registered in the USA as NC14267
to the Chicago Real Estate Loan and Trust Company
of Chicago, Illinois, USA, on July 30, 1935
Company president and businessman George F.
Harding who used it for three years as an executive
17 or 27 April 1938 it was
purchased by the American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth and
re-registered NR14267 for his
fourth and last Antarctic expedition in 1938/39.
Ellsworth had used an earlier Northrop Gamma on
previous expeditions in an ultimately successful attempt
to fly across Antarctica.
The Delta was stripped of internal cabin fittings and
auxiliary long-range fuel tanks were fitted.
The Ellsworth expedition left New York on 16 August 1938.
The Northrop was aboard
the expeditionís ship Wyatt Earp along
with a float equipped Aeronca (later VH-ACK).
Calling first in Sydney and then South Africa, they left
Capetown in October heading south.
In Antarctica the Northrop, fitted with skis, was craned
on to the ice of a long frozen fjord.
After a short test flight, Ellsworth set out on 11
January 1939 with Canadian pilot 'Red' Lymburner on a
single exploratory flight into the Antarctic interior.
The Wyatt Earp docked in
Australia at the end of the expedition,
The Commonwealth Government
purchased the ship and the two aircraft on board
in February 1939.
Stored in a hangar at RAAF
Richmond, alongside Kingsford Smith's Fokker F.VIIb
Southern Cross (another former
former polar explorer).
June 1939 taken out of storage and allocated to the
Department of Civil Aviation to assist in the task of
calibration of radio navigation aids.
Fown from Sydney/RAAF Richmond
to Melbourne/Essendon for a complete overhaul by
Australian National Airways.
Registered as VH-ADR on 16
August 1940 and a Certificate of Airworthiness for it
was issued in September.
It was intended to be used primarily for Lorenz radio
navigation aid range test work.
Registered VH-ADR 16/08/40 to 12/42 and was used
by DCA for checking navigational aids.
After being placed in storage between 1941 and
1942, it was briefly leased to the USAAF and loaned to
the RAAF for communications flights.
In December 1942, VH-ADR was impressed by the RAAF as
A61-1 in addition to retaining
its civil registration, and was issued to No 35 Sqn.
Six months later, the Delta was transferred to No 34 Sqn
and later to No 37 Sqn.
On September 30 1943, the aircraft swung on take-off,
apparently due to the collapse of the tail wheel strut.
The Delta was damaged beyond repair and was dismantled
In October 1943 the remains
were allotted to 2 Aircraft Depot, RAAF Richmond, for
conversion to components.
Though Ansett Airways sought to use her, there were
no replacement parts available
to make that feasible,
Stored damaged at RAAF Richmond for a year before
the remains were transferred to 2 Central Recovery Depot
and she was broken up.
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