Closely watched planes 3

In Towns I’ve stayed in 2 — Dorrigo I mentioned the Fokker Friendship, and in the late 60s and 70s I certainly did fly in these winged buses on a number of occasions. The most interesting flight was from Dubbo in 1975 when the plane made it back to Sydney on one engine, the port engine having given up the ghost somewhere around Lithgow.

I see there is one of these still in service in Australia, doing special things for the Navy:


F27 Friendship (1976 model) formerly of East-West Airlines. More info on picture link.

But that is positively modern! Why it even has turboprops!

Let’s go back to before the jet age. There was of course the Douglas DC3, the workhorse the F27 replaced. However, less well known, but still a common sight in the early 1950s, was the Convair:


The Convair CV-240 was an American airliner produced by Convair from 1947 to 1956. TAA used them.

I was sometimes rewarded with the sight of one of the REALLY BIG airliners with FOUR engines! At first these were mainly Douglas DC4 Skymasters which first flew — but not in Australia — as early as 1938, when they must have been very advanced indeed. However, the most beautiful plane ever made, some think, soon became the one to spot:

Lockheed Constellation 749 VH-EAB

Lockheed Constellation: this one has an addition for freight underneath. QANTAS purchased four in 1946.

Much more glamorous though — and amazingly noisy if you were nearby when one was taking off — was the Super Constellation. The one below seen flying over Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport exactly fifty years ago was acquired by Qantas on 26 November 1955. The picture links to more information.

Lockheed Constellation

We used to watch out for these whenever we travelled to the city. At that time the line near Tempe offered a pretty good view of the airport. Just look at the size of the 1958 version of Kingsford Smith by the way! What changes have there been there!