Saturday, 3 March 2012

A Toowoomba Curiosity

Southern Cross SC-1 Prototype

I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of Southern Cross windmills.

These iconic products were manufactured at the Toowoomba Foundry during its glory days. They’re everywhere, and were responsible to a large extent for the survival of the business during tough times.

You’re probably less familiar with the Southern Cross SC-1, which is in fact an aircraft.

I’m not talking about Smithy’s redoubtable Fokker Tri-Motor of Trans Pacific fame, but a much smaller and prettier aircraft manufactured in Toowoomba in 1961.

Another view

Back then, quite a few companies (including Victa of lawn mower fame) tested the waters around the manufacture of a locally made light aircraft. The only project that really got off the ground back then was the Victa Airtourer.

Here in sleepy old Toowoomba, however, someone had a crack.

Unfortunately it came to nothing – the Southern Cross board wimped it.

The only reminder is the prototype displayed at the Oakey Museum of Australian Army Flying. Given the appearance of the prototype, it’s a pity it didn’t proceed. Apparently it had great flying characteristics.

Blurb at the display

It’s a beautiful piece of kit, and can be seen at the museum.

Take a look at it if you’re in Toowoomba. Jellybeans in the Jungle's on sale there too, of course.


cav said...

A Toowoomba Curiosity?

I was expecting to see your picture!

1735099 said...

No Cav - it would have read "A Toowoomba Virtuosity" if it was about me.

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