Last updated 22.11.14

MILES GEMINI & ARIES IN AUSTRALIA


A listing compiled by Geoff Goodall



Heading picture: The unique Miles Gemini VH-WEJ at Broadmeadow aerodrome, Newcastle NSW during 1956 soon after it was re-engined with Lycoming flat four engines by owner Walter E. James.   His plans to market conversion kits of his Miles Lycoming to Australian Gemini owners were not successful. Photo: Ben Dannecker collection



    Eleven Miles Geminis and one Miles Aries, a more powerful development, were registered in Australia, some being delivered by air from England. They were popular as one of the few modern twin-engined light aircraft available on the civil market in the early post-war years. Australian agents for Miles aircraft were Allison Gray & Co, Melbourne.


    The prototype Miles M.65 Gemini first few on 26 October 1945 at Woodley, Reading, Berkshire by company founder F. G. Miles. A total of 170 Geminis were built at Woodley before the collapse of Miles Aircraft Ltd in late 1947.  Eleven unfinished airframes were completed by other companies, including Handley Page (Reading), Woodley.  F. G. Miles moved to Redhill aerodrome, London where he established a new company F. G. Miles Ltd.


   The Gemini series were of all wood construction, spruce and plywood covered with a fine light-weight cloth named madapolin, trailing edge flaps and electrically operated retractable undercarriage. All Australian Geminis were delivered as Mk.1A, also referred to a Series 1A, powered by two 100hp Blackburn Cirrus Minors.


   Three unfinished Geminis from the end of the Woodley production were moved to Redhill for completion, two being modified as the two Aries. The M.75 Aries was a Gemini re-engined with 155hp Blackburn Cirrus Major III engines. The structure was strengthened to allow for the increased power, and fins and rudders were increased in size to give better engine-out control.


   The flying careers of the Australian Geminis was cut short by the Department of Civil Aviation grounding order for aircraft types which included the Miles Messengers and Gemini range.


      DCA Grounding Orders for Geminis


  On 21 September 1962 the Minister for Civil Aviation announced restrictions on certain wooden construction aircraft types because of deterioration of the glued joints which used synthetic resin glues.

  Effective immediately, these aircraft types were restricted to Private Category operations only, pilot must be the owner and no passengers carried. Their Certificates of Airworthiness would be permanently withdrawn on 31 December 1963.  The decision had been taken following the investigation into the structural failure in flight of Proctor 5 VH-AIE and the evidence that this aircraft had been well maintained and hangared most of its life. A total of 28 aircraft on the current Australian Civil Register were affected:  

- DH.94 and DHA Moth Minor

- Miles Gemini, Aries, Messenger & Mercury

- Mraz Sokol M1C

- Percival Proctor V



Stop press: A surprise Gemini import in 2013

  In July 2013 the first Gemini imported to Australia in nearly 60 years is due to arrive in Melbourne for restoration for a local owner.  It was formerly SE-BMG in Sweden, and details have been added at the end of the listing below.



The following listing is presented in order of appearance on the Australian Civil Register:


c/n 6453   Gemini Mk. 1A           VH-BJZ

11.46 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft

C/n indicates from the third batch of Geminis constructed, but in fact was the 6th production aircraft and the 7th Gemini to be registered
31.10.46 Registered G-AILK Miles Aircraft Ltd, Woodley
28.11.46 CofA issued
1.12.46 Departed Woodley Aerodrome on first leg of delivery flight to Australia by Group Captain A. F. “Bush” Bandidt on first postwar solo flight England-Australia.
He was a Queenslander serving in the RAF who had been the Air Ministry representative at Woodley during the war. He later became General Manager of Handley Page (Reading) Ltd
17.12.46 Bandidt arrived Calcutta, from Karachi
6.1.47 After severe rain storms across Timor Sea, Bandidt reached Australia, landing at the abandoned airfield at Truscott WA. Continued to Wyndham WA same day to clear Australian Customs
20.4.47 G-AILK weighed at Essendon by DCA. It is flying on its British CofA
20.4.47 Arrived at Launceston on demonstration tour by Allison Gray’s R. H. Sims and H. C. May.
25.4.47 G-AILK demonstrations at  Cambridge aerodrome, Hobart
c4.47 G-AILK flown over Melbourne for photographs for Aircraft magazine cover (6.47 issue). Flown by Allison Gray’s pilot Mr. R. H. Simms
1.5.47 Due to commence a Victorian demonstration tour, followed by SA (June 3-10) and WA (June 11-18).
26.5.47 Demonstration flights at Sale Vic, pilot Frank Neal
7.47 DCA memo records that G-AILK is being flown by company pilot R. H. Simms and has been flying in Australia since 2.47.
25.8.47 Arrived at Adelaide for demonstration flights at Parafield by R. H. Sims. Will give demonstrations at Whyalla and Port Pirie before returning to Essendon.
29.10.47 Registered VH-BJZ Paul & Gray Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
Miles agents for Australia
28.11.47 Simms writes to DCA advising that BJZ is to be loaned to RAAF “for tests” and requires CofA before delivery to RAAF. A. H. Schutt will do the CofA inspection at Essendon, the airframe having recently been checked by Clyde Engineering at Bankstown.
4.12.47 Struck-off British Register
14.12.47 G-AILK parked in static park at airshow Fishermans Bend, Melbourne
19.1.48 CofA issued for 2 months only, to cover period on loan to RAAF. Then it requires a full Australian CofA incorporating mods.
16.3.48 Change of ownership: Newcastle Aero Club, Broadmeadow Aerodrome NSW
“Aircraft” 5.48 report: “The Newcastle Aero Club has purchased the Miles Gemini which Group Captain Bandidt flew out from England some 15 months ago. The club’s serviceable fleet now totals 26 planes and many of the pilot members have now commenced training for their commercial licence.  The Gemini will be fitted with radio for advanced training. The top speed of the Gemini is 150mph with a cruising speed of 125mph. The aircraft has a safe range of eight hours and seating accommodation is available for three passengers and the pilot. The machine’s power plant consists of two Cirrus Minor  motors of 100hp each.  The retractable undercarriage and flaps will offer a high standard of training for club pilots.”
3.48 Newcastle Aero Club unable to take delivery because aircraft grounded pending full CofA
5.48 Full Australian CofA granted by now
7.48 VH-BJZ made its first visit to Tamworth during a tour of NSW airfields where the club conducted flying training. The Gemini was flown by Newcastle Aero Club's chief flying instructor Alf Clare, and the club's chief engineer Wally Doucher was on board.
49 Photo at Bankstown (Mascot?) in line up of aero club aircraft: dark coloured fuselage, light coloured tailplane, aero club crest on tail fin. Same crest on Ryan and Tiger AAR.
7.6.52 Tailwheel collapsed landing at Broken Hill NSW, visiting for an airshow
.53 Change of name: Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Broadmeadow Aerodrome NSW
16.1.54 Change of ownership: Raymond W. J. Locke, “Semakh”, Weemelah NSW later
“Wirralee” Aramac Qld
1.8.54 BJZ departed Bankstown as participant in 1954 Redex Reliability & Navigation Trial.  Bankstown to Townsville, Darwin, Adelaide, Bankstown. Entered by R. W. Locke, Weemelah NSW.

