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31st Dec 2002, 17:50
Plenty of exposure for Miles Falcon G-AEEG, Miles Magister G-AKPF and Miles Messenger G-AKBO over the past year, principally Pilot Nov. 02 and FlyPast (current issue) Feb03.

Miles built thousands of aircraft - Magisters alone numbered more than 1200 yet only 3 or 4 remain in airworthy or potentially airworthy condition.

Miles Monarch at White Waltham - This is owned by Dr. Ian Dalziel. For some extraordinary reason he seems happy to allow it to rot away in the black hangar rather than sell it to somebody who will ensure is salvation.

The same, to a lesser extent maybe, is true of Bob Mitchel's Monarch and Whitney Straight that languish in a shed somewhere at Cosford.

Can I appeal to all out there who may have the inside track on these 2 guys?

Despite what both might say, neither will do anything to restore their aircraft to airworthy condition.

Unfortunately, unlike fine wines, old wooden planes definately do not improve with age in a dark damp environment.

The RAF reserve collection has a Miles Hawk trainer. It has no RAF history yet wears a spurious camouflage scheme.

It has deteriorated significantly over the years.

What use is it to them?

Why don't they sell it and put the cash towards one of their many restoration projects?

I am keen to save old Miles Aircraft for posterity. Any help will be appreciated.

If anybody has any old photos, anecdotes etc. relative to the Falcon and Maggie I shall be keen to hear from them.


31st Dec 2002, 17:58
Hawk Speed Six, G-ADGP, is still flying on a regular basis. Hopefully the aircraft will attend a few fly-ins and airshows in 2003!

31st Dec 2002, 18:35

While I agree with you to some extent, the owner can do exactly as he or she pleases. To quote Spencer Flack, when berated for painting G-FIRE all red "....when you own a Spit, you can paint it whatever colour you want!"

I worked on the only Miles Student for a while while it was being operated by a major vintage operator in the mid 80s. Sleek looking aircraft.

1st Jan 2003, 09:06
A Happy New Year to you and all!

Bus429 - If only we were talking about somebody who had restored a Miles Aircraft and merely painted it a funny colour....

We are talking about deterioration here. Maybe the Brighton Pier movement will finally get the dosh they need when it has all been washed ashore and been burnt as firewood.

We will then, at best, only see a replica of the original because the unique original has gone.

What I am saddened by is something quite different. The money, the will and the expertise is there now to save these machines from an uncertain future - the future for Brighton Pier was uncertain until it collapsed through neglect.

I would dance a cartwheel if a formation comprising these machines flew over and they were all painted pink.

The owners can certainly do what they want with them. I agree with you 100% on that. They can burn them if they want. However, their neglect of our aviation heritage, which they have been fortunate enough to acquire and maybe had the best of intentions at that time, is lamentable when a certain flying future /public display is an option.

I think you misunderstood my original post and invite you to read it again.

Meanwhile, if any of you are interested in Miles Aircraft, please visit www.miles-aircraft.com

For the princely sum of £17.50 p.a. you can join The Miles Aircraft Collection, will receive an excellent quarterly(ish!) Journal and learn more about this excellent British company who made so many fine aircraft.

The last aircraft built by Miles? A Bristol Boxkite!

They built the Mag Men machine which now resides at Shuttleworth and thus marked the end of chapter of our aviation history.

Lets hope that our future generations can see as many flying examples of Miles Aircraft as possible.


1st Jan 2003, 11:52

I can recall seeing G-AFBS cartwheeling on arrival at Blackbushe in the '60's. Believe it may have have at some time been owned by comedian Dick Emery.

Also in the sixties, I discovered another Hawk Trainer (G-AKKR) in the hangar at a private strip at Godalming, (Stilemans, Munstead?) later to be seen again in the Manchester Air & Space Museum. At the time it belonged to the wife of the owner (Mr. Jones?) of Cessna 310 G-APNJ, now at the engineering college at Shoreham.

My last sighting of a Miles was of RG333 at Duxford in 2001 in formation with a DC-3. The Duke of Kent had inaugurated a new exhibition in the Army Museum and the Messenger was on the programme complete with invasion stripes.

Thought this all might be of interest. Can supply dates if it would help further.

1st Jan 2003, 14:29
Thanks, atb1943, you bought back many pleasant memories.
I did my first solo in G-AFBS at Denham in the mid 50's after 4 1/2 hrs. dual!
I think you are perhaps mistaken on a couple of points as I believe Dick Emery owned one of the old Experimental Flying Group machines and kept it at Fairoaks. I believe it was G-AKAT and painted light blue with a red rudder. Although it could have been the same machine at Blackbushe?
The other point is that Roy Mills and myself operated G-AKKR out of Elstree in the -60's as a group machine and when the ARB came out with thier infamous edict on wooden airplanes Roy donated it to the RAF museum together with a lot of spares, to be lost forever. It was painted black with yellow trim when we had it. I believe the machine in Surrey may have been another one?
I did visit Duxford a few years ago and found a very pleasant young man rebuilding G-AFBS to non-flyable status and I also went to Manchester to renew aquaintances with G-AKKR.
Miles built some great machines and the Maggie was a great trainer and character builder. A few spins with at least one flat spin would make you a believer. A go-round with full flap when heavy on a hot day was also rather interesting. On G-AKKR we deleted a couple of sections of flap by removing the actuating rods and taping them up which made it a bit better on a go-round. It is still in that configeration as the RAF museum didn't know how it should be, they just painted it. The instrument panels are also non standard.
I must return to the UK one day and try and get a flight in one of the survivors.
Regards, BaD.

1st Jan 2003, 17:12
A good friend of mine owns several important old motor cars, including the red single seat Bentley that held (or even holds) the lap record for the outer circuit ao Brooklands.
His attitude is that he is the temporary custodian of these cars and it is his DUTY to look after them so that coming generations may appreciate them too.
Following some of the previous remarks, I cannot help feeling George is right on the money and others should learn from him!

1st Jan 2003, 17:45

Your comments prompt me to make a search of my cellar (Platz fuer 16 Personen) to seek out my records.

Let you know what I find.

Best regards

1st Jan 2003, 18:56
Hi Boris,

Your friend and I are like-minded. We are but the temporary custodians of these fine machines and I do agree that it is our duty to preserve them for future generations.

I remember in the 80's a colleague was given a 'time-warp' Healey Tickford. It had belonged to a vicar. It was lovely and just needed some skilled sympathetic restoration. I was so envious!He had persuaded the vicars widow that he would restore it to its former glory and put it back on the road. He stripped it out, 'rubbed' it down with an orbital sander (Oops! went through the ally body in a few places..) but then realised what he had taken on and hadn't got the money, the space or the skills. It sat in his front garden over the winter and his wife persuaded him to get the scrappy to collect it eventually....

In the case of aircraft - the industry is riddled with dishonesty as well as dreamers.

There are those who tout for artefacts - Miles Aircraft parts specifically in the case of a regular advertiser - by posing as enthusiasts yet are just in it for the money. They hope to find something really juicy for tuppence, safe in the knowledge that a real enthusiast will pay a lot more.

Case in point - 1 Magister fuselage with a wonderful racing history and a perfect basis for another flyer - sold with a raft of original/ rare bits to somebody for a 'few hundred pounds' on the promise that he would restore it to fly.

This bloke did a really good job because he had joined The Miles Collection, even went to a few pub meets with the 'inner sanctum' and generally got well 'in the know', lying his way into the Maggie project, bought it and was never heard of again.

That was until he claimed 'hard times' recently and offered it to me for £8000. It was then bought (for less than it was offered to me but still a handsome profit was made) by somebody intent on selling it to a Museum - to form the basis of a static exhibit (groan..)

I suspect that the volunteers couldn't raise the enormous price requested.

The new owner then contacted me, claimed 'hard times' (a familiar ploy?!) and offered it to me for a ridiculous sum of money.

These people are effectively working against the preservation movement because they hoard vital parts in the expectation of a profit.

In the case of the Maggie - a potential flyer - they didn't care a stuff who bought it or what happened to it as long as there was a profit in it.

I tackled the original purchaser of the Maggie fuz. He fired off a 'you'r an ars@h@le' E'Mail at me!!

Well that's one way of explaining how you feel I suppose...!

I had exposed him. He didn't like it.

I then see him featured recently in a Southern Hemisphere magazine. Read the article and you would shake his hand warmly for his 'contribution to the preservation of old aircraft in England. '

They don't know him 'Down Under' yet! Watch this space....


