BEAGLE 206S-2 VH-UNL
MSN B.047
Prod. No. C23

 

 

QAM thanks Dr Russell Broadbent for this aircraft which was donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.

 



OCT65
The Charleville based Western Air Navigation Limited (Westernair) issued shares to Airfast Services Pty Ltd (owned by the Airfast group) to raise money to purchase additional aircraft, a Cessna 310 and a Piper Aztec - making Airfast the largest shareholder in this small public company. (Source: 1)
G-ATZR
   
02SEP66
Fitted with Rolls Royce Continental GTSIO-520C engines at the factory.
s/n 150522-6-C (port)
s/n 150524-6-C (stbd)
(Source: 9)
28SEP66
Registered G-ATZR. (Source: 2)
20OCT66
First flown. (Source: 9)
25NOV66
Stored at Castle Donington. (Source: 2)
31JAN67
Taken out of storage. (Source: 2)
23JUL67
Departed the UK on delivery to Beagle Aircraft Sales (Australasia), Mascot, NSW (part of the Airfast / Helicopter Utilities group). (Source: 2/9)
Total Time in the UK: 12:15 (Source: 9)
01NOV67
Fuel pump on the port engine was changed by A. Letelric, a LAME with MacRobertson Miller Airlines at an unstated location. (Source: 9)
The fuel pump was changed by MMA at Perth, WA. (Source: 4)
05NOV67
While engaged on a demonstration flight to the Warburton Range Mission in Western Australia, G-ATZR answered an RFDS emergency call 100 miles north of Kalgoorlie. The aircraft was being flown by former Qantas 707 Captain Hoddy Howse. (Source: 4)
19NOV67
G-ATZR visited Western Junction, Launceston, Tasmania. (Source: 15)
21NOV67
G-ATZR arrived at Hobart from Western Junction. (Source: 15)
03DEC67
Noted as G-ATZR at West Beach, Adelaide, SA. (Source: 10)
11DEC87
Flown on this date as G-ATZR. (Source: 4)
21DEC67
Struck off the UK Register. (Source: 8)
VH-UNL
   
16JAN68
Flown on this date as VH-UNL. (Source: 4)
19JAN68
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Helicopter Utilities Pty. Ltd for initial issue of Australian CofA. TT: 241:28 (Source: 9)
21JAN68
Noted as VH-UNL at the Mangalore Air Show. (Source: 10)
31JAN68
Registered VH-UNL to Beagle Aircraft (Australasia), Mascot, NSW. (Source: 5)
09MAY68
Flew from Norfolk Island to Auckland for a sales tour of N.Z. (Source: 3)
13MAY68
Noted at Wellington. (Source: 3)
16MAY68
Flew from Wellington to Christchurch. (Source: 3)
17MAY68
Flew from Christchurch to Wellington. (Source: 3)
31MAY68
Flew from Auckland to Norfolk Island. (Source: 3)
Also on Norfolk Island this day was an HS748 carrying HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who seemed more interested in VH-UNL than he was in the welcoming ceremony which had been arranged in his honour. The Duke sat inside VH-UNL chatting to the crew for about ten minutes. (Source: 4)
09NOV68
Registered to Group Air, Berwick, Vic. (Source: 5)
09NOV68
(Same day!) Registered to Beagle Aircraft (Australasia), Mascot, NSW. (Source: 5)
04JUN69
Ferried from the Airfast hangar at Mascot (Sydney) to the Westernair hangar at Eagle Farm (Brisbane) by Jim Rhodin and John Darcy Williams (Source: 13)
17JUL69
Began operating Westernair services from Brisbane to Kingaroy, Wondai and Gayndah (Flight E.58/9) and to Theodore and Springsure (Flight E.502/3). Also used on charters. (Source: 13)
26JUL69
Operated a Westernair service from Brisbane to Theodore and Springsure and return flown by Col Newlove. (Source: 6 who was also a passenger)
29AUG69
Noted at Eagle Farm, Brisbane in Western Air markings with silver iodide burners under the wing tips for cloud-seeding operations. (Source: 6)
01SEP69

