Category Archives: Aviation history books

Finished with Engines by Colin Lock

Finished With Engines

by Colin Lock

Qantas longhaul flight engineers 1941 – 2009

When Qantas’ last Boeing 747-338 VH-EBV departed Sydney on 20 January 2009 a 67-year association between Qantas and flight engineers departed with it. This book recalls the story of that sometimes difficult association and gives details of all the men who proudly wore the purple and gold epaulettes in those years.

Although primarily concerned with the rise and demise of the flight engineer’s position within Qantas, a substantial amount of Qantas history is covered in the book. Also included are short biographies on each of the 500 flight engineers who flew with Qantas.

The book has 360 A4 pages with 60 mainly B&W images, and includes an index.

To order a copy, contact the author via email on or write to ‘Book’ PO Box 1, Cronulla, NSW, 2230. The book retails for A$25 plus P&H.

ISBN-10 0646581562

ISBN-13 978-0646581569

Australian Eagles by Kristen Alexander

Book cover - Australian Eagles by Kristen AlexanderAustralian Eagles

by Kristen Alexander

Australian pilots in the Battle of Britain

“Australian Eagles” tells the stories of five Australian pilots and one adopted Australian who successfully defended Britain against the Luftwaffe onslaught. They rank among the nearly 3,000 men known as The Few. Heroes all who faced death daily;

Jack Kennedy of Sydney (Spitfire and Hurricane pilot of 238 Squadron)

Dick Glyde of Perth (Hurricane pilot of 87 Squadron)

Tasmanian Stuart Walch (Hurricane pilot of 238 Squadron)

Des Sheen of Canberra (Spitfire pilot of 72 Squadron)

John Crossman of Newcastle (Hurricane pilot of 46 Squadron), and

English-born James Coward who retired to Canberra (Spitfire pilot of 19 Squadron)

Three of the Australian Eagles were trained by the RAAF at Point Cook. One escaped death three times, one lost his leg, and four died.

Kristen Alexander vividly describes their training, combat and victories. She sensitively explores the impact of their achievements and loss on those who loved them. She also covers how they are remembered, more than 70 years after their great aerial battles.

Click here to go to Kristen’s website for details about how to order.

ISBN-13 978-0987414229

Bindaloo Air by Brian George

Bindaloo Air cover imageBindaloo Air

by Brian George

An illustrated children’s poem

Written and illustrated by AHSA member Brian George. One of a series about the small country town of Bindaloo, it describes aircraft construction and conversion from military to a commercial airliner. Details of airline services and maintenance are outlined as are the shortcomings of hiring a barnstormer as chief pilot.

The books are designed for children aged 8 to 11 or any adult keen to encourage reading. They also include a quiz at the end to test the reader’s attentiveness.

Priced at $15.00 each. Other titles include:
Bindaloo Gold
Bindaloo Rail
Bindaloo Ghost
Bindaloo River
Bindaloo School
Bindaloo Beach

Published 2014

To order a copy, contact the author by phone on (03) 9467 1534 or via email on


Australia @ War by Peter Dunn


Australia @ cover imageAustralia @ War

by Peter Dunn

A digital publication supplied on a USB memory stick

The “Australia @ War” USB Memory Stick will amaze you with the amount of historical information and rare photographs regarding military activities in Australia during WWII.

Learn about your relative’s military role in Australia during WWII

Discover the unknown history of Allied Army, Navy and Air Force Units in Australia during WWII

You will be amazed at the number of military aircraft crashes in Australia during WWII

Find out about long forgotten places such as military airfields, camps, bunkers etc in Australia during WWII

Learn about events such as the Japanese bombing raids and submarine attacks in Australian waters

View numerous never-before-seen photographs from WWII – many of which are not available on the website

Click here to go to the “Australia @ War” website for details about how to order

Published in 2014


Ten Journeys to Cameron’s Farm by Cameron Hazlehurst

Book cover - Ten Journeys to Cameron's Farm by Cameron Hazlehurst.Ten Journeys to Cameron’s Farm

by Cameron Hazlehurst

The crash of Hudson A16-97: An Australian tragedy

‘In the whole history of government in Australia, this was the most devastating tragedy.’

Three decades after what he called ‘a dreadful air crash, almost within sight of my windows’ Robert Menzies wrote ‘I shall never forget that terrible hour; I felt that for me the end of the world had come’

“Ten Journeys to Cameron’s Farm” tells the lives of the ten men who perished on Duncan Cameron’s Canberra property on 13 August 1940: three Cabinet ministers (Geoff Street, Jim Fairbairn, and Sir Harry Gullett), the Chief of the General Staff (Sir Brudenell White), two senior staff members, and the RAAF crew of four.