1st Jan 2003, 22:50

Apols, my previous pointed at Hairyplane was in fact for you. While I am searching the vault, how about this for Miles visitors, to Denham on 21 Sept 1958:
G-ADMW Hawk Major
G-AJDR Hawk Trainer 3
G-AJZH ditto
G-AKPL ditto
G-AJKS Gemini
G-AKWZ Messenger

It must have been a special day, because Spitfire AB910 and Hawker Tom-Tit G-AFTA also visited.

Heathrow also had a field day that same day, with five different RAF aircraft present, a Comet 2, Victor, Javelin, Beverley and Hunter!

An event at Kidlington on 24 April '59 attracted 14 Miles aircraft, including Monarch G-AIDE and Whitney Straight G-AERV.

I also noted that Student G-APLK was at Blackbushe during Farnborough week 1958 with 'fluorescent red wingtips'. I even photographed it with my box camera. It was the day after the Seahawk crashed there whilst part of the Navy team displaying at the show.

Oh yes, and G-AFBS crashed on landing after circling low (I wrote) at Blackbushe on Sunday, 14 June 1959. It was taken to Orion's hangar.


1st Jan 2003, 23:43
Seem to recall that Dick Emery owned the very appropriate 'ITN!

I also recall seeing the lovely Monarch in the Surrey Aviation hangar at Biggin - always stuffed to the rafters with delightful antiques, that hangar... I think I heard recently that Cobby Moore has moved to another airfield.

It is sad that these aircraft appear to be mouldering away. Keep at 'em Hairy! Incidently, does Bob Mitchell still have his fleet of PTs? Haven't seen any of them for years...


2nd Jan 2003, 03:23
I think that Hawk Speed Six was the one that we used to race at Bagington Kings cup. We used to top overhaul the engine before each years Kings Cup
Ron Payne ( Derby Aviation )used fly it in the late 50's.

We also had other fine Miles products at Burnaston including the Magisters, Aerovans, Messengers,Geminis, Aries, and Marathons
Ah mmmiles
:D :D

2nd Jan 2003, 10:05
I think there used to be a surviving Marathon or two in Japan... anyone know if they still exist?

2nd Jan 2003, 11:09
Facinating postings for a Miles nut to read! Thank you and keep 'em coming!

Treadi - A Miles Marathon survivor? Wow! I doubt it very much but if there is even the remotest possibility it should be explored.

Can you provide any further information?


2nd Jan 2003, 12:23
One of the former Far East Airlines/All Nippon Marathons used to be displayed on top of the terminal building at Nagoya Airport. I have a vague memory that parts of one (either this or its companion JA6010) ended up with the Tokyo Metropolitan College of Aeronautical Engineering, but a list of their holdings dating back ten years or so doesn't mention it, though the college does have an immaculately restored Chrislea Super Ace and Auster Autocar, so they may have a feel for classic British aircraft!

The last Marathons I can recall seeing were in a scrapyard alongside the A3 at Portsmouth, and were probably those that lingered outside the old Miles hangar at Shoreham (in which at the same time your Falcon lurked in a dark corner, Hairyplane, still wearing its Swedish markings). As a schoolboy aircraft spotter I sheltered under the wing of one of the Marathons on a depressingly wet and grey day (much like every day lately) in 1960, to witness the arrival of a dayglo-bedecked U.S.-registered Beech Super 18. The bespectacled gent flying it readily agreed to me taking a photo of it, and kindly offered to pose alongside. I declined, not wanting to obscure the aircraft. It was many years later, in conversation with George Miles, that I came to regret my rashness when I discovered that the pilot whose portrait I had rejected was none other than Bill Lear, coming to talk with the Miles brothers about design work on his SAAC-23 jet, which later became the Lear Jet 23. Ah, the folly of youth!

Now, here's a piece of useless Marathon lore with which to bore your flying club chums: back in the 1950s the father of airshow and aerobatic pilot Vic Norman (he of Rendcombe Aerodrome and Utterly Butterly Stearman fame) held the concession for Bal Ami jukeboxes and used Marathon G-AMGX as a 'the world's first flying jukebox showroom'.

Turning to Hairy's original post, whilst it's sad that several Miles aircraft are seemingly in limbo in the UK, we do have the prospect of seeing a long-absent Hawk Major and Whitney Straight flying again, along with the Sparrowhawk recreation and (albeit static only) the unique ex-Lindbergh Mohawk. The arrival of another Hawk Major — and one with a fascinating history — is imminent, for restoration and eventual return to its overseas owner. Now, if only someone would stumble upon the restorable remains of an Aerovan…and what wouldn't you give to see Percy Blamire's 'low-drag' Gemini and Brian Iles's M.18 the going round the course alongside your stable in one of Shuttleworth's demonstration races, eh Hairyplane?

2nd Jan 2003, 14:18
Looks like probably curtains for the Marathon then... A great pity.

Couple of other relics - can recall when I was 8 or so in the very early seventies, passing a Messenger or Gemini at a garage on the A30 somewhere in Cornwall... I suppose that's long since been scrapped?

Also as Schoolboy Spotter around 1978 I came across a pair of Gemini wings in the garden of a house by Redhill Aerdrome. Can't recall the reg now ('JTG perhaps?) - one of the mags at the time said they were for a scale Mossie replica... whatever became of that?!!

2nd Jan 2003, 15:17

Yes G-ADGP is Ron Paine's old Hawk Speed Six and is still flying pretty regularly. Ron lives close to the aircrafts current home field and had been a great help in the ongoing restoration and tweeking of the aircraft. The aircraft will be up at Baginton at some point this year and hopefully will be flying in the Coventry airshow at the end of May. I hope you will come and see it again.

2nd Jan 2003, 18:49

Stop it! Stop it!

I'm coming up 50 and you clearly don't care about my blood pressure (or inadvertant valve openings!).

The M18 won't fly again and won't be sold. I've tried....!

The Hawk (bugg@r, missed that one....) being restored currently is actually owned by a couple of Brits and they intend to keep it here. It did come from the Smithsonian.

Have you drooled over the Falcon in the FlyPast Feb03 centrespread yet or does it only blow the frocks up of me and a few other afficianados?

I actually think that it is one of the best looking aircraft ever, but then I am biased...

I am enjoying this thread.

It will hopefully prompt Bob Mitchell to either get his tools out or flog his Whitney Straight and Monarch.

THe WS from Ireland (Ron Souch has it now?How is it coming on?) was a horror. However I'm sure it will end up gorgeous (and hopefully in my hangar...!)

Thank you all. Keep the stuff coming and I won't need the Viagra any more. What a sad B@st@rd I am...


Philip Whiteman
2nd Jan 2003, 19:19
David Ogilvy did a very nice, brief piece on the Maggie for me last year. I ran it in the October issue of my new comic, with a lovely Gordon Bain photograph of G-AKPF (when it was in Adrian Brook's hands) on the Cover.

(I am talking about AOPA's magazine, General Aviation - have you seen it Hairyplane?)

2nd Jan 2003, 19:37
Hairy, sit down, take a long, cool drink and...

...what about the late Russell Winn's M.75 Aries? I think that's in a museum somewhere in Ireland. Aerohack will know!

Saw one or two of Hairy's delightful treasures flying at OW in May - in fact I took quite a nice pic of the Maggie from behind as you started up, which we used as a demo at work to illustrate how well digital pics can be printed on our whizzo printer. That and a pic of TFC's Spit XIV have started many a conversation about old aeroplanes...!

Where will the Sparrowhawk end up? Will it be original spec or its Sparrowjet config?

Nothing sad about liking Miles... Percival... de Havilland...

Time to go to the pub!

Cornish Jack
2nd Jan 2003, 20:20
Treadders et al
Having suffered the 'joys' of flight in the Marathon, I, for one , shed no tears on its demise. Auntie Mary's flying club were inveigled into buying some for use as Nav trainers. Their saving grace was the disposition of the flap and gear levers being such that inadvertent gear retraction instead of flaps was quite possible and lead to the early retirement of more than one.
The design was such that a large quantity of sandbags were required under the pilot's seats to allow an approximation to fuselage level flight - but still VERY nose up. Boarding had to be carried out one at a time, otherwise it sat on its tail.
On one of the two local flying trips from Thorney, I had its asymmetric operation demonstrated (I was going to say 'asymmetric performance' but there was none!) Just two of us on board and with two engines out it went downhill splendidly with just about full rudder AND aileron to keep the wings level!
Not one of Mr Miles better efforts and the only aircraft in which I came very close to being airsick.

