VH-UVR  Avro 616 Avian IVM                  (c/n  R3/CN/529)V
                                  The Avro 616 Avian IVM was produced in quantity following the flight of the prototype in 1929
                                  powered by a 90 hp Cirrus III.   However, this steel-tubed fuselage version of the earlier model
                                  594 dictated the use of a larger engine and production IVMs had either a a 105 hp Cirrus Hermes
                                  or the 140 hp Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major radial as seen in this nice photograph of  -UVR
                                  above, from the Alan Betteridge* collection (via Kevin OReilly).   The aircraft had been imported
                                  in March 1936 by Mr. Angus H. Tweddle and was ex G-ABME.     Prior to going to Australia it
                                  had been placed 4th in the 1932 Manchester-Liverpool air race and also took part in the 1935
                                  King's Cup.   The photo above was most likely taken at Parafield following the 1936 Brisbane-
                                  Adelaide Air Race, where, as No 23, it had been flown by Angus.  I have appended a photo of
                                  the intrepid airman himself, from the same provenance, immediately below.   The airborne shot
                                  below, from the John Hopton collection shows the short, squat undercarriage to advantage.
                                  Following that is a snapshot from Les Haynes whose father owned the Avian in 1948, based
                                  at Bankstown.  Les indicates it was damaged at Moore Park Golf Links in March 1949 when
                                  the pilot (NOT his Dad!) upended it.  .  Restored in 1954 it was owned by K.R. ('Ron') Rooke
                                  of  Enfield, NSW.  Ron pranged it at the Cloncurry Air Pageant, during a “drunken flying” act in
                                  December 1959 and couldn’t afford to repair it.   Apparently, he had a friend in the front cockpit
                                  who got spooked with the low flying, grabbed the stick and froze!       The poor old thing was
                                  subsequently abandoned and remained in the long grass adjacent to Cloncurry Airport for fifty
                                  years until a Mr. Paul L. Wheeler was advised by Ron that the mortal remains might still be there.
                                  Sure enough they were, and Paul, who contacted me in 2011, tells me the story of how he trailered
                                  them out in December 2010 to Bundaberg (a mere 1500 km trek) and reunited them, with a now
                                  82-year old Ron! . Paul indicates that he hopes to possibly fashion enough parts, using his
                                  VH-UHC** as a pattern to make a phoenix-like replica of  this old Avian.   Talk about a
                                  long term project!    Below Angus' photo are two from Paul Wheeler showing -UVR after
                                  its 1959 air show prang and, in December 2010 on his trailer at Cloncurry Airport with the
                                  old original Qantas hangar in the background.

                                  *  The late Alan Betteridge was a keen aviation historian/photographer who was active in the
                                      Adelaide area in the 1930s.

                                 **  See story of Paul's work with Avian restorations at: