View Full Version : Question re De Havilland 1927

3rd Mar 2020, 13:47
Hi all, I'm researching a book and need your help.

There was a De Havilland plane flown from London (Stag Lane) to Tanganyika in 1927. It was flown to Tanganyika to serve the British forces, who had recently taken control of the protectorate. The plane has been identified as a De Havilland 14, but Wikipedia suggests there were no 14s flown to the African continent. Anyone have any thoughts as to what the plane might have been, based on the planes the British forces were flying at that time?

Many thanks, David

4th Mar 2020, 08:06
Sorry David; I can't really help, other than to point out that the DH 14 was of an earlier era, and never entered production. if I find anything of use, I'll post again.

Allan Lupton
4th Mar 2020, 08:44
This is where we miss Mike Ramsden, who might well have known: there seems to be nothing useful in the index of his 2015 book on Geoffrey DH, nor in "Sky Fever", GdH's autobiography of 1961. A quick read through of the relevant years' pages offers nothing either.
I shall ask someone who may know but who doesn't post here.

4th Mar 2020, 10:52
It would be interesting to know what the OP's source is.

4th Mar 2020, 11:21
My original source, I'm afraid, is good old fallible human memory. I'm using the recollections of Colin Francombe, who is the son of Wing Commander Aubrey Noel Francombe, [better known as Frankers] DSO, DFC, MBE, Europe Star, North Africa Star, Burma Star. Frankers flew from London to Tanganyika in 1927 to provide Tanganyika with its first plane. Colin's recollection is that Frankers flew a DH 14 but that doesn't make sense, based on the evidence I can find.

Colin also recalled that, after the King's death, the Queen was flown from Entebbe to London in 1952 in a Heron, so . . . memory is fallible.

I thank you all for any insights you can provide.

5th Mar 2020, 02:47
flew from London to Tanganyika in 1927 to provide Tanganyika with its first planeCould this be it? Listed as the first Certificate of Registration. DH 51 VP-KAA registered 3rd Jan 1929, now in the Shuttleworth Collection.

Civil Aircraft Register - Kenya (http://www.airhistory.org.uk/gy/reg_VP-K.html)

https://www.shuttleworth.org/collection/dh51-misskenya/It is stated in the Shuttleworth Collection Records, England, that an aircraft currently in their collection, a de Havilland DH.51, was built in 1925 and shortly after John Evans Carberry bought and shipped it to Mombasa. The DH.51 first flew in Africa on 4 April 1926. In June 1928, Tom Campbell Black, G. Skinner and A. Hughes bought the aircraft and on 10 September 1928, it became the first aircraft to be registered in Kenya. Named Miss Kenya, it was first registered G-KAA, but with the change in the registration system, it was re-registered VP-KAAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Campbell_Black

Allan Lupton
5th Mar 2020, 07:46
Kenya and Tanganyika may share a border but they are not the same. The OP makes the point that the British had recently taken over the latter, which had been German East Africa, and also that the aeroplane concerned flew there. The Francombe memory may be fallible, but I think he would not mis-remember flying but could well have the type number of the aeroplane wrong.
As Megan posted, the DH51 was shipped to East Africa not flown.

6th Mar 2020, 17:52
Kenya and Tanganyika may share a border but they are not the sameThat's true Allan, but I was taking the statement by the now Tanzani Civil Aviation Authority as a pointer. The OP says the aircraft was to serve British Forces, I'm not sure what is meant by that, military or civil?Pre-Independence formal aviation activities in East Africa started in 1929 by a lady called Mrs Florence Wilson based in Nairobi, Kenya. Mrs Wilson established Wilson Airways for charter services and later scheduled airmail services between Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Kampala. The airline existence ended in 1939 following the outbreak of the world war and all its aircraft were taken by the then Air Force.

A single authority for air transport responsible to the governments of Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Uganda and Kenya, then under the British colonial empire, was recommended by a Committee in 1943. Thereafter this led to the establishment of East African Airways Corporation (EAAC) incorporated in London in October 1945. In 1948 the East African High Commission was established which provided among others common services in transport and communications. Air transport was managed by this Commission.https://www.tcaa.go.tz/page.php?token=b1dWc1hGNHJJTVp6R3FBQlY4SklQUT09