The inquiries into the accident, and the aftermath for the Air Force, government, and bereaved families are examined. Controversial allegations are probed: did the pilot F/Lt Bob Hitchcock cause the crash or was the Minister for Air Jim Fairbairn at the controls?

The book is based on over 30 years research in official archives, private papers, and interviews with surviving RAAF officers, family, friends, and colleagues of the victims. Pre-war and early wartime RAAF organisation, recruitment, pilot training, and accident prevention and investigation are examined. Previously unexplored personal histories and policy conflicts in the higher echelons of the Service add rich incidental detail to a compelling story.

Click here to go to the ANU e-Press website to download an eBook or PDF version (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Click to go to the Co-Op Bookshop to order a printed copy.

Published November 2013

ISBN-13 978-1925021004 (print)

ISBN-13 978-1925021011 (eBook)

Flyers of Time by Kevin O’Reilly

Book cover - Flyers of Time by Kevin O'ReillyFlyers of Time

by Kevin O’Reilly

Winner of the Victorian Community History Awards 2013 award for Local History

This collection of aviation reportings, documents and photographs began as the result of Kevin’s interest in recording the story of the World War II RAAF Base at Nhill in western Victoria. This was the town of his youth and he recalls the drone of radial engines over his home, and like most of the young boys of the town, longed for the day he could fly to the clouds like the Air Force boys. Unfortunately, circumstances never came his way to indulge this dream and apart from completing his National Service in the RAAF, Kevin remained mostly on the ground, still dreaming and looking skywards.

In Kevin’s research, he became impressed by the enthusiastic reporting of Fred McKenzie of the “Nhill Free Press”, who faithfully recorded aircraft comings and goings from the first aeroplane visit in 1919 until his passing in 1943. As most researchers will agree, it is hard not to explore every line of enquiry to its end and Kevin trusts that readers will be forgiving for the number of times Nhill is mentioned in this publication. During the 1920s, there were few aeroplanes with a range that would enable them to fly between capital cities without stopping to refuel. On flights between Melbourne and Sydney the refuel point was usually Cootamundra, NSW. Between Melbourne and Adelaide, the town of Nhill was almost exactly half-way and almost on the lay line for ease of navigation, with a prominent wheat silo and rail line with relatively flat surroundings, it became a logical “perch” for aircraft. Local town fathers were quick to seize on this fact and embraced the possibilities of a potential new asset.

Book award - Flyers of Time by Kevin O'Reilly

“Flyers of Time” concerns itself with aviation in country Victoria and

the Riverinaand largely excludes that from around Melbourne, Geelong and the RAAF. Inclusion of this material would have been at the expense of “bush” reports. Many of the black and white photographs included are regrettably of poor quality but better than nothing and are included for historical significance. In selecting a title for this book, Kevin’s mind kept returning to one of his favourite Victorian State histories, “Riders of Time” by Dame Mabel Brookes – Kevin is sure she would not have disapproved of him borrowing from it.


Click here to go to the Flyers of Time website for details about how to order.

Published in 2012

ISBN-13 978-0-646-57767-8

The Purple Stripe by Brian L. Hill

Book cover - The Purple Stripe by Brian L. HillThe Purple Stripe

by Brian L. Hill

A history of Flight Engineers in Australia

While the publication is essentially about FEOs, an enormous amount of material has been woven into the book to ensure that the Flight Engineer’s role is seen in the wider context of the Australian Airline Industry.

A brief history of each operator who used FEOs has been included, as well as the history of each type and why it was purchased. A brief technical description of the main FEO types is also provided. An extensive array of photographs, 3-view drawings, a large Glossary/Abbreviations section and a generous Index, complete a comprehensive history of not only Flight Engineers, but the Airline Industry in general.

The author takes the reader through the ‘warts and all’ aspects of the formation of the union and the fights that developed to keep the FEO as part of the crew. The historical Presidential Task Force in the US is covered as is the 1989 Pilot’s Dispute in Australia – the latter as seen by the AAFEA, who tried to bring the parties together.

At almost 900 pages and with more than 150 photographs, the Purple Stripe provides a valuable insight into many aspects of Australian aviation that have been either forgotten or misunderstood. While the role of the Flight Engineer is generally regarded as secondary to that of the pilot, they never-the-less performed a valuable role in an exemplary manner for more than 50 years. It is believed that this book will provide a valuable research source for those interested in Australian aviation.

Click here to go to the Southern Cross Publications website to order a copy.

Published 2012 by Southern Cross Publications.

ISBN-13 978-0987445506