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Image Transavia Airtruk light aeroplane, 1965

TLF ID M001222

This is a Transavia PL-12 Airtruk single-engine agricultural biplane aircraft designed and built by the Transavia Corporation in Australia in 1965. The Airtruk is of all-metal construction with the cockpit mounted above a tractor engine and short pod fuselage with rear doors. It has twin tail booms with two unconnected tails. The aircraft is painted red on the top half of the fuselage and white on the bottom. There are red stripes on the underside of the top wings, on the fuselage and on the tail. The plane is 27.94 cm high x 119.76 cm wide x 63.50 cm deep.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Designed by Luigi Pellarini, the PL-12 Airtruk was conceived as a rugged utility aircraft with the primary function of agricultural spraying and crop dusting. Airtruks were mass produced by Transavia Corporation Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of construction company Transfield Pty Ltd, at its plant at Seven Hills, New South Wales.
  • After the first prototype Airtruk had been destroyed in structural strength and safety testing, the second prototype, VH-TRN, was flown for the first time on 15 April 1965 from Bankstown Airport. The test pilot was New Zealander Neil Johnston, who had flown the PL-11 Airtrucks in New Zealand. Production began in 1966, and the prototype remained in use until it was withdrawn on 3 March 1969.
  • The Transavia PL-12 Airtruk is one of the most significant aircraft designed and manufactured in NSW, with approximately 120 made in various versions. Most of the manufacturing was carried out overseas. The total production was achieved without government assistance, although at least three submissions for financial support were presented to the federal government.
  • The aircraft received an Australian Design Award and a Prince Philip Prize Certificate of Merit in 197.
  • Luigi Pellarini ranks as one of the most prolific aircraft designers in Australia. He designed the Fawcett 120, the PL-7 Kingsford Smith Aviation Services Air Tanker, the PL-11 Bennett or Waitomo Air Truck, the PL-12 Transavia Airtruk, the Victa R2 and the PL-13 Pellarini Air Jeep, all of which went into production.
  • After the success of the original concept a more powerful version, the T300 Skyfarmer, was produced. A version known as the PL-12U was constructed as a multi-purpose aircraft for passenger, cargo and ambulance roles; several of this type were purchased by the Thai Government for use in counterinsurgency operations.
Topics Biplanes

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Powerhouse Museum
  • Organization: Powerhouse Museum
  • Description: Content provider
  • Address: NSW, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Name: Transavia Corporation Pty Ltd
  • Organization: Transavia Corporation Pty Ltd
  • Description: author
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • Person: Luigi Pellarini
  • Description: author
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
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Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Curriculum Corporation and Trustees of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 2010 (except where otherwise indicated). You may view, display, print out, copy and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.