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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950
Warren the Man
Warren Joins the Bureau
Wartime Perceptions and Attitudes
Return to Civvy Street
People in the Bureau
Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau
Reorganisation of Central Office
The Position of Chief Scientific Officer
Post-War Reorganisation
The Haldane Story
Public Weather Services
The New South Wales Divisional Office
The Victorian Divisional Office
The Queensland Divisional Office
The South Australian Divisional Office
The Western Australian Divisional Office
The Tasmanian Divisional Office
Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation
Post-War Meteorological Service for Aviation
Indian Ocean Survey Flight
The Aviation Field Staff
Synoptic Analysis, Prognosis and Forecasting
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology
A Wider Scientific Horizon
Research, Development and Special Investigations
Analysts' Conference, April 1950
Instruments and Observations
Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Climate and Statistics
The Universities
Achievements of the Warren Years

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation (continued)

One of the major developments in aviation in Australia during the crippling economic depression (which developed in Australia in the late 1920s and persisted well into the 1930s) was the trial flights by Qantas and Imperial Airways carrying airmail between England and Australia which began in April 1931. At that time sea mail took many weeks.

There were many Australian contenders wishing to be involved in such an air service including Kingsford Smith and Ulm, and Brearley. Late in 1931 Smithy's Southern Sun, with Brinsmead, Australian Controller of Civil Aviation aboard, crashed on take-off in Malaysia while attempting to make a demonstration flight carrying airmail from Australia to England. Smithy eventually reached London in the Southern Star carrying the mail but Brinsmead, anxious to get to London, took a KLM aircraft which also crashed on take-off, injuring Brinsmead so severely that he was unable to continue as Controller, his place being taken by Johnston, his deputy.

By 1934 Qantas and Imperial Airways had won approval to begin a regular air service with Qantas responsible for the Brisbane-Singapore sector. Loss of some of their DH86 four-engined biplanes, which carried only 10 passengers, caused great difficulty, but the service continued. The radio-equipped DH86 took three to four days to fly from Brisbane to Singapore. The Sydney to London service took between 12 and 14 days.

Meteorological services for these flights were extremely primitive, as were the other aerodrome and in-flight facilities. The first specialised meteorological service for aviation in Australia was provided by W. A. (Walter) Dwyer in 1934 from the primitive aeradio shack on the Darwin aerodrome, shared with the radio staff. He provided forecasts using a sparse network of meteorological observations from Australia and the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia). One of the advantages of having Walter based at the aerodrome was that he could provide observations of the local weather, and make pilot balloon observations to determine the upper winds so important for flights across the Timor sea in an aircraft with a cruising airspeed of only 125 knots, and a range of only about 650 nautical miles in still air.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Walter Anthony; Johnston, John (Jack); Warren, Herbert Norman

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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