Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 18, 2021 10:28:31 GMT 12
I never realised that. It's hard to fathom why they took such a successful design as the Dove/Devon and added a third engine with increased weight and drag and fuel etc. The natural development of the Dove was the Heron, imho.
The Drover was based on a Dove, re designed to suit ‘rugged Aussie conditions’...it’s fairly obvious that it was the result of a committee ‘think tank’ incorporating some of the worst possible aspects that you could consider for the lovely dove airframe! They used low powered gypsy majors because Holden were still building these under license. They obviously needed 3 as 2 weren’t enough to substitute for gypsy queens! Fixed tail dragger landing gear, more easy to maintain in the Aussie outback. The aircraft actually wound up having more in common with the DH Dragon (which it replaced) than the Dove. The 2 aircraft have identical wingspan, similar fuselage cross section (although Drover narrower in the nose as only 1 pilot seat), the Drover fuselage was 3ft shorter though. They had identical engine firewall positions, similar tail plane dimensions & apparently very similar main gear.
The early Gypsy major aircraft with variable pitch props had a nasty habit of shedding props in flight! The remaining engines not being able to maintain height with resulting loss of power! Qantas was particularly scathing of the Drover's lack of reserve power & quickly sold off its fleet that it was using in PNG (I think). The variable pitch props were dropped in favour of fixed pitch metal props in the remainder of aircraft, however the reto-fitting of Lycomings and constant speed props eliminated most of these problems later in the piece, but by that stage production was already complete.
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2021 16:07:33 GMT 12 by harrysone