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What were the main Oz contributions to aviation

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What were the main Oz contributions to aviation

Old 2nd May 2003, 12:03
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Grrr What were the main Oz contributions to aviation

Trying to get some facts together for an aviation writing competition. What have been the main contributions to world aviation by Ozzies. Yes I have got Kingsford-Smith and Hinkler. Apparently an Ozzie also invented the black box - any info?
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Old 2nd May 2003, 13:14
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Hi Jim, welcome aboard.

You could try here Black Box for some info.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 18:42
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I have an aviation trivia page here - http://www.billzilla.org/dunnoaviat.htm - And there's a fiar bit of Aussie aviation trivia there as well.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 19:08
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Wink Boomerang?

Howsabout the boomerang!
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Old 2nd May 2003, 20:14
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Ahh the Boomerang
13 weeks from concept to first flight, making use of what was available in an austere wartime environment.
Fastest climbing interceptor at the time to 15,000 ft and, according to allied test pilots who tested both, more manouverable than the Zero to 15,000 ft below 250 mph.
Rather effective in the ground attack role.

What about the Avon Sabre? Better engine and armament than the original. Funny how yank airframes do better with pommie engines (and Aussie pilots).

Harry Hawker came from down this way I believe, one of a veritable pantheon of Aussies and Kiwis aviators and designers.

How about Sydney Cotton, Don Bennett, Ross and Keith Smith, nancy Bird et al.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 21:02
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lets not forget that high water mark of aviation engineering - the GAF Nomad. Or possibly the Wamira....or the CA-15...or maybe the CT4 (oh silly me, we sold that to the Kiwi's - then bought it in bulk). How about those A-4G's we sold, then leased back for 20 years at five times the cost...
Hmmm, what a proud legacy in aviation we have. Oh well, at least we can license built aircraft to a high standard for no more than 150-200% the cost of buying off the shelf (F/A-18, Blackhawk, Mirage, Sabre - yeah, a better aircraft a DECADE later, etc etc etc). Bitter? Hell no, but lets recognize our true standing in the grand scheme of things. We are competent manufacturers of flaps/rudders and winglets for the big boys.

A dose of reality methinks.


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Old 3rd May 2003, 11:59
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I think newswatcher is referring to the original hand-propelled boomerang, although both are noteworthy.

Don't overlook Sir Gordon Taylor. Not only was he a noted pilot and navigator (and a very brave man) but he also left us a rich legacy of aviation books.

Double Asymmetric

Lay off the CA-15. Some of us regard the CA-15 with the same degree of reverence that the Brits regard the TSR-2 and the Canucks the Avro Arrow. Your other examples are probably fair game though.

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Old 3rd May 2003, 17:29
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It may not count as a major Ozzie contribution to world aviation but the Victa Airtourer deserves a mention for it's longevity in production. In it's latest incarnation a couple have been sold by Pacific Aerospace to the Singapore Government for $NZ300,000 each. Considering it first entered production in 1961 that's not bad going. (And I love mine to bits! Beagle Pups eat your heart out!)
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Old 3rd May 2003, 21:29
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I know but I couldn't resist the obvious comeback to newswatcher

Agree wholeheartedly with Taylor amongst so many others.
The PNG pioneers - Parer to Gibbs et al, Norman Brearley in WA.
Where do you start and stop? Dallas in WW1?

Double Assy
You're confusing our politicians' and bureaucrats' activities in the field of aviation with the subject of Jim's quest. Australians and Kiwis have a proud international heritage as designers, manufacturers and aircrew.
Its a pity none of them ever got to be influential in government circles.
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Old 4th May 2003, 14:39
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Two very important names missing here – Lawrence Hargrave and Sir Lawrence Wackett.

Wackett could have many claims to fame, including being one of the developers of the synchronised machine gun in WW1 fighters and planning and actually flying the first aerial deliveries of ammunition and water to front line troops during the Allied advances of 1918.

But since we’re talking big picture Aviation here, possibly his most important contribution was that he was the man responsible for establishing an Australian aircraft industry in the 1930’s (despite serious opposition from the powers that be in ‘Mother England’ at the time, who saw Australia as a captive market for British aircraft sales). He oversaw the production of the Wirraway, Boomerang, Woomera, the CA6 Wackett Trainer, Mustang, CA15, and was instrumental in seeing the F86 Sabre selected over the Hunter in the mid fifties, (to howls of protest from ‘the home country’, but at least he put a Brit engine into it).

