The DH82 Tiger Moth was manufactured by De Havilland and first flew in 1931. It was a two seater aircraft and primarily used for initial training. The first models were equipped with a 120hp Gipsy III inverted inline engine, but this was soon upgraded to a Gipsy Major engine with 130hp. A later C model was developed with 145hp. Superceded by the Chipmunk post war, many were converted to agricultural configuration with the front seat being replaced with a hopper.
Pay’s Tiger Moth VH-PCL was Col Pay’s first spraying aircraft back in 1959 and is still in excellent condition and mechanically sound. It is no longer a working aircraft, just a beautiful part of Pay's history residing in the museum and flying only for air shows.
The DHC1 Chipmunk was designed just after World War II with the intention for it to replace the Tiger Moth as a trainer, and was first flown in 1946. Originally designed and built in Canada it went on to be built in both Britain and Portugal, with a total of 1298 being assembled in the three countries.
735 of these aircraft were used at the RAF’s primary pilot training bases, these were upgraded to the Gipsy Major 8 engine and designed as T 10's. The Chipmunk was not fully withdrawn from service until 1996. VH-AMV was purchased by Pay’s Air Service on 20th JUN 2005.
The Cessna Bird Dog stepped in to take the place of the older Cessna 170. Jumping from 145 Hp to 213Hp, by 1962 there had been 3431 Birddogs manufactured. The US army purchased many Bird Dogs for the Vietnam War to use as observers and forward air control, a role that required them to carry target marking rockets.
Pay's Birddog (VH-LQS) is the D model (1956) which utilises a constant speed propeller. It is used for fire spotting, aerial photography and features in many warbird displays. It is also available for scenic and warbird flights.
The North American Harvard was designed in the late 1930's following demand for an aircraft purpose built to train military pilots all over the world. There was an increasing demand for military combat pilots and by the 1940's the total training hours required to graduate had been cut to only 200, of that 75 hours were in the T-6.
The T-6G (1946) model was better than the previous designs because there was an increased fuel capacity, a more user friendly cockpit layout and, a tail wheel that was steerable by the pilot. The T-6 was being used as a basic pilot trainer right up into the 70's and there are many that are airworthy today but only used in civil aviation.
VH-HAJ was acquired in the early 1980's by Pay's Air Service after living in California since 1976. A former Oshkosh award winner and one of the original Pay’s Warbird fleet, it is a beautiful example of this trainer. The Harvard is flown often and certainly looks the part in its bare metal USAAC Moffat Field scheme.
The Mustang was most likely the greatest fighter of World War II. The mustang originated because the British required an aircraft that was well suited to their increasing needs or range and speed during WWII. The initial engine was not fully capable which forced North American engineers to resort to the Packard Merlin V-1650 engine in the 1943 B model. The Mustang now became known for its long range and effectiveness at high-altitude. Out of the almost 17,000 mustangs built, 200 were built under licence in Australia.
Pay's Mustang (VH-AUB) was registered to the RAAF in 1947 and served for 11 years. VH-AUB was painted red after 1958 and was rarely flown until it was dismantled in 1966 and transported to an outback station in Queensland, Australia. In 1978 VH-AUB was acquired by Col Pay and became his pride and joy. Restoration began and the aircraft was repainted to its original RAAF colour scheme. VH-AUB is still a prize possession in the Pay's warbird fleet, and frequents Australian air shows.
Pay’s have recently acquired a second mustang VH-FST. It has been configured with two seats with an aim to sharing the P-51 experience.
The P-40E was produced from 1942 and 2,320 E models were built by Curtiss in total. It carried six 50 calibre machine guns in the wings and was best known for its involvement in World War II. If properly handled it was a lethal weapon against the Japanese during the war in the pacific. Two-thirds of them, were designated Kittyhawk Mk IA and were used by the defence forces (RAF, the RCAF, the RAAF, and the RNZAF).
Pay's Kittyhawk (VH-KTY) was completed and first flown in 2006 and has a service history with the RNZAF as NZ3094, however it is finished in the RAAF 3 Sqn Colors of Bobby Gibbes CV-C ET953. It was in fact, signed By Bobby Gibbes just before his death in 2007. The aircraft is in immaculate airworthy condition.
The A-37B was a light attack aircraft brought about to create an even better machine than the original A-37A model. The B model had more muscle and an increased gross weight, higher structural limits (6g), provision of in-flight refuelling, duplicated elevator controls, and one of the more important changes was the installation of thermally reticulated polyurethane foam in the fuel tanks. This was a major addition because it prevented explosion in the fuel cells even when struck buy ammunition. These are just a few items added to an already unbeaten machine for its time. Just under 600 dragonfly’s were produced, with a large amount finding their way to the South Vietnamese Air Force.
Pays Dragonfly VH-CPD is currently under reconstruction. It served for the South Vietnamese Air Force (SVNAF) in the Vietnam War as 71-0793 and was shipped to Australia in 1989. Since the late 80’s early 90’s Pay’s have rebuilt 3 Dragonflies, VH-CPD being the fourth.
The turbine Bird Dog first originated in Italy around the 1960's. The Italian army had purchased the original Cessna Bird Dog but required some modification to the model. SIAI Marchetti was chosen for the redesign to give the Bird Dog more muscle.
To look at, the two Bird Dogs are very similar but the biggest difference is the change from a piston engine to a much more powerful turbine. As an observer aircraft its performance would be unmatched. Incorporating a turbine enables the aircrafts propeller to have a beta position which allows reversal of airflow to slow the aircraft while on the runway. A three bladed propeller was introduced along with a passenger/observer door for easier access. They now had the use of 60 degrees of flap and even greater visibility with a slight variation of the body. One exciting factor of the aircraft is its capability to take off within 200ft piloted by a capable person.
Pay’s initially bought 8 of these aircraft to Australia as the sole dealer. Of the 2 still owned by Pay’s both VH-PAE and VH-PAI are flying and immaculately kept. VH-PAI was shipped to scone 2002 after being operated by the Italian Army as MM57217, VH-PAE is also from the Italian Army and was formerly MM57248.