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1927 Avro Avian 594 MK 4, 1770 TTSN. Only One Flying In The World. Australia's Oldest Flying Airplane.
Total Time Since New: 1,770 Hours
354 Hrs Since Restoration
Engines / Mods / Prop
Gypsy Mk II - 120 hp
354 Hrs Since Restoration
Sensinish Wooden Propeller
This Avro Avian 7083 is not the exact same Avian that Lady Mary Heath and Amelia Earhart owned. The Avian Amelia flew was an Avro 594 Avian III, SN: R3/AV/101, with a Cirrus Mk II engine of 84hp. It was originally registered to Lady Heath on October 29, 1927 and given the U.K. aircraft marking: G-EBUG. When Amelia brought it to the United States it was assigned “unlicensed aircraft identification mark” 7083. Aircraft not officially certificated in the United States were allowed to be flown as unlicensed but identified aircraft. This was very similar to our present Experimental and Experimental Exhibition categories.
Regrettably, Amelia’s original Avian has melted away, as have many old aircraft, being salvaged for parts one piece at a time, until there is nothing left. Amelia’s airplane finally slipped beneath the waves of history, cancelled off the official government records on August 11, 1936. To resurrect, if you will, Amelia’s Avian 7083 it was necessary to travel to Australia, there to locate a sister ship manufactured only a few weeks earlier back in 1927.
Australia’s Oldest Registered Flying Aircraft
G-AUFZ, serial number R3/AV/127, built in the fall of 1927, was originally an Avro 594 Avian Mk. II, with an 84hp Cirrus II engine. After being test flown by Bert Hinkler it was crated, shipped to Australia, and arrived late that year. Upon its arrival, Captain F.C.R. Jaques, a WWI Royal Flying Corps pilot who owned the Australian Avro franchise, took his new plane out of the box in Adelaide. Jaques was himself a pioneer of Australian aviation and used the Avro for demonstrations, barnstorming, and instruction. Over the years, two significant improvements were made to the G-AUFZ (changed to VH-UFZ in 1930). As a Mk. II, it had the weaker landing gear and was subsequently converted to a Mk. IV by strengthening the landing gear and wing root areas. A larger, more reliable Gipsy Mark II engine was also installed. While similar in appearance to the Genet II, the present Gipsy Mk II engine yields 120hp.
The airplane remained in Australia for the next 74 years until acquired by Greg Herrick in early 2001. At the time it left Australia, it was the oldest registered flying airplane in the country. Given the airplane’s long Australian history, even for its new owner, it was a day of mixed emotions. But the Avian was destined to recreate Amelia Earhart’s first record flight, yet it would not be this Avian’s first significant flight re-creation.
Before VH-UFZ left Australia, its then owner, Lang Kidby, took it on what even today is a very daring adventure. In 1998, Lang duplicated Hinkler’s incredible 11,000-mile flight of seven decades earlier, from England to Australia. When Greg heard that the plane might be available, he contacted Kidby who pointed out the illustrious history of Avians and their penchant for being involved in record setting flights by historically significant pilots. Being an admirer of Amelia Earhart, Greg was reminded again of her flight in Avro Avian 7083 and the idea struck him. Why not honor Amelia Earhart by duplicating her 1928 flight in Avro Avian 7083!
SPECIFICATIONS SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION UPON INSPECTION