Retired at Longreach Qld.
19.3.63 Struck-off Register at owner’s request
1.68
Derelict at Longreach Qld
Previously reported that derelict location was Cunamulla Qld
c80 Remains of BJZ acquired in Queensland by Lynn Forster, Perth WA.
The previous year he had acquired the remains of Geminis VH-BOB & -GBB from RAAF Association Museum at Bullcreek, Perth in exchange for DH.82 parts to complete the restoration of their DH.82 VH-BKS.
Forster went to Queensland to acquire the remains of VH-BJZ mainly for the engine nacelles because VH-BOB's nacelles were for the Lycoming engines.
.93 Forster established a new aircraft restoration business at York WA:
Lynn Forster/ Brooklands Aviation Pty Ltd/ Aerobuild Vintage Aircraft Restoration, Brooklands Airfield, York WA
93/07 Stored in hangar at Brooklands Aerodrome, York WA along with remains of VH-BJZ purchased in Queensland by Forster mainly for the engine cowlings because BOB's cowls were for the Lycoming.
95 Magazine report on Lynn Forster: photo of VH-GBB derelict fuselage stored in his hangar at York WA alongside other Gemini parts and DH.83 Fox Moth VH-USJ. Forster plans to rebuild two airworthy Geminis from his parts collection.
9.01 Lyn Forster advertised for sale:
"Miles Gemini: two complete aircraft VH-GBB and VH-BOB needing restoration, plus parts and identity of a third VH-BJZ, with manuals, drawings and histories. 48K AUD for the lot."
Late 07 Brooklands Aviation Gemini collection sold to England as restoration project

  


  

  Two views of G-AILK departing Woodley for Australia, December 1946. Ben Dannecker collection



  

  Displayed at the Fishermans Bend airshow, Melbourne December 1947. The Collection.                    


  

  Fishermans Bend December 1947, CAC factory behind.   Photo by Bob Fripp


  

  Fishermans Bend airshow, December 1947. Michael Stall collection


  

  Tamworth Northern Daily Leader newspaper 16 July 1948. Courtesy Roger McDonald


  

  Bankstown circa 1949, while with Newcastle Aero Club. Ed Coates Collection


  

  Broadmeadow aerodrome, Newcastle NSW. Photo Vacuum Oil


 

  Longreach Qld January 1968, retired and abandoned.  Geoff Goodall collection




c/n 6468   Gemini Mk. 1A           VH-BLN

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
16.9.47 Registered G-AJZM  Minister for Civil Aviation, London
1.10.47 CofA issued
26.1.48 Change of ownership: Miles Aircraft Ltd, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire
25.3.48 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
17.6.48 Australian registration application: Commonwealth Dept of Health
29.7.48 CofA issued
29.7.48 Registered VH-BLN Commonwealth Department of Health, Darwin
30.7.48 Pilot in Sydney to collect the Gemini for ferry flight to Darwin. Departure delayed due incorporation of modifications, including a large door behind the rear cabin window and fittings to allow a stretcher patient to be loaded. Mods being handled by F. Gannon of Paul & Gray.
8.48 Now at Eagle Farm, will be based Darwin
13.8.48 VH-BLN departed Archerfield on delivery to Darwin
8.48 Commenced operations from Darwin for NT Aerial Medical Service until 7.52. The standard cockpit entry hatch allowed a stretcher patient to be carried
22.10.49 Arrived Coolibah Station NT flown by Captain Jack Slade, bringing DCA Aircraft Surveyor H. J. Emmerson & a police constable to inspect the wreck of Connellan Airways DH.89 VH-UZYwhich crashed there the previous day.
5.5.50 Photo at Wyndham parked alongside ANA Bristol Freighter VH-INL on the Air Beef contract, Gemini flown by NTAMS Chief Pilot Cpt. Jack Slade.
2.51 CofA renewal Brisbane delayed having fuel tanks replaced and modified
14.7.52 Ceased operations for NTAMS at Darwin
c52 Max Bassingwaite-Bushell, “Dundee” Station, Morven Qld

Retired at Archerfield Qld
18.10.62 Struck-off Register as WFS
2.64 noted Archerfield, parked in hangar, silver with red trim
10.64 Photo at Archerfield, complete including props, parked in a DCA maintenance compound
22.10.65 noted Archerfield, on belly, totally derelict
8.10.66 BLN noted Archerfield on fire practice ground, on belly, totally derelict. Sections of ALP also there.
mid 67 ALP & BLN burnt at Archerfield for fire practice. Remains removed by 68.

  

  VH-BLN on the Archerfield Airport fire dump, October 1966. Photo by Bob Livingstone




c/n 6522  Gemini Mk. 1A         VH-BMV, VH-WEJ, VH-WEK, VH-BOB

17.10.47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Cirrus Minor II
18.10.47 Registered G-AKHU Miles Aircraft Ltd, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire
.47 Owner now Western Manufacturing Estate Ltd (formerly Miles Aircraft Ltd)
7.11.47 CofA issued Western Manufacturing Estate Ltd
27.1.49 Registered VH-BMV Allison Gray & Co Ltd, Sydney NSW c/- Roy Lincoln
2.8.49 Struck-off Register as sold to Australia
8.49 BMV is partially stripped at Banks town, to provide parts for other Geminis. Allison Gray advise DCA that they will not proceed with CofA inspection on BMV “until the position in regard to spares improves”
12.49 Now progressing towards CofA
10.10.50 Consolidated Press advise DCA that they have purchased BMV ands request VH-DFP for their proprietor Frank Packer. However the request was not followed up and registration remained unchanged.
20.10.50 Change of ownership: Consolidated Press Ltd, Sydney.
Based at Mascot, used to carry “Sydney Telegraph” newspaper company executives, journalists and photographers. Replaced two Ansons VH-AJP & AVY.
20.10.50 Testflown at Bankstown. CofA issued
8.2.51 Starboard entrance hatch blew off in flight near Wisemans Ferry NSW, pilot J. Hacking. Flight proceeded and landed safely.
5.7.51 Photo at Bankstown, no titles
6.12.51 Crashed on takeoff from airstrip 30 miles SSW of Canberra, seriously damaged
29.5.53 Change of ownership: George Goodwin, “Tongo” Station, Wilcannia NSW
Civil Register quotes property name as “Tonga”
21.10.54 Change of ownership: Walter E. James, Wollongong NSW

