HISTORY OF EAGLE FARM AIRPORT

 

Aviation in the Eagle Farm area dates back to 1912. An Aviation Court was held at the Brisbane Annual Exhibition (The Ekka) to publicise the resurgence of the defunct Queensland Aero Club. On 16 August 1912, Wizard Stone took off in an aircraft powered by a Gnome rotary engine from Eagle Farm racecourse and circled the track a number of times. This was the second powered flight in Brisbane and the fourth in Queensland.

The Eagle Farm aerodrome area itself was first used as a landing field in 1922.  About three years later, Eagle Farm Aerodrome was officially opened. Eagle Farm was used for scheduled flights between Brisbane and Queensland regional centres during the late 1920's and very early 1930's.

QANTAS began operating from Eagle Farm in 1926.

On 9 June 1928, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Ulm and two others landed in the Southern Cross at Eagle Farm airport at the end of the first crossing of the Pacific Ocean from Oakland, California. 16,000 people rushed to Eagle Farm to greet the Southern Cross.

The first aerial service to Sydney in New South Wales, flown by Australian National Airways (ANA) left Eagle Farm in 1930. In 1931 Eagle Farm was closed when civil operations were relocated to Archerfield. A number of hangars were also relocated from Eagle Farm to Archerfield.

 

ef22.jpg (38727 bytes)

An ANA Avro came to grief at Eagle Farm in 1930
There were no surfaced runways at that time and

after heavy rain, the landing surface was very unsafe

 

Eagle Farm was reopened during World War II by the Americans. It's proximity to the Brisbane River and the harbour probably played a decision in its reopening in about January 1942. The Americans used the quarry owned by Mr Bowser at Webster Road to build the new runways at Eagle Farm.

Many crated, or partly assembled aircraft were unloaded from ships in the Brisbane River and moved to Eagle Farm and other locations such as Archerfield or Amberley to be assembled.

After the war finished in 1945, civil aircraft operations were relocated back to Eagle Farm and Archerfield became a light aircraft operation.

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

"Queensland Aviation - From the Ground Up 1910 - 1912"
By Edward P. Wixted

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Anne Jones for her assistance with this web page.

 

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 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 21 July 1999

This page last updated 23 February 2018