De Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover
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De Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover

Australia's famous Flying Doctor Service began in the late 1920s, with QANTAS using a D.H.50 to fly the world's first service of this type; in the first year the doctor made 50 flights, saw 250 patients and covered 32,187km.

A series of other standard aircraft continued the service. Something larger was required after World War II, and the new de Havilland Australia DHA-2 Drover eight-seat light transport was chosen. The Drover was based broadly on the D.H.104 Dove, but had three 108kW Gipsy Major 10 Mk 2 engines and tail-wheel landing gear. The prototype Drover flew on 23 January 1948 and versions were offered with variable- and fixed-pitch propellers as the Drover 1 and Drover 1F respectively; the Drover 2 had double-slotted flaps. Limited construction began in 1949 and 20 had been built when production ended in September 1953.

Customers for the Drover included Qantas, Trans-Australian Airlines and Fiji Airways, the last being the only export customer. In Royal Flying Doctor Service the Drover carried two medical staff and two stretcher patients; all six aircraft were converted in 1960 to have Avco Lycoming O-360 engines under the revised designation Drover 3.

De Havilland Australia DHA-3 DroverA three-view drawing (886 x 658)

 MODELDrover 3
 ENGINE3 x Avco Lycoming O-360-A1A flat-four pistone engines, 134kW
    Take-off weight2948 kg6499 lb
    Empty weight1860 kg4101 lb
    Wingspan17.37 m57 ft 0 in
    Length11.13 m37 ft 6 in
    Height3.28 m11 ft 9 in
    Wing area30.19 m2324.96 sq ft
    Max. speed254 km/h158 mph
    Cruise speed225 km/h140 mph
    Ceiling6095 m20000 ft
    Range1448 km900 miles

Noel Spalding, 20.07.2014

The Drover 3 VH-FDU is currently undetgoing work to put it back in the air at Caboolture Qland.

bill gibson, 12.10.2012

similar to the dc 3

Scott, 02.08.2012

There was a Drover at Morwell when I was in air cadets back in 84-86. My father and I were trying to find out who owned it to investigate a possible purchase. Last I saw of it, it went into a new hanger in Morwell with a Mustang replica or rebuild. Last seen in early 90's., 06.05.2012

I used to jump from a Lycoming drover zk-ddd at Whenuapai Auckland in about 1978.

John Oakes, 08.09.2011

In the 1960s there was a Drover at Squires Gate Blackpool.
Can't remember the reg but Air Navigation had it I think.
No photos but it certinly was a Drover--in a sad state as I remember--try NWAN if you need more info they are the experts.

ronco37, 23.07.2011

Anyone know what has happened to the Drover which was at Lasham? It was in bits - but looked as it would be possible to restore it?

beifang, 21.06.2011

Also, if it ain't too much trouble, would this wing be any different to say the P-47 Thunderbolt Republic? (I'm doing a comparison of the two at the moment) Thanks heaps for you help

, 21.06.2011

De Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover

Hal Moloney, 06.06.2011

More a question than comment. A Drover was used as the survey plane for the 1954 REDeX Air Trial. Need information such as "The owner" and "Registration No" for a forthcoming book, probably a tough call. Appreciate any information
Hal Moloney

Joe Mulders, 05.12.2010

New Hebrides Airways Ltd. flew Drovers from the early 1960s until the end of 1960s in the islands which is now Vanuatu.We started with the MKI and bought later on the modified MK III from Hawker de Havilland with Lycoming engines and the V tail.One crashed on the island of Tanna with a loss of 9 lives in 1967 and one was destroyed when landing in Lolowai,in 1969.The last remaining Drover was returned to Australia and replaced by BN-2s when Qantas took over the management of the small airline end in 1969. .

John Brownjohn, 23.10.2010

To my knowlege there are only two flying Drovers. One at HARS, Albion Park (Which I maintain) and one with Charlie Camilleri at Bathurst. These are Gipsy major powered.There is a Lycoming one at Bankstown Aurcraft museum. (Non flying) One on a pole at Mt Isa.
I know of no plans to export any of these.
Wing structure is normal DH design with a single main spar pin jointed to the wing section. Due to corrosion problems the joint must be inspected on a regular (was annual, now three yearly) basis This an onerous undertaking.
The wing has quite a large span and is of standard construction. Main spar and ribs. I think that the fin area is too small for the wingspan and reults in control difficulties. Ie tends to wander and must be wartched at all times.
The HARS aircraft, VH-DHM,was the last built. It has just completed an annual inspection and is in very good condition.
Can be viewed along with the rest of the HARS fleet Lockheed L1049 Constellation, Catalina, Neptunes, DC-4 Tiger Moth, Hawker Hunter, Macchi and others at Illawarra
Regional Airport, Albion Park NSW
I can be contacted on (02) 9524 9363 for any other information

ronco37, 03.06.2010

Am I right in thinking that one of these aircraft is heading for england - and if so did it land at Hurn today?

John Hancocks, 15.05.2010

In 1988 a Gypsy engined Drover flew into Canberra, I believe it is now permanently based in Wangaratta - at Drage's Air World. Unlike some - I haven't been smoking anything funny.

BOB JANE, 12.05.2009

laykuuuuuu shuu cuz

MOE, 05.05.2009

I was wondering what the wing straucture of the drover is. I also am doing a comparison of two different lanes. How are the spars and ribs arranged and are there any unique features on the wings that might make this plane special?

Please need help

Ed, 16.05.2008

lol typo, i was meant to say say "thanks heaps for YOUR help" :P

Ed, 16.05.2008

Hi there,
I would like to know what the wing structure of this plane is like? How are the spars and ribs arranged and are there any unique features on the wings that might make this plane special?
Also, if it ain't too much trouble, would this wing be any different to say the P-47 Thunderbolt Republic? (I'm doing a comparison of the two at the moment) Thanks heaps for you help.


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