His autobiography, ‘Aircraft Pioneer’ http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...286623-0984710 should be a ‘must read’ for any Australian involved in Aviation, (if not at the price Amazon are asking for that particular copy!!!) and would (or should) not make comfortable reading for any Englishman. If Wackett had been an American, he’d quite probably be as well known today as Henry Ford, such was his contribution to Aviation and developing heavy industry in general in Australia.

As for Lawrence Victor Hargrave, he was one of the leading men of the time in kite and glider design (1890s and early 1900s). To quote Ian Debenham, from his ‘Hargrave – Saluting 150 Years of Australian Aviation History’:
The Wright brothers regarded him as one of the great pioneers of aviation even though they claimed that he made no contribution to their success. … Further `smoke screening' is provided by their need to protect their patents by secrecy and their long battle with Langley, Curtiss and the Smithsonian Institution about recognition of their achievement. Thus they became defensive about acknowledging any debts to anyone.

…the basic biplane structure with parallel wing leading and trailing edges of the successful Wright Flyer should owe some debt to Hargrave and his boxkite. … the Wright brother's 'Flyer' and Alberto Santos Dumont's '14bis', recognised as the first to achieve powered, controlled flight in Europe, owe nothing to the general layout of the Lilienthal gliders.
In my opinion Lilienthal proved that aviation was possible but fatal, Hargrave proved that it was possible and safe and thus Hargrave's stable boxkite structure was used as a basis for flying machines rather than the 'cranky' Lilienthal glider.
Hargrave was a major influence on the development of the first successful heavier-than-air craft to fly in Europe. Even to the casual observer Alberto Santos-Dumont's '14bis' is a collection of Hargrave box kites flying in tight formation. It is claimed, perhaps with some justification that the design of '14bis' was developed from the successful 1905 floatplane glider designed and built by Gabriel Voisin while an employee of the Syndicat d' Aviation.
Gabriel Voisin, with his brother, Charles, had built his first 'Hargrave', as he called his box-like structures, in 1898. He was astonished by its remarkable stability.
I’m also told that the ‘VH’ on Australian-registered aircraft comes from Hargraves’ initials, but that may not be so, as variations of the ‘V-’ are used in other ex-British Empire colonies (Hong Kong, Caymans?), no it might have in fact come from the UK.
These links are worth a look.

Lawrence Hargrave, see:

Sir Lawrence Wackett see:
http://users.chariot.net.au/~theburfs/ljwackett.html / http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse?SIMID=3td9hehbfp7b .
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Old 4th May 2003, 16:24
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What about the most spectacular pilots' strike in aviation history?
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Old 4th May 2003, 18:59
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We're talking about talent, not stupidity.

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Old 5th May 2003, 06:25
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How about Hargraves (sp) and his box kites? They had a lot of influence of the construction techniques of early flying machines according to my father - who ran the aviation part of the US Patent Office for a number of years.
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Old 5th May 2003, 09:56
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Another name to remember, Harold Gatty.

His contribution to navigation was enormous. Believe that after his round-the-world trip with Wiley Post, he remained in the United States and developed navigation techniques that were instrumental for naval "aviators" during WW2.
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Old 5th May 2003, 11:24
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Ixnay on the Victor Hargraves thing. Best explained in a CASA publication


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Old 5th May 2003, 16:01
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Thanks, Fris B. Fairing, it had that 'urban myth' aroma to it. Doesn't change the fact that he did have a major influence on aviation - he just 'blew' the business side of things, another common Aussie trait!
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Old 6th May 2003, 14:07
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Wing Commander Clive "Killer" Caldwell.

28 1/2 Aerial victories.

Most notable kill over Nth Africa. Spectacular gunnery on the stall according to witnesses.

Most notorious victory, again Nth Africa. Shot down by German ace. Was preparing to bail out of his Warhawk when the pompous German pulls up beside him in a moment of chivalry and to offer a salute to the vanquished.

In a most unsporting manner climbs back into the aircraft and shoots the german down.

No slouch of a business man either. A prosperous adventure running sly grog to thirsty Americans in the Sth Pacific toward wars end. Using Kittyhawks!
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Old 6th May 2003, 16:56
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Thumbs up

Nice one Cooda, it was not entirely "tongue-in-cheek"! To build such a device so long ago, with limited knowledge of aeronautics, and limited tools, was impressive.

And to develop one of Wiley's links see:

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