ND: Lol, you never know .. although, I think it was actually of aluminium construction!
Ferranti Electronics Chief Pilot (left) stands with my godfather, Ferranti Helicopters Managing Director Lt. Col. Robert 'Bob' Smith outside the Ferranti Flying Unit hangar at Edinburgh's Turnhouse airport in 1972 (Photo: TCAT)
Present in the image was Ferranti's HS125-3B G-AVXK (one of several 125's owned by Ferranti). This particular example was sold on to Shell Oil in 1975 then exported to Nigeria in 1981.
The helicopter, G-AWJW, was an Agusta-built 206 JetRanger which was fitted with Ferranti's Stability Augmentation System (SAS) - a device which gave the pilot limited hands-free operation. The craft was also fitted with Decca's DANAC moving map display system.
GSA: Am making enquiries regarding the location of the shot in question. One presumes it is possible that it could be Biggin!
De Havilland Aircraft Company DH125 Series-1 G-ASEC en-route between Hatfield and Heathrow in 1964
Registered to its manufacturer, the De Havilland Company of Hatfield, in 1962 this craft changed owners to Hawker Siddeley Aviation the following year and was then leased to Merlot International Aviation of Stanstead in 1973. Merlot became 'Executive Jet Aviation' who in-turn sold ASEC to Commercial Credit Leasing of Croydon in 1979 from where she went (the same year) to Bembridge Air Hire of Southend-on-Sea in Essex.
While with Bembridge she was re-registered as G-FIVE (although she looks nothing like a GV ) and subsequently ended-up with Nelson Leasing and Finance on who's books she remained until being de-registered in 1985.
GSA: Thank you for that tidbit relating to G-FIVE!
A contemporary of Ferranti was the Dutch electronics firm Philips (who have managed to keep going) and who, like Ferranti, used to operate a reasonably well-established CFD (corporate flight department):
Philips Dassault Falcon 20 PH-LPS as seen at London Gatwick on 31st May 1968 (Photo: Charlie Verrall)
As with Ferranti, Philips complimented their fixed-wing fleet with a 'blitterblat' for those all-important short hops!
Philips Agusta-built 206A JetRanger PH-FSW as seen at Eelde in Holland on 17th July 1969 (Photo: Berend de Vries)
I have an especial interest in aviation art but .. I can tell you straight-up that sourcing high quality oil (or even water-based) paintings of civilian/general aviation subjects can be a trick - particularly of European aviation.
However, there are one or two galleries out there and, with enough searching, hopefully you'll find the right one.
Boeing 737-259 VR-BEG at Dublin on 29th June 1985 (Photo: Ken Meegan)
Had several encounters with this craft during the early 80's. The last time I saw her must have been 1980-ish at Shannon Airport. At the time my godfather was personal helicopter pilot to the Irish race horse trainer Vincent O'Brien and, when on school holidays, I would come over to the Emerald Isle and accompany him on his tasks about the island.
One day we were tasked to collect a 'VIP' (they were all VIP's mind you) at Shannon. The passenger was Stavros Niarchos the shipping magnate also known as the 'Golden Greek'! Stavros was the man behind the development of the world's first 'super tankers'.
My godfather insisted that I wear a suit, don highly polished shoes and wear white gloves when I accompanied him on his work (despite the fact that I was just a wee lad) - and so I sprang into action after the immigration boys left the craft.
Stavros sauntered down the Boeing's steps whereupon I opened the door to the running helicopter and strapped him in. He was clearly impressed that the job was being done by a young teenager and stuffed a $100 bill in my hand (and which was a reasonable tip for 1980) before I closed the door with a broad smile on my face.
But .. $100 tip wasn't the highlight of the day .. but spending the entire day aboard the 'Beggar' (VR-BEG) was! In 1980 it wasn't common to see a 737 with a full bedroom and shower and so the tour round the craft was fascinating.
I spent most of the day with the stewards (all of them from Greece) who remained on-board and never entered the terminal. They prepared a superb (I should say exquisite) lunch for me and we played cards in the lounge and then watched a video (on betamax I think).
The air crew were Brits but had gone to the terminal for lunch and flight planning. I think they re-positioned to Dublin prior to flying to Kentucky the following day where Stavros had more horses.
The 737 was fitted with long-range tanks and which I guess were fitted inboard as opposed to some structural change around the bottom of the wing.
A beautiful craft with a lovely crew owned by a wonderful man.