De Havilland Canada Beaver
Display identity: NZ6001
Australian civil serial: VH-AAL
New Zealand civil serial: ZK-CMW
Currently stored in the Reserve Collection
Can be viewed on the Daily Tour
The RNZAF’s only Beaver was purchased in 1956 for the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
The original Beaver NZ6001 was one of two RNZAF aircraft attached to the 1955-58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, purchased largely with money from public donations. It could be fitted with skis or a wheel/ski combination and made its first flight at McMurdo Sound on 15 January 1957. It returned to New Zealand in 1958 but went south again for the 1959-60 summer season.
Originally assigned the serial ‘NZ6001’, it was later discovered that the registration had already belonged to a Gloster Meteor. The serial number was changed to NZ6010 in August 1959. NZ6001/NZ6010 was written off in January 1960 after an accident on the Beardmore Glacier, where it remains today.
This aircraft, which is displayed as NZ6001, was originally manufactured in 1957 and operated in Australia before being brought to New Zealand in September 1965. It was used as an aerial topdressing aircraft, before being presented to the Air Force Museum of New Zealand as a ‘type example’ by Fieldair in 1985.