Wal James' wife Joy later wrote: "It then became necessary to move to Bankstown from Wollongong as there was more work available in Sydney. A hangar was rented at Bankstown Airport, he then bought a Miles Gemini and proceeded to convert the engines to Lycomings as they had more power. He did the conversion himself, but of course he employed an engineer. He also had the help of an aeronautical engineer for the stress analysis. A second Gemini was purchased later but never converted and was sold."
56 Re-engined with two 130hp Lycoming 0-290-3/1 four cylinder engines.
James named the type as “Miles Lycoming” which was painted on the nose
29.10.56 noted Bankstown as VH-WEJ, Lycomings
31.10.56 Reregistered VH-WEJ Walter E. James, Sydney NSW
Operated as W. E. James' Aircraft Taxi Service, Sydney
4.57 Aircraft magazine 4.57 report: “The Miles Lycoming” by Keith Robey:
Photos show VH-WEJ at Broadmeadow aerodrome, Newcastle. Allover silver with dark trim.
“An interesting modification of a standard Miles M.65 Gemini has recently been completed by W. E. James Aircraft Charter Service, Banks town. The modification involved replacing the original 95hp Cirrus Minor engines with 125hp Lycomings. The modified Gemini now known as the Miles Lycoming has passed its final type approval; tests and is in service on the charter operation conducted by this company from Banks town. The considerable improvement in takeoff, cruise and engine-out performance has attracted the attention of other Gemini owners who see the Miles Lycoming as an attractive means of modernising and increasing the performance of this popular but ageing aeroplane.
“The performance of the Miles Lycoming should be even further improved by the new type propellers with which it will finally be equipped. W. E. James Aircraft Charter Service quote £2000 as the price to convert a standard Gemini. This figure includes the cost of two completely overhauled, nil hour Lycoming 0290-3-1 engines and new propellers. In actual practice, of course, the cost would be less the resale value of the original Cirrus engines and propellers. Alternatively W. E. James will supply a conversion kit for £850, or drawings only for £250.”
17.1.58 Mrs. Joy James recalls an overnight hangar fire at Bankstown.: "When they opened the hangar doors in the morning, the whole of the hangar was black with smoke. Two planes were burnt out although the fire had stopped within three feet of the Gemini, which remained intact except for the perspex windows, which were warped from the heat. The theory was that it started from spontaneous combustion in a crop duster that was hangared there."
(Date assumed by compiler: a deliberately lit fire in the Kingsford Smith Aviation Service hangar at Bankstown 17.1.58 destroyed KSAS KS.3 Wackett-Cropmaster VH-FBD and seriously damaged damaged another KS.3 VH-FBE and the prototype KSAS PL-7 Tanker.)
6.58 noted Bankstown inside W.E.James hangar, Lycomings; Geminis AKV & BJP in same hangar
4.60 VH-WEJ noted Bankstown, silver & blue
5.60 Reregistered VH-WEK Walter E. James, Sydney
Registration change requested to make James’ preferred VH-WEJ available for a new Piper Aztec
29.5.60 VH-WEK in static park at airshow Bankstown
4.61 Photo at Bankstown, Lycomings, silver with blue trim
26.8.61 Reregistered VH-BOB & Change of Ownership:  Robert H. T. Rowston, Sydney
Purchased to replace his Proctor VH-BXE which he crashed in NT last year
9.61 Photo at Bankstown, white with orange trim
26.11.63 Struck-off Register as WFS due DCA Policy
16.6.74 Noted stored dismantled at Vince Brown timber merchant's yard at Rouse Hill, near Windsor NSW.
Reported owned by Lofty Davis and a Mr. Willard,
1.75 Acquired by RAAF Association (WA Division), Bull Creek, Perth
Planned static restoration for museum display, using fuselage of VH-GBB
8.75 Collected from Rouse Hill and trucked to RAAF Richmond
9.75 Airfreighted from Richmond to RAAF Pearce on a scheduled RAAF C-130
29.1.76 Trucked from RAAF Pearce to RAAF Association Estate at Bull Creek.
Open storage in weather outside museum shed on estate
c79 Acquired from RAAF Association museum by Lynton Forster, Perth WA
Museum's Gemini parts collection of GBB fuselage & BOB fuselage and wings were exchanged for DH.82 parts need to complete restoration of the museum DH.82 VH-BKS.
.93 Forster established a new aircraft restoration business at York WA:
Lynn Forster/ Brooklands Aviation Pty Ltd, York WA
93/07 Stored in hangar at Brooklands Aerodrome, York WA along with remains of VH-BJZ purchased in Queensland by Forster mainly for the engine cowlings because BOB's cowls were for the Lycoming.
95 Forster plans to rebuild two airworthy Geminis from his parts collection
9.01 Lyn Forster advertised for sale:
"Miles Gemini: two complete aircraft VH-GBB and VH-BOB needing restoration, plus parts and identity of a third VH-BJZ, with manuals, drawings and histories. 48K AUD for the lot."
Late 07 Gemini collection sold for $A25K to Peter Turner, Stratford-on-Avon.
4.1.08 Restored to British Register G-AKHU C. W. P. Turner. Snitterfield, Stratford-on-Avon
Early 08 Gemini components collection due to be shipped to England ex Australia in a container

  

  Moorabbin 1952, cream with red trim. Photo by Eddie Coates


  

  Moorabbin circa 1954 after a repaint, note the open nose cone. Photo by Eddie Coates


 

  Miles Lycoming VH-WEJ at Cootamundra 1959. Photo by Ben Dannecker


  W. E. James' Aircraft Taxi Service titles on VH-WEJ in 1959. Photo by Ben Dannecker


  Re-registered VH-BOB, Bankstown 1961. Photo by Kevin Kerle via Ben Dannecker collection


 

  Bankstown 1962. Photo by Greg Banfield

 

 

The Lycoming Gemini was still flying in this picture at Bankstown in January 1963. Photo by Dave Eyre.


 

  VH-BOB stored at a timber yard near Windsor NSW, June 1974. Photo by Mike Vincent


  

  VH-BOB at RAAF Association Estate at Bateman, Perth in December 1976. Photo by Geoff Goodall




c/n 6521  Gemini Mk. 1A   to 3A           VH-BMT

16.10.47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
18.10.47 Registered G-AKHT Western Manufacturing Estate Ltd, Woodley
7.11.47 CofA issued
24.1.49 Australian Registration Application: Peel River Land & Mineral Co, Tamworth NSW
25.1.49 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
49 Photo at Bankstown as G-AKHT parked outside Morris Air Services hangar
10.2.49 Registered VH-BMT Peel River Land & Mineral Co, “GoonooGoonoo” via Tamworth NSW
Registered as Mk.3A
10.2.49 CofA issued
31.3.50 CofA renewed at Mascot
27.6.52 Photo at Bankstown
18.7.60 Change of ownership: Keith C. Singh, Tamworth NSW
8.7.61 Change of ownership: R.W. Ross, “Wogamia” Inverell NSW

Retired at Inverell
6.12.63 Struck-off Register at owner’s request
7.10.64 noted at Inverell, outside less engines, stripped of parts
1.9.66 noted Inverell, parked in high grass
11.66 noted Inverell
3.7.67 noted Inverell, chopped up with an axe on top of a pile of wood waiting to be burnt
67 Burnt at Inverell Airport

 

  G-AKHT outside Morris Air Services hangar Bankstown 1949. Photo Howard K. Morris


  

  At an unidentified airfield in the 1950s. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  VH-BMY visiting Moorabbin during 1955. Photo by Eddie Coates

  

  VH-BMT waiting to be burnt at Inverell NSW October 1964. Geoff Goodall collection




