Hans Christian Andersen seated in the cockpit of the second powered aircraft built by the Australian pioneering aviator John Robertson Duigan. John Duigan and his bother Reginald built the aircraft at Ivanhoe, Victoria, in 1912-1913, basing its design on an Avro biplane that Duigan had previously owned in England, with some modifications to the wings and undercarriage.

After being damaged in a test flight at Keilor Plains the biplane, minus its original engine, was sold to Hans Christian Anderson, a Geelong motor garage owner in 1915. Andersen fitted it with a Wright Model 'A' Model 30 horsepower 4-cylinder engine built under licence by Bariquand & Marré of Paris in 1909, shown in this image. Andersen flew the biplane from the Belmont Common on several occassions until he crashed the plane at Lovely Banks.

The engine is believed to be from the first plane flown in Australia, an imported Wright Flyer, in which Colin Defries first took to the air at Victoria Park Racecourse, Sydney, on 9 December 1909. The engine is now owned by Museum Victoria.

Description of Content

Hans Christian Andersen seated in the cockpit of an Avro-Type Biplane built by John Robertson Duigan at Ivanhoe, Victoria, in 1912-1913. The plane is fitted with both landing skids and pnuematic-tyrred wire-spoked wheels. A group of six men are standing behind the plane. The photograph was probably taken at Belmont Common, Geelong, from where Andersen made several flights with the plane in 1915-1916.

Physical Description

Black & white photograph copied from an original photographic print.

More Information