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Farman David / Sport
The Farman David was a light sport biplane introduced to the aviation world via the 1919 Paris Salon. Power was provided by a 37 kw (50 hp) Gnome rotary engine and the type was quite successful. Although publicised as a single-seater, it had accommodation for a pilot and passenger in cramped conditions. It was placed in production by Farman and soon became known as the Farman Sport, the name by which it was usually known. The 1920 model became available with a 45 kw (60 hp) Gnome engine, but eventually the Anzani engine seems to have become the norm.
A number were exported to Australia. The first of the type was imported by Shaw-Ross Engineering & Aviation Company Ltd of Port Melbourne, VIC. This aircraft G-AUBV (c/n 8 – later VH-UBV) arrived on 4 March 1921 and was registered from June 1921 but was destroyed by a fire at Essendon, VIC on 7 August 1931, the same fire which destroyed VH-UDL (c/n 24).
Farman Sport G-AUBV (c/n 8) in the mid-1920s at Port Melbourne, VIC, Australia
A further aircraft VH-UFX (c/n 7085) was registered to Industrial Indent Pty Ltd of Melbourne on 29 June 1927. It was damaged when it undershot landing at Essendon on 24 November 1930.
Another aircraft VH-UDC (c/n 25) was registered on 28 June 1921, also to Shaw-Ross Engineering & Aviation Company Ltd of Port Melbourne. It was destroyed in a crash at Cowes, VIC on 9 February 1923.
VH-UDL (c/n 24) was registered to Shaw-Ross Engineering & Aviation Company, also on 28 June 1921. Ownership was transferred to Shaw Aviation on 27 June 1930. It was destroyed in a fire at Essendon, VIC on 7 August 1931.
Two Farman Sports were obtained by Airgold Ltd in Papua New Guinea, G-AUHL (c/n 30) and G-AUHM (c/n 31). In May 1928 the two Farmans arrived in Port Moresby in crates. The intention was to assemble and then fly them to Lae to be operated in the freight role. However, on examination of the aircraft they were found to be too frail for the conditions prevalent in Papua New Guinea.
VH-UHL, named ‘Butterfly’, was assembled at Lae and flown to Wau. Fitted with a 34 kw (45 hp) Anzani radial engine, although Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) records indicated it, and VH-UHM, were fitted with the 60 kw (80 hp) Anzani 6A engine, the Farman Sport VH-UHL swung on landing on its first flight and a wheel collapsed. A further flight to Wau was made nine days later and on this occasion the undercarriage collapsed on landing. As well, many problems were experienced with the engine and VH-UHL was re-crated and shipped south for disposal. The second Farman Sport aircraft VH-UHM was never assembled and flown in Papua New Guinea and was also shipped back to Australia.
After returning from New Guinea VH-UHL had a number of owners, including L Mitchell of Wycheproof, VIC in May 1929, H Sweeney of East St Kilda, VIC in July 1930, C H Frazer of St Kilda, A H Wilkins of Blackwood, SA in November 1934, and R J Weston of North Adelaide, SA in October 1938. It was struck off the register in December 1947.
Farman Sport VH-UHM eventually ended up with Mr G N Wikner of Brisbane, QLD who loaned it to the Aero Club of NSW at Mascot for a period in 1929. He eventually rebuilt it, making various improvements to the airframe, the aircraft eventually being written off in an accident on 20 March 1930 at Dayboro in Queensland. Later a wing was used in the construction of a glider known as the Golden Arrow.
A catastrophic fire wiped out three of the Australian registered Farman Sport aircraft on 7 August 1931 when it broke out in the Shaw Aviation Company hangar at Port Melbourne, four aircraft, including three Farman Sports (VH-UBV, VH-UDL and VH-UFX) and a de Havilland DH.6 (VH-UBW) being destroyed.
Engine: Anzani 52 kw (70 hp)
Wingspan: 7.11 m (23 ft 4 in)
Wing area: 26 m² (279.87 sq ft)
Length: 6.13 m (20 ft 1¼ in)
Empty weight: 200 kg (441 lb)
Loaded weight: 400 kg (882 lb)
Max speed: 140 km/h (87 mph)
Service ceiling: 2,000 m (6,560 ft)
Endurance: 4 hrs 20 mins
Seats: 2




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