C/n 6504   Gemini Mk.1A          VH-BMW

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
16.9.47 Registered G-AKGB Island Air Charters Ltd, Jersey
Used for charter flying in a fleet of 2 Rapides, 2 Proctors and several Austers
6.10.47 CofA issued
2.48 Change of ownership: Miles Aircraft Ltd, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire
11.48 Change of ownership: Western Manufacturing Estate Ltd (formerly Miles Aircraft Ltd)
8.2.49 Struck-off British Register as sold abroad
27.1.49 Australian Registration Application: Allison Gray & Co Pty Ltd, 44 Martin Place, Sydney
10.2.49 Testflown Bankstown by Howard K. Morris.
22.2.49 Registered VH-BMW
8.49 Stripped for parts at Bankstown by Allison Gray to provide spares for other Geminis
24.2.50 Testflown Bankstown for new CofA issue
8.9.50 Change of ownership: Glenhope Pty Ltd, Hanwood Winery, Hanwood via Griffith NSW
c/- Mr. G. McWilliams
10.9.53 Change of ownership: Allen J. Carmichael, Bambrilla Pastoral Co, Wilcannia NSW
15.3.54 Photo at Bankstown
7.2.55 Change of ownership: Schutt Aircraft Sales & Service, Moorabbin Airport
2.55 Ferried Parkes to Moorabbin on delivery to Schutts, following overhaul at Parkes by J. D. Hodder
1.3.55 Change of ownership: Dudley T. F. Preston, Perth
2.3.55 Tyre blew out while taxying at Forrest on delivery flight to Perth, pilot Dudley Preston
1.8.55 Change of ownership: Westralian Oil Ltd, Perth
18.8.55 On testflight from Maylands starboard undercarriage leg failed to retract, landed without damage. Pilot William G. Boulden of Westralian Oil.
2.56 CofA expired
9.6.56 CofA renewed, testflown same day at Maylands by W. G. Boulden
4.7.59 Advertised for sale in West Australian newspaper: 236 hours since new, £2500.
Contact WA Aircraft Service Co, Maylands.
24.9.59 Change of ownership: Dr. H. J. C. Hanrahan, Perth
Ownership for only one day before resale to Nor-West Whaling Co Ltd
Civil Register quotes date to Hanrahan as 28.9.59
25.9.59 Change of ownership: Nor-West Whaling Co Ltd, Perth
Civil Register quotes backdated date to Nor-West Whaling as 25.9.59
12.59 DCA inspection: aircraft is allover silver
20.6.60 Returned to Carnarvon with rough running engine while on whale spotting flight
11.7.60 Damaged on landing Carnarvon after a whale spotting flight when port undercarriage failed to extend. Pilot J. D. Morton plus spotter unhurt. Investigation found that the down-lock mechanism was inoperative because of a small stone in the mechanism.
18.6.62 Groundlooped on landing Carnarvon due to flat tyre. Pilot H. Jansen, no damage. Had returned to Carnarvon from a local whale spotting flight due because of faulty elevator trim, control.
23.8.62 Returned to Carnarvon soon after takeoff for a whale spotting flight. Pilot Brian Saw.
31.8.62 DCA write to Nor-West Whaling Co Ltd that VH-BMW is “to be immediately withdrawn from service from Airwork operations” due to the policy on glue deterioration for certain aircraft types.
Nor-West Whaling reply stating that they will now use their Piper Apache VH-BUA for whale spotting operations
16.9.62 Refuelled at Geraldton on ferry flight from Carnarvon to Maylands. Returned to Geraldton after departure with a problem, landed safely
28.11.62 Arrived Maylands
14.1.63 Nor-West Whaling wrote to DCA stating “VH-BMW is now out of commission. We will not be using this aircraft again.”
14.1.63 Struck-off Register as WFS
63 Purchased by WA Aircraft Service Co Pty Ltd, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth.
Parked in open at Maylands, purchased for the engines, radio and fittings
23.2.63 noted Maylands parked outside, white and pale blue
4.3.63 noted Maylands parked outside
30.6.63 Maylands Aerodrome was closed to aircraft operations by DCA. VH-BMW left parked on grass.
10.6.64 noted Maylands parked outside unmoved, complete but derelict
6.64 Later in month badly damaged by vandals, fuselage back broken
64 Broken up Maylands WA

  

  Moorabbin 1955. Photo by Eddie Coates



               Maylands Aerodrome, Perth February 1963 retired outside. Photo by Alistair Coutts




c/n 6326   Gemini Mk. 1A        VH-AAS, VH-BJP, VH-BDC

46 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Initial production run of 25 aircraft
29.1.47 Registered G-AISO Air Contractors Ltd, Woodley.
Air Contractors had a fleet of 8 Miles Aerovans, a Bristol Freighter & 3 C-47s.
18.4.47 CofA issued
4.12.47 Change of ownership: Airwork Ltd, Blackbushe

Change of ownership: W. S. Shackleton Ltd, London

sold to Australia
31.3.50 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
4.4.50 Australian Registration Application: Schutt Aircraft Sales & Service, Moorabbin Vic
4.4.50 Registered VH-AAS Schutt Aircraft Sales & Service, Moorabbin Aerodrome, Melbourne Vic.
DCA agreed to register aircraft while in England, to cover delivery flight

Arthur Schutt asked Melbourne Italian restaurant owner and private pilot Tony Vigano to deliver the aircraft for him. Vigano advertised in British newspaper for another pilot. He received many responses but selected Arthur Barnard, an ex Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm carrier pilot who was migrating to Australia.
27.4.50 Anthony Vigano was endorsed on Gemini at Redhill
30.4.50 Inspected at Redhill, is now painted as VH-AAS.
Departed England for Brussels, Belgium to have radio fitted prior to ferry flight to Australia. Pilots Anthony Vigano of Melbourne and A. R. Barnard (British licence)
7.6.50 Arrived at Darwin.
6.50 Forced landing at Barrow Creek NT, no damage
11.6.50 Arrived at Moorabbin after a 5 week delivery flight from England with 43 stops, flown by Tony Vigano and Arthur Barnard.
24.7.50 Australian CofA application: Schutt Aircraft Sales & Service
28.10.50 Change of ownership: Philip W. Dulhunty, Sydney.  Based at Bankstown
12.50 Phil Dulhunty of Dulhunty Air Sales advertised an air taxi service for commercial travellers. The Gemini would fly from Sydney to 15 NSW country towns at 6 pence per mile. Service to commence on 6.1.51
8.5.51 Change of ownership: Elsinora Pty Ltd, “Rannock” Blayney NSW
28.7.51 Photo at Bankstown, allover light colour with vertical stripe on tail fins
29.3.56 Change of ownership: Australian Aircraft Sales, 40 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross, Sydney
13.4.56 Change of ownership: North Australian Uranium Corp, Darwin NT
19.3.57 Crashed at Sleisbeck NT
DCA Accident report: Katherine NT, Private: "The aircraft made a wheels up landing shortly after becoming airborne following a power loss on the starboard engine". Nil injuries.
20.2.58 Reregistered VH-BJP and Change of ownership: Allan L. & Barrie J. Paynter, Coolah NSW
6.58 noted Bankstown inside W.E.James hangar, with WEK & AKV
7.58 VH-BJP noted Bankstown in Wally James’ hangar
28.5.60 Reregistered VH-BDC and Change of ownership: Televendors Pty Ltd, Newcastle NSW
28.4.61 Change of ownership: J. F. Doherty, Melbourne Vic
7.61 Photo at Moorabbin, allover silver
8.61 Change of ownership: R. F. Peile, Melbourne Vic
61 Legal action over sale from Doherty to Peile
23.7.61 noted at Moorabbin, allover silver with light blue registration
27.7.61 noted at Moorabbin
1.9.61 Change of ownership: Ian L. Dunn, Merino Vic, later Mount Barker WA
62 Ferried from Vic to WA where Dunn now resides
21.6.62
Crashed after takeoff Albany WA.
Starboard motor ran rough due ignition control rod becoming disconnected and a forced landing was made with undercarriage retracted in rough terrain a half a mile from Albany aerodrome. Tree stumps caused significant damage. Pilot Ian Dunn was unhurt. He was departing on a flight to Cunderdin then Maylands,
5.11.62 Struck-off Register as Damaged Beyond Repair
62 Remains sold to Keith Chappel/ WA Aircraft Service Co, Maylands Aerodrome, Perth
4.8.63 Parts of VH-BDC noted at Maylands stored in the Ultralight Association shed

