Aviation Historian 12
D.Lockspeiser - Our Main in the Middle East
Ilyushin Il-18 CCCP-75816 on the move at Heathrow in April 1964. The turboprop airliner was equivalent in size and performance to the British Vickers Vanguard and American Lockheed Electra.
Tupolev’s Tu-104 revolutionised air travel in the Soviet Union following its introduction into Aeroflot service in late 1956, being more than twice as fast as its piston-engined predecessors. With the British Comet withdrawn from service, the Tu-104 was the only jetliner in service anywhere in the world during 1956-58. This example, CCCP-42474, is seen at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in July 1960.
The day job; in 1955 the author left the RAF to join Hawker Aircraft, for which he became a production test pilot for the shapely Hunter.
India placed an order for 160 Hunter F.56s in September 1957 and deliveries began that November. The initial batch of 32 were new-builds, but the next batch of 16 had all been built to an RAF contract and completed to F.56 standard, including BA239 - originally XE600 - seen here at Dunsfold before delivery. Interestingly, it was rejected and returned to Hawker in 1959 and replaced by a new-build, also serialled BA239.
An extremely rare colour photograph of Burmese Sea Fury UB462 - formerly VW667 in Fleet Air Arm service - beside Hawker’s civil-registered Hurricane, G-AMAU, The Last of The Many (still flying today with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight with its original serial, PZ865) at the Hawker factory at Squires Gate in early 1958.
Burmese aircrew pose alongside one of the UBAF Sea Furies at Hmawbi during the author’s visit to Burma in 1959. Despite the UBAF pilots’ trepidation when it came to flying the mighty Bristol Centaurus-powered fighter, the type remained in Burmese service until the late 1960s, when it was replaced by the Lockheed T-33.
One of 18 single-seat Sea Fury FB.11s bought back from the Royal Navy by Hawker and refurbished for sale to the Union of Burma Air Force during 1957-58, UB459 (originally VR693 in Fleet Air Arm Service) is posed for the camera. Three two-seat Sea Fury T.20s were also supplied to Burma.