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Thursday, 9 September 1920

Sir GRANVILLE RYRIE (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Assistant Minister for Defence) - The honorable member's questions cannot well be answered in a general way, but perhaps the following information will meet his purpose: -

1.   This depends on -

(d)   Nature of the coast-line to be patrolled.

(e)   Ground organization in existence over the route to be patrolled. but, assuming that a D.H. 9a, i.e. a singleengined machine, as now in possession of the Defence Department, equipped with a 400 horse-power Liberty engine, is used, and that a daily patrol is required, working from one base only (i.e., leaving and returning thereto), there being no subsidiary landing grounds, that only one machine is sent out at a time, and that the country presents no unusual difficulties, it may be taken, as a general rule, that about 200 miles of coast line could be watched. This, of course, would mean that the machine would pass over that particular part of the coast twice, i.e., going out and coming back. If a chain of stations were established, say, 400 miles apart, then the same machine, by leaving one station and patrolling the coast to the next station and staying at the latter the night, could patrol 400 miles of coast line per day.

2.   This depends on -

But, assuming conditions as set out in answer No. 1, it would probably be necessary to have two officers per machine.

3.   This depends on the particular type of machine required. There are - Light bombers (single engined) and heavy bombers (two or more engines). The D.H. 9a referred to in answers to questions Nos. 1 and 2, is a light day bomber, and its contract price is approxi mately £3,000 in England, and approximately £3,300 in Australia, although at the present time a certain number of these machines, which were surplus toRoyal Air Force requirements, are obtainable from the Disposals Board in England at £900 each. The VickersVimy is a twin-engined (Rolls-Royce) heavy bomber, and its contract price, delivered in Australia, would be in the vicinity of £9,000 and £10,000. These prices, of course, vary considerably with the nature and design of armament, bomb sights, &c., with which they are equipped. It must be understood that it is always necessary to have spare machines and spare engines, also numerous spare parts and other equipment, which must be added when endeavouring to arrive at the cost of any aircraft unit.

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