March 18, 2022

Miss Flinders celebrates 90 historic years

Launceston’s historic Miss Flinders aircraft today celebrates 90 years since she started her pioneering commercial air service between Launceston and Flinders Island in 1932. She celebrates the milestone from her prime position in Launceston Airport, where her Tasmanian story began.

Miss Flinders is a Desoutter Mk. II Monoplane, one of only three such aircraft remaining in the world.

With its enclosed cabin for two passengers and pilot, the aircraft proved ideal for the biweekly return service from Western Junction to Whitemark on Flinders Island. Flights took around 1 hour and 45 minutes one way depending on weather conditions.

Benefits of transporting passengers and mail by air to Tasmania’s nearby islands saw the amalgamation with the Holyman Brothers, which formed Tasmanian Aerial Services and later became Holyman Airways and eventually Australian National Airways – ANA.

Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society President Andrew Johnson said: “Displaying Miss Flinders in Launceston Airport is the appropriate venue considering the aircraft’s history on the site, and it provides the opportunity for the story of this significant little plane to continue to be shared with so many people.”

Launceston Airport CEO Shane O’Hare said that he was proud to have a piece of Tasmanian history on display.

Miss Flinders was displayed at Launceston Airport from the 1960s to 1990s, so it’s fitting that she is now back here as she celebrates this historic milestone – even more so as we celebrated our own 90th anniversary last year.

“She always attracts the attention of travellers passing through our airport, sparking interest in the long history of aviation in Tasmania and the evolution of aircraft over the decades,” he said.

Miss Flinders was reassembled and displayed in Launceston Airport in February 2021, and travellers can still see the aircraft hoisted up in the terminal.


For further information:

Tasmanian Aviation Historical Society: Andrew Johnson, 0418 548 579

Launceston Airport: Rebecca Arnold, 03 9335 3666

Australia Pacific Airports (Launceston) acknowledges the First Nations people and Traditional Owners of Tasmania including the Land that Launceston Airport operates on. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all other First Nations People.