Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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More photos

Monsoon clouds.

Spitfire MkXIV (I think) with 2 x 20mm canon instead of the 6 x .303 guns seen in the movies. This one shot down Zeros, Zekes and Mitsubishi "Betty" Bombers.

Rutan "Long-Ez" kit plane. Yay Burt!

Some of the planes clustered around the tail of the B52

Dad on an old "Ansett - Australian National Airlines" mobile stair, looking in the cockpit of the B52. The B52 was landed at Darwin and towed into a special hangar built for it. This is now the museum. This B52 is one of only 2 on display outside the US. (I've seen them both! The other is at Duxford, UK)

Ansett bought ANA in the mid 60s and went from a largeish domestic airline to the largest in the country, rivalling Qantas. Toward the end of the companies life it was owned by News Limited (ie Rupert Murdoch) who "maximized profits" by cutting back on little things... like maintenace. In 2000 the fleet was grounded at Christmas time when cracks were discovered in the tail planes of a bunch of planes. News Limited sold the company to Air New Zealand, who "maximized profits" by filling their 747s at Anstett facilities and billed Ansett for the use of those facilities. Ansett was sold to a Singapore bank run by that government, who also happens to be the major shareholder of Singapore airlines and wanted to maximize profits. In November 2001 Ansett declared bankruptcy and ceased operations. And that's how a pioneer aviation company died.

The ordnance bay of the B52.

The remains of a Zero which crashed on Melville Island. This Zero and its pilot were in the attack on Pearl Harbour. The fleet that attacked the US headed straight for Torres Strait and launched an attack on Darwin. The first raid lasted for 7 hours and used 85,500kg of bombs, that's 2.5 times the tonnage used on Pearl Harbour. 241 people were killed. There were 64 air raids over the next 20 months, but the loss of life was nothing like the number killed in Hawaii.

The Zero was brought down when a stray .303 bullet cracked the engine block.

"Occupation money." Bank notes printed by the Japanese Government for use in occupied Australia.

RAAF Mirage after 30 years in the jungle. The plane laded safely, but the remote area meant repairs or recovery were too costly, so it was left where it landed. The cockpit was removed years lated for display in an RAAF museum elsewhere.

And finally

Darwin, looking across Fanny Bay.

This pristine tropical beach is washed by a sea full of lethal animals. In the summer box jellyfish (called "stingers") fill the waters, and esturine crocodiles hunt around here all the time. The locals are more afraid of the stingers than the crocs here, but elsewhere they are wary of the crocs. As you can see, the locals ignore the "Do Not Swim" signs. Recently another jellyfish was discovered: the Irukandji. It is 2 cm across and the stings are mild. About 60 minutes later horrible cramps start, possibly followed by heart failure.

Yet another lethal Aussie animal! YAY!

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