Airfast sold all their shares in Westernair to Air Sales and Parts Pty Ltd, owned by the founders of Jetair Australia Limited. This included the Beagle 206 VH-UNL along with other aircraft. The share transaction took place at a time when Westernair were expanding their commuter routes. The Beagle operated:

Mon. Wed. Fri. Brisbane - Kingaroy - Wondai - Gayndah and return
Tue. Sat. Brisbane - Theodore - Springsure and return
Thu. Brisbane - Gayndah - Theodore - Springsure - Rockhampton

The company's Piper Aztec VH-WAB was used as a back-up aircraft as well as continuing previous charter activities. (Source: 1)

03SEP69
Operated Westernair's last passenger service before taking up cloud-seeding work. (Source: 13)
04SEP69
Log Book reopened at TT: 773:00 on sale to Western Air Navigation. (Air Sales & Parts Pty. Ltd. has been crossed out and Western Air Navigation substituted. (Source: 9)
05SEP69
Registered to Western Air Navigation Ltd, Hangar 3A, Brisbane Airport, Qld. (Source: 5)
08SEP69
Log Book entry by Air Express (Holdings) Ltd., Archerfield. Work included: "C.S.I.R.O. Cloud seeding equipment installed in accordance with Air Express Drawing AE 325" (Source: 9)

"This involved fitting a tank in the cabin to accommodate the silver iodide (AgI) seeding agent in acetone solution, and connecting it by copper tubing in the wings to burners under each wing tip. The operation was relatively simple involving an on/off switch at the tank and magnetos activated to ignite the solution in the burners. The result was a near-invisible flame that dispersed AgI nuclei into the atmosphere behind the aircraft." (Source: 11)
15SEP69
Cloud-seeding equipment was first tested at Eagle Farm. Later the same day the aircraft positioned to Rockhampton crewed by Arthur Tapp (CSIRO), Barry White (Qld. Dept of Primary Industries) and John Williams (Pilot). (Source:13)
15SEP69
The aircraft positioned to Rockhampton at the start of a three-month cloud-seeding contract to the Division of Development Planning and Soil Conservation of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries. The operation began at a time when conditions were unsuitable for seeding. "These far from optimal conditions were normal for that time of year, which is what the government had been advised when QDPI suggested a start later in the season." (Source: 11)
20SEP69
The aircraft returned to Brisbane for maintenance. (Source: 11)
24SEP69
The aircraft returned to Rockhampton to resume cloud-seeding. (Source: 11)
01OCT69
Operated its last cloud-seeding flight ex Rockhampton for this period. (Source: 13)
03OCT69
The aircraft returned to Brisbane. (Source: 11)
09OCT69
The aircraft departed Brisbane for seeding in the Toowoomba, Charleville and Roma areas. (Source: 11)
10OCT69
The aircraft returned to Brisbane for a 50 hourly inspection. (Source: 11)
11OCT69
Seeding resumed in the Longreach, Barcaldine, Millmerran, Warwick, Kingaroy, Moura and Theodore areas. (Source: 11)
21OCT69
The aircraft positioned to Longreach. (Source: 11)
27OCT69
Jetair commenced a daily Brisbane - Warwick - Stanthorpe service with their own Beech Queenair 65 VH-CMI and this aircraft, along with the Beagle and Aztec were the complete Westernair fleet based at Eagle Farm. (Source: 1)
31OCT69
The aircraft returned to Brisbane for a 100 hourly inspection. (Source: 11)
04NOV69
Seeding resumed in the Rockhampton and Longreach areas. (Source: 11)
21NOV69
The aircraft returned to Brisbane for maintenance. (Source: 11)
27NOV69
The aircraft positioned to Longreach. (Source: 11)
01DEC69
The aircraft was unserviceable (port propellor and artificial horizon) at Longreach awaiting spares. Maintenance was performed in the original QANTAS hangar. (Source: 11)
07DEC69
Seeding resumed between Emerald and Roma. (Source: 11)
11DEC69
Good seeding conditions were experienced in the Longreach, Muttaburra, Barcaldine and Winton areas. (Source: 11)
14DEC69
The aircraft returned to Brisbane at the conclusion of the cloud-seeding contract.