2nd Jan 2003, 20:54
Hairyplane: Well, I'm 57 and do have high blood pressure, so no sympathy from me! My very first flights, at age six and seven were in Miles types — a Messenger as yet not positively identified, but narrowed down to G-AILL or 'JWB, and Gemini 'KHE, which crashed a week later into Hilsea Gasworks on the boundary of Portsmouth Airport following an engine failure on take-off, fortunately without serious injury to pilot Len Snook. Some years later, around 1959, Snook, who was a local bookmaker, took me for a ride in the unique Gemini 8 'KFX, which was close to Aries standard. Subsequent time spent, delightfully, in the company of George Miles, Jack Angel, 'Dicky' Bird, Ranald Porteous and other Miles luminaries account for my present plight as an incorrigible Miles enthusiast, if not for the hypertension. The ex-Ulster Whitney is coming along well, Ron tells me, with a very skilled woodworker on it full-time (this chap also worked on the Speed Six when Ron and his team converted it back to as close as possible to original configuration).

Treadigraph: Winn's Aries 'OGA was moved to the South East Aviation Enthusiasts Group at New Ross, Co. Wexford a few years ago, and so far as I know is still in store there. The Sparrowjet-cum-hawk is owned by Fred Dunkerley's family and will emerge as an M.5 Sparrowhawk, incorporating original parts removed in 1950-53 when Dunkerley had Miles rebuild as the M.77.

Cornish Jack: I well remember the Air Navigatioin School Marathons flying out of Thorney Island. Seem also to recall seeing one there looking rather sad after a gear-up (this in the days when you could ride your bike across the airfield to get to the village) but it might have been a Varsity — not poor recognition, just middle-aged brain fade!

Great stuff for we Miles maniacs on this thread, let's keep it going.

2nd Jan 2003, 23:58
I have seen the Magazine thank you. I have a copy.

Pity David didn't contact me beforehand - I would have been pleased to fly with him in my Maggie.

For you purists out there, my aircraft as V1075 and one of the last, didn't actually wear its lovely yellow paint scheme, with polished cowling, spats et al.

However, during one of many crashes the fuselage was replaced with an earlier one.

An amusing entry in the logbook in the 50's (its late so I will look it up another time) says something like, 'compasses swung, altimetres checked/ recalibrated, fuselage tailplane fin and rudder replaced with serviceable items' !!!!

Research reveals this fuz to have been from N3788, a 1938 machine.

I think you will agree that the identity of an aircraft relates to the fuselage so I am puzzled as to why PF wasn't painted in the earlier markings.

This does effectively give total authenticity to the yellow scheme.

Better to change it than to get the olive drab roller out and rip the spats off???

Just kidding.....

Anybody out there got any undercarriage parts for the Maggie?

Mine has had a PFA-approved mod to replace the original Airdraulic internals with rubber-blocks in suspension.

These are a little harsh on the poor old thing, resulting in a severe hammering when I displayed it at Woburn - rough strip or what??!!

Nice to fit the squidgy originals.

Falcon - Feb03 FlyPast is out now. An in-depth feature is planned in the Spring in Air Enthusiast. Lots of wonderful old piccies.

Wonderful to communicate with so many Miles enthusiasts.

Top of my wish-list is a Hawk.

For those who don't know it - imagine a Maggie but with Falcon trousered U/C and tailplane and a more slender fuz - voila and drop dead gorgeous.

Handling on the Maggie is a bit quirky and caught a few young pilots out in the war with often fatal consequences.

I have a copy of a document marked 'Secret' produced by the RAE at Farnborough in response to this problem.

In short, there is a marked pitch-down in the sideslip.

Solution? Don't sideslip it. The flaps are incredible. Another gotcha actually if you get it wrong but, thats another story...

Keep it coming! Wonderful!


3rd Jan 2003, 02:38
Two of those Marathons escaped to Lasham where I noted them on 3 Nov 58 as G-AMHS (ex XJ830) and G- AMHV (XJ831), whilst VX229 (ex-RAE) was in a sorrier state. Have to add, as an aside, Bristol Buckmaster prototype TJ717 and Meteor EE531 in RAE's hangar.

Noted the aforementioned 'ITN in the Air Couriers' hangar at Croydon on 30 Dec 58, along with Flight's Gemini 'KHC, 'KDB (H.Hannan), 'JZO (Whitbread), the fuselage of 'LIO, and in Autair's hangar was Vendair's Gemini 'JWE. Hawk Trainer 'KAS sat outside, while Morton's held immortal Gemini 'MGF, plus a 3A 'MME.
Surrey's revealed a French Gemini F-BBSL.

It was my first, and last, visit to Croydon....choke!

3rd Jan 2003, 04:26
Aero hack,

I know you and the other youngsters here are winding me up but .....:D
We operated Marathons with Derby Aviation from Burnaston for quite a few years.
We pioneered air routes like Burnaston- Jersey, Cheltenham- Jersey and many others!
The main attraction of the Marathon was that it was single pilot operation. So always a seat for a free ride !!
We had Daks, and Marathons with Derby Aviation and they started naming the aircraft after Dales
The Daks were named Darley Dale, Derwent Dale etc
The Marathons were Millers Dale, Matlock Dale etc
When the last Marathon arrived ( ex WAAC Aircraft) while it was in the paint area some wag put Mrs Dale on it.:) :)

The Marathon like so many British aircraft had a spar life. When we reached this life we got an extension pending some tests by Miles designates ( Whever took over the design responsibilty)

We had one of th aircraft in the hanger on check, the boffins arrived and took a "coupon" from the spar web and departed.
The aircraft never flew again.

I'm afraid I can't remember what happened to the aircraft :D
Must be a senior moment;)

3rd Jan 2003, 11:15
atb1943: The Lasham Meteor still survives, but whatever happened to the Buckmaster? I well remember peering through the cracks in the hangar doors to see them on several occasions in the late '50s/early 60s.

GotTheTshirt: Never saw the Derby Aviation Marathons, but my old and dear friend Dave Davies, aka Air Portraits, has a spectacular shot of one landing at Burnaston — I think he must have had to duck to avoid being hit.

Hairyplane: FlyPast has done you proud with the Falcon spread, but with the inimitable Ken Ellis at the helm I'd expect nothing less. BTW, the soon-to-arrive Hawk Major I mentioned in an earlier post is believed to have been used as a (very) light bomber in the Spanish Civil War. Many Miles types went to Spain, but I doubt there are any still undiscovered. It's my belief that South America is likely to be the best hunting ground now.

3rd Jan 2003, 11:45
Fascinating thread! I have felt for some time this particular forum has huge potential for the vintage aircraft scene.

I recall flying in the very late 60's with a Jack Reid(?) in his Gemini at Elstree in the hope of being able to build my multi hours cheaply. Loved flying it but after a teensy weensy groundloop on arrival at Elstree on the first landing he thought better of his offer! Any way it stood me in good stead in years to come for Rapides, Beech 18's and B17's! (Thinks: Must make effort to grovel my way into one again and see if I can get it right this time;) )

I was also lucky enough to be checked out by Peter Hoare on the Miles Student with the intention of displaying it the following season. Unfortunately the engine cooked after take-off a week later and Peter was lucky to escape the wreckage somewhat damaged but alive. The Student was very underpowered but great fun to fly - even with the screaming banshee above your head! I hope for a sympathetic restoration - if only it could be made to fly again <sigh>.

Best regards to all and a Happy and Safe New Year

Cornish Jack
3rd Jan 2003, 12:39
Yes, could have been a Varsity since both types operated there at the same time, plus the real 'pig' - the Valetta nav trainer. At one time they also had a Wyvern in the hangar ... extraordinary machine!....... a bit like using a Pickford's transporter for house-to-house deliveries!
Lovely station, Thorney. Had a second stint there in the 60s on S&R ; very fond memories.

3rd Jan 2003, 17:09
Hi Speechless,

You haven't provided much info.

If you could find the reg. the history of the aircraft could indeed be dug out in detail.

Never mind, I'll speak to the Oracle - Peter Amos of The Miles Collection - (Call him yourself on 01903 893444 and cough up £17.50 to join!) and see what he has to say.

If I come up with anything - probably after Monday - I'll post it.



3rd Jan 2003, 17:26
To my horror I find a thread this interesting is devoid of illustration, so here we go... all taken at Old Warden bar the final one, taken at Sywell...

