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The aircraft was a 90 h.p. de Havilland DH6 owned by the Walsh Brothers of the New Zealand Flying School of Auckland, and piloted 23 year old Captain Richard Russell (at right with back to the camera). The aircraft landed at "Gillespie's Paddock", on the corner of Gillespie's Line and Boundary Road (now Tremaine Avenue). Captain Russell, a World War One veteran, was touring the North Island promoting air travel and taking passengers for rides. He met his death later that year, in an air accident while flying with two Passengers. the boy seen between the wings on the left was Peter Manderson ('Kairanga Pete'), 11 years of age.

A record from the Middle Districts Aero Club provides the following information: "Seen in the air on its approach, with the sun's rays glinting from its glossing wings and frame, one would have declared it to be white, but the aeroplane is brown all over, and at first sight it looked as if [it] were made from thin iron, but instead it is of fine linen stretched taught over the frame work of light spruce wood. This was the description of the first aircraft to land at Gillespie's Line Palmerston North, on July, 31st. 1920, in [the] charge of Mr V. C. Walsh of Auckland, one of the owners of the plane, and with him as pilot was Cpt. R. Russell, D.F.C.

From tip to tip of the wings it measured 35ft while its length was 27ft from propeller to rudder on its tail. It was a De Haviland six, weighing only 14cwt and fitted with a 90 h.p. engine, and was home-built and imported by Messrs Walsh Bros. of Kohimaramara, Auckland."

Identification

Object type
Image
Digitisation ID
2009N_Av1_TRA_2250
Title
First aeroplane to land in Palmerston North
Relation
Public Photograph Collection Av 1
Held In
Coolstore

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Captain Russell and Violet Hibbard with Walsh Brothers DH6 aeroplane, Dannevirke
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Creation

Created By
Place
Palmerston North
Date
July 1920

Object rights

Credit Line
Palmerston North City Library

Taxonomy

Tags
aircraft,
flight,
photographs,
transport,
travel,
Community Tags

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Related items

Captain Russell and Violet Hibbard with Walsh Brothers DH6 aeroplane, Dannevirke
Captain Russell and H E Hibbard with Walsh Brothers DH6 aeoplane, Dannevirke
M H Oram and crowd at the opening of Manawatu Aero Club landing strip, Milson
Captain Russell and H E Hibbard with Walsh Brothers DH6 aeroplane, Dannevirke
'Southern Cross' aeroplane, Milson Airport
Inauguration of the first Air Mail service from Palmerston North
Helicopter at the 1st International Agricultural Aviation Show, Milson Airport
Wreckage of Captain Russell's "Avro", F9745, aeroplane, New Plymouth
Union Airway's hangar, Milson Airport
Avro Ten aeroplane, Milson Airport
Repairing Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's aeroplane, the "Southern Cross"
Avro Ten, ‘Faith in Australia’

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