No. 12406. Riley Turbo Skyliner (DQ-FDY c/n 14108) Sunflower Airlines "Belo Vula"
Photographed at Nandi Airport, Nandi, Fiji, July 1985, by Ron Cuskelly

Riley Turbo Skyliner

06/30/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "This aircraft was built in 1957 as a de Havilland D.H.114 2D and was first flown with the 'Class B' marking G-5-15. Subsequently it was delivered to the German AF as a VIP-transport transport under the German serial CA+001 at Wahn, Germany on May 21, 1957. Struck off charge in early 1963 it was acquired by the aircraft broker Shackleton Aviation Ltd. in London, UK, and came on the British register as G-ASFI on March 04, 1963. It was sold to Transportes Aéreos da Guiné Portuguesa of Portuguese Guinea (presently Guinea-Bissau) on September 15, 1964, and registered CR-GAT.

The aircraft was sold to Australian Eddie Connellan for use with Connellan Airways Ltd. and it came on the Australian register as VH-CLW on July 21, 1970. A few months later Connellan Airways Ltd. was renamed to Connair Pty. Ltd. on November 19, and in March 1972 the aircraft was converted by the Riley Turbostream Corp. in the USA to a Turbo Skyliner, replacing the original four 250 hp de Havilland Gipsy Queen 30 Mk.2 six-cylinder inverted air-cooled in-line piston engines by four 290 hp Lycoming IO-540 flat-six air-cooled piston engines. In this form and with a new livery the aircraft was pictured by Roger McDonald at Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, in July 1973. It was withdrawn from use in 1976 and stored.

In December 1976 the aircraft was sold to Kendell Airlines who operated it from their Wagga, New South Wales base to country centers in NSW. and later on local services in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Between February and May 1980 Kendell leased VH-CLW to Executive Air Services of Essendon, as shown in this photo taken by Mike Madden at Essendon Airport, Victoria, April 1980. In Kendell service the aircraft was pictured by Mike Madden at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne, in June 1980.

On May 30, 1981 Kendell leased it again, this time to Air Tungaru in the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbert and Ellis Islands), as shown in this photo taken by Ron Cuskelly at Brisbane Airport, May 1981; subsequently it came onto the Kiribati register as T3-ATA.

In November 1984 the aircraft changed owners again, this time to Sunflower Airlines (pictured above). Named Belo Vula (White Heron) it was reportedly briefly registered VQ-FDY, but was re-registered DQ-FDY on December 1, 1984. The aircraft was damaged at Nadi on August 21, 1988, when on engines start the port wing caught fire, reportedly due to spilled fuel; none of the pilot and eleven passengers onboard were injured. The aircraft was repaire and returned to service.

In July 1995 the aircraft was sold to Heron Airlines of Sydney, and although it was transferred to Sydney, it was not registered to nor operated by Heron Airlines. The airframe donated to the Australian Aviation Museum at Bankstown Airport in May 1999, however, it is stored in the open, without engines, and it now is in a derelict condition."

Created June 30, 2014