Parafield Airport was first used as an “all over” aerodrome in 1927, when the Miller Aviation Company (later MacRobertson Miller Airways in Western Australia) and Australian Aerial Services moved from ‘the main aerodrome’ at Albert Park.
In November 1927, the Royal Aero Club of South Australia built a hangar at Parafield and bought two aircraft for passenger and training purposes. On May 29, 1929, two De Havilland Hercules Aircraft, carrying 21 passengers, arrived at Parafield from Perth on the inaugural flight of the East-West Service. On October 1, 1929, 16 aircraft landed at Parafield in the course of the East-West Air Race from Sydney to Perth.
Click on the images (left) to follow the link to Australian Screen where you can view two clips of aerial footage by members of the Royal Aero Club of South Australia from Parafield in the 1930s.
On July 1, 1936, Australian National Airways was formed with passengers flying from Parafield to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney as well as to country centres in South Australia.
During World War II, Parafield Airport was used by the RAAF as a Flying Training Unit, using mainly Tiger Moth aircraft, with occasional use by a heavier general service aircraft such as the Liberator Bomber.
At the end of hostilities in World War II, the airfield, plus numerous buildings, was handed back to the Department of Civil Aviation and it continued to operate as the only civil airport for Adelaide until Adelaide Airport was opened for regular public transport (RPT) operations on February 16, 1955. Parafield became the secondary airport and training field.
In the early 1980s the Federal Government began the process of privatisation of its airports. The final stage of the program took place at midnight of May 28, 1998, when Parafield Airport Ltd commenced the long-term leasing of Parafield, inheriting staff, facilities and equipment.
Parafield Airport is home to the Classic Jets Fighter Museum, home of the world’s oldest F4U Corsair.
CJFM Classic Jets Fighter Museum
Chance Vought F4U-1 Corsair 02270
The Classic Jets Fighter Museum has salvaged an F4U-1 S/N 02270, from Vanuatu, where it force-landed in a lagoon, near Quoin Hill fighter strip on the 5th May 1944.
The Corsair’s pilot Captain James Vittitoe escaped uninjured. The Corsair’s machine guns were salvaged the next day and the aircraft was then abandoned.
The restoration of this magnificent fighter aircraft is by far the Museum’s most ambitious and challenging project. Classic Jets Fighter Museum is a non-profit organisation, staffed by volunteers, dedicated to the restoration of Military Aircraft and history.
Classic Jets Fighter Museum
Hangar 107, Anderson Drive
Parafield Airport, South Australia
Ph: +618 8258 2277
For more photos of Parafield in the early days, and a photographic history of South Australia, follow the link here to the works of Darien D Smith.