Aircraft model, Genairco biplane VH-UOG, 'Jolly Roger', 1:17 scale, wood / plastic, made by Iain Scott-Stevenson, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo, New South Wales, Australia, 2011
The Genairco VH-UOG biplane is an important example of Australian design and serial manufacture. This is a model of the full scale Genairco biplane held by the Powerhouse Museum. It represents the aircraft in its best known livery as the bright red 'Jolly Roger', with a skull and crossbones insignia on the vertical stabiliser. It is as the 'Jolly Roger' that this particular Genairco biplane is best known.
The actual plane was named the 'Jolly Roger' by aviator Goya Henry when he flew it between 1935 and 1940. Henry was an adventurer and non-conformist who used the plane to perform many flying feats. He also made a valuable contribution to the community through his love of flying, including his initiation of unpaid aerial shark patrols over Sydney's beaches.
The model enhances our appreciation of the story behind the Genairco aircraft VH-UOG and its most famous pilot. It also demonstrates the high level of skill and expertise of the Museum's long-serving model maker, Iain Scott-Stevenson.
Model made by Museum preparator Iain Scott-Stevenson
The Genairco aircraft registered VH-UOG was built by the General Aircraft Company at Mascot and registered in Sydney in June 1930. The design of the Genairco was based on the popular English-designed and built DeHavilland Moth but using the wing design of the English Avro Avian.
VH-UOG was the trial aircraft for the installation of the Harkness Hornet aircraft engine, designed by Sydney automotive engineer Donald Harkness and manufactured at his works at Drummoyne.
In October 1935 it came into the ownership of Dr T J Henry, father of Goya Henry. The younger Henry had a disregard for regulations and in 1936 he was advised that his pilot's licence was suspended because of various breaches of the Air Navigation Regulations. Several days after the suspension of his pilot's licence he flew the Genairco, named by him "Jolly Roger", under Sydney Harbour Bridge, being the first pilot to do so and in contravention of the law.
The Genairco was placed in Goya Henry's name in 1940 and it was sold to Macquarie Grove Flying School in 1946. After passing into the hands of a succession of owners, including Airworld at Wangaratta in 1985, the Genairco was purchased by the Museum in 2007.