Airspeed Aircraft since 1931 by H.A. Taylor

By H.A. Taylor

A old account of the Airspeed plane corporation, describing the initiatives and airplane produced over two decades, with information of the profitable twin-engined Oxford coach produced through the moment global warfare, and test-development crises.

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LD tanker with Sqn. Ldr. W. Helmore at the receiving end. See also the picture on page 10. ) 48 49 incidents. One of these had very nearly ended in disaster on one of the early trials when the ballasted trailer-cord (for pulling in the tanker's fuel line) had jammed in the Courier's aileron-hinge gap before fuel was being passed. Control was regained at low altitude by using full opposite aileron to release the cord. This near-accident led to a minor revision of the system. The bag of sand, used until then to weight the fuel-line cord, was replaced by a toy balloon filled with water.

TO Oxford trainers to be delivered to the RAF. The polished cowlings were a feature of the early Oxfords. reduced by fitting leather seals in the gap between the engine nacelles and the leading edge and could be more or less completely cured by fitting 'deflectors' above the wing between the nacelles and the fuselage. These (though I never saw one on an Oxford) were like fixed slats, of lIJ in chord, about 10 in above the wing and some two feet behind the leading edge. The idea was that these slats should be fitted to all Oxfords where the seals did not prove to be adequate to cure any unusual stalling characteristics.

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. T. P. Ulm, the Australian pilot, for a proving/demonstration flight across the Pacific via Honolulu in preparation for possible regular services. After being testflown at Portsmouth, it was dismantled and shipped, on 8 November, 1934, from Southampton to Montreal.

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