Aviation Historian 04
J.Watson - Gun Cotton
The Indian Air Force acquired some 124 Hawker Tempest IIs from RAF squadrons leaving India in 1946. An order for another 89 was placed the following year, with 20 more arriving in India in 1951, making a total of 233.
Avro Lancaster XPP CF-CMW was one of nine Lancasters converted for civil use by Victory Aircraft in Canada. It was later acquired by Sidney Cotton for his nefarious activities in Hyderabad.
The other Lancaster XPP acquired by Cotton was CF-CMX, which was registered to OnzeAir in Pakistan as AP-ACL in 1948. Unlike its sister, it survived the gun-running operation and was returned to the UK in late 1948, after which it was scrapped.
A poor-quality but rare photograph of Lancastrian 4 G-AKJO, still wearing its British registration, at Karachi in 1948. It became AP-ACO in service with Cotton’s OnzeAir organisation but by 1949 was back in the UK, where it was probably scrapped.
The Avro Lancaster had barely entered service in February 1942 when plans were put in place to create a transport variant for transatlantic services between the UK and Canada. A Mk III was converted to carry passengers and mail, which set a record flight time of 12hr 26min from Dorval to Prestwick in July 1943. Nine Mk Xs were similarly converted by Victory Aircraft in Canada and designated XPPs in Trans-Canada Air Lines service. After the war Avro put the transport variant into production as the Lancastrian, 82 of which were built in four variants.