An aircraft enthusiast’s entire collection – including a Vampire Jet – goes to auction

Featuring more than 350 lots amassed by record-setting John Fisher

De Havilland 1951 DH-100 Vampire FB 9, about £6,000-£9,000
De Havilland 1951 DH-100 Vampire FB 9, about £6,000-£9,000 | Image: Mossgreen

An extensive, single-owner collection of aeronautica ranging from a Bofors anti-aircraft gun to a 1950s De Havilland Vampire jet will go to auction in Australia on April 30.

John Fisher, whose extensive collection of aircraft memorabilia is now being auctioned
John Fisher, whose extensive collection of aircraft memorabilia is now being auctioned | Image: Mossgreen

The items were amassed over several decades by lifelong aircraft enthusiast John Fisher, who made an epic solo flight from London to Sydney by Tiger Moth in 1996, taking 42 days to complete the 12,000-mile journey across three continents in the 55-year-old wood-and-canvas aircraft and setting 10 records in the process.

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Five years ago, however, Fisher was killed when his Tiger Moth biplane suffered a power failure during take-off from Queensland’s Maryborough aerodrome, where he had established The Old Aviators Flying Museum – which he filled with parts, aircraft and memorabilia gathered from around the world. His widow, Carolen, is now selling the collection through Mossgreen in a 362-lot auction.

The 1958 De Havilland Chipmunk DHC-1 ( about £51,000-£57,000) served as a training aircraft for the Portuguese Air Force
The 1958 De Havilland Chipmunk DHC-1 ( about £51,000-£57,000) served as a training aircraft for the Portuguese Air Force | Image: Mossgreen

Among the highlights is a complete 1958 De Havilland Chipmunk DHC-1 (estimate A$85,000-A$95,000, about £51,000-£57,000) that served as a training aircraft with the Portuguese Air Force, but is now offered as a restoration project. The Vampire (about £6,000-£9,000) will be sold for static display only, having been used as a museum exhibit in recent years. Fisher’s particular enthusiasm for the De Havilland company that made the jet is also reflected in the sale of one of the marque’s Gipsy Major aero engines (about £3,000-£6,000) from 1942.

1958 De Havilland Thruxton Jackaroo modified DH-82A (about £900-£1,500), one of six left in the world
1958 De Havilland Thruxton Jackaroo modified DH-82A (about £900-£1,500), one of six left in the world | Image: Mossgreen

The former US Navy Bofors gun (about £1,200-£1,800) is on offer in fully restored condition. Also for sale is a Victoria Cross Miniature (about £2,400-£3,600), intended for wear on a mess jacket, that was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel WD Joynt of the Australian Imperial Force for “conspicuous gallantry” in the face of artillery and machine gun fire during an action at Herleville Wood at the second Battle of the Somme in August 1918. Viewing takes place at Maryborough Airport from April 28 until 11am on the day of the sale.

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For more upcoming auctions, click here.

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