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Air Enthusiast 1972-02
??? - The End of an Era
The same aircraft just after take-off, with the massive undercarriage beginning to retract.
An interesting picture of the Ensign flagship G-ADSR over Southampton water, with the fabric covering of the wing behind the box spar clearly visible.
With the wing set at a positive angle of incidence on the fuselage, the Ensign adopted a distinct nose-down attitude in cruising flight, as shown clearly in this early photograph of the first aircraft.
Problems with the original Tiger engines dogged the early operations of the Ensign fleet; all five in this picture were at Hamble with work going on to rectify the engine problems.
After being re-engined with Wright Cyclone engines - identified by the shorter chord of the cowlings - the Ensigns were painted in a uniform stype before being transferred to the Middle East for service with BOAC. These pictures show the camouflaged upper surfaces and the civil registrations, which were retained together with the BOAC "Speedbird" emblem and aircraft name on the nose.
Former Imperial Airways Armstrong Whitworth Ensign G-ADSV in BOAC wartime markings at Takoradi, West Africa
After its forced landing in French West Africa in 1942, G-AFZV, the final Ensign II, was taken to Dakar for repair by Vichy French personnel. There, the registration was changed to F-AFZV as a temporary expedient, but it later became F-BAHO after transfer to France.
Photographed at Hurn in 1946, G-ADTB displays the final form of finish and markings carried by Ensigns during the last few months of service in Africa and for their return to the UK for scrapping.
The first Ensign taking shape at Hamble, showing the all-metal wing torsion box and the main undercarriage attachment.
The assembly line for front fuselages, with four aircraft in various stages of completion.