   

  Bankstown circa 1951. Ed Coates collection


  

  Now re-registered VH-BDC, Bankstown 1960. The Collection p4868-0074


  

  VH-BDC at Moorabbin 1961.  The Collection p4868-0066


  

  VH-BDC at Horsham Vic 1961. Photo by Bob Neate




c/n 6497   Gemini Mk. 1A        VH-AKV

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft

Assumed stored after Miles Aircraft Ltd’s financial collapse at Woodley in late 1947.
11 unfinished Geminis were completed by other companies, and many components were in various stages of completion at the time of the collapse .
6497 is not listed among those completed by other companies, so assumed it was completed by Miles Aircraft Ltd and stored.
30.8.50 Australian Registration Application: Allison Gray & Co, 44 Martin Place, Sydney NSW
16.9.50 Registered VH-AKV Allison Gray & Co, Sydney
16.9.50 CofA issued
19.6.51 Press report: Mr. W. E. Dermody left Perth for Sydney to collect his new Gemini plane which he will use for his Perth motor business.
27.6.51 Change of ownership: William E. Dermody, Perth
12.52 Report: AKV flew 273 hours since Jan 1952 with Dermody
11.1.54 Change of ownership: Peter T. McNeill, Perth WA, later “Oorong”, Kuija WA
5.8.54 Departed Bankstown as entrant in 1954 Redex Air Reliability Trial. Carried “REDeX Trial” markings on cowlings. Painted with sponsor’s titles “Ye Olde Ascot Inn” (a popular Perth hotel) in blue on the fuselage.  Crew Peter McNeill & Ross Smith. Entered by R. Smith & R. McNeil, Perth.
8.8.54 Refuelled at Rockhampton en route Sydney to Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Wagga Sydney in the Redex Trial
13.12.55 Change of ownership: Walter E. James, Wollongong NSW
15.7.57 Change of ownership: Alexander A. & Benjamin P. Henderson, “Middlebrook” Scone NSW
6.58 noted Bankstown inside W.E.James hangar, with BJP & WEJ
15.10.60 visited airshow Tamworth
7.8.61 Change of ownership: W. Wilson & Co Pty Ltd, Sydney
2.10.61 visited airshow at Nowra NAS
7.62 Photo at Bankstown, in service, red and white scheme
10.1.63 noted at Bankstown, complete, parked on grass with retired Marshall Airways Ansons,
5.63 noted at Bankstown, complete, unmoved on grass, faded red and white scheme
4.4.63 Struck-off Register
10.1.64 noted Bankstown, parked outside Parkes Aviation hangar, flat tyres prop missing, faded paint

  

  VH-AKV at Maylands Aerodrome, Perth July 1951. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  VH-AKV at Forrest WA 1954. Photo by Colin Hayes


  

  August 1954 in REDeX Trial markings. Geoff Goodall collection


  

  Bankstown circa 1955, now all silver. Photo by Eddie Coates


    

  VH-AKV at Bankstown with "W.E.James Aircraft Taxi Service" titles.  The Collection


  

  VH-AKV at Bankstown 1961.   Ben Dannecker collection


  

  Abandoned, flat tyres at Bankstown, January 1964. Photo by Rod Adam




c/n 6449   Gemini Mk. 1A, 3A         VH-AJW, VH-AJC

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
20.8.47 Registered G-AKDH Miles Aircraft Ltd, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire
22.8.47 CofA issued
3.9.47 Change of ownership: P. P. Bradley, Guernsey
13.2.48 Change of ownership: Air Transport Association Ltd, Guernsey (P. P. Bradley was Director)
3.11.48 Change of ownership: Trent Valley Aviation Ltd, Tollerton
19.1.50 Change of ownership: Field Aircraft Services, Croydon
27.7.50 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
6.11.50 Registration application: Patrick E. Burke, North Tamworth NSW
6.11.50 Registered VH-AJW
7.2.51 Burke writes to DCA requesting registration VH-AJC. DCA reply 29.3.51 approving the change
6.3.51 CofA issued
6.3.51 Reregistered VH-AJC Patrick E. Burke, North Tamworth NSW
6.3.51 Type now quoted as Gemini Mk.3A
5.8.54 Departed Bankstown as entrant in the 1954 Redex Air Reliability Trial, via Brisbane, Townsville, Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Wagga to Sydney. Entered by A. H. Jones, West Tamworth.
19.10.56 Struck-off Register as WFS
22.10.58 Re-added Register:  Peel Valley Air Service, Aerodrome, Tamworth NSW
15.10.59 Change of ownership: Dayal Singh Constructions Pty Ltd, Lismore NSW
15.10.60 At airshow at Tamworth, flew in air race: white with dark trim, “Dayal Singh Constructions” titles
14.12.61 Struck-off Register : new owner has not applied to Register aircraft

 


VH-AJC visiting Glen Innes NSW in 1960. Photo: Peter Reardon collection




c/n 6467   Gemini Mk. 1A           VH-ALJ

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
16.9.47 Registered G-AJZL Minister for Civil Aviation, London
3.10.47 CofA issued
31.3.51 Change of ownership: W. S. Shackleton Ltd, London
17.8.51 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia
25.7.52 Registered VH-ALJ John L. Power, Brisbane Qld
4.12.58 Change of ownership: C. G. T. Smith, Rockhampton Qld
12.5.59 Wheels-up landing at Rockhampton.  See note below.
DCA Accident report: The aircraft returned shortly after take off due loss of oil pressure. The undercarriage failed and a wheels up landing was made. Substaintial damage, no injuries.
3.6.61 Change of ownership: Pefgoair, Rockhampton Qld

Retired at Rockhampton Qld
4.3.63 Struck-off Register
2.64 Broken-up at Rockhampton

