PETER RYE COLLECTION
No. 11065. Ford Silver Centenary (VH-USC c/n 01)
Photographed Langley Park Fly-in, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, October 15, 2011, by Peter Rye

Ford Silver Centenary

12/31/2011. Remarks by Peter Rye: "No account of the history of aviation in Western Australia between the wars would be complete without a mention of the design, construction and successful operation of the state's first designed and manufactured aeroplane, the "Silver Centenary".

The Silver Centenary was the achievement of Selby Ford, a mechanically talented resident of the town of Beverley. His "day job" was the maintenance of the local electrical power station, one well suited to his leanings but which left him in need of further challenges. Over the period 1928 to 1930, based on no more than a sketch outline, he constructed a single-engine, two-seater biplane.

When test flown, it was found to be well constructed and stable in the air, and was flown to Perth for demonstrations. But, not having any formal design plans to back up its reliability, it did not qualify for a Certificate of Airworthiness, so was retired to storage in 1933.

However, in 1967 a museum was opened in Beverley with the Silver Centenary its central display. Then in 2006, Rod Edwards (a member of Selby Ford's family) had the idea of restoring and flying the aircraft. Before he commenced, he found out how to obtain a Certificate of Airworthiness, and with the help of Rob Felton (a professional aircraft builder and restorer) the Silver Centenary was restored and back in the air in August 2007."

Created December 31, 2011