"Out of a total of 169 hours flying, 38 hours and 11 minutes were seeding. The most concentrated phase was in the last week at the start of the wet season. The operation stopped when there was the best chance of adding significantly to rainfall and boosting Queensland's water storages. Barry White prepared a feasibility study for a follow-on operation/experiment at a modest cost of $72,000, but the rains had returned and dissolved the last vestiges of political interest." (Source: 11)
29DEC69
The aircraft resumed Reg 203 (commuter) services ex Eagle Farm as a backup aircraft to Queenair VH-CMI. (Source: 13)
08JAN70
A concession of 10 hours granted on the maintenance release due to flight program and Aztec VH-WAB undergoing overhaul. (Source: 9)
12JAN70
TT: 1017:25 (Source: 9)
18JAN70
Noted at Eagle Farm, Brisbane in Western Air markings but without silver iodide burners. (Source: 6)
05FEB70
Aircraft had flown an additional 92 hours since 12JAN70. (Source: 9)
21APR70
Jetair DC-3 VH-TAI was moved to Eagle Farm and took over all the former Westernair routes. (Source: 1)
24APR70
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Hawker de Havilland (presumably Bankstown) TT: 1109:25 (Source: 9)
12MAY70
Jetair applied to DCA to add Beech Twin Bonanza and Piper Aztec to its licence to replace the Beagle 206 which was sent to Bankstown for sale by Jetairsales Australia. (Source: 1)
VH-UNL was acquired by Air Sales & Parts Pty Ltd. (a Jetair associate company). (Source: 1)
30JUN70
Western Air Navigation Ltd. was purchased by Jetair Australia Ltd. (Source: 1)
27NOV70
Jetair ceased operations. (Source: 1)
13DEC70
Noted at Mascot stored with the Jetair fleet. (Source: 6)
15JAN71
Registered to Welch Bros. (Plant) Pty., Waverton, NSW. (Source: 5)
(Note: Company name is spelt Welch but pronounced Welsh which leads to frequent misspellings).
03FEB71
Received into workshop of Kingsford Smith Flying Service Pty. Ltd. at Bankstown. (Source: 9)
05MAR71
Test flown for 1 hour on a permit to fly after 100 hourly and major inspection by Kingsford Smith Flying Service Pty. Ltd. for Welch Bros (Plant) Pty. Ltd. TT: 1145:25 (Source: 9)
06MAR71
Test flown for 1 hour on a permit to fly after 100 hourly and major inspection by Kingsford Smith Flying Service Pty. Ltd. for Welch Bros (Plant) Pty. Ltd. TT: 1146:25 (Source: 9)
10MAR71
Maintenance Release issued by Kingsford Smith Flying Service Pty. Ltd. (Source: 9)
19MAR71
John D. Williams was engaged as pilot for Welch Bros. (Source: 13)
24OCT71
The aircraft returned to Bankstown with the port propellor feathered. The undercarriage failed to indicate down during the approach to runway 11C and the pilot elected to conduct a go-around. Adequate airspeed could not be maintained on this circuit and the aircraft was landed at an angle to runway 11C with the undercarriage retracted. The pilot (I. Hutchinson) received minor injuries but the 7 passengers were uninjured. (Source: 12)
24OCT71
The aircraft had flown 96:45 since 10MAR71. TT: 1243:00 (Source: 9)
31DEC71
By this time John Williams had 238 hours total on VH-UNL. (Source: 13)
09FEB72
Two new props fitted by Hawker de Havilland, Bankstown. (Source: 9)
17FEB72
Test flight 0:30 after repairs. (Source: 9)
18FEB72
Test flight 2:00 after repairs. (Source: 9)
19FEB72
Photographed taxying at Bankstown. (Source: 6)
20FEB72
Departed Mascot for Charleville and Mount Isa on the first leg of a trip to Japan with several members of the Welch family. "With 7 POB plus baggage and the life raft, the aircraft was at max weight (7499 lbs) on every take-off. Single engine performance at gross weight was worse than the book figures but thankfully she never missed a beat. When I was complaining about how the Beagle full of Welches needed the curvature of the Earth to get off, Leigh Welch said; 'We like our Winston Spencer Beagle, thank you pilot'." (Source: 13)
21FEB72
Mount Isa - Katherine - Darwin. (Source: 13)
22FEB72
Darwin - Baucau (East Timor). (Source: 13)
26FEB72
Baucau - Ambon - Menado (Celebes). Blew a starter motor on the right hand engine at Menado. (Source: 13)
27FEB72
Menado - Davao - Manila. The right hand engine was started by swinging the prop! (Source: 13)
29FEB72
Manila - Laoag - Taipei. A Qantas engineer at Manila took the unserviceable starter motor to a local auto electrician who had it repaired in a day. (Source: 13)
01MAR72
Taipei - Amami - Kagoshima. (Source: 13)
14MAR72
Kagoshima - Amami - Taipei. (Source: 13)
16MAR72
Taipei - Hong Kong. (Source: 13)
18MAR72
Hong Kong - Manila. (Source: 13)
19MAR72
Manila - Davao. (Source: 13)
20MAR72
Davao - Ambon - Darwin. (Source: 13)
21MAR72
Darwin - Tennant Creek - Ayer's Rock - Leigh Creek. (Source: 13)
22MAR72
Leigh Creek - Broken Hill - Cobar - Orange - Sydney. Total time for the trip: 68 hrs 25 mins. (Source: 13)
31MAR72
Sydney - Orange. This was John Williams' last flight for Welch Bros and his last flight in VH-UNL. (Source: 13)
