By H.A. Taylor
A ancient account of the Airspeed airplane corporation, describing the initiatives and plane produced over two decades, with information of the profitable twin-engined Oxford coach produced throughout the moment global struggle, and test-development crises.
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Extra info for Airspeed Aircraft since 1931
5A COiIRI£R ~« Four Couriers in a line-up at Portsmouth Airport of the fleet of Portsmouth Southsea & Isle of Wight Aviation who operated the Solent ferry on which seven Couriers were eventually deployed. On the right are two Monospars and a Fox Moth. S Courier was that bought early in 1946 by East Anglian Flying Services, later Channel Airways, of Southend, and used for pleasure flying and taxi work for three years until scrapped for lack of spares. ) 52 53 - r and inter-spar bracing of built-up diagonal struts.
Later demonstration and test flights by this Aries III engined aircraft included one to Cape Town and back by Sqn. Ldr. D. Hilton in 1935; the out-and-home journey was completed in 119 hr. This Envoy undoubtedly put in more hours than any other. It was sold to Ansetf Airways, in Australia, where it was registered VH-UXM in 1936, was re-engined with 350 hp Wright Whirlwind sevencylinder radials early in 1944, and by the autumn of 1945 had completed something like 10,000 hours. The fourth Envoy to be completed, G-ACYJ, was a 350 hp Cheetah IX engined long-range variant built to the order of C.
Trouble with the British Foreign Office was duly smoothed out and there was no difficulty over the order for the second Envoy, G-AEXE. This was flown out in more difficult monsoon weather conditions in June by G. B. S. Errington, later to be Airspeed's chief test pilot, accompanied by another apprentice, R. O. M. Graham, in 53 flying hours after leaving Portsmouth on 15 June. While in Kwangsi Province, Errington took a busman's holiday to test a locally built fighter. Earlier, a hard, and no doubt reasonably economic order had been received for seven convertible civil/military Envoy IUs from South Africa.