Southern Aeronotes April/May 1964 issue: report from David Johnson:
Gemini VH-ALJ arrived in Rockhampton in 1958 after purchase by a local garage owner. On arrival, its colour scheme was black fuselage and engine cowlings, silver wings and tail surfaces. The aircraft was overhauled and the scheme changed to white fuselage with silver wings, engines and tailplane. It had limited use until a wheels-up landing at Rockhampton 13.5.59 when the undercarriage locked up. Damage except for a splintered propeller appeared superficial; however DCA inspectors made a structural check and after standing in the open with a tarpaulin covering for some time, the aircraft was stripped, repaired and rebuilt.  It now carried an overall silver finish with red registration and trim. After limited use and a long picketing out in the open, the aircraft was again stripped and rebuilt.
This rebuild was in progress during Feb/March 1962 and considerable replacement of the wooden skin was carried out. It is uncertain if the aircraft was ever flown again, but when the DCA ruling on the type came into effect, the aircraft was picketed outside the hangar, minus propellers.
During February of this year. The aircraft was broken up and the metal parts, wheels, engines etc were stacked inside the hangar.

 

    VH-ALJ at Eagle Farm Airport, Brisbane circa 1952. Photo: Henry W. Pryor




c/n 6473   Gemini Mk. 1A         VH-ALP

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
25.8.47 Registered G-AKEH Miles Aircraft Ltd, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire
4.9.47 CofA issued
10.9.48 Change of ownership: Captain Henry H. E. R. Winch, Guards Boat Club, Maidenhead, Berks.  Aircraft based at White Waltham aerodrome
31.12.48 Aeroplane magazine 4.2.49 reported that Captain H. Winch of the Household Brigade Flying Club departed White Waltham on 31.12.48 en route to Australia in Gemini G-AKEH.
Compiler's note: nothing further is known of this flight reportedly to Australia. The aircraft was not cancelled from British Register and was back in England by 1951)
24.2.50 G-AKEH visited Karachi, flown by Captain H. Winch
3.51 Redhill Aerodrome report: Gemini G-AKEH among recent visitors
8.51 Registered VR-SDC Norman G. Padgett, Singapore
Padgett was an Australian commercial pilot then living in Singapore.
20.10.51 Struck-off British register as sold abroad
27.10.51 VR-SDC noted Croydon, on a brief visit
20.11.51 Arrived Singapore, flown from England by Norman Padgett and his wife.  Thee week flight.
Padgett is an Australia who set up a timber business in Borneo after WW2 (using an ex RAAF Kingfisher A48-5) but is now based in Singapore as a shipyard manager.
He is a part-time pilot on Beavers for Federation Air Services
12.9.52 Departed Singapore's Kallang Aerodrome for Australia, flown by Padgett solo. Flight refuelled at Djakarta, Den Pasar (overnight), Koepang, Darwin (overnight), Cloncurry, Emerald and then to Rockhampton where Padgett had purchased a cattle station 60 miles north of Rockhampton.
14.9.52 VR-SDC arrived Rockhampton. Padgett returned to Singapore to finalise his move back to Australia
12.12.52 Norman Padgett killed while felling trees to clear an airstrip on his property "St Clair"
4.53 Struck-off Singapore Register as sold abroad
30.4.53 Registered VH-ALP Estate of the late N. G. Padgett, c/- Mrs. M. R. Padgett, “St Clair”, Princhester via Rockhampton Qld
7.53 Gemini advertised for sale in Aircraft magazine: Evans & Hearn, Rockhampton Qld. TT 480 hrs, blue colour scheme
16.10.53 Change of ownership: Charles W. Russell, Dalby Qld
11.11.57 Change of ownership: Condon & Co, Roma Qld
9.1.61 Change of ownership: D. I. McLeod, Brisbane Qld
17.3.62 Visited airshow Cootamundra NSW, allover white with dark trim
63 Retired at Archerfield
31.12.63 Struck-off Register on Director General’s instructions
10.64 VH-ALP noted Archerfield, parked complete with props in DCA vehicle area.
8.10.66 noted Archerfield on fire practice ground, sections only, with complete but derelict BLN
mid 67 VH-ALP & -BLN burnt at Archerfield for fire practice. Remains removed by 68.

  

  G-AKEH at Karachi in February 1950, flown by its owner Captain Henry Winch (on right)

 

 

VH-ALP outside its hangar on Jimbour near Dalby Qld, circa 1955. Photo Jeanne Townsend collection


  

