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Author Hanrahan, N.
Title Harry Baker's plane, VH-ULU [picture]
Published/Produced 1929.



Call Number BA39/28
Description 1 photoprint : b&w, gelatine ; 6 x 11 cm.
Series Hanrahan collection of photographs ; BA39/28
Rights advisory This image is for personal use only. To publish or display it, contact the State Library of Western Australia.
Notes VH-ULU Klemm L25-1 (construction number 131). This little two seater was imported in 1929 and registered on 22 August 1929 to Hermann Christian Ittershagen of West Subiaco, WA, who was the German Consul General for WA. He was also the local distributor for Lanz tractors, and told local newspapers at the time that he would train eight of his tractor experts to fly the Klemm in order to provide service to his far flung farmer customers throughout West Australia. There was a delay in getting the aircraft flying because the Civil Aeronautics Board did not recognise its German Certificate of Airworthiness. In the event it was assembled at his private airfield at West Subiaco and test flown on 17 August 1929 by his company pilot Harry "Cannonball" Baker (see Daily News 17 August 1929, p.2. Baker flew VH-ULU to Sydney for the October 1929 East-West Air Race from Sydney to Perth and on arrival back in Perth reported no mechanical failures of any kind. In January 1930 Ittershagen had floats fitted to VH-ULU, and he formed a new company, Aerial Commerce Co, whose letterhead boasted a "Klemm Seaplane Station, Nedlands" on the Swan River near Perth city. After fitting of the floats, this aircraft was the first to fly to Rottnest Island, with pilot Harry Baker landing in the sea at Thomson Bay in January 1930, prior to the Rottnest Island Airstrip being opened in November 1930. The floats were actually removed several months later, and it was used for joyriding at Perth and Rottnest Island. Damaged when wingtip hit spectators at West Subiaco WA 25.06.1932, cancelled from register 16.1.33. Aircraft was retired to Ittershagen's hangar at West Subiaco airfield and remained there with Klemm VH-UNG and Spartan VH-UMQ until 1940. That year VH-ULU was purchased by a local, and DCA investigations in Oct 1941 revealed that he had flown over 200 hours of local flying from the West Subiaco aerodrome with no pilot's licence and confessing complete ignorance of all aviation regulations. Not only that, but for fuel, he and his friends had stockpiled 120 gallons of car fuel in contravention of the wartime fuel rationing regulations! The ultimate fate of the little Klemm is unclear, but a wheel identified as being from VH-ULU turned up in a Perth tip in 1958. ( and (Information supplied by D. Eyre, June 2008)
Summary H. Baker's plane, working for Lanz Tractor Service on tour of Wheatbelt. German made Klemm monoplane operated by Hermann Christian Ittershagen, German Consul General WA, 40 HP French Salnson engine, Max 80mph, 42mpg, wingspan 43 ft (wings could fold back) 23 ft fuselage. Cost 775 pounds sterling.
Subjects Baker, Harry, 1902-1986 -- Career in aviation -- Photographs.
Klemm (Airplane) -- Western Australia -- Photographs.
Ittershagen, Herman Christian.
Lanz Tractor Service -- Western Australia -- Wheatbelt -- Photographs.
Airplanes -- Western Australia -- Photographs.
VH-ULU (Airplane) -- Photographs.
Online image.