The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft developed and manufactured by aircraft company de Havilland Canada. It has been primarily operated as a bush plane and has been used for wide variety of utility roles, such as cargo and passenger hauling, aerial application (crop dusting and aerial topdressing), and civil aviation duties
Shortly after the end of the Second World War, de Havilland Canada made the decision to orientate itself towards civilian operators. Based upon feedback from pilots, the company decided that the envisioned aircraft should have excellent STOL performance, all-metal construction, and accommodate many features sought by the operators of bush planes. On 16 August 1947, the maiden flight of the aircraft, which had received the designation DHC-2 Beaver, took place. In April 1948, the first production aircraft was delivered to the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests.
In addition to its use in civilian operations, the Beaver has been widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft. The United States Army purchased several hundred aircraft; nine DHC-2s are still in service with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) for search and rescue. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Beaver supported Sir Edmund Hillary’s expedition to the South Pole. By 1967, in excess of 1,600 Beavers had been constructed prior to the closure of the original assembly line.] Various aircraft have been remanufactured and upgraded. Additionally, various proposals have been mooted to return the Beaver to production.
The Beaver has become one of the more iconic aircraft to have been produced in Canada. Perhaps one of the more significant events involving the type occurred in 1958, when a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Beaver played a supporting role in Sir Edmund Hiliary’s famous Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition to the South Pole. Due to its success, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorated the aircraft on a special edition Canadian quarter in November 1999. In 1987, the Canadian Engineering Centennial Board named the DHC-2 one of the top ten Canadian engineering achievements of the 20th century. Large numbers continue to be operational into the 21st century, while the tooling and type certificate for the Beaver have been acquired by Viking Air who continue to produce replacement components and refurbish examples of the type.
The date is 5th July, 1938. The place is Rose Bay, Sydney. An Empire Class flying boat rumbles and bobs towards its departure point and then turns slowly into the wind. As the engines roar, the plane gradually gathers speed before skimming across the sparkling, blue waters and starting its lazy climb into the sky. So begins the Golden Age of Australian Aviation.
Built in Dunedin in 1906 when the city was New Zealand’s leading commercial centre, this magnificent railway station remains, fully restored to its former glory.An excellent tourist excursion service is the only train now using the station. Much of its ground floor is used as a restaurant, and the upper floor houses an art gallery and a sports hall of fame.
In an eclectic, revived Flemish renaissance style, (Renaissance Revival architecture), the station is constructed from dark basalt from Kokonga in the Strath-Taieri with lighter Oamaru stone facings, giving it the distinctive light and dark pattern common to many of the grander buildings of Dunedin and Christchurch. Pink granite was used for a series of supporting pillars which line a colonnade at the front of the building. The roof was tiled in terracotta shingles from Marseilles surmounted by copper-domed cupolas. The southern end of the building is dominated by the 37-metre clocktower which is visible from much of central Dunedin. The sheer size, grandiose style and rich embellishments of the station earned architect George Troup the nickname of Gingerbread George.
The booking hall features a mosaic floor of almost 750,000 Minton tiles. A frieze of Royal Doulton porcelain runs around the balcony above it from which the floor’s design (featuring a locomotive and related symbols) can be clearly seen. The station’s main platform is the country’s longest, extending one kilometre.
The building’s foundation stone was laid by the Minister of Railways Joseph Ward on June 3, 1904. The Prime Minister Richard Seddon was also present. The station was opened by Ward, by then Prime Minister, in 1906. The construction of the building was kept within budget, and cost £40,000.
Created to be the jewel in the crown of New Zealand Railways, the Dunedin Railway Station has an atmosphere and character unique to any public building in the country, and is regarded as the most photographed building in New Zealand.