HARS Aviation Museum
HARS Aviation Museum

Fokker FVIIB “Southern Cross” Replica

Photo courtesy of Martin Edwards
Photo courtesy of Martin Edwards

Three engine commercial passenger aircraft

History of the Southern Cross Replica (VH-USU)

Southern Cross is a flying close replica of the famous record breaking Southern Cross Fokker FV11B of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith from the 1920s and 1930s.

Built in South Australia in the period 1980 to 1987 as a tribute to Smithy, the aircraft toured Australia during the 1988 Bicentenary raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

She is a faithful replica built to modern standards using the traditional aircraft construction of steel tubing and timber with doped Irish Linen for the fuselage and an all wooden (spruce and plywood) wing.  She is the largest “exact replica” aircraft in the world and has the largest one piece wing ever made here in Australia.

On the 25th May 2002 at Parafield South Australia she lost a main wheel on takeoff.  Landing on the one good wheel and the tail, the pilot kept the damaged wheel off the ground by keeping its wing high in the air.  When the aircraft stopped the high wing came down and snapped off ~3m of the wing tip.

After considerable negotiation HARS acquired the aircraft from the SA Government  in 2010.  It is being restored to full airworthy status.

Our Southern Cross has only flown some ~555 hrs.

Technical Specifications

Engines: 3 x Jacobs R-775 A2, 7 cylinder air-cooled radial, 12.4 L, ~300 bhp each

Maximum takeoff weight: 5,700 kg

Length: 14.3 m

Wing span: 22.1 m

Height: 4.3 m

Cruising speed: ~155 km/h (max ~185 km/h)

Ceiling: 8,500 ft

Range: 7.5 hr endurance

Crew: 2 x pilots