Adelaide (West Beach) Airport handled domestic airlines in the 1960s, with only occasional visits by international aircraft.
A selection of my photographs of visiting civil and military aircraft during that decade.

The only scheduled interrnational airline service at Adelaide during the 1960s was the weekly British Air Ministry military courier from London
to Woomera and Adelaide (for the Weapons Research Establishment) carrying
cargo and high-security passengers. British charter airlines
bid for the contract and by 1962 it was held by Cunard Eagle Airways with DC-6As and DC-6Bs. Here's DC-6B G-ARZO in September 1962
waiting to commence loading for the return flight to London. These charters were handled by Trans-Australia Airlines at Adelaide.

Full details on the WOOMERA COURIER page under Australian Aviation

During 1963 the Cunard Steamship Co sold its shareholding in Cunard Eagle Airways and the airline re-formed as British Eagle International. 
The same red and white colour scheme was retained. DC-6A G-ARMY at Adelaide in October 1963

Earlier in 1963 Cunard Eagle began using its growing fleet of Bristol Britannias on the Air Ministry courier to Woomera and Adelaide. 
One of the first seen at Adelaide was Britannia 324 G-ARKB. Later with British Eagle it was to be named Endeavour and Resolution.

British Eagle Britannia 324 G-ARKA at Adelaide in January 1964, with name Good Fortune in green on the nose. By now the DC-6s had
been replaced by Britannias on all services to Adelaide. The WOOMER COURIER continued to 1975, later with Monarch Britannias.

Visitor of the decade was Avro Lancaster MR.7 WU16 (ex RAF NX622) of the French Aeronavale, which stopped overnight on
30 November 1962.  It had been donated to the Airforce Association in Perth, Western Australia and was being ferried from its
former base at Tontouta, New Caledonia to Perth by a French navy crew. It was later displayed at Perth Airport in wartime
camouflage as RAF NX622 for over a decade before moving to the Aviation Heritage Museum at Bull Creek, Perth.

Sud Aviation Caravelle F-BJAO on demonstration to Trans-Australia Airlines, at Adelaide in April 1962.  Invited guests are lined up at
the rear airstair for a local flight.  The Caravelle lost out to the Boeing 727 as the first Australian domestic jet airliner.

USAF Martin B-57B 52-1500 overnighted outside the TAA hangar in October 1963.  It was part of a detachment of B-57s and U-2s from
57th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, deployed to RAAF Laverton for two years for Operation Crowflight, conducting high altitude
atmospheric sampling of nuclear particles from atomic testing. The sampling pods were on each wingtip.

This Martin B-57B 52-1502 dropped into Adelaide on 24 January 1964. Without shutting down engines, the two crew were handed
paperwork from men in civilian suits, before taxying away and departing. The B-57s did air sampling up to 40,000 feet, while the U-2s
were tasked to take samples at altitudes up to 70,000 feet.

Douglas C-47H Bu12436 was based in Canberra with the US Naval Attache to the US Embassy. At Adelaide December 1963.

The US Air Force consulate aircraft at Canberra was this Convair VT-29D 52-5829, seen being refuelled at Adelaide Airport in May 1965.
These US Embassy aircraft wre regular visitors, always looking immaculate with polished metal surfaces and white roof and tail.

These two USAF Douglas C-118As visited in May 1962, one is undergoing maintenance in the TAA hangar.

US Air Force C-118A 0-13827 in passenger configuration visited Adelaide in May 1965

US Air Force MATS C-118A 0-17636 was an Adelaide visitor during 1962.

US Navy C-118B 131592 visiting in May 1963 was an Admiral's Barge carrying the C-in-C US Pacific Fleet HQ in Hawaii.

USAF Douglas C-54E 44-9041 was a visitor in May 1965.

The first US Navy Lockheed Orion visit was this P-3A Bu151365 in May 1966. 

Another C-54, but this time French Aeronavale 9148 in January 1965 from the French Pacific base at Tontouta, New Caledonia.

A rare visit of an RAF Argosy XP446 in September 1964. It was Singapore based with Royal Air Force Far East .

Another RAF Far East visitor was this Handley Page Hastings WJ324 in July 1965. It was configured with VIP seating, the cars having
just delivered the military top brass who were boarding the aircraft.

The only known visit of a Douglas DC-7 to Adelaide was this Pan American DC-7F N737PA, which arrived 23 November 1963 from Manila.
It was carrying the much publicised Chrysler Turbo-Car on a world tour. The aircraft's Pan Am name was changed from Clipper Kingfisher
to Clipper Chrysler for the tour. 

In June 1966 two Lockheed L.382B civil Hercules N9263R & N9267R of Alaska Airlines arrived in Adelaide to operate a month of shuttles
to Saigon, transporting Adelaide-built dismantled military sheds ordered by the US military in South Vietnam.  B&W does not do justice to
the bright gold, red and white Golden Nugget Freighter colour scheme, with gloss grey underwing auxiliary fuel tanks.

RAAF C-130A Hercules were regular visitors. Here's A97-213 during a refuelling stop in September 1966.

RAAF Douglas C-47 Dakotas were regular visitors during the 1960s. A65-124 was photographed in June 1962 in an allover bare metal
finish with orange dayglo on nose and tail.

Much more colourful paint scheme on RAAF Dakota A65-86 with Air Trials Unit, Woomera, seen at Adelaide Airport in September 1963.
Allover white with blue flash and orange dayglo nose an tail. The ominious smoke came from an airport fire service training exercise.

Seven retired RAAF Dakotas offered for disposal in 1968 were purchased by American dealar Stan Booker for resale to Indonesian airlines.

Adastra Aerial Surveys operated a fleet of Lockheed Hudsons, all former RAAF WW II bombers, on aerial survey work into the 1970s.
VH-AGX was photographed at Adelaide Airport in December 1962 having an oil leak to the starboard Wright Cyclone checked.
Colour scheme was Adastra green and white, with black and red trim.

Back to the Photographs Menu