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Mawsons Air Tractor

September 27, 2012


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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