Magisters P6382 & V1075

Magister P6382

Falcon G-AEEG

Messenger G-AJWB

Above Maggies and Falcon again

Messenger G-AKIN

3rd Jan 2003, 17:41
All gone I'm afraid, according to this chap:
http://members.aol.com/warwicaero/milesaircraft/aircraft/M.60.html :(

3rd Jan 2003, 18:36
Speechless Two: The Christchurch Messenger was G-AKKG, whch was owned at the time by Ben Heron. 'KKG was orginally delivered to Switzerland, but returned after a few months and spent nine years with Shell Mex & BP as the mount of their legendary salesman Vivian Varcoe. It was to be seen at virtually every rally and air race, and regularly visited flying clubs in Varcoe's hands. Ben Heron bought it from Miles in 1958. It bore the name 'Air Rover' in the early 1960s. The prop loss incident to which you refer happened on 20 May 1962 at Portsmouth, and the ensuing forced landing removed one gear leg, but the two aboard were unhurt. 'KKG was sold to a new owner in 1965 and lived at Elstree. Sadly, it was destroyed by fire on 1 June 1968 after crashing during an attempted emergency landing at Partridge Green, West Sussex. Pilot Ron Gold died two days later from severe burns; pasenger Martin Burns was seriously injured, but lived.

3rd Jan 2003, 23:15

It was indeed 'KKR at Jones's pad at Munstead. Date was 1.7.58. GOK how I knew there was something of note there at the time, and how I didn't get thrown out, but I did at least knock on the door to ask. The maid told me Mr. Jones was not in, but the 'windowy', new, hangar was visible, so I sauntered over to it. The operational area was newly seeded. 'KKR I noted was blue. I walked around the house, and found the Cessna ('PNJ) parked on the lawn. Try that today!

I further note that the same day Blackbushe entertained Marathon D-CSFA, and Lasham the yellow and green Buckmaster and 'very old' Meteor. Both were engineless. Aerohack, I was thin in those days, the crack you looked through I was able to slip through....!

A week later I went to play with the 26 Harvards dumped in a compound at Sandhurst.

3rd Jan 2003, 23:35
Interesting, nay!, fascinating thread.

One project on the boards is to build a 1/4 scale R/C Miles Monitor. I picked up an ex-library copy of Don L. Brown's "Miles a/c since 1925". 3-views of the M.33 are all that I've needed.

On that note, I would prefer the book went to a good home, where it would be better appreciated. I have no real use for it, other than s/thing of curio value.

Silly question, I wonder where might be any Miles' enthusiasts? Ohhhh, I dunno, s/one w/out Don Brown's excellent history on their shelf?

4th Jan 2003, 00:03

Gorgeous photos - many thanks!

4th Jan 2003, 00:22
to echo ATB...

Damien, as ever, excellent pics... and Hairy thanks for your devotion to the species!

Now, about the Aerovan, according to British Civil Aircraft Volume III, if we start looking in the Irish Sea, off Blackpool... nah, dreams...

4th Jan 2003, 04:32

Would it be possible to put names to those excellent pix, just to cater for mugs like me who can't identify the a/c??? Please!!

When I was a lad, there were only a couple of Miles a/c around the G/A airfield (it WAS a field in the 50s!!!) I hung about. The ability to roam in and out of the hangars and sit in the a/c is unimaginable now!!! :(

4th Jan 2003, 04:44
Even the names in this thread like, Fred Dunkerly, Ron Paine, Percy Blamire, Peter Hoare, David Ogilvy are pure nostalgia.

I flew with all the above as a young apprentice who managed to scounge a ride any time one was going.
All true gentlemen of the air!

I worked on most of their aircraft and worked on the conversion from Gemini to Aries on Percy Blamires aircraft and also worked on Fred Dunkerleys Aries aircraft. All at Burnaston. We also did the maintenance for The Elstree Flying clubs Maggies that David Ogilvy ran.

Burnaston was an ex RAF training airfield during the war and after the war The Wolverhampton Flying Club moved in and became Derby Aviation.
The original RAF buildings were all there just as the RAF left them.
We utilised a few of these building but as a lad exploring the many other buildings was like aladdins cave. They were full of Maggie and Tiger Moth parts including Maggie wing spars, which were in great demand as a bad crosswind landing often ripped the gear off the front face of the spar.
A group of us got together under Tony Topps, and with Ron Paynes help we "found " enough parts to build most of a Maggie.
It took some time but we finished it and fllew it as G-ANWO.

Ahhh Miles
What about the Aerovan ;) ;)

4th Jan 2003, 10:00
I recall a Dutch-registered Aerovan overflying Blackbushe in the sixties´- PH-EAB it was

4th Jan 2003, 23:41
mustafagander - done!

...and have one of the Southern Martlet too:


5th Jan 2003, 05:15

Thanks a heap!!

Ah, the good old days when the smell of oil was in the air and the a/c sounded right!!

5th Jan 2003, 11:00

Your pic of Messenger G-AJWB brought back fond memories of a trip to Stapleford on 23 May 1964, part of an east coast tour in a Messerschmitt.....Kabinenroller! (What happened to it, John?). I noted 'JWB (she was already 17 years old at the time!), along with 'JKL, 'IAJ, 'ILI, 'KIO and the damaged fuselage of 'JDM.

Teversham revealed Monarch 'FJU.

Elstree brought forth Whitney Straight 'FGK (still in existence?), plus Geminis 'HKL, 'IIF, 'JKS, 'JWG, 'KEK and Messengers 'HZS (damaged), 'JFF and 'JYZ (a Handley Page variant). Not to mention our favourite Hawk Trainer....you guessed it....G-AKKR!

And at Panshanger we found Monarch G-AIDE, later to receive its correct registration G-AFRZ.

6th Jan 2003, 09:32
Hi Damien B

Love the piccies.

THe Duncan Cubitt piccies of the Maggie V1075 and Falcon 'EG in Feb03 FlyPast - out now - are stunning.

Messenger G-AJWB has to be one of the best restorations of an old wooden plane ever. It is based at Earls Colne and belongs to Gordon Spooner.

Messenger G-AKIN was donated by the Spiller family - owners of the aircraft for around 50 years! - to a trust that will operate the aircraft and display it. Nice to see it at the airshows - hopefully Old Warden too. One of the trust members is a Shuttleworth Collection pilot.

I saw a great DD Video yesterday entitled UK Airshows 2002 (or similar) and it covers The Great Vintage Flying Weekend at Kemble back in May.

OK - I'm interviewed but then so are a lot of other pilots too!

Well worth getting.

Keep this thread going guys - lets see if we can hit 100 posts.


7th Jan 2003, 17:19
Speechless Two: In conversation today with a lifelong friend of mine who was around the same South Coast airfields as I was back in the late 50s and early '60s (and incidentally preceded you on a gliding course at Christchurch by a year) he told me that he is convinced that the Messenger that was damaged at Portsmouth following loss of its propeller on take-off was silver, and thus not 'KKG as the official record has it. That fits in with your memory of KKG's incident happening at Christchurch. BTW, the Comanche that Ben Heron had at that time was a single, not a Twin: a 1959 Model 250 N6183P, memorable not just for retaining its US registration but also for its unusual (in the UK at least) brown/white colour scheme when most Comanche imports of that era had red, blue or green trim.

atb1943: Didn't Mr Jones also own a GAL Cygnet, G-AGBN was it? Never did visit his strip, and seeing the first 310 registered in the UK remained an unfulfilled ambition. I didn't get to see one of those until 1959 when Airwork had the Cessna dealership at Blackbushe and the lime green demonstrator 'APUF was there along with the first UK 150 and 175 — exotica indeed at the time. Fascinating place in those days, Blackbushe, not least for the in-transit traffic at the US Navy facility. I recall Neptunes, WV-2 Warning Stars, even a Martin Mercator once. Also remember a trip to view the legendary Sandhurst Harvards, and some others that were at Church Crookham, I think. Later, a field at Lasham hosted the dismembered hulks of many RCAF Sabres and CF-100s, plus some Fleet Air Arm types. Foolishly, the discovery of girls in later years prompted me to throw away thousands of photographs taken at those times — most unwise given my later career as an aviation journalist/photographer.

7th Jan 2003, 18:53

We are getting MMMmmmiles off track here, but yes, the Cygnet was at one time registered to a Jones - Mrs J.I. Jones, whether the Godalming Jones or not I don't know.

Aaah. the 'Bushe! Used to tricycle up there (not bad, up Cats' Farm Hill on one of those...but I think I pushed) due to Grandpa having had a horse in a field just at the bottom. I can remember the feel of the shiny sloping floor of a Halifax that sat on the south side down towards Eagle's, or a Catalina called Zambesi, Israeli Mosquitos, Lebanese Harvards, Transjordan Vikings....

....cadging a lift in a Globemaster that was about to taxy from the 'terminal' to the Navy base down in the dip. Or announcing the arrival over the Tannoy of Dragon Rapide so-and-so from whatsit and forgetting to release the mike button, whereupon the arrivals hall echoed to 'I did it!' All courtesy of Arthur Pearcy's wife, who was ATC/AIS and general factotum. I was on my way to see her one day when I bowled into Douglas Bader stomping around the corner of the building. Whoops!