Note: This flight does not appear in the aircraft log book (see below).
02JUN72
Flew for 3:10. First flight since 22MAR72 thence flown regularly until 24JUN72. (see above). (Source: 9)
02JUL72
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Hazelton Air Services Pty. Ltd. TT:1344:30. Thence flown every month until DEC75. (Source: 9)
23MAR74
Test flown after 100 hourly and major inspection by Barrier Air Taxis. TT: 1546:27 (Source: 9)
15DEC74
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Welch Bros. TT: 1646:30 (Source: 9)
05MAR75
Arrived Brisbane from Norfolk Island. (Source: 6)
06JUL75
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Welch Bros. TT: 1751:14 (Source: 9)
DEC75
Not flown. (Source: 9)
JAN76
Not flown. (Source: 9)
FEB76
Not flown. (Source: 9)
MAR76
Flying resumed, thence flown every month until JUL76. (Source: 9)
12JUL76
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Welch Bros. TT: 1854:21 (Source: 9)
10JAN77
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Welch Bros. TT: 1954:21 (Source: 9)
05APR77
Withdrawn from use. (Source: 5)
08NOV77
Registered to Welch Bros. (Plant) Pty., Waverton, NSW. (Source: 5)
10NOV77
A 100 hourly and major inspection performed by Barrier Air Taxis Service Pty. Ltd. TT: 1971:03 (Source: 9)
06JAN79
Damaged at Mascot, NSW. (Source: 5)
MAY79
Right hand engine (s/n 150524-6-C) was removed. (Source: 9)
19DEC79
Right hand engine (s/n 150745-6-C) was fitted. (Source: 9)
06MAR80
Maintenance Release issued for a ferry flight from Mascot to Bankstown with the gear locked down. TT: 2014:04 (Source: 9)
03APR80
Registered to Surfers Paradise Flying Services (Erik Nielson), Carrara, Qld. (Source: 5)
Maintenance Release issued for a ferry flight from Bankstown to Archerfield (2:30) TT: 2014:29 (Source: 9)
14OCT80
A major inspection was performed by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Archerfield. The aircraft was repainted. TT: 2016:59 (Source: 9)
03NOV81
A periodic inspection was performed by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Archerfield. TT: 2057:39 (Source: 9)
08NOV82
Withdrawn from use. (Source: 5)
28APR83
A major inspection was performed by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Archerfield. TT: 2070:30 (Source: 9)
29APR83
Registered to Erik Nielson, Carrara, Qld. (Source: 5)
25MAY84
Withdrawn from use. (Source: 5)
16AUG85
Permit to Fly issued by Coffs Aero Maintenance for a ferry flight from Surfers Paradise to Coffs Harbour. TT: 2070:30 (Source: 9)
05DEC85
A major inspection and CofA renewal was performed by Coffs Aero Maintenance. The aircraft was stripped and repainted. TT: 2072:00 (Source: 9)
19DEC85
Registered to Michael Broadbent, Beenleigh, Qld. (Source: 5)
23DEC85
Registered to Montchel Pty Ltd, Southport, Qld. (Source: 5)
Montchel traded as Surfers Paradise Flying Services and Surf Air. (Source: 9)
08MAR86
Test flown (radio) at Eagle Farm, Brisbane. (Source: 9)
21DEC86
Periodic inspection performed by Montchel Pty. Ltd. TT: 2149:25 (Source: 9)
23DEC86
Flew from Norfolk Island to Auckland. (Source: 3)
02JAN87
Flew from Auckland to Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island. (Source: 3)
27OCT87
Tom Claffey did an endorsement on VH-UNL at Coolangatta under training by Ted Shaw (former Chief Pilot with de Havilland Australia). Subsequently he made a few short flights between Coolangatta, Surfers Gardens and Lismore. (Source: 14)
15-18NOV87
Tom Claffey did a charter to Birdsville with a Japanese film crew. The charter terminated at Sydney KSA Airport. This trip highlighted some issues with a turbocharger and oil consumption so the aircraft was ferried to Lismore for maintenance. Tom Claffey joined Qantas in January 1988 and did not fly VH-UNL again. (Source: 14)
22DEC87
A periodic inspection was performed by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Archerfield. TT: 2232:46 (Source: 9)
26AUG88
Major avionics work by Aerotronics at Archerfield. (Source: 9)
22OCT88
A 100 hourly inspection was performed by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Archerfield. TT: 2330:00 (Source: 9)
07FEB89
Damaged at Coffs Harbour, NSW. (Source: 5)
Incident was a right hand wheel up landing. (Source: 9)
20AUG89
Ferry flight from Coffs Harbour to Lismore after repairs to right hand engine and prop and temporary airframe repairs. (Source: 9)
24NOV89
A 100 hourly inspection was performed in conjunction with airframe repairs by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Lismore. The right hand engine was bulk stripped and an overhauled prop fitted. TT: 2362:04 (Source: 9)
15JUN90
Registered to Michael Broadbent, Southport, Qld. (Source: 5)
14OCT91
Withdrawn from use. (Source: 5)
28JUL03
Registration VH-UNL was allocated to a Piper PA-28-151 (c/n 28-7415422) owned by the Australian Air League. (Source: 7)
VH-UNI
   
