Air mail

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G-AFRN

Sir,

The request for information from J. T. Aldington with regard to the fate of Messerschmidt Bf108, G-AFRN, brings to light a strange tale.

The Impressments Log, published some years ago by Air Britain, gives the following facts. G-AFRN – c/n 2039 was impressed on 17/4/41 and became DK280. On 8/9/42 it suffered an undercarriage collapse at Western Zoyland, but was repaired and flew on until 20/7/44 when it crashed at Boughy Fall Farm, Colton, near Rugeley. This time it was scrapped.

G-AFZO – c/n 1000 was also owned by AFN Ltd. and was impressed on 23/9/41 as ES 955. Due loan error, it spent its service life as ES995 and was painted a high-gloss blue. Its service life continued until 24/5/46 when it went to 5 MU [Maintenance Unit — Ed.] at Kemble. On 19/9/46 it was restored to the register as G-AFZO with AFN Ltd. as the owners. The aircraft flew in these markings until 8/10/46. However, on 11/10/46, it appeared as G-AFRN, this change of identity being carried out at Heston. The aircraft continued to fly in this country until April 1950 when it was sold in Switzerland and after several changes of ownership it went to Germany in mid-1959 as D-EDIH. It was still based at Sarrbrücken-Ensheim in 1964.

To complicate the tale of identities even further, a German registered Bf 108, D-IJHW, was impressed as AW 167, survived the war, was sold with G-AFZ0 to AFN Ltd. and eventually appeared as G-AFZO. This aircraft was also sold in Switzerland as HB-ESM and again was still extant in 1964.

Borrowash, Derbys, M.J. Hutchinson

Parnall Gyroplanes

Sir,

How pleasant to see the re-introduction of the “Air” feature, especially when correspondents unearth fresh evidence about little-documented types; a photograph of a personal reminiscence, perhaps. As I am intrigued by civil aeroplanes of the inter-war years (for never since has there been such a colourful and diverse selection) recent mention of the Pansall Gyroplane G-EBQG has been most welcome. This particular machine was equipped with a 120 h.p. Airdisco V8, which was an engine produced by the Air Disposal Company of Croydon in the very early twenties. No original design, it was basically the Renault 80 h.p. — war-surplus quantities of which had been acquired by the company — developed under the direction of Major F. B. Halford., and though an efficient enough motor of its type, it was really too large for the coming light planes of the time. Keep up the good work…

London, SW17, Geoff Clarke

[Mr. S. Webb of Swindon has also supplied this information, adding that the C10 gyroplane had a 70 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley Garnet engine — Ed.]

Sandra

Sir,

I thought you may be interested in the enclosed picture I recently came across in some old papers. I assume the AA badge on the nose indicates that Mr. Beardmore anticipated being able to find a friendly patrolman on his motorcycle combination mid-channel if he got into a spot of bother!

The Royal Aeronautical Association and the British Gliding Club could neither identify nor validate Lissent Beardmore’s claim to be the first glider across the Channel. Can anybody shed any light on Mr. Beardmore’s identity? Perhaps the Automobile Association?

Best wishes and keep up the high standard, which I have enjoyed for more years than I care to remember!

Benfleet, Essex, Reginald D. Chapman

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