Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 23, 2017 19:01:45 GMT 12
This is an interesting visit to New Zealand by an Aussie Mustang, from the Auckland Library's Heritage Images site. The date is July 1953. Can anyone add more info or better photos? Sadly it looks like the Library's copies are badly damaged. The caption on all four shots reads "Showing pilot J L (Wac) Whiteman (left) and his CAC CA-17 Mustang Mk.20 'Rebel' on the ground in Auckland after his record-breaking trans-Tasman flight from Sydney in 3 hours 31 minutes:
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 24, 2017 8:12:34 GMT 12
Interesting the different colour schemes on that page, all different from the scheme it wore in New Zealand. So was this a private venture rather than RAAF - the pilot is in RAAF uniform so I assumed he was on official business.
There is something odd about the top two pics which no one has commented on; the fact that the cowling clearly states that the maintenance crew consists of two NCO's; a Sergeant and a Corporal. When combined with the previously mentioned RAAF uniform, one has to wonder if there is perhaps more to this story than may be first apparent.
No, just that he was still in RAAF when he owned the aircraft from what I have been able to dig up and there were plenty of serving RAAF types with Mustang maintenance experience.
I was upset at not being able to interview him at greater length apart from a telephone call. He as then in a nursing home north of Sydney and told me a lot of things about his career. Not just about the trans Ditch flight but also about his other ';adventures'. How about a Thunderbolt in Egypt that had been resurrected from a yard, fitted with a different radial and used to trial crop spraying.... Unfortunately he passed away shortly thereafter.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 3, 2018 23:38:16 GMT 12
This is from the The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.) Sat 18 Jul 1953:
RECORD TASMAN TRIP 366 mph try-out for air race
SYDNEY (by teleprinter)— Strong tail winds enabled Flight Lieutenant J. L. Whiteman to break the trans-Tasman air speed record in a Mustang fighter. He flew from Sydney to Auckland in 3hr 31½min, averaging 366 mph for the 1280 miles, to break the record by 12 minutes.
Flight Lieutenant Whiteman has entered the Mustang in the London-Christchurch air race n October.
At Whenuapai airport, 23 miles north of Auckland, Flight Lieut. Whiteman was cheered as he emerged from the Mustang's cockpit with a small suitcase and a cane lunch basket packed by his wife, who had seen him off at Richmond, near Sydney. Also at Richmond were Flight Lieut Whiteman's three children and scores of RAAF men.
Radio check Before he left, Flight Lieut. Whiteman said he would check his position by radio with Lord Howe Island, Norfolk and other listening stations in the South Pacific.
The Mustang carried 356 gallons of fuel and full emergency gear for flying over water. This included a rubber dinghy, shark repellent, life jacket, hard rations, and a fresh water container.
From Mustangs of the RAAF & RNZAF by Peter N Anderson:
"To test the aircraft under actual race conditions it was decided to make an attempt on the Sydney-Auckland Trans-Tasman record, which then stood at 3 hours 49 minutes. After hurriedly gaining its Certificate of Airworthiness, A68-5, now VH-BVM, departed Richmond RAAF Baseat 11:11amon 16 July; the actual start of the record attempt began when the aircraft passed over the control tower at Sydney Airport. Numerous snags were encountered on the trip due to supercharger and radio failure, but despite these setbacks, Flt Lt Whiteman completed the crossing in 3 hours 31 min, 30 seconds, thus establishing a new record."
On the same page is a photo of it at Richmond in that scheme, as well one in all over red as "Johnnie Zero" and two as G-ARKD.
A Mustang fighter-which broke the trans-Tasman air re-cord—bears on its fus-elage in red: "Serviced by Sergeant Inkson and Corporal Lane."
The inscription is a tri-bute to two R.A.A.F. men who worked in their own time to help to make the record-breaking, flight. On Friday, Flight-Lieut. Whiteman flew the Mus- tang 1175 miles from Sydney to Auckland in three hours 31 minutes to break the record of three hours 49 minutes which a Pan-American Airways Strato-cruiser set in May last year.
Flight-Lieut. Whiteman (38) , is an ex-R.A.F and ex-R.A.A.F. pilot. His wife, who lives at Carroll Street, Kogarah, said yesterday that Ser-geant J. J. Inkson and Corporal T. Lane., of Rich-mond R.A.A.F. Station, were experts on the type of engine used in Mus-tangs. "Inkson and Lane have been wonderful." she said. "My husband could not have managed without their help. "Ever since he bought the Mustang from dis-posals in February, Ink-son and Lane have sacri-ficed their leave to work on the Mustang— to recondi-tion and service it."
Regards John Inkson
Last Edit: Feb 24, 2019 10:31:29 GMT 12 by John Inkson: tidy up formatting