McAlpine also looked after the UK interests of the Helio Aircraft Company, the American manufacturer of impressive STOL types such as the H-395 Courier, McAlpine’s own example of which, G-ARLD (c/n 522), is seen here after it had joined the fleet in 1961. It was later destroyed as a result of a ground-based engine fire in 1988.
Cessna 310 G-APTK (c/n 35453) in January 1964, with its stylish colour scheme emphasising the type’s attractive lines. It arrived in the UK from Belgium in 1959, where it had been OO-DST.
Another photograph of Cessna 310 G-APTK in its 1960s scheme. Sadly, this aircraft was destroyed in a fatal accident at Norwich in October 1974, when the starboard flap retracted uncommanded during the landing approach, causing the aircraft’s nose to drop and roll into the ground less than a mile short of the runway.
McAlpine Aviation operated a number of Piaggio P.166s, the first of which was G-APSJ (c/n 354), which was sold in 1963 to Air Charter of Perth, Australia. With its cranked gull-wings and pusher engines, the type was unusual - and popular with its pilots, despite being given the nickname “the Pig”.
McAlpine was the official UK agent for Piaggio aircraft, and the company used several examples of the P.166, including G-APWY (c/n 362), which went to electronics company Marconi in 1967, in whose colours it is seen here. This aircraft survives today and is kept in the Science Museum’s storage hangar at Wroughton, Wilts.