Early Flight
Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, along with the rest of NZ, has a rich history in early aviation pioneering.
Many folk from this area of ours, almost from the turn of the
last century have been trying to get "up up and away "
via all sorts of elaborate contraptions, built from
whichever, whatever was available locally....from broomsticks,
bed linen, piano hinges, bicycle wheels, home-made engines,
and even way back in 1907, a variable pitch prop and ailerons ! ! !
( Now that 's pretty cool ! )
Our located records only go back to 1907, but even prior to 1900 "seeds" were germinating for sure,
and it was remarkable that so many local folk back in those times were well "up with the play"
with the rest of the world's aviation developments, so far away in our little New Zealand.
Mr O'Brian
Mr. O'Brian of Taradale New Zealand
Mr. O'Brian of Taradale.
Little is known about the fate
of this machine, but it demonstrates
the ingenuity of the early pioneers.

1916. "Tye" Husheer and his
home-made glider.
The first man to "get off
the ground" in Hawke's Bay.

Napier port Dec. 1917.
Curtiss B seaplane doing
passenger flights.
Pilot (right) is Mr. Vivian Walsh.

Can anyone tell us who
the passenger might be...or
the name of the passenger ship?
More on this Napier visit later.

1917. Entrance to harbour?
Pandora Bluff in background?

Another confirmation please...anyone?


Kingsford Smith
and Southern Cross.

1930s. East Coast Air Services'
DH Dragon "Huia" at the
underground fuel tank park
Beacon's Drome, (now HB Airport).

Photo - Trevor Crabtree.
The SOUTHERN CROSS Visit to Hawkes Bay
Saturday 21st. January 1933.
Possibly one of the last two flights into the Riverbend Road area, Napier.
Close to where
Bertram Ogilvie was experimenting with his aircraft from about 1907.

Avro Avion G-NZEE
Riverbend Road airfield.
Francis Chichester (left) with Napier's Mayor
J.Vigor Brown.
The other visit (1928 or 1929) was by Air Survey & Transport Co Ltd
with the first civil aircraft imported into New Zealand.
G-NZZAT- a De Havilland Cirrus II Moth,
on a sales and joyriding 'exercise'.
The pilot was probably
Doug Mill, the NZ agent for De Havilland.
These are the only aircraft we have records of using the Riverbend Road airstrip.
Tui Homebuilt - Dannevirke
The Tui home-built, constructed by Fred North, takes shape during 1929
in the garage of Osgood & Drury, High Street, Dannevirke.
After final completion in Auckland, it was inspected
on behalf of the Defence Depimagesment.
The Inspector said there was not a machine in the country
that could compare to the Tui as far as perfection was concerned.
The Tui, powered by a 3-cylinder Szekely radial engine, takes off for its first flight on 4th. January 1934 from a farm at Whenuapai.
Tui at Mangere...Sir Charles Kingsford Smith autograph. Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in the cockpit prior to flight. Tui ZK-ADV at Mangere, made by Mr. Fred North,
plane-maker extraordinaire.