That Cessna 175 eventually became Donald Campbell's G-ARDC.

'PUF arrived together with 'PVC, long awaited, via the Azores.

Crookham housed Sabres and a lone Sea Fury. They were dumped at Redlands, a former tobacco farm and now I believe a girls' school, St. Nicks, though that must be at the house, whereas the aircraft were across the road. I think Danny Bernstein was the 'collector', for want of a better word. Staravia. Sea Hawks could be found at Lasham.....

Thanks for memory jog....

8th Jan 2003, 09:38
atb1943: MMMMiles off track indeed, but nostalgia knows no bounds. So, just to set the record straight, the 175A demonstrator that Airwork had at Blackbushe was G-APYA, at that time in highly polished alloy with yellow/brown trim, though the bare metal was soon overpainted for UK climate. If memory serves it ditched in the Irish Sea not so many years ago. Campbell's was a green 210, N7307E — the first in the UK — that as you say was later registered 'RDC with an appropriate 'last two'. He used to come into Portsmouth in it, probably visiting Vospers in connection with Bluebird.

8th Jan 2003, 18:53
You are indubitably correct, Aerohack. That's what comes of trying to scribe from memory, instead of consulting the records. Perhaps I was trying to wind you up however!

Talking of Donald Campbell, I took a trip to Biggin Hill in 1960, first of June in fact, and asked around for someone to take me up. A chap with a couple of Tri-Travellers said ok, in a min, and who should walk into the room (shed?), but DC himself. We went up in 'PYT, and stooged around Chartwell and Redhill. I was happy to see 'PYT again at one of the fairly recent PFA Rallies.

Since you know all things worth knowing, any idea of what happened to Proctor G-AGTC? I flew in it a couple of times, once to Toussus and again to Rotterdam. The owner was one Simon Biddulph, who enjoyed being seen in a woolly hat, which I think he got from the fishermen of.....island (maybe Ibiza). Believe 'GTC was a Farnborough demonstrator once.

Then I want to ask about the Broburn Wanderlust........

Must go (bowling night).


8th Jan 2003, 19:31
atb1943: As I always used to say to my colleague, friend and mentor James Gilbert — former owner/publisher/editor of 'Pilot' magazine — when he accused me (in the nicest possible way) of 'knowing everything': "I don't know much, I just know where to look to find out." Must confess, though, that I've reached that pre-senility point in life where I can remember with great clarity inconsequential trivia from 40+ years ago (like the colour and former N-number of DC's 210) but am hard-pressed to recall just what it was I did yesterday…

Now, Proctor 'GTC. Yes, indeed, it was the Percival demonstrator at Farnborough 1949 (and, Miles fans, there were two Marathons there that year, one the twin Mamba-engined Mark 2). There's a three-view drawing of it in John Silvester's superb book 'Percival & Hunting Aircraft'. According to the records 'GTC was destroyed in a crash on a beach near Malaga on 2 May 1959.

8th Jan 2003, 23:19
This is indeed a cracking thread - I was born a bit too late to enjoy the UK aviation scene of the 50s and 60s... sigh!

All this and I picked up "Aeroplane" today with some good reminiscences from John Stroud and Bill Fisher...

50 posts - halfway to Hairy's 100! (Sounds like a pop group, m'Lud...)

Keep it up chaps!

9th Jan 2003, 01:13
Righto, Treadigraph.

If you are correct, Aerohack, on the demise of 'GTC, then it rose again from the ashes, because my flights were in 1962 (ish). My participation was arranged by our local vet, Hollie Birkett, who owned Auster G-APKL. Hollie was a founder member of the 750 motor club, and his wife had an interest in the Phoenix Pub on the A30 at Hartley Wintney, venue of a monthly vintage car meet since 1934. There is still an annual Hollie Birkett race, held at Silverstone last year. Hollie perished in 'KL in July '63 near Berck sur Mer. I'd dearly love a photo of 'KL...

There's a thin line between Proctor 'GTC and MMmmiles, because a now very keen member of the Miles Club was along on both flights (weren't you, John).

John and I were thrown out at Toussus, whilst Simon and Hollie continued on to the Jersey Air Rally. That was the time I learned that you cannot overnight at the Hotel de Ville!

Since you mentioned Proctors....! At Exeter on 23 August '59 I found six fuselages, demobbed, registered G-ANXD to ANXI, all still in RAF clothing. 'NXI was ex-LA589, and was apparently the 2nd prototype, the original Preceptor. 3 CAACU operated Mosquitos of course, and I logged eight of them, including poor RR299. Some two dozen Vampires made up the picture. Oh yes, and MMmmiles Gemini G-AISM flew overhead. Strange machine WG180, a Boulton Paul Balliol was also present.

Two weeks later Blackbushe hosted for the last time on a big scale visitors for the Farnborough Air Show. (In 1960 Odiham took over). I photographed Miles Student G-APLK on 8 Sept. For me the hit of the week were two French Navy PV-2 Harpoons.

That leads me on to the Broburn Wanderlust! In a Nissen shed near the old black hangar on the Aldershot end of the RAE were to be seen fuselages marked T5595, T5635, LZ558 and BGA562, alongside G-ADYS Aeronca, G-ALMN Eon Primary, VM691 Slingsby Cadet, three Fa330 Rotorkites, and that Broburn Wanderlust.

Any ideas on the fate of this stuff?

9th Jan 2003, 11:07
atb1943: Oops! Finger-trouble on my part. It was in May 1969 that 'GTC came to grief in Spain. Your mention of The Phoenix at Hartley Wintney reminds me of the marvellous story in the late Denis Jenkinson's book 'Porsche Past & Present' about hurtling along the A30 from Basingstoke to the Phoenix Green Garage in HW in Dickie Stoop's new race-ready Porsche 904, clocking 100-120 mph, passenger Jenks trying to balance on his knees a large unwrapped cream cake, a tea-time treat for Mater Stoop! I remember the famous Farnborough Nissen hut and its treasures well. The Aeronca is alive and airworthy with Jan Cooper, having been restored by her and her late husband Ben at Hungerford many years ago. Get back to you about the others.

9th Jan 2003, 15:36
It is Jan Cooper I believe who is restoring the ex-Smithsonian Miles Hawk - what a gorgeous aeroplane that is! - for Richard Earl.

He tells me that it should fly this year.

It will be the first time in probably 40 years (?) that a Hawk (not to be confused with the Maggie - the earlier Hawk has trousered legs and a Falcon-type swept fin/rudder) has graced our skies?

What a pity that the RAF Reserve Collections Hawk - in spurious military cols. - is in such poor condition. I doubt whether there are any short-term plans to do anything with it but they won't part with it. If they did restore it, it would only be a static anyway. Ho hum...its theirs, they can do what they want with it I suppose....

These machines are as rare as hens teeth and - wow! - sooooo pretty!

I dream of owning one but will probably dream on......



9th Jan 2003, 16:05
Yes, it's the M.2W 'ADWT, which went to Canada in 1964 with the late Father John McGillivray, an RCAF chaplain who'd been based in the Germany. Delightful man, he was a regular attendee at UK fly-ins. I met him at Oshkosh one year when he brought the then Canadian-registered Hawk Major along. The long-term storage and uncertain future of 'ADMW with the RAF Museum Reserve Collection has irked many a Miles enthusiast. It has no significant place in RAF history. Last flew in 1965, I think, so not quite 40 years yet. I'd love to see it flying again, not least because it was once (long before my time!) on the fleet of the Portsmouth Aero Club, where my passion for aviation and Miles aircraft was forged. There's a superb pre-war photo of it in Anthony Triggs's recently published book 'Portsmouth Airport', resplendent in a typical Miles colour scheme of cream wings and tailplane with dark coloured fuselage, fin and 'trousers'. Another — long forgotten — Hawk Major is imminently due in the UK for restoration, but will be leaving again once completed. An expatriate Brit friend of mine in the States has made several unsuccessful attempts to get his hands on one of the South American Hawk Majors, and now is thinking in terms of building one from scratch, having gathered most of the drawings.

11th Jan 2003, 22:50
Portsmouth, eh, Aerohack? Happens to be where I had my first flight, local 15 bob trip in a Rapide (but which one..?). Was probably around '52-'53. It must have been on a family day trip to the coast, Witterings, or Hayling. Dad went to Portsmouth G.S. and was obviously happy to revisit regularly. On my third visit on 22 -1-61 I noted Rapides 'HLF, 'JSL and 'KSD, and my feeling tells me 'JSL was my mount earlier on. Tiger Moths to be seen were 'DGT, 'MHF, 'NFP, 'PPB.

