The prototype Drover. Seen here after the installation of an ADF housing over the cockpit similar to that fitted to Doves. -DHA was lost when it ditched 100 miles from Wewak, Papua New Guinea after a propeller sheared off. Photo from: State Library of Queensland
Sold to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1959. It was supposed to become VH-FDQ after Lycomings replaced the Gipsy engines but instead it went to Vanuatu as VP-PAG in 1968 after three years in storage.
VH-DRD crashed at Mooraberrie Station on January 11, 1952. It was stripped of useful parts and abandoned. The fuselage was taken to the homestead at the north side of the airfield and used as a chicken house. In 1980 the remains of -DRD were recovered to Mt Isa where they and parts from other aircraft were restored as a memorial for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Removing the fuselage from Mooraberrie required some caution as the world's deadliest land snake, the inland taipan, would have found it a happy hunting ground for mice and rats.
Qantas photo of its new Drover VH-EBR. Qantas operated it in Papua New Guinea until 1954 when it was sold to Fiji Airways as VQ-FAO. By the time it was struck off the Australian register on August 31 it had forced landed on a coral reef (August 28) and been swamped by the rising tide. Salvaged and used for parts.
VH-DRD crashed at Mooraberrie Station, Queensland, on January 11, 1952. Useful parts were salvaged but the airframe was abandoned. In 1980 the remains were recovered to Mount Isa to become a memorial to the Royal Flying Doctor Service using the fuselage of -DRD and components from VH-AZN c/n 5017. It has received little maintenance since it was mounted on a pedestal and despite plans to move it to Cloncurry for restoration, was still at Mount Isa in February 2018.
This was the prototype Drover and first flew from Bankstown on 23 January 1948. It was delivered to the Department of Civil Aviation and operated until it crashed in the Coral Sea on 16 April 1952. It is on a photographic sortie over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 20 Drovers were built. Obtained from De Havilland over 50 years ago.