Pioneering Miss Flinders aircraft lands new home
Published on 13 March 2020
After calling the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston home for the past 20 years, Launceston’s historical Desoutter aircraft Miss Flinders is embarking on a voyage to a new home at the Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society (TAHS).
Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer said the Government had agreed to gift Miss Flinders to TAHS for storage, care and future display of the aircraft after being presented with a proposal from the society.
“QVMAG has done a wonderful job with the preservation and display of Miss Flinders over the past 20 years and the community will welcome keeping the aircraft in the region,” Mrs Archer said.
“We know the role Miss Flinders played in early commercial aviation history in Tasmania and I appreciate the important role that TAHS is taking on in the ongoing preservation of Miss Flinders and Tasmanian aviation history more broadly.”
“TAHS has a plan to increase its support and funding base for the care of the aircraft, which plays an important part in Tasmania’s aviation history after becoming the first aircraft to fly between Launceston and Flinders Island in 1932.”
Mayor of Launceston Albert van Zetten says after Miss Flinders is removed from display at QVMAG and dismantled, the aircraft will be taken into the care of the TAHS at Western Junction.
“Council is delighted that the Society will become the new custodian of this important piece of early Tasmanian aeronautical history,” Cr van Zetten said.
The aircraft was built by M Marcel Desoutter in the UK in the late 1920s and powered with a De Havilland Gypsy Mk III engine. It begun its service in Ireland before travelling to Australia in early 1932.
A public appeal in the 1960s funded the cost of transporting the aircraft back to Launceston from the mainland and its restoration for display, with the work to restore the aircraft undertaken by volunteers from the Airforce Association and Tasmanian Aero Club.