Charles Ulm's
"Faith In Australia "

Charles Ulm flew his Avro 10 Trimotor "Faith In Australia", which was a British licence built version of the very similar Fokker Trimotor (the type that the "Southern Cross" was), several times to New Zealand in 1934, unofficially setting up an airmail route between Australia and New Zealand during these trips. The main difference between the aircraft types were the Avro was fitted with British built engines, and had a rounder shaped tail.

By December 1934 the aircraft had arrived in Hamilton, though not flown by Ulm this time. Instead at the controls was Captain P.G. Taylor, who had previously been co-pilot to Sir Charles Kingsford Smith on his first crossing of the Pacific in 'Southern Cross'.

It was at this point, on the last flight of 'Faith In Australia' within New Zealand before returning to Australia, that they took up a young Hamilton girl called Mary Douglas.

Mary was herself a pilot, having gained her licence just over a year before. She had begun flight training on the 2nd of September 1933 with Harry Lett of the Auckland Aero Club, who travelled down to Te Rapa to instruct her, and she made her first solo on the 5th of November. Mary was the first woman to be trained to fly at Hamilton's Te Rapa aerodrome. She gained her 'A' licence on the 19th of April 1934, having been examined by Sqn Ldr Leonard Isitt, who would later become the RNZAF's Chief of Air Staff. In June 1934 her license was endorsed for carrying passengers.

The 'Faith In Australia' was in Hamilton under the control of Captian Taylor, one of Ulm's associates. On this flight Taylor took up 15 passengers for a joyride flight, and one of them included Mary Douglas. Her father and sisters were also onboard the plane.

Once in flight, knowing that Mary was a pilot, Taylor kindly let her take the controls. After flying over Hamilton city, she then set course for Cambridge. It is not yet known what occurred on the flight to Cambridge, whether they flew around the town and buzzed the residents, or even if perhaps they landed. Research continues on this. However, it is known that Ulm's 'Faith In Australia' was definately seen in Cambridge skies, and under the control of a pioneer aviatrix.

A little more on the 'Faith In Australia' can be found here:

Ulm Flight To New Zealand

Above: A shot of 'Faith In Australia' somewhere in New Zealand in 1934


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