23JAN04
Registered VH-UNI to Michael Broadbent, Southport, Qld. (Source: 5)
While the aircraft was off the register, VH-UNL was reallocated to a PA-28-151 (see above).
21JUN04
The aircraft was repainted as VH-UNI in preparation for re-issue of CofA. TT: 2362:06 (Source: 9)
11FEB06
Aircraft inspected by Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. for issue of a ferry permit. TT: 2362:06 (Source: 9)
24FEB06
Special flight permit (pilot only, day VFR) issued for flight near Lismore and from Lismore to Archerfield avoiding built-up areas. (Source: 9)
AUG06
Aircraft Engineers Associates Pty. Ltd. at Archerfield carried out a detailed inspection for restoration to flying condition. During this work, the wing leading edges were taken off to permit the removal of "excess wiring from cloud seeding operations".
30OCT06
Main spar corrosion (lower LH spar cap) inspected at Archerfield by Aeronautical Design Service of Bundaberg. "The damage, even though it is on primary structure is not severe, is capable of being reworked so that the aircraft can be placed back into service."
17NOV07
Donated to QAM by Dr Russell Broadbent.
05JAN08
Final load arrived at QAM Caloundra. The aircraft had been dismantled at Archerfield during the previous week.
12JAN08
The wings were reattached and the aircraft was towed into Hangar 2.
09FEB08
The tail surfaces were reattached.
VH-UNL
   
