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Duigan, John 1910 Homebuilt



Duigan's Avro-Type Biplane with Bariquand & Marré Wright Engine at Geelong, circa 1916

John Duigan and his bother Reginald built the aircraft at Ivanhoe, Victoria, in 1912-1913, basing its design on an Avro biplane that Duigan had previously owned in England, with some modifications to the wings and undercarriage.

John Duigan flew his homebuilt aircraft at Mia Mia, Victoria, Australia, on 16 June 1910, as the first Australian built aircraft to fly in Australian skies. After being damaged in a test flight at Keilor Plains the biplane, minus its original engine, was sold to Hans Christian Anderson, a Geelong motor garage owner in 1915. Andersen fitted it with a Wright Model 'A' Model 30 horsepower 4-cylinder engine built under licence by Bariquand & Marré of Paris in 1909. Andersen flew the biplane from the Belmont Common on several occassions until he crashed the plane at Lovely Banks circa 1916.

The engine is believed to be from the first plane flown in Australia, an imported Wright Flyer, in which Colin Defries first took to the air at Victoria Park Racecourse, Sydney, on 9 December 1909.

The plane is fitted with both landing skids and pnuematic-tyrred wire-spoked wheels.

The original Duigan biplane was in storage with the Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The museum also has on display the Duigan replica that Ron Lewis built and flew from 1990-1995.


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