Post by Dave Homewood on Sept 7, 2011 17:15:21 GMT 12
Can anyone please help me with information on the de Havilland Aircraft Factory of New Zealand Ltd.?
I need to know this urgently for a written piece with a deadline:
- Does anyone know what date the de Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand Ltd was established at Rongotai? I have established that the NZ Government ordered 100 Tiger Moths form them in August 1939, but was the factory actually built and running at that time or was it built on that order?
- When did the factory close? I know it was still operating into the mid-1950's, I know it was gone by 1959 when the airport reopened. Does anyone have a specific date? And did the factory move elsewhere?
- Was the de Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand Ltd connected in any way with F. Douglas Mill of Hobsonville who had previously been the NZ agent for importing DH products? If not, when did it change hands as such?
- Was the de Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand Ltd established elsewhere, ie in a city office or something, before that order for 100 aircraft was placed? Or did DH in Britain actually take the order through their NZ agent and established de Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand Ltd as a result?
From 'The History of New Zealand Aviation' by Ross Ewing and Ross MacPhearson, page 120......................
"To enable the foreseeable demand for training aircraft to be met (New Zealand was to supply trained aircrew to the RAF as well as its own units), an agreement was made with the De Havilland Aircraft Company of England to provide a factory for the production of Tiger Moths. In March 1939 the De Havilland (NZ) Company Ltd came into existence, and a start was made on New Zealand's first aircraft factory at Rongotai."
The first DHNZ built aircraft (albeit with a Hatfield built fuselage) with the construction number DHNZ 1 was bought on-charge by the RNZAF as NZ751 on the 29th of July 1940.
Hope this helps.................
As an aside, this is from the 8th April 1938 issue of Wings magazine.
..................................................Horses racing a Hudson along the runway at Norfolk Island, April 1943...................................................
12. Validation of lease of portion of Rongotai Aerodrome to the De Havilland Aircraft Co. of New Zealand, Ltd., and authorization of new lease---(1) The lease dated the twenty-seventh day of November, nineteen hundred and thirty-nine, registered under number 22181 in the Land Transfer Office at Wellington from the Mayor, Councillors, and Citizens of the City of Wellington to the De Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand, Limited, of the land described in subsection three of this section, a copy of which lease is deposited in the office of the Minister of Internal Affairs at Wellington, under No. I.A. 105/80, is hereby validated.
(2) The Wellington City Council is hereby authorized to lease to the De Havilland Aircraft Company of New Zealand, Limited, the land described in subsection four of this section for a term of twenty years, with a right of renewal for one period of twenty-one years, at a rental of seventy-four pounds per annum for the first term of twenty years, but otherwise on the same terms and conditions as the lease mentioned in subsection one hereof.
(3) The land referred to in subsection one hereof is more particularly described as follows:---
All that piece of land situate in the City of Wellington, containing two roods twelve perches and fifty-six one-hundredths of a perch, be the same a little more or less, being part of Lot 1 on Deposited Plan Number 2481, being part Section 13, Watts Peninsula District, being also part of the land comprised in certificate of title, Volume 428, folio 268, as the said piece of land is delineated on the plan deposited in the office of the Chief Surveyor at Wellington (S.O. 20339), and being thereon coloured red.
(4) The land referred to in subsection two hereof is more particularly described as follows:---
All that piece of land situate in the City of Wellington, containing one rood fourteen perches and thirty-six one-hundredths of a perch, be the same a little more or less, being part of Lot 1 on Deposited Plan Number 2481, being parts Sections 13 and 14, Watts Peninsula District, being also part of the land comprised in certificate of title, Volume 428, folio 268, as the said piece of land is delineated on a plan deposited in the office of the Chief Surveyor at Wellington (S.O.No. 20339), and being thereon coloured neutral.
DHNZ were still at Rongotai after the airport reopened in 1959. They handled the overseas sale of the RNZAF Otter NZ6081 in 1963.
Hi Peter, is this the actual factory/workshops that you refer to or did they perhaps simply move into a smaller premises on the new airport as a headquarters? Because looking at the National Archives 'Archway' hits there seems to be a few files about the redevelopment of the airport that refer to de Havilland compensation claims, as if they lost their site.
Post by Peter Lewis on Sept 8, 2011 20:29:21 GMT 12
They relocated from what became the terminal to the western side of the airfield. The hangar is the big one now occupied by the Aero Club, off Cochrane Street. They did lots of Beaver assembly work there in the 1960s.
Post by Peter Lewis on Sept 8, 2011 22:35:22 GMT 12
Whites Air Directory for 1964 contains an ad (page 7) for Hawker Siddeley International NZ Ltd. which states "After nearly 25 years of continued expansion in New Zealand, the de Havilland Aircraft Co. of NZ Ltd. merges with famous names in British Aviation and is now part of the Hawker Siddeley Group. The Group is represented in New Zealand by Hawker Siddeley International NZ Ltd. ". It gives a Tirangi Road, Wellington Airport address.
The 1968 directory still lists HSI as at Wellington Airport, able to carry out "Complete overhauls, repairs, modifications, maintenance, checks, for all types of aircraft up to DC-3 size".
There is no mention of them in the 1980 Directory.
DHNZ relocated to a large brand-new building next to the Aero Club when the airport was re-developed. The building still exists and is occupied by Vincent Aviation, Aviation Radio and others, although I think the hangar on the end is a subsequent addition to the original building.