A. Jelliffe Pty. Ltd. and the Eastgate family have
had a long association with the aircraft
industry and the Australian Air Force.
- A. Jelliffe Pty. Ltd, furniture manufacturers, was established in 1936 and occupied premises in Mt Alexander Road beside the Essendon Tram Depot
- During World War2 the Company was seconded by the Australian Government to work under the supervision of Victorian Interstate Airways (VIA) producing wooden aircraft components for the war effort
- Mr. Arthur Jelliffe regained control of the Company in 1948 and was then joined by Mr. Robert Henry Eastgate and they recommenced furniture production.
Unfortunately Mr. Jelliffe passed away two years later, having contracted Tuberculosis. Mr. Robert Henry Eastgate became sole owner of the Company.
- In 1957 his son, Robert (Bob) Leslie Eastgate undertook a Cabinet Maker's Apprenticeship, Furniture Design Course and joined his father. The Company went on to become a very successful business.
- In 1980 A. Jellliffe Pty. Ltd. divested itself of its furniture business and took up aircraft maintenance in Hangar 211 at RAAF Base, Pt Cook. The intention was to look after Bob's P51D Mustang which had been purchased by him in 1970 and registered as VH BOB.
- In 1982 the Company was granted its Certificate of Approval to carry out aircraft maintenance. Work commenced on Winjeel A85-422 (VH SOB), placing this aircraft on the civil register as well as regular maintenance on Mustang VH BOB. Types that followed were Tiger Moths, Fokker DR1, Harvard, CT4, Birddog and Cessna 180.
- The restoration of Mustang A68-648 for the Australian War Memorial was another large project. This required major structural work with the fitting of new wings. The engine was dismantled, cleaned and fully inhibited for long term storage, then re-assembled. The aircraft was then fully fitted out with all of its systems and now proudly sits resplendent in the Exhibition Hall in Canberra.
- Another challenging job was re-designing and installing the Fokker DR1's crude aileron hinge system. This consisted of a metal strap wrapped around a tube. This was modified to a fully housed and greasable ball bearing system, keeping it within the original aerodynamic hinge lines. This was a credit to those members of staff who carried out this task.
- Merlin engine overhaul began in 1990 with an engine for A68-104 followed by another engine for The Museum's A68-170.
- Around this time, the Company acquired a derelict WWII Engine Test Truck which was totally rebuilt to test V12s as well as radial engines. This came on line for A68-104's next engine installed in 2003.
- The Company received its Air Operator's Certificate in 1994 and began conducting joy flights.
- The Company's first horizontally opposed 0-470 engine was completed in late 2005.
- Meanwhile the Test Truck is involved with testing new electrical components for Rotex Magnetos.
The Company has had, and continues to have, a close association with the RAAF Museum, maintaining some of its aircraft fleet and assisting in many other ways.
Many, many people have enjoyed the experience of a ride in the back seat of Mustang VH BOB and hopefully the Company can continue to operate this aircraft for a long time yet.
For further information or bookings please call
(03) 9372 0780 or use the contact form on this Website
Mustang VH-BOB A68-104 Airworthy &A68-648 Static, 'completed' for Australian War Museum. A85-122 airworthy in the background.
Engine overhauled 1650-7
Mustang Joy Flights VH-BOB undergoing maintenance
Andy and Ivan in the Engine Overhaul shop
Merlin 1650-7 under test
Under test for fuel mixture adjustments