18APR09
In a ceremony at the QAM, the aircraft was unveiled after having been repainted with its original Australian registration VH-UNL. The unveiling was performed by QAM Patron Mr. Allan Vial DFC, OAM, OPR (Pol). who was Sales Director of Airfast Pty Ltd when that company imported VH-UNL forty-two years ago.

 

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly

 

Other Reading
 
 

 



 


                 

SOURCES
1
Roger McDonald (specialist on Australian third level airlines)
2
Midland Counties Aviation Research Group 1974, Beagle Aircraft a Production History, Midland Counties Publications, England.
3
Ron Killick (specialiast on Trans-Tasman aircraft movements)
4
Allan Vial, DFC, OAM, OPR [Pol], Marketing Manager for HUPL (Airfast) who were Beagle agents at the time. Allan Vial is Patron of QAM.
5
Tony Arbon (AustAirData)
6
Ron Cuskelly
7
CASA
8
Appleton , John 1986, The Civil Aircraft Registers of Great Britain 1919-1985, The Aviation Hobby Shop, West Drayton.
9
Aircraft Log Book (1 of 1) and Radio Log Book.
10
Nigel Daw, West Beach Aviation Group.
11
Tony Wills, a Cloud Seeding Officer on VH-UNL during 1969.
12
CASA
13
John Darcy Williams who flew VH-UNL with Westernair and Welch Bros.
14
Log Book of Tom Claffey
15
Australian Air Log Vol 3 No 11 November 1967 p. 131

 

ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
20
07APR14
Added movements in Tasmania in NOV67. (Source: 15)
19
05FEB13
Added a flight Norfolk Island-Brisbane on 05MAR75 (Source: 6)
18
01AUG12
Added an image of VH-UNL in the yellow livery.
17
22FEB12
Added details of several flights in late 1987. Thanks to Tom Claffey (Source: 14)
16
07JAN10
Added the Westernair timetable dated 1 June 1969 and also added the Westernair logo.
15
10DEC09
Added significantly to the history thanks to John D. Williams who flew the aircraft with Westernair and Welch Bros. (Source: 13)
14
21APR08
The aircraft is now displayed with its original Australian registration VH-UNL. Added three images of the unveiling ceremony.
13
10APR08
Added an image of VH-UNL in the tan and orange colour scheme. Thanks to David Thollar.
12
05MAR08
Added an image of G-ATZR prior to delivery ex the Beagle factory. The photo comes from The Masefield Collection at Brooklands Museum.
11
24FEB08
Added four new images of the aeroplane's Regal and Vice-Regal connections thanks to Allan Vial. Also added four new images, including one of the aircraft as G-ATZR, thanks to Tony Clarke.
10
22FEB08
Added references to Surfers Paradise Flying Services and Surf Air.
9
17FEB08
Added details of belly landing at Bankstown on 24OCT71.
8
02FEB08
Added significantly to the history of the cloud-seeding operation thanks to Tony Wills who was a Cloud Seeding Officer on the aircraft. These new entries are appended "Source: 11"
7
27JAN08
Added significantly to the history after access to the aircraft log books. These new entries are appended "Source: 9"
6
14JAN08
Added date of reassembly at Caloundra and reference to an emergency flight on 05NOV67.
5
06JAN08
Added date of arrival at Caloundra.
4
29DEC07
Added date of donation to QAM.
3
29NOV07
Major update with input from Tony Arbon (AustAirData), Allan Vial and Roger McDonald.
2
23NOV07
Added details of the 1968 sales tour of N.Z. thanks to Ron Killick.
1
13NOV07
Original issue.