VH-FDU  DHA-3 Drover 3                           (c/n  5012)


                                           This aircraft was originally registered VH-AZM  in July of 1952.  For some reason it was then
                                           re-registered VH-DRF in 1961. The original VH-DRF was also to have been a Drover (c/n 5018)
                                           but this was not taken up and that wound up as VH-AZS.  Anyway, after three years as VH-DRF,
                                           the above aircraft was re-registered VH-FDU (in 1964) in keeping with the registration series
                                           assigned to most of the Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft at that time. The service at that time
                                           was operated by TAA and that is reflected in the livery which resembled Trans Australia's quite
                                           closely.   Sometime before that (probably in the late 1950s) the three 145 hp Gipsy Major 10
                                           engines were swapped out for three more powerful 180 hp Lycoming O-360-A1As (as seen in
                                           the image above)   In June of 1967 VH-FDU was either sold or leased to Air Melanesia as
                                           VP-PAF.   It operated out of Honiara until December of 1972 when it was repatriated back to
                                           Australia as, surprisingly, VH-FDU.  It flew for a while with Coveair out of Kangaroo Island, SA
                                           After a period of inactivity in the 1980s it was purchased by Ron Lee of Parkdale, Victoria who
                                           loaned it to the ill-fated Wangaratta Air Museum where the above shot, from the Phil Vabre collec-
                                           tion was taken.  It is still owned by Ron Lee, but regrettably parked in the open, due to space
                                           constraints.  Ian McDonell took the shot of it below at Caboolture in May 2011.