Aviation Historian 23
N.Stroud - Mike Hooks
With wings folded, one of the West German company Deutsche Luftfahrt Beratungsdienst’s distinctive scarlet Hawker Sea Fury T20s awaits another target-tug flight at Lubeck-Blankensee in the late 1960s.
One of Mike’s particular passions was unusual light aircraft, the more obscure the better; fulfilling this criterion perfectly was colourful examples of Dornier’s Do 27 and Do 28.
Mike’s early stamping ground was Croydon, where in 1959 he photographed Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina N5593V, which had arrived for repairs after filming sequences for Richard Attenborough vehicle SOS Pacific in Madeira.
Some types are more photogenic than others, a fact Mike used to good advantage when in the perfect spot on the terminal roof at Liverpool’s Speke Airport to photograph Vickers Viscount 701C G-ANHA in 1961. Note the 11th window added at the rear of the cabin when ’NHA was converted to a high-density configuration in 1959.
Again showing Mike’s gift for composition, context and colour, this Kodachrome of de Havilland Heron 1B G-ANXB, named Sir James Young Simpson, of BEA’s Scottish Airways division, was taken on the apron at Glasgow’s Abbotsinch Airport in August 1971. The aircraft was being prepared for its next flight to the beach at low tide on the Hebridean island of Barra.
With a canny knack for finding the most attractive perspective of any given aircraft, Mike rarely took more than one or two shots of each type - Kodachrome was expensive! One of those he captured perfectly first time was Spencer Flack's Spitfire FR.XIVE G-FIRE, photographed in the 1980s in its distinctive eyecatching scarlet scheme with white and blue detail. A dazzling performer in the 1980s, this machine still survives at the Palm Springs Air Museum in the USA.
Before becoming its Press Relations Officer in 1973, Mike was a regular visitor to the SBAC show at Farnborough, where he took this magnificent shot of the Royal Navy’s Fairey Swordfish LS326 in 1962.
One of the few British aviation enthusiasts to start regularly using Kodachrome in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mike made sure to focus on the more unusual and colourful types on his travels, including the Max Holste MH-260 Super Broussard prototype, F-WJDV, which he photographed at the 1961 Paris Air Salon in Royal Air Maroc colours. Powered by a pair of Turbomeca Bastan IV turboprops, the type first flew in July 1960 and became the blueprint for the pressurised Nord 262.
One of Mike’s particular passions was unusual light aircraft, the more obscure the better; fulfilling this criterion perfectly was Austria’s twin-engined Simmering-Graz-Pauker M.222 Flamingo, the third prototype of which Mike photographed at Paris in 1961