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Mawsons Air Tractor

September 27, 2012
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In 1911 Sir Douglas Mawson led an expedition to Cape Denison, Antarctica, to claim territory for Britain, explore inland, find the magnetic south pole, and do considerable scientific research. He took a Vickers aeroplane, whose wings had been damaged and were removed, as an Air Tractor to pull sledges on the ice. It had a short life, the engine seizing on the third trip.

This movie, taken from existing clips on the web and re-mastered, shows the fuselage being unloaded, repairs over winter, and a demonstration run down the hill at the back of the hut. Note the two men on the back of the skis winding spikes into the ice – the only way they could steer.

 

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