Jets herald era of fancy flight

Photo of Geoffrey Thomas

At the close of World War II in 1945, the major builders of civil transport Douglas and Lockheed from the USA had two long-haul aircraft types in production — the DC-4/DC-6 and the Constellation that dominated aviation...

The performance of these designs made every other US and European direct competitor redundant. For the first time, long-haul air travel such as Perth to Sydney had become easy, comfortable and more affordable.

Australian National Airline (ANA), which could trace its routes to Sir Norman Brearley’s WA Airways, purchased DC-4s and DC-6s, Qantas took Lockheed Constellations, while the newly formed Trans Australian Airlines opted for DC-4s and then turbine powered Vickers Viscounts.

In Perth, MacRobertson Miller Airlines (MMA) purchased a fleet of war surplus DC-3s to lead its extensive network within WA and the Northern Territory and with some Avro Ansons and Lockheed Electras built up a network of 114 destinations including many outlying cattle stations and missions across the North West.

The station stops, posed problems for scheduling at MMA as the station owners’ wives would put on tea with scones, jam and cream service on a white tablecloth for the crew and passengers no matter how hot.

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