Incidentally, I found a couple of Miles 18s in my log, and an Aries or two. What were (are) they?

12th Jan 2003, 02:58
The M.18 (also referred to earlier in this thread) was a two seat trainer similar to the Maggie... only three prototypes were built between 1938 and 1942, and one still survives, 'HKY, at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune. Brian Iles won the King's Cup in this aeroplane in 1961. The others were 'FRO (Scrapped '47) and 'HOA (crashed 1950).

12th Jan 2003, 03:42
The original Geminis that I worked on had the Cirrus minor engines.
We had several at Burnaston and we modified two of these from the Cirrus to the Gypsy Majors.
These were Percy Blamires and I think Fred Dunkerly's.

I worked on both conversions ( as mere apprenti!)
The main thing was that new engine bearers were installed
which was quite a major rework.
The side panels of each engine were rivetted to the bearers and these used hard rivets that had to be softened to drive them. To this end in one of the back sheds ( well away from habitation!) we had a salt bath to heat treat these rivets and as apprenti my job was to monitor this treatment. The bath as the name implies is full of salt which is then heated to molten ( quite hot!!) by gas jets.
The room where this bath was located had all safety poster stuck up showing the dire effects of a drop of water falling in the bath.
I took several hours to get the proceess complete all spent looking at pictures of various demolished buildings:rolleyes:
The said rivets were then put in a vacuum flask to keep them workable for maximum time.

I flew in the aircraft several times with Percy who had an artifical leg, the foot of which was firmly strapped to the rudder pedal!

I always thought that this conversion made it an Aries but that may not be technically true as I think the later production aircraft had Gypsys from new.

12th Jan 2003, 11:25
atb1943: It seems we have several things in common in our pasts. As I mentioned in a previous post on this thread, my first ever flight was also in 1953-53 from Portsmouth, in a Messenger. 15 mins over the Solent, including some steep turns around the forts, I recall. Rapide 'JSL was on the Portsmouth Aero Club fleet for a long time, well into the 60s. It's now in Australia. Had many rides in it, along with the Austers. My pals and I used to hang around the club, helping push aircraft in and out of the hangars, strapping-in pleasure flight customers — many of whom were fetched from Southsea beach by the club Dormobile, and square-searching the field for Auster tailwheels broken off by students, and in return we'd get the occasional flight. For my own part, my first trip in the luxurious cabin of club member Len Snook's Comanche 250, which was the first in the UK when it arrived in the summer of '59, rather spoiled me for the fuel- and dope-smelling Austers and Tigers. How times change! For me and most of my friends those were formative years. And the nicest thing is that with the odd exception we are all still good friends, and all involved in aviation at some level. One incident I now recall humour was the occasion on which I tried to impress a potential girlfriend by inviting her for a ride in one of the club Austers commanded by the first of our little group to gain a PPL. Unfortunately this chap, still a good friend and now a senior 747 captain, elected to do an unannounced PFL down to 50 feet somewhere over the back of Portsdown Hill. It frightened the poor girl so much that after we landed back at Portsmouth and I'd taken her home I never saw her again!

12th Jan 2003, 14:41
Thanks chaps for the info on the M.18s and Aries.

Quite a hazardous job TShirt, and the sort of stuff Aviation is made of. Bet you didn't have any protective clothing, eh?

On a similar vein, I was at Hermeskeil museum a couple of years ago when I overheard an elderly lady recounting how she had worked as a seamstress at Messerschmitt, something about sewing the interior of the glazing?? Oh for a tape recorder!

Your activities at Pompey, Aerohack, mirrored ours at Blackbushe fairly comprehensively, but unfortunately we looked our most promising gift horse in the mouth! After he took over the airfield he presented us with a Proctor 'JLS in the hope that we would restore it to its RAF markings etc. We failed miserable, mainly due to the lack of dosh and experience. Used to love listening to his talks that he held in the clubroom on occasions.

As for frightening people off flying, I have a similar story. A friend who had an air taxi business at Sywell needed some capital, so he invited his bank manager to that year's Cranfield do, I suspect one of Flight's September events, but it may have been an early PFA rally. He took us up in his Grumman Tiger with the express purpose of showing the bm what aviation was about. Unfortunately, the chap didn't take mush to neg G, and his pint of Guinness wanted out. Not sure if R got the funding, but I got some amusement out of it. That evening, R arranged with a local farmer to show him the AA5 next day, so after an overnight stop at Sywell, we proceeded south and started looking for the farm. We didn't find it, thanks to the smoke from stubble burning (ah...September), and just made Cranfield just before the show started, landing right over the Tiger Club who were preparing to take off. R still flies, EMBs for Maersk.

Got another question - Blackbushe hosted a Bristol Brigand, RH798 I believe, one Farnborough week in '57 or '58. Anyone with an idea to whom it belonged, and its role?

Now I've got to find the thread about the Spiteful.......

......he being AVM Don Bennett of course, sorry.

Blackbushe bye the way was well-known for its FIDO system, something akin to goosenecks sunken into the tarmac on either side of the runway for fog dispersal. Was this a common wartime system? Was it in any way automated?

12th Jan 2003, 15:49

You mentioned earlier on this thread that you operated 'KKR from Elstree in the early '60s. Perhaps our paths have crossed. I noted her on my first visit to Elstree on 15 Jan '61, and then pedalled across to Panshanger to find 'KKR had beaten me to it.

The Miles M.18 'HKY was at Elstree in those days, along with Aries 'OGA and Whitney Straights 'EUJ and 'FGK, BA Swallow 'EMW and Moth Minor 'FNI.


Was the Comanche you mentioned 'PUZ? Logged 22 Jan 61 along with Travelair 'PUB (also at Heathrow two weeks later). Eastleigh had 'RIO an H.A.C. Halcyon 'almost complete'..? Kidlington a week later revealed W. Straight 'ERV, Monarch 'IDE and Mew Gull 'EXF.

On my first ever visit to Thruxton in the late '50s something happened to me, a little touch of kindness, that I have never forgotten, and that has influenced how I treat even the youngest of customers that come asking for help. The manager of the hangar, big old black one with holes in the roof, showed is round, and sat us in the aircraft I had fallen in love with, Klemm L.25 G-AAHW. He showed compassion and understanding. To him I owe a huge debt.

What a delight to find 'HW, this time on the German register, at Baden Baden a few years ago (9 or 10). If she's still for sale, I may.............!

12th Jan 2003, 16:30
atb1943: Yes, the Comanche was indeed 'PUZ, which still exists. It arrived at Portsmouth in late July/early August 1959, looking incredibly modern againt the usual Austers, Tigers, Maggies etc. Owner Len Snook was a local bookie. In 1961 he traded it for an Apache G, G-ARED, for which I discovered many years later from CSE's former MD Rex Smith, he paid with used notes from a suitcase! Ironically, very much later after Portsmouth had closed and some of its former residents were temporarily based at Ford, Snook was sent down for some kind of footbal pools scam, and he ended up in the open prison there. Whatever he did, I still remember him with affection as the man who gave me my first two flights in aircraft, and MMMMMiles aircraft at that. Ah, the big black hangar at Thruxton! Housed the Zaunkoenig G-ALUA amongst other treasures around then. I last saw that a few years ago at Berlin-Schoenfeld when I was reporting the ILA Show, as it happened in the company of old friend and colleague John Fricker, who used to fly it in the early 1950s (and to keep within this thread's main theme, he may also be the only man alive to have flown both Miles jets, Sparrowjet and Student). As for the HAC Halcyon, it fell apart during taxy trials and never flew. I was snooping around the Hampshire Aeroplane Club hangar at Eastleigh one day when it was being put together, trying to photograph an elderly Belgian Bonanza that had badly dented itself taxying into a lighting stand, and a brand-new South African Comanche (it was the one that sadly crashed fatally last year in Essex on a post-maintenance test flight — incapacitation through CO leakage according to the recent AAIB report). Got thrown out and given a tongue lashing by a chap whom I later discovered (and got to befriend) as the legendary Viv Bellamy. Happy days!

12th Jan 2003, 18:14
Hi Aerohack,

I think you need a flight in the Magister or the Falcon! EMail me to arrange.

I am so keen to acquire a Hawk Major. A replica would be nice but - well nothing like a rebuild (even though a flier would probably incorporate a lot of new wood).

Most of the drawings eh?


I would love a set of those - I mean, what could I do to obtain a set? Can you make it happen? What exactly does he have?

A good insurance policy against the unlikely event of ever acquiring an original plane.

If Ken Ellis (died- in- the- wool Miles Nut and bl@@dy nice bloke too!) thought that the Falcon was pretty - he will have palpitations at a Hawk. Grab a copy of Feb03 FlyPast pronto if you like Miles planes. Join The Miles Collection too.

