Friday, July 19, 2013

A Fairey Named G-AABY

When this article originally posted, I had little information on this aircraft beyound it being a Fairey IIIF, but one of my regular readers wrote and was able to provide some key details to "the rest of the story" here's the revised piece, with a big tip o' the hat to Luc!

Given the other aircraft in the background, this snapshot of G-AABY was
probably taken at one of the European airshows attended by the Fairey.
The lack of race number 15 painted on the side would suggest that this
was taken sometime before the plane left for Australia on October 20,
1934 in the MacRobertson Race.
So much of the Archive's collection is focused on American aircraft, I thought it would be a nice break to feature this shot of a British Fairey IIIF.

The F model was the most populous of the Fairey line, and first flew in 1926 and entered active service in 1927. The robust aircraft remained a frontline spotter and general transport aircraft until well into the 1930s, and was finally declared obsolete in 1940.

This particular airframe carried civilian registration G-AABY (c/n F1129) and was used as a Fairey factory demonstration aircraft, starting in 1929. After performing at airshows across Europe, G-AABY was then entered in the 1934 MacRobertson Trophy Air Race from London, England ot Melbourne, Australia, flying with a field of 19 other aircraft, including a Boeing 247 flown by Roscoe Turner. G-AABY was crewed by pilot Flight Officer C. D. Davies and navigator Lt. Cdr C. N. Hill. The race started on October 20, 1934, but unfortunately, the aircraft was forced to drop out of competition in Cyprus, and finally made it to Australia over a month later, on November 24. G-AABY was later sold and re-registered VH-UTT. It was subsequently used as a transport to and from the gold mines in Papua New Guinea.

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