VH-REK  Cessna 310B                                             (c/n 35583)

                                 The Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (Division of Radio Physics), purchased
                                 two Cessna 310Bs (VH-REK and VH-REL) in November 1957, to investigate cloud-seeding/rain making
                                 experiments.  The two machines departed San Francisco in formation on 21 November 1957 and were the
                                 first American light aircraft to make the delivery flight across the Pacific.      Both Cessnas spent five days in
                                 New Plymouth, New Zealand, where they were modified to withstand stress forces of 5G plus   They arrived
                                 (amid some fanfare) in Sydney on 5 December 1957.    Greg Banfield's shot above was taken at Mascot in
                                 June 1964.  The Avia Rent-A-Plane Aero Commander is VH-AVT whilst the Dove is VH-DSM.      Over
                                 the years I have amassed a fair collection of picrures of this Cessna.  Immediately beliw is a Richard Maclean
                                 shot taken at Essendon in 1959.  The silver iodide burners fitted by Cessna distributor Rex Aviation at Banks-
                                 town were manufactured in the Radiophysics workshops at Sydney University.      Research Air was a Rex
                                 Aviation subsidiary set up specifically to operate these aircraft on behalf of the CSIRO.  VH-REK, which had
                                 been registered N5383A in the US, is now preserved by the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Inc in
                                 Castle Hill, NSW.  Geoff Goodall saw it a couple of times after it left Rex Aviation, in May 1967.  Shot # 3
                                 was at Jandakot, in December 1969 in a new paint scheme, then with WA Cessna dealers Simpson Aviation,
                                 who sold it that same month to Trans West Air Charter of Perth, and (photo # 4), again at Jandakot in March
                                 1973 with Trans West.    By 1985 it was back in Bankstown and Greg Bafield provides image # 5 showing it
                                 it in a particularly gaudy paint job,  VH-REK is now owned  by the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Inc
                                 and the aircraft is based at the HARS facility at Albion Park (Wollongong) Airport, NSW.  The 55-year-old
                                 bird is maintained in full flying condition and still takes to the air fairly regularly.  The contemporary photo of it
                                 at the foot of the page (# 6) was taken in 2011 by Phil Vabre.