HARS Aviation Museum
HARS Aviation Museum

De Havilland DHA-3 Drover VH-DHM

The Drover was designed and built in the late 1940s by de Havilland at Bankstown, NSW. Only 20 of this type were built with the first having its maiden flight in 1948.  Operators of this type were Qantas and TAA as passenger and cargo aircraft and the Department of Health. However their most renowned role was with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, serving as an air ambulance well into the1960s.

Eight aircraft survive today, however only three are known to be airworthy (all Mk-2s): VH-ADN c/n 5009, VH-AZS c/n 5018 and VH-DHM c/n 5020. The aircraft pictured above is in serviceable condition and is currently on a long-term loan to the Society from Hawker de Havilland.

Four Drovers are preserved as memorials or in museums; three Mk-3s (with Lycoming flat 4 engines), VH-FDR c/n 5006 and VH-FDS c/n 5007 at the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra and VH-FDC c/n 5013 at the Central Aviation Museum in Alice Springs. One Mk-2 as a memorial to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Mt. Isa, a composite of VH-DRD c/n 5010 and VH-AZN c/n 5017.

The de Havilland Aircraft DHA-3 Drover was produced to replace the de Havilland DH-84 Dragon then in widespread use in Australia, many by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The prototype (c/n 5001) first flew on 23 January 1948. VH-DHM c/n 5020, is the 20th and last production model and was produced in 1951 and registered

VH-AHZ, she was then sold abroad in August 1965 and became VQ-FAH. Her registration was changed to VH-PAB on her return to Australia in 1969, then owned by Pastoral Aviation, but by 1973 her condition was deteriorating. The aircraft received a new owner on 27 June 1973, along with an overhaul and a new colour scheme of orange and white.  She was purchased by Hawker de Havilland in 1981 and restored by the Apprentice Training Centre and repainted to her current white/blue/red scheme. Her first post restoration flight was on 17 July 1986. The aircraft was maintained by Hawker de Havilland at Bankstown until the company was taken over by British Aerospace when it was transferred to Parafield, South Australia. When Tennix took over Hawker de Havilland VH-DHM was placed in the operational and maintenance care of HARS, being ferried to Bankstown in June 2000. Since then she has undergone a thorough inspection and maintenance program.


De havilland DHA-3 Drover VH-DHV
De havilland DHA-3 Drover VH-DHV



Aircraft Specifications

Length 11 m  |  36 ft 2 in

Wing Span 17.38 m  |  57 ft

Height 3 m  |  9 ft 9 in

Empty Weight 1,859 kg  |  4,100 lbs

Payload 681 kg  |  1,500 lbs

Maximum Take Off Weight 2,950 kg  |  6,500 lbs

Maximum Fuel Capacity 408 ltr  |  90 gal

Total Engine Oil Capacity 41 ltr  |  9 gal

Maximum Speed 225.3 km/h  |  140 mph

Cruise Speed 201.4 km/h  |  125 mph

Maximum Range 805 kms  |  500 mls

Rate Of Climb 244 m/min  |  800 ft/min

2 Engine Climb 61 m/min  |  200 ft/min

Take Off Run 475 m  |  1,560 ft

Landing Run 460 m  |  1,500 ft


Power Plant 3 De Havilland Gipsy Major Mk-10 4 cylinder, inverted, in-line, air-cooled, direct drive

Power Plant Weight  141 kg  |  312 lbs

Displacement 6.124 ltr  |  373.6 cu in

Take Off Power 108 kW  |  145 hp

Cruise Power (Typical at 200 knots)  80 kW  |  108 hp

Power Loading 9.1 kg/kW  |  14.95 lbs/hp

Propellors De Haviland PD 80/2 MI/1 fixed pitch 2 blades,  2.06m / 6 ft 9 in diameter