William Ewart Hart

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William Ewart Hart
Born (1885-04-20)April 20, 1885
Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia
Died July 29, 1943(1943-07-29) (aged 58)
Sydney, Australia
Cause of death Heart disease
Nationality Australian
Spouse Thelma Clare Cock (10 August 1929 - 29 July 1943, his death)

William Ewart Hart (20 April 1885 - 29 July 1943) was an Australian aviator and dentist. He was the first qualified pilot in Australia.[1] His aviator's licence, No. 1, was issued on 5 December 1911 by the Aerial League of Australia.

Hart was born and educated in Parramatta. Aged 16 he was apprenticed to a local dentist, Mr Maxwell. He was registered as a dentist on 26 June 1906.[2] After registration he practiced as a dentist in Wyalong, where he rode the first motorcycle and drove the first car in town. He went on to practice in Newcastle.

In September 1911 Hart met Joseph Hammond who was touring Australia as a demonstration pilot for the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company. He bought (for £1,333) a Bristol Boxkite from Hammond, received some instruction from Hammond's mechanic, McDonald. A gale blew the plane, which was parked at Belmore Park, Penrith, over, and it was wrecked. Hart, with the help of friends and the mechanic, built a new aircraft, using some salvaged parts. He first flew the machine, solo, on 3 November. The next day he flew from Penrith to Parramatta with his younger brother Jack as passenger.

William Ewart Hart in his Bristol Boxkite Biplane, 1912.


  1. ^ Isaacs, Keith, "Hart, William Ewart (Bill) (1885–1943)", "Australian Dictionary of Biography", 1983. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  2. ^ Bullivant, June, "The Hart Family and their Contribution to Parramatta including their favourite son William Ewart Hart (Billy the Flying Dentist)", "Granville Historical Society", 2011-11. Retrieved 2014-07-24.