect the windows. Of the 8 DC-4s that served with TAA we can eliminate TAE, TAF & TAG which were delivered 64-65 as freighters. The first TAC was sold in 1948 which leaves TAA, TAB, TAC (#2) and TAD. TAD was sold in 1959 and TAA, TAB & TAC (#2) were converted to freighters in 59/60. Using your Massey Ferguson method, 1958 is probably close to the mark. Unfortunately I can't narrow it down beyond those 4 aeroplanes.

Incidentally, I thought that the green roundel was to signify that the vehicle was fitted with a spark arrestor.

Now what I really want to know, what's the serial number of the Fergy?


tail wheel
28th Sep 2012, 01:59
Hi Fris

The roundel may indicate a spark arrestor? (There is one installed but why they kept the upswept exhaust around aircraft is beyond belief.) Don't think they use the roundel these days?

Seeing as you are so vague that you can't identify the exact aircraft or date of photo - :} :} :} - I can't give you the exact serial number of the FE35!

However if the photo was taken in 1958 and the Fergy looks near new, I can confirm it's serial number is between 9226 and 79552 if manufactured in 1957, or between 79553 and 125067 if manufactured in 1958.

Considering the time taken to freight the tractor from Banner Lane, Coventry to Australia, my tip would be a 1957 model! :}

517,651 little grey Fergies built before the Massey Ferguson era and the FE/MF35. Definately one of the very best things to come out of the UK. Pity old Harry Ferguson didn't turn his hand to beer brewing.........

As it is an aviation history forum, did you know that in 1909 Henry George "Harry" Ferguson built and flew the very first monoplane in Ireland?

Brian Abraham
28th Sep 2012, 04:22
Remember driving something like that belonging to DCA at Whyalla laying out the goosenecks late 50's. Vague memory of starting up on petrol then switching over to kero when warmed up. Memory correct Tailwheel?

28th Sep 2012, 05:15
t w
"Pity old Harry Ferguson didn't turn his hand to beer brewing........."

OK I'll bite.......

And the Australian beer that is worth drinking is........???

If OZ didn't have refrigerators its beer wouldn't be sold.

UK and Europe is where real beer is made. :)

tail wheel
28th Sep 2012, 05:58
Brian. That would probably be a Ferguson TED20, built between 1949 and 1956 and designed to run on Vaporising Oil. Similar to the petrol TEA20, they had a lower compression ratio and in Australia ran on power kerosene. They had a two compartment fuel tank, start on petrol then change over to power kero.

aviate1138. Goody - knew I'd get a bite and manage to hook one!! With winter coming on in the UK I guess you'll be looking forward to that warm hops flavoured barley soup!

:} :}

17th Oct 2012, 04:55
Definitely a DC-4. Taken at Melbourne (now Essendon) Airport.
circa late 50's . The aircraft has the original stylised TAA lettering which was changed when the colour scheme was 'refreshed' in the early 60's.