January 23, 2017
The Drover was designed and built in the late 1940s by De Havilland at Bankstown, NSW. Only 20 of this type were built with the first having its maiden flight in 1948. Operators of this type were Qantas and TAA as passenger and cargo aircraft and the Department of Health. However their most renowned role was with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, serving as an air ambulance well into the1960s.
Eight aircraft survive today, however only three are known to be airworthy (all Mk-2s): VH-ADN c/n 5009, VH-AZS c/n 5018 and VH-DHM c/n 5020. The aircraft based at Bathurst and pictured above is in serviceable condition and is owned and operated by Panorama Airways.
Four Drovers are preserved as memorials or in museums; three Mk-3s (with Lycoming flat 4 engines), VH-FDR c/n 5006 and VH-FDS c/n 5007 at the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra and VH-FDC c/n 5013 at the Central Aviation Museum in Alice Springs. One Mk-2 as a memorial to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Mt. Isa, a composite of VH-DRD c/n 5010 and VH-AZN c/n 5017.
The De Havilland Aircraft DHA-3 Drover was produced to replace the De Havilland DH-84 Dragon then in widespread use in Australia, many by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The prototype first flew on 23 January 1948. VH-DHM, is the 20th and last production model and was produced in 1951.
VH-ADN was originally operated by Qantas as a passenger aircraft, then sold to the owners of Lindeman Island (QLD) who transferred hotel guests to and from the island. It was purchased by Panorama Airways in 1991.
VH-ADN is flown from Bathurst to the Avalon Airshow Bi-Annually and is on display for the general public. A flying display is also conducted during the week. If you are attending the airshow come on over and say hi to our team.
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