Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

RAAF A8 & A10 De Havilland D.H.50A

Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search
Hosted by:
Integrity Technical Solutions

De Havilland D.H.50A 
Point Cook 1923
Photo via Ken Rowland


D.H.50A Image Gallery

Aircraft Serial C/N Aircraft History

(RAAF Series 1 Serial)

134 Ordered in 1925 afer G-AUAB (C/N 106 and later VH-AUB/A10-1) selected by the Controller of Civil Aviation in 1924,
The original intention was to allocate the aircraft for use by the Governor-General but instead it was moslty utilised for long range survey work,
Delivered 29/04/26,
11/09/26 Tested at Point Cook,

Used by Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams on a 10,000 miles Defence Survey of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in 1926,
25/09/26 Left Point Cook in seaplane configuration with the then Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Group Captain R. Williams, to carry out a Defence Survey of the South-West Pacific.
7/12/26 Returned having flown 10,000 miles through New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
1927 Configured as a landplane and flown by Williams on a reconnaissance flight around Australia. Two DH 9s accompanied the DH 50A, and between July and September, the three de Havilland aircraft covered almost 13,000 miles.
1929 Written off in crash.
Became Instructional Airframe No.2 28/10/40.

De Havilland D.H.50A 
Photo via Ken Rowland De Havilland D.H.50A 
Point Cook 1923
Photo via Ken Rowland D.H.50A A8-1 in Darwin Fannie Bay - Northern Territory Library via Batman  DH.50A No serial visible but presumed to be A8-1 via Brendan Cowan


(RAAF Series 2 Serial)

106 1924 Built in the U.K. by De havilland at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, Middlesex, UK,  with a 230hp Siddeley Puma installed and shipped to Australia,
Registered G-AUAB 31/07/24 to the Civil Aviation Branch (Certificate of Registration number 99).
08/12/24 Participated the NSW Aerial Derby at RAAF Richmond where it competed in the ‘hors concours’ in N.S.W. Aerial Derby and carrying four passengers came an unofficial second.
31/08/29 With the introduction of national prefixes in 1928/29 G-AUAB became VH-UAB until 07/05/1931 when it was transfered to the RAAF.
07/05/31 Struck of Register.
07/05/31 to 10/05/32 Reportedly operated on loan by the RAAF but it is unclear whether the serial A10-1 was allocated at this time or on its later RAAF impressment in 1942, No photographic evidence has come to light with the aircraft marked as A10-1 and it may have retained its VH-UAB markings and registration during this period, (one other source quotes a serial of A8-2 for this period which is logical but unproven),
11/05/32 Registered VH-UAB to the Civil Aviation Branch.
12/05/32 Registered VH-UAB to O.B."Pat"Hall, H.G.Puris and J.T."Tommy"Petherbridge of Sydney, NSW,
25/11/32 Registered VH-UAB O.B.Hall and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith (register amended 22 March 1933) and was named Southern Cross Midget,
20/08/36 to 27/11/40 Registered VH-UAB, Various Owners inluding H.G.Purvis & J.C.Carpenter of Sydney, NSW, then Emily.R.Harris of Newcastle, NSW and then K.R.M.Farmer of Malvern, Victoria,
27/12/40 to 26/05/43 Registered VH-AUB to F.T. "Tommy" O’Dea of Port Moresby, New Guinea.
05/11/42 Chartered by the Department of Civil Aviation on behalf of the Department of Air for use as an air ambulance in New Guinea.
The Puma engine was removed and replaced a Pratt & Whitney Wasp C of 450 h.p in 1942 at Essendon,
19/11/42 Test Flight by Arthur Affleck,
A long-range fuel tank was installed in the cabin to allow longer stretches to be flown,
23/11/42 Ready to depart Essendon for New Guinea,
23/11/42 Impressed by the RAAF as A10-1 (Was not struck off the Civil Register until 26/05/43),
23/11/42 Ferried in the evening to Wagga piloted by Arthur Affleck with D.C.A. engineer Harry Moss as passenger.
Continued north along the eastern coast until arrival at Horn Island and then across Torres Strait to a landing at the Kerema base of Sqn.Ldr. A.A.N.D. 'Jerry' Pentland. The modified aircraft landed on the beach, but when turning to clear the area, tipped on its nose in the soft sand and damaged the propellor. This was fixed by local engineering, and the aircraft flown on to Port Moresby.
By the time that the aircraft was delivered, the intended role of evacuation work had been superseded.
The aircraft
was further modified, this time to be used as a fuel tanker. Max Minahan, the Guinea Airways senior engineer, fitted a Kittyhawk belly-tank under the fuselage and this, combined with the long-rang tank in the cabin, allowed the aircraft to carry a ton of fuel as cargo.
1943 Withdrawn from use?
1944 Struck off RAAF Charge.

De-Havilland-DH50-G-AUAB-Stephen-Barnham-625  DH50 G-AUAB side

De Havilland DH 50 biplane VH-UAB in flight over Sydney, 1930 (NLA vn3723732)  De Havilland DH 50, Southern Cross Midget, VH-UAB, flown by pilot Tom Pethybridge in welcoming Smithy to Sydney, 14 October, 1933 (NLA vn3723089)  The Southern Cross Midget (VH-UAB), a de Havilland DH.50 biplane, over South Head, Sydney, Saturday 14 October 1933 (NLA vn3723522)

De Havilland D.H.50A 
A10-1  as G AUAB 
Photo via Ken Rowland  D.H.50 VH-UAB (Formerly G-AUAB and later A10-1)at Wau (FF-Smith-Hopton)


The Authors of this page are Darren Crick and Brendan Cowan

Source: RAAF Museum Web Site, CASA Aircraft Resords, National Archives, , ,,

Emails: Stig Jarlevik, Batman,

Updated 08 August 2014


It is our policy to only show historical events, no current operational information will be displayed on this website.
 "The ADF-Serials team give permission to use the content of this page, excluding images, providing that it contains an acknowledgement to the adf-serials team and any other listed sources."