VH-DHA   (1)  DHA-3 Drover 1                            (c/n 5001)

                                  The Drover was an indigenous Australian design based loosely on the DH104 Dove of the parent
                                  company.    The three engined configuration was chosen as a way to absorb the large number of
                                  Gipsy Major engines on hand, rather than as a safety feature.  VH-DHA was the prototype aircraft.
                                  Production machines differed in that they had a window in the port side door.   After evaluation at the
                                  RAAF's Aircraft Research and Development Unit at Laverton, VH-DHA passed to Department of
                                  Civil Aviation ownership and should have been re-registered VH-CAU.  In the event, that did not
                                  happen and the aircraft spent its life as VH-DHA.   It was lost in a crash into the sea off Wewak,
                                  New Guinea in April of 1952.   The photo above is an official DHA image taken at Bankstown in
                                  January 1948 at the time of ts first flight (via the Geoff Goodall collection).   The grainy image below,
                                  from the John Oxley Library collection, shows the aircraft in Queensland circa 1949, while the photo
                                  at the foot of the page is from the CAHS collection and shows -DHA at Essendon circa 1952.