NotesThe first powered aircraft designed and built in Australia flew at Diggers Rest , Victoria on 16 July 1910. It's designer, builder, pilot, John Duigan carried out his flight without reference to Government for the design and construction of the aircraft or the flight. Today such activity without bureaucratic sanction would be in contravention of the Civil Aviation Regulations and thus, illegal.
The laws requiring Government approvals for design, construction and flying of civil aircraft emanated from the Air Navigation Act passed by the Commonwealth Government on December 2 1920; becoming law in June 1921. The administration of the Act was carried out through a branch of the Department of Defence, the Civil Aviation Branch (CAB) and its role, in part, was to ensure proper standards of safety and skill were maintained by those engaged in the aviation industry.
Basically, aircraft were required to be built to a certain standard approved by the CAB either on the basis of their specifications being accepted by signatory countries to the International Aerial Navigation Convention of 1919 or by the submission of engineering specifications for the aircraft proposed to be built. The Clancy Skybaby, as a local design and construction, came within the latter category although it appears that the engineering justification for the design was submitted post-construction. However, the original Skybaby was tested officially by Captain E W Leggatt for the CAB. Although the Skybaby was approved by the CAB the original was never registered but operated on a "Permit to Fly" which limited it to within a three mile radius of Mascot aerodrome. During this period there were a number of aircraft , currently termed ultralights, being designed and built but the Skybaby appears as the only Australian ultralight design to be replicated by other aspiring pilots. The Skybaby design is still accepted as a current ultralight design capable of flight under CAO (Civil Aviation Orders) 101.28.
In 1980 Lyn Butler (neé Clancy) had her article on the original 1931 Clancy Skybaby aircraft printed in the February 1980 edition of the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) official magazine "The Vintage Airplane". According to the late Jack Clancy, Lyn's father, this article prompted members of Chapter 211 of the EAA , based in Grand Haven, Michigan, USA, to seek out plans of the Skybaby as a suitable project for them to build and fly. Jack provided the plans, which had been redrawn by Sydney Technical College students, and also an engine built to original Clancy-Watt-Henderson specifications was donated to them by him. The new build Skybaby flew on June 22, 1982 at Memorial Airpark, Grand Haven, Michigan. On Thursday July 1, 1982, during the fourth take-off roll of the day the Skybaby drifted off the runway and overturned. The problem was determined to have been a bolt dropping out of the starboard undercarriage radius arm and the aircraft drifting into boggy ground (NTSB identification: CH182DA229). Repairs were carried out and it completed approximately 6 hours of flight testing before being donated to the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the presence of Jack Clancy and Lyn Butler on August 5, 1982.