Artefact Details

CDWS 1 - Air tractor tail

Identity - Common name, type, cataloguer

Catalogue Number : CDWS 1
Common Name : Air tractor tail
Field Cataloguer : Estelle Lazer and Linda Clark
Date catalogued in field - 26-Nov-2002
Field Note reference - Book 3 Page 4, 25, 34-51
Type : Category 7: Distribution & Transportation Artefacts - Category 7: Distribution and Transportation Artefacts (definition)

Modification for secondary use - Originally designed as an aeroplane. Modified for use as an air tractor.

Description - materials, markings, dimensions

Description :
Douglas Mawson obtained an REP Monoplane from Messrs Vickers & Co for the expedition. Mawson’s specifications of the aircraft to Vickers included the requirement to have the aircraft wings removable so it could be operated as a tractor. Additionally, the packing crate should be designed so that it could be converted to a hangar. It was hoped that this relatively rare machine would generate much-needed publicity during the preparation for the expedition and, when in Antarctica, assist with exploration. However, the aeroplane was damaged during a test flight in Adelaide (with Wild on board), and was taken to Antarctica without the wings. The expeditioners appreciated the irony of using a state-of-the-art aeroplane engine to haul conventional sledges, albeit with limited success. Some evidence of the air tractor survives at the site. It is believed that the frame of the air tractor is buried under ice between the Main Hut and the harbour. (Notes from Mawson's Huts Management Plan)
Materials : Fibre - Textile - Canvas (definition)
Metal - Ferrous (definition)
Images :

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863A1
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863A2
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863A3
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863A4
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863A5
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863A6
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863B2
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863B3
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863B4
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863B6
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863C1
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
4863C2
Caption
Rudder from the Vickers REP Monoplane, the aircraft bought by Mawson for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911/14. REP stood for the designer Robert Esnault Pelterie. The aircarft was damaged in Australia and never flew in Antarctica, however was used minus its mainplanes as a tractor
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2013
Catalogue id
IA47805
Caption
Rudder of Air Tractor undergoing conservation work
Photographer
Carpenter, Jon

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2013
Catalogue id
IA47807
Caption
Rudder of Air Tractor undergoing conservation work
Photographer
Carpenter, Jon

Condition - status, conservation assessment, completeness

DateTypeDetails
15-Aug-2013 Condition Assessment Condition Report and dimensions, Apart from the information detailed in my initial report, the size of the actual cloth is approx. 112.5 cm x 75 cm. It is held to the metal frame by a web of string, some of which was replaced with new string in the past by another conservator. The string has currently been removed to be able to treat the cloth and the frame separately. Treatment of the frame is finished and more details may be provided when the conservator returns from leave. Unfortunately, no progress has been made with the treatment of the cloth because of other more pressing schedules. Notes from senior conservator, Dept of Materials Conservation, WA Museum, Fremantle.

Completeness - Incomplete

Condition - Fragile

Location - WA Museum, Femantle
9-Aug-2013 On loan for repairs Air Tractor tail section, for conservation and repairs. Refer report by Dr Ian Godfrey, AAD File 07/765. Details to be added.

Completeness - Incomplete

Condition - Fragile

Notes - add images and dimensions.

Location - WA Museum, Femantle
12-Jan-2008 Condition Assessment The air tractor tail was removed from the workshop space to assess its condition.

Condition - Fragile

Notes - The canvas is in poor condition and is very fragile with large areas missing. The binding which held the canvas to the frame has fractured as a result of exposure to ferrous corrosion products from the ferrous frame. The frame has suffered some surface corrosion. At some point in the past a secondary binding has been threaded through the eyelets to keep the canvas attached to the frame.

Location - Cape Denison

©Mawson's Huts Foundation and AAD, Commonwealth of Australia. 2008
Catalogue id
IA17847
Caption
air tractor tail
Photographer
Berry, Michelle

©Mawson's Huts Foundation and AAD, Commonwealth of Australia. 2008
Catalogue id
IA17848
Caption
air tractor tail detail
Photographer
Berry, Michelle

©Mawson's Huts Foundation and AAD, Commonwealth of Australia. 2008
Catalogue id
IA17849
Caption
air tractor tail detail
Photographer
Berry, Michelle
17-Oct-2002 Ice Excavation The 2002/2003 Mawsons Huts expedition excavated the air tractor tail from ice inside the workshop and undertook some minor stabilisation and repairs.

Completeness - Complete

Condition - Fragile

Location - Cape Denison
No image available

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
IA24594
Caption
Storage of the air tractor tail after excavation from the workshop
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
IA24651
Caption
The airtractor tail while being excavated from the ice in the workshop
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 2002
Catalogue id
IA24738
Caption
excavation of the air tractor tail from the workshop
Photographer
Lazer, Estelle
5-Jan-1931 History The air tractor frame was photographed during the visit by members of the British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Expedition.

Location - Cape Denison

©Unknown 1911
Catalogue id
741A2
Caption
"Remains of the air tractor at Commonwealth Bay."
Photographer
Hurley, James Francis (Frank)

©AAD, Copyright Commonwealth of Australia 1929
Catalogue id
10166C2
Caption
Remains of the AAE airtractor
Photographer
Douglas, Eric
8-Jan-1912 History The air tractor was landed at Cape Denison by members of the AAE.

Location - Cape Denison

©Unknown 1911
Catalogue id
727B4
Caption
[neg H6060] "Repairing the air tractor in the hangar. Plate LV, Fig 2 in AAE Scientific Reports, Series A, Vol 1."
Photographer
Hurley, James Francis (Frank)

©Unknown 1911
Catalogue id
727B6
Caption
Landing the air tractor
Photographer
Hurley, James Francis (Frank)

©Library of NSW 1912
Catalogue id
IA14085
Caption
Francis Bickerton warming up Air tractor
Photographer
Hunter, John George

Significance - association with expeditioners or expedition

Significance : PRIMARY - Historic (definition)

References - links to images, publications etc.

Literature