VH-AES. Douglas C-47-DL. c/n 6021. Was also registered as: VH-SBA.

 

Construction completed at the Douglas Santa Monica plant, California - November 06, 1942

Built as a Douglas C-47-DL

Allocated the U. S. serial number 41-18660 and delivered to the U. S. Army Air Force

Assigned to 374 Troop Carrier Squadron, United States 5th Air Force

Aircraft was named 'Shanghai Lil'

Arrived Brisbane (Archerfield) on delivery to 374 Squadron - January 1943

During the war it used the radio callsign 'VHCJC'

Deemed to be surplus to USAAF requirements and withdrawn from operations - August 1944

Aircraft had flown 1,716 hours 35 minutes

Sold to the Commonwealth of Australia - August 25, 1944

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-AES - September 04, 1944

Registered to the Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne

Loaned to Australian National Airways Pty Ltd and operated as a freighter

Substantially damaged at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport when it overran the manoeuvring area - November 05, 1944

This accident was due to the elevator lock not being removed before the aircraft left the apron

Repaired and converted to a passenger configuration

Aircraft was based at Brisbane (Archerfield) and was deployed on services to Cairns - July 1945

Due to operational requirements the aircraft was relocated to Melbourne (Essendon)

Aircraft had flown 6,793 hours 37 minutes - May 25, 1946

Ownership transferred to Trans-Australia Airlines - June 30, 1946

Registered to Australian National Airlines Commission - July 09, 1946

Aircraft had flown 7,237 hours by this date

Aircraft was named 'Hawdon'

Flew the inaugural Trans-Australia Airlines service from Melbourne (Laverton) - Sydney - September 09, 1946

Flight crew: Captains Hepburn and Nickels

Aircraft had flown 12, 575 hours - October 31, 1948

Withdrawn from use and stored pending sale having flown 37,822 hours - June 26, 1959

As the aircraft was not sold it was prepared to return to sevice for operations in Papua New Guinea - June 1960

Aircraft converted to seat 28 passengers

Aircraft was renamed 'Moresby'

Departed Melbourne (Essendon) for Lae in the T.A.A. Sunbird Services livery - August 12, 1960

Reregistered as VH-SBA - December 08, 1960

Ferried Lae - Brisbane for overhaul and repaint into the standard T.A.A. 'mainland' livery - April 1968

Withdarwn from service and ferried Lae - Brisbane (Eagle Farm) for storage - June 07, 1970

Aircraft had now flown 49,571 hours

A management decision was made to reactive the aircraft to commemorate the airline's 25th Anniversary - June 1971

Following an overhaul at Brisbane it was ferried Brisbane - Sydney - Melbourne in the original livery - August 19, 1971

Reregistered as 'VH-AES' for the commemorative flight - September 08, 1971

This dispensation was made by D.C.A. as the registration 'VH-AES' was already carried on another aircraft

Ferried Melbourne (Tullamarine) - Melbourne (Laverton) for the re-enactment - September 09, 1971

Flight crew: Captains K. Fox, T. Harrison

Ferried Melbourne (Laverton) - Sydney (Kingsford Smith) on the re-enactment flight - September 09, 1971

At Sydney the aircraft was placed alongside the T.A.A. Douglas DC-9-31 VH-TJT 'Hawdon'

Ferried Sydney (Kingsford Smith) - Melbourne (Tullamarine) for storage - September 10, 1971

Reregistered VH-SBA - October 22, 1971

Ferried Melbourne (Tullamarine) - Brisbane for overhaul and return to service - October 26, 1971

Ferried Brisbane - Lae and returned to passenger service - January 07, 1972

Aircraft was now named 'Wewak'

Ferried Lae - Brisbane and withdrawn from service - July 19, 1973

Ferried Brisbane - Tamworth - Wagga Wagga - Melbourne (Tullamarine) - July 24, 1973

This was its final flight and on arrival at Melbourne (13:21 local) it had flown a total of 51,182 hours

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - December 31, 1974

The aircraft remained in open storage at the T.A.A. Maintenance Base for six years awaiting its fate

It was decided to place the aircraft on public display outside the Melbourne passenger terminal

Work commenced to restored it to the original Trans Australia Airlines livery at Melbourne (Tullamarine) - July 1979

