Aeroplane Monthly 1980-09
Personal album
The photograph of the Bristol Bulldog IIA was taken at RAF Kenley. K2173 was on the strength of No 17 Squadron until struck off charge in June 1937. The Mk IIA Bulldog differed from the standard Bulldog by way of its strengthened airframe, wider track undercarriage with larger tyres and tailwheel instead of tail skid. At the time when the pictures on this page were taken Nos 3 and 17 Squadrons were based at Kenley. Earlier, from 1932 until 1934, the aerodrome had been closed for operational use during reconstruction, the squadrons being dispersed to nearby Biggin Hill, Kenley was to remain a grass aerodrome until further modernisation in 1939 included the laying of two hard runways and a perimeter track.
Two Bristol Bulldog IIAs, with K1661 in the foreground carrying a Hythe camera gun on its top wing centre section. The aircraft in the background is K1689. Both aircraft are in the colours of No 17 Squadron, and are seen at Kenley. K1661 was struck off RAF charge in July 1938, K1689 having already been struck off charge in May 1935.
Robinson Redwing G-ABNX, a familiar participant at today’s airshows, was first owned by C. P. Hunter of Hooton Park, Cheshire, and had many successive owners until 1953, when it went into hibernation. In 1959 it was purchased by John Pothecary and Ted Gould and restored to airworthy condition in March 1962. Today the Redwing is still owned by John Pothecary, and is scheduled to be the subject of an early Preservation Profile feature.
Hermes-engined Percival Gull Four G-ABUV was initially registered to C. S. Napier, in March 1933. In August of that year it passed to Surrey Flying Services and was then sold to M. Maxwell in October 1935. It was during his ownership that the aircraft was lost in a crash at Nice, France, on November 2, 1936.
D.H.84 Dragon G-ACPY was delivered to Olley Air Services Ltd in May 1934, and is seen at Croydon. In February the following year the Dragon moved to the north with Blackpool & West Coast Air Services Ltd. Then in May 1936 it moved across the Irish Sea to join Aer Lingus as EI-ABI, returning south and back to Olley Air Services in March 1938. ’PY was shot down by German fighters off the Scilly Isles on June 3, 1941.
Handley Page H.P.42W G-AAXC Heracles was registered to Imperial Airways Ltd in August 1931. The 42W variant carried 38 passengers, but had less room for baggage than the standard 42E, though both were externally identical. Heracles made an unscheduled extended stay at Hanworth Park in June 1932, when one of its wheels sank into a drainage culvert while the aircraft was preparing to leave the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Garden Party. There followed many trouble-free years of service until a gale wrecked the old dear at Whitchurch, Bristol, on March 19, 1940.
The D.H.60M Moth K1206 was a Central Flying School aircraft struck off charge in February 1935. The D.H.60M was a metal-airframed Moth, and 124 were delivered to the RAF, the last being K1907, built in 1931.