VH-UHF Curtiss Ireland Comet
rare image from the John Hopton collection, taken at Mascot,
circa 1930. Originally
imported in March 1927, this
aircraft was built by Curtiss engineer G. Sumner
Oriole components, although the new single bay wing mods had no
Curtiss company. Despite this, these aircraft were almost
universally described as
'Curtiss-Ireland" by registering authorities. Incredibly, two
Comets and a single follow-on
Meteor made their way to
Australia: G-AUFG in 1926 (see previous entry), G-AUFH
seen above after
re-registration to VH- status had occurred, and the Meteor G-AUFQ
(see its own entry) which
came in in May 1927. 'UFH was originally
owned by C.E.
McIntosh of Sydney.
It had a couple of other owners in the late 1920s and was in the
hands of J.
Stanborough when the registration was changed to VH-. Its
in September 1932 and it was
from the register on 11 October of that year.
Geoff Goodall, who provides the
two photos below, reports that "the fuselage and wings of
this old bird were stored
for many years in a shed in Bourke Street, Maitland NSW. By the
tracked down the anonymous old shed in 1967 only the wings in the
The story I was told was that nobody knew who owned the old aircraft
parts, and that this
shed had been flooded by several big
floods at Maitland over the previous 20 years, so the
fuselage was in poor shape
but the wings were above the water line. The fuselage
removed in late 1966 by somebody
from the Lake Macquarie area who was due back to
collect the wings. Nothing
else heard of since".