A replica Hawk shouldn't present too many challenges - all pretty simple if the Maggie is anything to go by.

It is also less complex - manual flaps for example on the earlier ones as opposed to the vacuum-operated flaps on the later machines.


Anybody know where there might be a set of Maggie wings? There is a fuselage for sale (for too much money I regret...)

Gemini - A DH-powered Gemini project - a very complete machine - is owned by Tim Moore of SkySport. It could be had for not much money I believe provided it was staying in the UK.

If you want a really good flier - Guy Valvekens in Belgium has his Gemini up for sale. A comprehensive rebuild for sale at a fraction of what it must have cost.

I don't know of any other Miles Aircraft for sale worldwide at the moment - maybe a Messenger in Oz...

M28 Mercury - Hans Kolby Hansen - good old boy and dear friend of mine - has the worlds only surviving M28 (a bit like a Messenger but with shorter wings, no central fin and retractable gear). A real speed machine in its day.

I had a letter yesterday from a bloke in Switzerland enclosing some 50's photos of his mates M28 (ex-G-AJFE), with a 'where is it now?request. Stuffed is the answer although I believe they walked away from it....

Hans' machine is in a museum in Stauning Denmark at the moment but he will bring it here soon.

I flew it with him to Denmark for a CofA a couple of years back. Great machine.

Great thread, wonderful anecdotes.

Please keep it coming, speak to ex-Miles people who you know and get their stories from them.

We need photos, photos and more photos for posterity - maybe for inclusion in the forthcoming definitive history of Miles.

Saw the 2 Maggies in formation at OW on Airshow World 2001 on Discovery Wings last night. I am working on getting the Breighton Maggie (or rather somebody up there is!) down to OW for a 3-ship.

Wouldn't that be great?

Tea time - speak to you all again!

I'll come back on tomorrow if I get time and post a copy of a letter in response to an EMail that asked me 2 questions - 1. why shouldn't you sideslip the Mag? and 2. why is it sometimes flown from the front? We always flew them from the rear.


12th Jan 2003, 18:48
ANY LEADS ON A HAWK GREATLY APPRECIATED PLEASEFor a long time serial 123 (CF-AUV) was dismantled and trucked around various airfields in Eastern Canada. A check of the register shows a CofA was issued Jan 3, 2002. Does this mean it's been restored and is now flying ?

12th Jan 2003, 22:46

I recall see ZS-CNL at Biggin Hill in those days, and 'RIE later. Sorry to hear it is no more.

The Zaunkoenig ex 'LUA you reported on at ILA, plus no doubt its sister, I saw at various places, the first time however at Kidlington, when it belonged to P.J. Sullivan or O'Sullivan, perhaps the person who took it to Ireland prior to its returning to its place of birth. My friend Tommy Thompson, who sent me the Spiteful details, flew it at Farnborough (at least, I think he said he did). We met at the RAFA show in 2001, and he recalled landing at Shoreham in a Blenheim, so that the commander could visit a lady-friend there. Tommy and John Cunningham went back a long way, all the way up to Tridents for China. I read the recent book on JC, and found the end very rushed, as though the author has run out of material. Pity.

Tommy was at Supermarine's, and told the story of having to ferry the entry tickets for the postwar show to Heston. He could do nothing other than sit on them, with his head out of the Seafire's cockpit!

In case it is of interest, Grumman Widgeon N444M is well, it was moved to the USA to enable its owner to water it occasionally. He was getting rather frustrated here. He told me that his mother may have been the reason for banner-towing to have been banned (bannered?) when it was. His mother was friendly with Duncan Sandys, and was one day startled by a low tow-er. Perhaps she jokingly said, Duncan, can't you put a stop to it, which apparently he did. Mike had a Messenger in his collection, didn't he?

Your tale of being chased by Viv at Eastleigh parallels mine of being barked at by Eric Thurston's dog whilst wandering round the E.P.9 production at Stapleford. I had travelled by train and tube to Theydon Bois, and recall the conductor's mirth when I pronounced it 'bwa' in my best French. Believe Eric is still instructing at over 80.

13th Jan 2003, 09:34
Thanks everybody for the comments on the photos.

Now I have a question, seeing as I re-watched 633 Squadron last night - which Messenger was that at the beginning, and what has become of it (hopefully survived better than some of the Mossies in that movie!).

13th Jan 2003, 17:47
atb1943: There were indeed two Zaunkoenigs at Berlin, the other (yellow) a post-war example. Your mention of Mike Dunkerly's lovely Widgeon reminds me again of Viv Bellamy, who was at the controls of the SCAN-30 (French-built Widgeon) G-ARIX when it came to grief landing in the Solent in the summer of 1961. The SCAN had long been familiar at Croydon and Biggin in French, Kenyan and Irish marks. Viv and his passengers were slightly injured and rescued by launch. The remains of the SCAN were hauled ashore by tugs, if I remember right. Similarly, I think I'm correct in saying that the chap who either owned or was going to buy the SCAN, a yachtbuilder, later acquired a Piaggio P.136 which also ended up partially submerged after a landing accident in the Solent, and finished its days dumped at RNAS Lee-on-Solent. Mike's Messenger is G-AKVZ. Banner towing? Prentice G-AOKH used to trawl up and down the south coast beaches advertising Lamtex Rugs. Once, when I must have been the only 'likely lad' hanging around Portsmouth Airport, its pilot — Yeadon based if I remember — beckoned me over and invited me to accompany him (I assumed as 'lookout', because legend had it that he used to read a paperback whilst going back and forth, but I saw no evidence of that; I imagine he just wanted some company on what must have been a pretty tedious exercise). So off we went, and all proceeded well as we cruised back and forth. Then, the windscreen started to become slightly obscured by what must have been oil. "Hold her steady, will you?" said the pilot, then hauled himself half out of the cockpit to stand with one leg on the wing root, one hand steadying himself on the windscreen frame while the other polished vigorously at the 'screen with a bit of rag. Gripping that stick very firmly, his 14-year-old passenger quickly determined that if — as seemed very likely to me — the pilot should have fallen overboard, he was going to follow. That Prentice seemed very big and intimidating for the few anxious moments before the Lamtex man dropped safely back into the left seat.

13th Jan 2003, 18:52
Hi Damien B,

There is indeed better news on the Messenger than the Mossies - 633 squadron really is about 'what happens when you deliberately raise the gear on a perfectly serviceable aircraft on landing and then set fire to the thing...

The Messenger is none other than G-AKBO - alive, kicking and will probably fly this coming weekend at Turweston, where it currently resides.

THere is a fascinating chapter on KBO in Clive DuCros' story of the full size wooden replica of the prototype Spitfire.

KBO - Kings Cup Winner in '54 and star of 633 Squadron - is arguably the most original and most historic Messenger still flying.

Most of what you see today is what left the Newtownards factory in 1947.

THese are great machines that do what they were designed to do so well.

THe most incredible STOL performance - every bit as good as a Storch but on half the power, half the fuel burn, twice the range and the ability to carry - in wartime configuraton - a pilot and 4 fuly kitted troops (plus a rocking great wireless!) in and out of short, unprepared fields.

One story has it that an early Messie forced landed in a ploughed field. Once they fixed it (new prop I think) they couldn't fly it out because it just wouldn't unstick from the quag.

Guess what they did?

Took the wheels off and jury-rigged a complete lorry axle and wheels across the U/C legs! It flew out - no drama.

Those were the days.....

THe 3 'Tails of the Fifties' books by Peter Campbell - organiser of the Great Vintage Flying Weekend at Kemble in May - (a must )- are absolutely fascinating to those who are following this exciting thread.

Wonderful anecdotes.

Flying is a lot more disciplined these days - some of the stories will make your hair stand on end.

No library is complete without them.

EMail me any of you please for further clarification of anything I have posted (as indeed some of you have already).


13th Jan 2003, 19:27
No question that the lorry wheels/ploughed field story is absolutely true. George Miles gave me a photo of it, but as is always the way with such things I'm damned if I've been able to find it for many years. No doubt it'll show up, tucked into some long forgotten book or magazine.

13th Jan 2003, 22:36
Ahhh N444M! I can still recall a dreadful day at school in 1981, grotty weather, never a hope for a keen enthusiast to see an interesting aeroplane during breaktime... is that the noise of pistons? Indeed it was, and a Grumman Widgeon hove into view... briefly... before disappearing into the murk. I'd never seen one in the flesh (except for Airfix's little kit) so it was a great delight.

