truly remarkable image is taken from a glass plate negative. It shows
the Altair Lady Southern Cross not long after the name was
applied, as witnessed by the signwriter's chalk lines. The apparent
smudge to the right of the gentleman standing on the wing is the location
of the previous name ANZAC which Smithy was instructed to remove
from the aeroplane. Evidently this area has been sanded prior to repainting.
On 18 July 1934, the DCA Senior Aircraft Inspector at Mascot wrote
to the Collector of Customs, Sydney: "With reference to this office
memorandum of 16th July, relative to Kingsford Smith's 'Altair' and
the writer's telephone conversation of even date with your Mr. Terry,
it is desired to advise that that the letters 'ANZAC' displayed on
each side of the fuselage have now been obliterated." A clearly
unimpressed P.G. Taylor wrote in his book Pacific Flight: "The
name ANZAC, together with the entire lacquered surface below
it , was removed in the presence of a Customs officer whose duty it
was to see that the name was obliterated before the machine was cleared."
The identity of the gentleman on the wing is unknown. While it is
tempting to imagine that he might be the signwriter, his dust coat
suggests oil and grease rather than paint so he is probably an engineer.
This photograph was probably taken on or after 26 July when the Altair
was test flown at Mascot. Another photograph,
believed to be of this test flight, shows the aircraft with the name
ANZAC removed but before the application of the new name Lady