View Full Version : Cotton's Electra Junior G-AFTL is going to France

7th Feb 2018, 18:00
It looks like Sidney Cotton's covert recce Electra is on its way to La Ferté Alais, according to an article in March's Aeroplane Monthly.
I heard about the suspected existence in the U.S.A. of this very significant strategic reconnaissance aeroplane in the late 70's and then had a discussion with Jack Bruce (then keeper at the RAFM) who was very keen on getting it for Hendon. At that time there was some question as to its provenance, since Cotton had several Electras (3?) at varying times. Jack then went across to the Smithsonian for a while and the trail went cold.
Some years later there was a second initiative,instigated by junior officers in the then RAF GD(G) Int. Branch to get support to bring it to the U.K. This was after my time and I don't know what eventually was determined ( if anything).
Apparently clues as to the hidden camera ports are still in evidence on the Electra as is some of the sprayed over original " low vis" paint scheme.
Whilst I applaud the French initiative to get this unique historical aviation artifact back to Europe, I do feel a sense of disappointment that it has not yet been recognised for what it is and represents for the U.K. One can only hope that at some stage action might be initiated to take advantage of the significance of this aeroplane in the nation for which it, along with its owner, provided a ground breaking and immensely valuable service at a critical time in our history.

7th Feb 2018, 21:35
Bernard Chabbert's Electra F-BJJY was also operated by Sidney Cotton as G-AGTL...

Fris B. Fairing
7th Feb 2018, 23:38
This page lists ten Lockheed 12s operated by Sidney Cotton and his companies.

SIDNEY COTTON'S KOLOSSAL LOCKHEEDS (http://www.adastron.com/lockheed/electra-12/sidcotton.htm)

However there is no argument from me that G-AFTL is not special.