  VH-ALP visiting Cootamundra NSW March 1962. Photo by Bob Neate




c/n 6486   Gemini Mk. 1A         VH-BTP, VH-GBB

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
8.9.47 Registered G-AKEN Magic Carpets Ltd, Salisbury. Based at Thruxton.
Used for charter with another Gemini and some single engined aircraft. G-AKEN was a regular visitor to Birmingham in 47.
25.9.47 CofA issued
20.11.47 Change of ownership: Field Aircraft Services Ltd, Croydon Aerodrome, London
23.3.48 Change of ownership: Richard O. Crawshay, London.   Named “Wendy II”
27.7.48 Change of ownership: W. S. Shackleton Ltd, London
25.11.48 Change of ownership: Charles R. Mauritzen/ Charles Mauritzen Ltd, Newbridge, Midlothian, Scotland
11.48 Damaged taxiing at Estree
12.9.52 Change of ownership: Regentone Products Ltd, Romford. Based at Southend
9.53 visited Blackbushe where light aircraft visitors for the Farnborough Airshow were parked
25.11.53 Application to DCA to import a Gemini to Australia: D. T. F. Preston, Perth. The application was ortiginally in the name of G. Brandon-Brown but changed to D.T.F. Preston
18.12.53 Change of ownership: R. K. Dundas Ltd, London
12.53 Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia. Date also quoted as 6.5.54
29.12.53 Departed Croydon on delivery flight to Australia, flown by Bob Newnham (ANA pilot) and Sam Cilento (private pilot and ANA traffic clerk), both from Adelaide. Newnham was a friend of the owner Dudley Preston.
- Reg reserved VH-BTP for Dudley T. F. Preston, Perth WA
14.1.54 Undercarriage collapsed during landing at Maylands aerodrome, Perth after a ferry flight from nearby Guildford Airport. Pilot Robert M. Newman unhurt. This was the final sector of a 12,000 miles delivery flight from England over previous 15 days.
Newspaper reports state one of the landing wheels appeared out of position when the aircraft came in to land at Maylands, and undercarriage folded on landing and the aircraft slewed around.
.54 Sold damaged to G. Brandon-Brown
27.1.54 Australian Registration Application: D. T. F. Preston, Perth
9.2.54 Registered VH-BTP and Change of Ownership: Gladwyn B. Brandon-Brown, Perth WA
Change of ownership backdated by DCA to 26.1.54
10.2.54 Preston advised DCA that he has already sold the aircraft in damaged condition to Gladwyn Brandon-Brown who requests a change for markings to VH-GBB
17.2.54 Re-registered VH-GBB
20.4.54 DCA report: Gemini still in damaged condition at Maylands
24.11.54 Testflown Maylands by R. Lewis after repair and inspection by Royal Aero Club of WA and Aero Service Pty Ltd
11.54 CofA issued
1.12.54 GBB refuelled at Meekatharra on a trip north
17.5.56 CofA renewal at Maylands. Had been stored at Maylands for over a year
10.5.57 Damage to rear fuselage on landing at Maylands on flight from Barwidgee. Tailwheel had struck an object, pilot D. V. Jose.
16.7.57 Change of ownership: Dudley T. F. Preston, Perth WA
7.57 CofA renewed Maylands by David Gray & Co
11.10.57 Advertised for sale in “West Australian” newspaper by Preston Motors, Stirling Highway, Nedlands, asking £4,000.
1.1.58 Change of ownership: William E. Dermody, Perth WA
Replaced his Rearwin VH-ABL. Dermody was proprietor of Hurlingham Motors, South Perth and used the Gemini to travel to his farm at Shackleton WA.
5.1.59 Emergency landing at Guildford Airport after engine failure en route Shackleton to Maylands, pilot Dermody.  He has an farm property at Shackleton
16.2.59 Forced landing at Maylands following power loss inbound from Shackleton. Pilot Dermody
31.7.59 Emergency landing at Guildford due unsafe undercarriage indication on flight from Maylands to Rottnest Island. Landed safely with no damage, pilot Dermody
9.9.60 CofA renewed Maylands by WA Aircraft Serviuce Co.  DCA inspection recorded that the aircraft was in excellent condition with no sign of wood or glue deterioration
5.61 DCA report: GBB parked at Maylands awaiting overhaul, having been ferried from Shackleton
8.61 CofA renewed Maylands
7.62 DCA report: GBB has spent a lot of time parked in the open at Maylands but is in airworthy condition
c62 Reportedly used for unauthorised cropspraying on his farm at Shackleton WA
63 Retired on Dermody’s farm at Shackleton WA
11.7.63 Dermody wrote to DCA advising they could remove GBB from the Register. “I have no further use for the aircraft.”
11.7.63 Struck-off Register as WFS
63 Stored on Dermody’s farm at Shackleton, one mile east of town. Dismantled and engines sold.
64 Dermody was gaoled for thefts from neighbouring farms after a crop failure and the closure of his car business in Perth.  While he was in gaol, neighbours removed various items of value from his farm.
64 The Gemini airframe was carted away from Dermody’s farm by Bill Hobbs, South Shackleton.
Complete fuselage stored in rafters of shed on Hobbs’ farm, but wings and tailplane were dumped on farm rubbish tip.
Hobbs had a plan to convert the wooden fuselage into a boat, but work never commenced
28.12.71 GBB remains located on Hobbs’ farm at Shackleton by members of the RAAF Association, Perth
Donated by Hobbs to RAAF Association, Bull Creek, Perth for their planned museum
75 Fuselage remained stored on farm
c76 Fuselage collected by RAAF Association and transported to Bull Creek. Gemini VH-BOB acquired from Sydney to make a composite Gemini restoration project.

Stored at Bull Creek, no work on the Gemini project
c79 Acquired from RAAF Association museum by Lynton Forster, Perth WA
He swapped DH.82 parts needed to complete the museum's VH-BKS for the museum's Gemini parts collection of GBB fuselage & BOB fuselage and wings.

Forster acquired GBB's left engine, engine nacelles and undercarriage from a farm at Narembeen WA (probably Shackleton)
.93 Forster established a new aircraft restoration business at York WA:
Lynn Forster/ Brooklands Aviation Pty Ltd, York WA
93/07 Stored in hangar at Brooklands Aerodrome, York WA along with remains of VH-BJZ purchased in Queensland a year later by Forster.
95 Forster plans to rebuild two airworthy Geminis from his parts collection
9.01 Lyn Forster advertised for sale:
"Two Miles Gemini Projects to sell as one: ex VH-GBB and VH-BOB. Full histories, drawings and manuals. Both aircraft are complete, include parts of VH-BJZ, but requires restoration."
Late 07 Gemini collection sold for $A25K to Peter Turner, Stratford-on-Avon.
4.1.08 Restored to British Register G-AKEN C. W. P. Turner. Snitterfield, Stratford-on-Avon
Early 08 Gemini components collection due to be shipped to England ex Australia in a container

  

  Maylands Aerodrome, Perth 14 January 1954 on arrival from England. Geoff Goodall collection


 

  Maylands circa 1960. Photo by Don Ende

 

  Stored on a farm at Shackleton WA, December 1971. Photo by Geoff Goodall


  

  VH-GBB's wings and undercarriage on the farm tip. Photo by Geoff Goodall




c/n 75/1002   Miles M.75 Aries 1         VH-FAV

50/51 Built at Redhill by the reformed F. G. Miles Ltd established at Redhill after the financial collapse of the original company at Woodley in 1947.  Three unfinished Gemini airframes were completed at Redhill, two becoming the sole two Aries.
22.8.50 Registered G-AMDJ  F.G. Miles Ltd, Redhill Aerodrome, London
2.2.51 First taxy trials at Redhill, no registration markings. Became airborne briefly during fast run.
21.3.51 First flight at Redhill, with Class B registration G-35-1. Pilot I. A. Forbes
21.7.51 G-35-1 displayed at the Fifty Years of Flying display at Hendon, allover silver. Flown by F.G.Miles.
22.4.52 Landed with gear retracted at Redhill
13.6.52 CofA issued
15.6.52 G-AMDJ noted Redhill
19.7.52 noted Redhill in F. G. Miles hangar
8.52 flew demonstrations at Shoreham Air Races, pilot Ian Forbes, mostly on one engine only
26.3.53 Change of ownership: The Honorable M. A. R. Cayzer, London. Based Redhill.
17.9.53 visited Southend, owner The Honorable M.A.R.Cayzer
30.9.53 Application to DCA to import an Aries:  A. Vigano, Melbourne
3.4.54 Change of ownership: A. Vigano, Melbourne Vic
5.54 Flown to Australia by Anthony Vigano & Arthur Schutt. They collected the Aries at Croydon, departed via Geneva then Milan, Brindisi, Cyprus, Amman, Sharjah, Karachi, Akyab, Rangoon, Murgui. At Murgui they met Beverly Snook who was delivering Proctor G-AJMH to Australia, and the two aircraft continued the flight together to Singapore, Djakarta, Timor, Wyndham.
6.6.54 G-AMDJ arrived at Moorabbin on ferry fight, pilots Tony Vigano & Arthur Schutt. Aircraft painted maroon and blue.
27.7.54 Registration application: Anthony Vigano, Melbourne Vic.
G-AMDJ is now in Australia.
12.54 Under under overhaul for CofA to "incorporate certain modifications so that the aircraft will be acceptable for Australian certification"
1.3.55 Struck-off British Register as sold abroad
1.3.55 Australian CofA issued. First of type on Register.
1.3.55 Registered VH-FAV
10.5.55 Change of ownership: George B. S. Falconer, Sydney. Based “Haddon Rig”, Warren NSW

