Short S16 Scion VH-UTV


Short Scion, VH-UTV ,         first flight, 9th,March,1936.

                                    last flight, 19th,September,1958.

 This aeroplane is in project status and is based at The Missions 1937


Short Scion VH-UTV, constructed in Rochester, Kentis still very much with us and as Mark Twain was noted to have said, reports of her demise were greatly exaggerated. She now resides, in a somewhat lighter state than at any other time in her existence, in Wisemans Ferry but with all the same parts and embodiments are being slowly reunited with her character. VH-UTV was a very interesting aeroplane in that she started life as a Pobjoy powered aircraft in 1936 and finished up as a Gypsy Minor powered aircraft in 1958. This was one of the major changes to this much modified aeroplane but there were many other changes to her which caused various quandary to the airflow round her, dare I say it, corpulent self.


            She started her working life with Guinea Airways in Adelaide, but it would seam that she went through two previous registrations to Robert Bryce(Pty) Ltd and to jointly J.P. Kellow and L.B.Richards of Whyalla, S.A.The engines fitted at this stage were Pobjoy Niagara 2 Serial Nos 2101 and 2102.  Airscrews were serial 42298, and 42285. Two years later the starboard engine was changed after about 250 hours to serial 2018 and changed again to 2064 at 630 hours so it would seam that the starboard engine took some abuse during it’s life.


            During this time most of the flights were between Parafield, Kingscote, KingIsland, Whyalla, Port Pierie and Essendon. Various small injuries were suffered over this time but it would appear from the log that she was a hard working and profitable aeroplane. During that sporting event known throughout history as World War 2 VH-UTV was not impressed into the R.A.A.F. due perhaps to the lack of watchmakers in the Air Force and their fear at having to maintain a Pobjoy radial engine.


            In January 1945 Gypsy Minor engines were released from R.A.A.F. stores and a major reconstruction started. There were indeed differing stories about the success of this installation and it would seam that it was not completely trouble free. There was a differing forward profile fitted to nose cone and an increased height over the front cabin to accommodate radios. The thrust line may have been changed and there was probably little compensating balance to the tail carried out. At this stage Connallen airways purchased her and she dwelt in Alice Springs, Meekatharra and mainly in the West. This log book at that time , with the Gypsy Minor engines, shows many long and difficult flights mostly piloted by a Mr G.Beamish and a Mr J. Collins. The names in the logbook show , from the viewpoint of Sydney, a most romantic and exciting list of locations. I’m sure however the reality was quite different.


            Around this time, in fact during 1946 there was a comment that VH-UTV had been damaged on a flight due to fuel starvation. During this flight, it was recalled in “Failure of Triumph”, the story of Connallen Airways that she had been involved in a gun running enterprise to Borneo. I would be very interested in any information about this event if anyone has any recollection of it.


            We have had letters from some who had experience of UTV who would perhaps classify their experience with her during these times as “interesting” rather than full of ennui. She apparently stopped somewhere away from habitation with a Mr Alan Chase of the Chase Manhattan Bank aboard and it was said of her at this stage that you could always find were she had been by the trail of bolts and nuts on the ground under her flightpath. UTV also experienced a “Willy Willy” at Meekatharra and the story was that she was inverted, damaged, pulled upright by a tractor, brought back to the hanger and then the “Willy Willy” , or at least its cousin returned, and lifted the hanger roof to deposit it again on poor , much maligned by this stage UTV. Apparently there from this stage was a warp in her wing that Mr Stan Dogget could not fully compensate for and she continued to fly one wing low.



Her last flight was in 1959 though a C/A was granted the following year it was not, it seams, utilized. This leaves UTV with us after being found at the “Chewing Gum Air Museum” with Mr Cliff Douglas. UTV had been bought from Alice Springsto a shed near Vineyard and then to Queensland. She is now back in Sydneywere we have made some small progress with her here.





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