The fuselage minus the wings was towed to the VIP car parking area near the Terminal - December 10, 1979

Moved to the display position the wings were then re-attached - December 11, 1979

Suspended 5 metres above the ground in front of Melbourne (Tullamarine) Passenger Terminal - December 13, 1979

Remained as a static display until mid 1987

Due to its deteriorating condition it was decided to remove it from its display position and return to storage

The 'Hawdon Restoration Committee' was formed with the view of returning the aircraft to flying status

'Hawdon Operations Limited' was formed and work commenced on the restoration project - January 1988

Over the next nine months many volunteers and retired staff worked to restore it to flying condition

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-AES - September 06, 1988

Registered to Hawdon Operations Ltd, Spring Hill, Queensland

Test flown at Melbourne (Captain T. D. Wiltshire) - September 09, 1988

A commemorative flight was undertaken where six of the original passengers were guests - September 09, 1988

Participated in the 'Around Australia Bicentennial Air Race' - September 1988

Since returning to flying status it has been a welcomed attraction at airshows around the country

Used in the film 'Half A World Away' to represent the K. L .M. DC-2 PH-AJU 'Uiver' - 1990

Celebrated its 'Golden Jubilee' - November 06, 1992

Ferried Melbourne (Tullamarine) - Temora - Albion Park - June 11, 2016

 

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Laverton Airport, September 09, 1946. This was the airline's inaugural flight.

(N. Louis Collection Copyright Image 0251-412.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the revised livery at Melbourne Essendon Airport, August 1959.

(N. Louis Collection Copyright Image 0251-413.)

VH-AES. TAA Sunbird Services - 'Hawdon' in the standard livery at Melbourne Essendon Airport, August 1960.

(B. Colledge Copyright Image 0250-296.)

VH-SBA. TAA Sunbird Services - 'Hawdon' in the standard livery at Lae Airport, date unknown.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-360.)

VH-SBA. TAA Sunbird Services - 'Hawdon' in the standard livery at Rabaul Airport, date unknown.

(N. Louis Collection Copyright Image 0251-418.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Laverton Airport, September 09, 1971. This was the re-enactment of the airline's inaugural flight.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-415.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Laverton Airport, September 09, 1971. This was the re-enactment of the airline's inaugural flight.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-414.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery near Melbourne Laverton Airport, September 09, 1971. This was the re-enactment of the airline's inaugural flight.

(N. Louis Collection Copyright Image 0251-427.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, September 09, 1971. This was the re-enactment of the airline's inaugural flight.

(G. Wilkes Copyright Image 0250-730.)

VH-SBA. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Brisbane Airport, October 1971.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-688.)

VH-SBA. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Brisbane Airport, October 1971.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-344.)

VH-SBA. TAA Airlines of New Guinea - in the final livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, May 1975.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-687.)

VH-SBA. TAA - in the final livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 20, 1978.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-726.)

VH-SBA. TAA - in the final livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 20, 1978.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-725.)

VH-SBA. TAA - in the final livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 20, 1978.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-802.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original style livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, December 13, 1979. The aircraft is being prepared to be lifted into place for display outside the TAA Passenger Terminal.

(N. Louis Collection Copyright Image 0251-416.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original style livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 12, 1980.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-727.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original style livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 12, 1980.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-728.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original style livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 12, 1980.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0250-729.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original style livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, June 1987.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-679.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original style livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, June 1987.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-008.)

VH-AES. K.L.M. Royal Dutch Air Lines - in the all-metal livery to represent the K.L.M. Douglas DC-2 'PH-AJU' for a movie at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, May 1990.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-673.)

VH-AES. K.L.M. Royal Dutch Air Lines - in the all-metal livery to represent the K.L.M. Douglas DC-2 'PH-AJU' for a movie at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, May 03, 1990.

(E. D. Daw Copyright Image 0251-269.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, December 1991.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 0251-456.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Brisbane Airport, April 2004.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-499.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Avalon Airport, February 27, 2013.

(G. Canciani Copyright Image 0251-669.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Avalon Airport, March 03, 2013.

(G. Canciani Copyright Image 0251-670.)

VH-AES. Trans Australia Airlines - 'Hawdon' in the original livery at Melbourne Avalon Airport, March 03, 2013.

(G. Canciani Copyright Image 0251-671.)