Aircraft magazine 5.55: “The Miles Aries flown out from England last year by Messrs Arthur Schutt and Tony Vigano of Melbourne, has been purchased by well-known NSW grazier Mr. G. B. S. Falkiner of Haddon Rig. Mr. Falkiner has, for many years, been one of Australia’s most enthusiastic private owners and previously operated an immaculately kept Waco, a familiar sight on NSW aerodromes.”
1.9.58 Change of ownership: Macquarie Flying Services Pty Ltd, Dubbo NSW
3.9.58 noted at Sydney Airport, red and white scheme
c62 retired at Bankstown
2.4.62 noted at Bankstown, in hangar
26.9.62 noted at Bankstown, “Miles Aries” on nose
12.62 Moved by truck from Richmond RAAF Base to Penfolds Wines property on Great Western Highway in Blue Mountains, 25 miles west of Sydney.  Red & cream colour scheme, no engines or instruments. Replaced an old wooden aircraft mockup as an advertisement “Don’t crash, Drink Penfolds”
31.12.63 Struck-off Register at Director General’s instructions
19.2.66 noted as advertising attraction on Great Western Highway at Penfolds Wine estate, near Penrith NSW. The aircraft was mounted nose down, repainted red and white. Large sign: “Don’t crash, Drink Penfolds”. Same 18.11.66
70 Derelict as advertising sign, carted away.

  

  Miles Aries G-35-1 at the Hendon air display July 1951. Photo by Dave Freeman


  

  G-AMDJ at Redhill aerodrome, London 15 June 1952. Photo by Dave Freeman


  

  G-AMDJ Moorabbin June 1954, Anthony Vigano (left) and Arthur Schutt. The Collection pbios-0006


  

  Moorabbin 1955. Photo by Eddie Coates  


  

  Sydney Airport 1958, parked beside a Butler Air Transport Ambassador. The Coillection


  

  Sydney Airport in September 1958. Photo by Dave Eyre


  

  VH-FAV retired in a crowded hangar, Bankstown April 1962.  The Collection p4838-0062

 

 

Two views of VH-FAV's undignified end: Penfolds Wines estate near Penrith NSW, February 1966. Photos by Lindsay Nothrop


 



Footnote:

A least one additional Gemini was intended for Australia. On 26 August 1957 application was submitted to DCA to import a Gemini by R. Allen, 4 Jackson Street, Toorak Vic. Approval was given two days later but nothing further is known.




LATE ARRIVAL:  A surprise import of a Gemini during 2013:


c/n 6285   Miles Gemini Mk. 1A           VH-BMN

47 Built at Woodley Aerodrome, Reading by Miles Aircraft Ltd. Production run of 150 aircraft
26.11.46 Registered G-AISD Miles Aircraft Ltd, Reading Aerodrome, Berks
27.3.47 First flight at Woodley, flown by Miles test pilot Hugh Kendall
3.4.47 Alex Henshaw departed in G-AISD on a demonstration tour to South Africa. Flew via Marseilles, Tunis, Castel Benito, El Adem (where he arrived on one engine, due carburettor main jet blocked by a piece of cotton), Almaza, Wadi Halfa, Atbara, Khartoum, Juba and Entebbe, then Nairobi.
9.4.47 G-AISD arrived at Nairobi
10.4.47 Demonstration flights at Nairobi, then Henshaw flew to Dar es Salaam where he gave another demonstration
12.4.47 Flew to Lusaka
13.4.47 Arrived Germiston airfield, Johannesburg. Total flying time from England 65 hrs 9 mins
20.5.47 Alex Henshaw flew further demonstrations at Germiston.
22.5.47 Sold to Noon and Pearce Air Charter, Kenya.  It was the first of six Geminis they were to operate
3.6.47 Struck-off British Register as sold abroad
6.47 Registered VP-KDH Noon and Pearce Air Charter, Nairobi, Kenya
.52 Damaged in wheels-up landing.
.52 Shipped to UK for repair and overhaul by F.G.Miles Ltd, Redhill
1.53 Sold to Colonel R. Lallemand, Florennes, Belgium
15.7.53 Registered OO-RLD Colonel R. Lallemand, Florennes, Belgium
Owner had requested registration OO-PRD because PR-D were the code letters on his RAF 609 Squadron Spitfire during WWII
9.11.68 CofA expired. Placed in storage in Belgium
80 Still in storage in Belgium
c82 Taken out of storage when purchased by Guy Valvekens, Belgium
c83
Valvekens moved the unairworthy aircraft to England where it would be rebuilt for him by John Homewood at Exeter.
16.2.84 Restored to British Register as G-AISD John E. Homewood, Obbary-St-Mary, Devon
87 Completed airworthy restoration at Exeter
7.1.88 Struck-off British Register as sold to Belgium
1.88 Registered as OO-RLD Guy Valvekens, Belgium
02/05 OO-RLD visited numerous airshows in England. White with red trim
19.1.07 Restored as G-AISD William Tomkins Ltd, Peterborough
10.6.08 Struck-of British Register as sold to Sweden
6.08 Registered SE-BMG Stefan Sandberg & Hakan Wijkander, Hatunaholm, Sweden

Sale to Sweden as an exchange deal for Percival Proctor III SE-BTR which was returned to UK
3.13 SE-BMG Advertised for sale
.13 Purchased by Scott Snibson, Melbourne Vic
6.13 Shipped to Australia, dismantled in container
13
Detailed airworthy restoration commenced at a workshop near Essendon Airport by owner and associates
13
Registration VH-BMN reserved, as a typical Gemini-era Australian registration
11.2.14 Registered VH-BMN: Scott Snibson, Melbourne Vic

Restoration to airworthy condition continues in a workshop near Essendon Airport

  

  SE-BMG flying in Sweden. Photo courtesy Scott Snibson


  

  SE-BMG dismantled in container, bound for Australia. Courtesy Scott Snibson




References:

- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne and its successors

- DCA aircraft files, National Archives of Australia, Melbourne

- DCA Annual Aircraft Accident Summaries 1956-1970

- DCA Import Permit register, courtesy Melvyn Davis

- National Library of Australia - Trove newspaper archive website

- Miles Gemini production, Air Britain Archive, quarterly

- Aviation Historical Society of Australia Journal, monthly, various issues 1960-1970

- Australian Air Log, monthly journal, various issues 1965-1968

- Civil Aviation Authority G-INFO database for British civil aircraft: www.caa.co.uk

- British Civil Aircraft since 1919, Volume 2, A. J. Jackson, Putnam, London 1973

- Air Britain Archive: quarterly journal, numerous references to British CofA issues

- British Civil Register News, Air Britain, monthly, 1948-1960:  various Gemini reports

- This Flying Business - A Life of Arthur Schutt, Wal Davies, Thomas Nelson, Melbourne 1976

- Aircraft magazine, monthly, Melbourne, 1946-1964, various Gemini reports

- Classic Wings Downunder magazine, renamed Classic Wings: editor Graham Orphan: various references to Geminis

- Belgian Civil Aircraft since 1920, John Appleton & Armand Thys, Midland Counties Publications 1980

 

 

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