• Logbook of the first QANTAS Aircraft (1921-1932)

  • This document was ranked #37 in the Top 150 exhibition.

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    Pioneer Top 150
  • Contributor

    State Library Qld
QANTAS flight logbook

Foiled in their attempt to compete in the 1919 England-Australia Air Race through the death of a wealthy sponsor, two former Australian Flying Corps pilots, W. Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, were contracted by the Australian Government to survey the air route from Darwin to Longreach and construct emergency landing strips for competitors.  It was even more fortunate that while engaged in this work they encountered a wealthy grazier named Fergus McMaster, whose vehicle had bogged in the dry bed of the Cloncurry River. McMaster and his associates provided the financial backing for Fysh and McGinniss to purchase two aircraft and register their business as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS) in November 1920. Initially based at Winton, they began by offering joyrides for paying customers throughout Western Queensland. With the resignation of McGinness soon afterwards Fysh became Managing Director, and after winning a government-subsidised mail run in 1922, the airline began extending its routes and purchasing additional aircraft. In 1934 QANTAS joined with Imperial Airways and won the lucrative England-Australia mail contract, and despite losing a number of aircraft during World War II the airline continued to prosper. In 1947 the Australian Government gained full control of QANTAS with Fysh remaining as Managing Director, a position he continued to hold until his retirement in 1966.  By then the company he had co-founded with primitive aircraft had entered the modern jet age.


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