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AIRCRAFT Magazine of May 1949 announces the arrival of the Chrislea in Australia.

Built by Chrislea Aircraft Ltd., Exeter Airport, Devon, UK. Fitted with a DH Gipsy Major 10 engine of 145hp. (Source: 1)

Ordered by the Australian Chrislea agent, Brown & Dureau Ltd., Melbourne, VIC. (Source: 1)+

The Australian DCA allocated the registration VH-BRO at the request of Brown & Dureau. (Source: 1)

First flown at Exeter. (Source: 1)

British CofA issued as VH-BRO to Brown & Dureau Ltd., Melbourne, VIC. (Source: 1)

Crated and shipped to Melbourne. The first of type in Australia. (Source: 1)

Registration application by Robert L. Green, "Minamere" Station, Nelia, QLD. Later changed to "Thylungi" Station. Yalleroi via Blackall, QLD. (Source: 1)

Test flown at Essendon by Brown & Dureau. Aircraft was silver with blue trim. (Source: 1)

Australian CofA issued. (Source: 1)

Added to Register as VH-BRO to Robert L. Green, "Minamere" Station, Nelia, Qld. (Source: 1)

Departed Essendon on delivery to Queensland flown by Group Captain Norman Adler, Technical Manager of Brown & Dureau's Aviation Division. (Source: 1)

Mr Green wrote to DCA advising that he wished to fit a different propeller because he was not obtaining satisfactory cruising speeds at specified cruising RPM. The existing propeller suffers continuous gravel damage on unmade airstrips due to its diameter, which gives low ground clearance. Negotiations with DCA and Chrislea in the UK ensued. (Source: 1)

Damaged in a forced landing at "Bora" Station, QLD. The tip of one propeller blade broke away in flight and the engine was dislodged from its mounts. Further minor damage resulted from the forced landing. Pilot R.L. Green. (Source: 1)

CofA renewed after rebuild to R. L. Green, "Thylungi" Station, Blackall, Qld. During the rebuild the aircraft was fitted with a new type of propellor. (Source: 1)

Change of ownership to Arthur M. Lowe, Julia Creek, QLD. (Source: 1)

Change of ownership to William J. Spence, "Culloden" Station, Muttaburra, QLD. (Source: 1)

Change of ownership to Air Mech, Bankstown Airport, Sydney, NSW. Air Mech was a subsidiary of Fawcett Aviation Pty. Ltd., Bankstown. Fawcett also operated the Illawarra Flying School. (Source: 1)

Doug Fawcett later wrote about the Illawarra Flying School in his book Pilots and Propellers : "Although we had the six Tiger Moths, it was obvious we needed some different types of aircraft to allow the pilots to further their experience. So we purchased, over a period, six Austers, a Chipmunk, and a Fairchild Argus plus the odd aircraft we kept for a short time. I traded my 30 foot DC-3 motor home for a three-seater high wing Desoutter and a Chrislea Ace. The British built Chrislea was an unusual aircraft and its controls were not standard. The rudders were operated like organ pedals with the front section moving up and down - pushing the right pedal down moved the right rudder to the right and vice versa. The elevators were operated by moving the control wheel up for elevator down, and down for elevator up, which was all very confusing. We did not keep it for long."

Change of ownership to Reginald S. & C. Young, Yanco, NSW. (Source: 1)

Change of ownership to Peter K. Gerakiteys, Newcastle, NSW. (Source: 1)

Visited an air show at Tamworth, NSW by which time it had been repainted white with red and blue trim. Reportedly being operated by the Newcastle Aero Club. (Source: 1)

Noted at Rutherford Airfield, West Maitland, NSW. (Source: 1)

Noted at Rutherford Airfield, West Maitland, NSW where it was based. (Source: 1)

Noted at Rutherford painted white and red. (Source:1)

Noted at Camden, NSW. (Source:1)

Change of ownership to P. L. Cox & Mathew Brothers, "Rockdale" Station, Yanco, NSW. (Source:1)

Noted at Albury, NSW painted white with red and blue trim and engine removed. (Source:1)

Noted at Albury, NSW painted white with red and blue trim and engine removed. (Source:1)

Last flight, Yanco-Oxley-Yanco. Withdrawn from service pending an overhaul. (Source: 1)

Noted on "Rockdale" Research Station near Yanco, NSW, complete but withdrawn from service. The rear cabin perspex had been covered over with fabric. The aircraft was parked in a shed with the wreck of Fox Moth VH-GAS which crashed near here in October 1962. (Source: 1)

Struck off Register at owner's request. (Source: 1)

Sold without CofA to Newton Hodgekiss, Sydney, NSW. (Source: 1)

Sold as a restoration project to Cliff Douglas, Tallebudgera QLD. Short Scion VH-UTV was purchased from Hodgekiss at the same time and both were collected in Sydney by Nick & Greg Challinor of Murwillumbah, NSW and transported by road to Tallebudgera where Cliff Douglas later opened the Chewing Gum Field Air Museum. (Source: 1)

Noted stored dismantled and in poor condition in the main hangar at CGFAM. (Source: 1)

Noted dismantled at Tallebudgera. (Source: 1)

Noted dismantled at Tallebudgera. (Source: 1)

Transported unrestored by Gary Volkers from Tallebudgera to Scheyville, western Sydney where it was stored under cover with aircraft of the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS). Reportedly the Chrislea was still owned by Cliff Douglas. (Source: 1)

Bare fuselage frame with no fabric noted at Scheyville. (Source: 1)

Sold to Queensland Air Museum by Gary Volkers on behalf of Cliff Douglas. Aircraft was missing engine, wheels and fabric.

Collected from Sydney and trucked to Brisbane and stored.

Wings moved from Brisbane to Caloundra where they were stored in a shipping container with the fuselage.

Restoration commenced.

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly
To view this page as it was designed please click HERE

Compiled By Ron Cuskelly



Original research by Geoff Goodall. For more information on the Chrislea CH.3 in Australia, please refer to: Geoff Goodall's Aviation History Site.


Added a recent image of the aircraft.

Issue: 10

DATE: 22 MAY 17

Added an image of the aircraft at Rutherford circa 1962 thanks to Darryl Connor and Geoff Goodall. Also added a recent image of restoration progress.

Issue: 09

DATE: 28 JAN 17

Added an image of the aircraft in storage at Scheyville in 1987 thanks to Bob Livingstone.

Issue: 08

DATE: 17 OCT 16

Added a series of six images of the aircraft at Inverell. Thanks to Barry Admans.

Issue: 07

DATE: 17 APR 16

Updated and expanded with additional information from Geoff Goodall’s Aviation History Site.

Issue: 06

DATE: 26 JUL 15

Added a recent image of the aircraft under restoration.

Issue: 05

DATE: 23 JAN 15

Added a recent image of the aircraft under restoration.

Issue: 04

DATE: 22 APR 13


Issue: 03

DATE: 09 JAN 04

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