VH-EAT  (1)   Avro 691 Lancastrian 1                (c/n  1191)


                                          Immediately following the cessation of hostilities in 1945 the world's airlines were faced with a dire
                                          shortage of equipment with which to resume intercontinental services.  As an interim step, converted
                                          bombers were used.  One such was the Avro Lancastrian.  This variation of the Lancaster bomber
                                          was developed in Canada by Victory Aircraft of Toronto who stripped an Avro Lancaster Mk III
                                          of its guns and turrets, installed a pointed nose and faired out the tail.  Further refinements were later
                                          carried out by the parent company, Avro, and the result was a 13 seat airliner.   Qantas Empire Air-
                                          ways operated four of them on their London to Sydney route, an odyssey which took four days of
                                          hard travel.  Flight 8Q left Sydney at 12:30 hrs on a Tuesday and staggered into Heathrow Airport
                                          at 08:15 hrs on Friday morning, having had lengthy stops in Darwin, Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi,
                                          Jerusalem, and Valetta (Malta). Passengers were deaf for days afterwards.  However, it beat the nine
                                          days of travel that the BOAC Solents took from Poole in southern England to Sydney Harbour. I have
                                          lost the provenance of the above photograph., but from memory I believe this was taken at Norfolk
                                          Island whilst the airliner was making a proving flight, prior to opening up a regular Lancastrian service.
                                          If so, Phil Vabre advises that that would have been on 25 Sept 1947.  This aircraft was previously
                                          G-AGML and VF147 as a Lancastrian, and PD164 as a Lancaster bomber.    The lower shot is
                                          from the Geoff Goodall collection and shows VH-EAT at Mascot some time later, it having acquired
                                          a  Southern Cross jack on the fin and rudder in the meantime.  Looks like the Connies had already
                                          taken over the service by then judging by the billboard.