VH-FAD  (1)  Lockheed 18-07 Lodestar                        (c/.n 18-2090)


                                  The rare shot above was unearthed in 2009 by David Vincent in an antiques/collectibles shop in
                                  Adelaide!  It depicts the ex-BOAC Lodestar G-AGBU "Lowestoft" (used on the airline's war-
                                  time African services) and sold in 1947 (for eight and a half thousand quid) to Warren Penny, an
                                  Australian entrepreneur who operated as Intercontinental Air Tours and was involved in transport-
                                  ing migrants from Europe (mainly Italy) to Australia immediately after WW II.   BOAC had ferried
                                  the aircraft to Penny, who was in the UK at the time, and  he applied for Australian registration for
                                  it at Australia House in the Strand, London.  The marking VH-BKH was reserved, but, in the event,
                                  never officially  taken up.   Penny subsequently flew it out of Bankstown for several years still as
                                  G-AGBU (as seen in the grainy image below from the Geoff Goodall collection). When Penny went
                                  bankrupt in 1949 the Lodestar was acquired by Fawcett Aviation who leased the aircraft to South
                                  Coast Airways.  This operation provided scheduled services from Sydney to Cowra, West Wyalong
                                  and Wollongong.  It was registerd in Fawcett's series as VH-FAD on 10 December 1951.  When
                                  South Coast Airwatys was taken over by East-West Airlines in 1953, the Lodestar was not picked
                                  up, but was sold to Fieldair Ltd in New Zealand as ZK-BJM and converted into an aerial top dresser.
                                  The photo above is interesting in that the captain seen in the cockpit is Nancy Ellis, one of Australia's
                                  first female pilots of heavy aircraft.  She also flew Doug Fawcett's two freighter Lodestars VH-FAB
                                  and -FAC.