Not so for the pilot, who half an hour or so later force landed on a reservoir (Bough Beach or Bewl Water?) in deteriorating weather (!), struck something solid and foundered. A few days later I came across the Widgeon drip-drying and looking sorry for itself in the Surrey Aviation hangar at Biggin!

Sorry to hear she's gone back to America, used to love seeing her flying around. And those two Geese that appeared at Legends... are they still here?

Ooops, sorry, back to Miles...

14th Jan 2003, 11:46

We know who you are.

We know where to find you.

Find that picture!


14th Jan 2003, 18:46
On one of my visits to the UK I took my brother down to Biggin, because he knew of my interest but had never been involved. In the S & K hangar I noticed the wreck of what was obviously an amphibian, and asked around for its identity.

Some months later I was told there was a British visitor in the office so I went to say hallo. During the course of conversation I asked him what he flew, and he replied D140, oh, and I have a Grumman Widgeon. Not 444M, I asked. He almost fell off the seat, for twas Mike D himself. I have since sat in it and tried to wriggle down the starboard side into the hull, to pop out of the hatch (but as I mentioned earlier, I used to slip through cracks in hangar doors - no longer). I recently stayed with Mike in his lovely house on Mallorca. He now has a Baron too.

Incidentally Aerohack, what did you do with the two Knight Twisters at Eastleigh - got 'em in yer shed???


14th Jan 2003, 19:23
Gosh, we really did tread the same ground, atb1943. The Knight Twisters! They used to be in the HAC clubroom, as I recall. Last I heard they were in a shed at Biggin, which would figure because the owner was one C J de Vere, and I assume this to be the same Chris de Vere who ran a charter company (Interflight?) out of Biggin with an elderly Aero Commander 520 that was wrecked (on the ground) in one of the great storms.

15th Jan 2003, 08:50
Ah, the Knight Twisters! In Janaury 1977 a friend and I made a really thorough job of Biggin Hill, peered in every shed and hut that we could and still didn't manage to see the Twisters that were supposed to be there. There was also supposed to have been the nose of a Lancaster with Vendair - there was a shed with Vendair on it; the nose might have been the one now at Lambeth. We did see plenty of wrecks though - but not Cobbie Moore's Gipsy Moth wreck, despite him letting us take a turn around Surrey Aviation! Nice to see that one's flying again.

Interflight - yep, they had the yellow and black Aero Commander 520 ('SJU?) and a Air & Space 18 gyrocopter (and the remains of another) lived in the same blister hangar! Whatever happened to that? Those blister hangars were amazing, one occasion there was a US reg'd Learjet shoehorned into the one next to Express Aviation!

15th Jan 2003, 22:08
There is indeed better news on the Messenger than the Mossies - 633 squadron really is about 'what happens when you deliberately raise the gear on a perfectly serviceable aircraft on landing and then set fire to the thing...

The Messenger is none other than G-AKBO - alive, kicking and will probably fly this coming weekend at Turweston, where it currently resides.

Delighted to hear it! I cringe when I see that poor Mosquito belly in - even my girlfriend thought it was a disgrace, but then I am slowly converting her into a hardened aircraft spotter.

16th Jan 2003, 08:11
Hi Damien B,

You are in Northants - KBO is at Turweston.

THere is a Vintage Aircraft Club fly in this weekend at Turdy. I think its Sunday -I haven't checked yet.

I plan to fly the Messenger if the weather is good/ wind down the strip (big-time groundlooper!).

Wht not come on over?


16th Jan 2003, 09:33
I may just do that - might even drag the other half along so she can see for herself that something survived the 633 filming!

Can't find anything on Turweston's site about it so if you find out what day it's on, times etc. that'd be handy!

16th Jan 2003, 17:50
Glad to oblige!

THe Vintage Aircraft Club is holding a Snowball Rally at Turweston on Saturday 18th January.

There will be some scoff - my bacon butty there last Saturday was MMMMmmmouthwatering.

Ask in the club or tower for somebody to point me out.

Even if it isn't flyable we can sit in the Messenger and play film stars (er.... not the car-in the cargo- hold scene in Titanic you understand - just the opening sequences of 633....)

If it is flyable - wind down the slot etc. I plan to clean the aircraft, pump the tyres up and go for a gentle chug around the circuit. (The things I have to do for the new owner...!)

Come along if so and if you like.

She's a real sweety (the plane, not Kate Winslett..)


16th Jan 2003, 19:31
Right, will do! Forecast winds look to be entirely what you don't want though.

And what's wrong with our Kate...? :)

Oh yes - what time does it all kick offf...?

17th Jan 2003, 11:30
Hi DB,

If its looking flyable I'll ge there mid-morning. Otherwise, probably around midday.

If its really grotty I'll be in the cafe troughing a bacon buttie.

Kates OK - bit dumpy these days. Nice t@ts....


17th Jan 2003, 16:38
I spoke to Ron Souch earlier.

He is making good progress on the ex - 'Irish' Miles Witney Straight.

For those who don't know the aircraft it looks like a Magister but with a wider fuselage and a side by side cabin (well it would have to be wider really wouldn't it....?!)

It also has a similar sloped forward screen to the Falcon but in a one-piece moulding.

For those of you who know the White Waltham Monarch - it looks a lot like that and just as rare.

Not as gorgeous as the Falcon but MMMmmm.....Nice.

I am off to see him soon and will report back thereafter.

Won't it be great to see one of these fine machines back in the air??!!

He is also 'doing' a/ the Foster Wickner Wicko ( bet I spelt that wrong..) too.


17th Jan 2003, 17:20
Glad the contact with Ron proved fruitful. Any further word on prospects for rescuing the WW Monarch? (Oh, and there's no 'c' in Wikner, but anyone with your feel for MMMmmmiles aircraft may be forgiven for such a trivial inaccuracy when it comes to, ahem, lesser craft! Oops, do I hear a groundswell of outrage from Wicko fans?)

Ex Oggie
17th Jan 2003, 18:00
Okay, time for a blatant plug for my website...........


It's out of date somewhat, but I have spent the last 12 months or so coding for a new version which should be finished in the next few months. It's taking some time because I am a squashed hedgehog on the information superhighway, and need to keep reading my HTML instruction book :D At least I have learnt to database for the individual identities, so no more cribbing from reams of A4.

Hopefully, the new site will have loads more technical data from my manual collection.


18th Jan 2003, 18:42
HP - some pics from today then, pity the sun hadn't made an appearance by the time I had to depart... my nose will stop dripping soon, I hope.


...and the article I mentioned is here:

G-AKIN article (http://www.f4aviation.co.uk/Hangar/2002/messenger/miles.htm)

Couple of Old Warden reviews too (one more due up soon, keep an eye on the site each Friday night):

18th May 2002 (http://www.f4aviation.co.uk/airshow02/oldwarden/oldwarden.htm) and
24th August 2002 (http://www.f4aviation.co.uk/airshow02/shuttle/august.htm)

18th Jan 2003, 19:08
Hi DB,

Blimey - you were right on the case - Turdy - Nottingham - home - Net.

THe photos beat me home and I only had a quick pint.

Pity you had to zip off - I flew KBO twice today.

What about the crosswind?

OK - I know it was blowing up to 17kts at 90 degrees to the runway but - who needs a runway? I took off across the tarmac and was virtually airborne before I crossed onto the grass runway. It must have been no more than 50yds.

Into wind it is possible to use the full 30 flap - it just flopped onto the grass with hardly any ground roll.

Despite that, we were well inside the envelope - approach at 45mph/ stalls at 27 (yes really....)

Great day - probably repeat it all tomorrow.

I checked out your site - very impressive.

I am sure that KKKkken Ellis would be pleased to have a regular supply of your piccies.


Hi Aerohack - I spent ages on the phone to Ron Souch - fascinating bloke. Thank you for putting us in touch.

WW Monarch.

Dr. Ian Dalziel. Now - theres an interesting bloke too....

What does anybody make of somebody who has an old wooden plane, spends lots of dough on hangarage yet allows his plane to moulder away in a damp hangar, allows mice to set up home (well...probably a high rise block by now....) and presumably cause grave internal damage; allows the thing to have its Registration cancelled by the CAA.

The Monarch isn't the sexiest of Miles machines ( I have the good fortune to claim that one....!) and the cost of restoration would exceed the end value by a huge margin.

However, it is a rare and thus important airframe that must be saved.

Saved it will be, even if it needs to wait until DrD turns his toes up and it is sold by his estate.

Trouble is - the longer it is left, the less of the original machine that will be incorporated in the rebuild.

Rumour has it also that it suffered a heavy landing on its last flight and may well have spar damage too?

Can anybody verify that?

Somebody out there has the inside track on Dr.D.

I have written to him at an address I was given -no reply.
I have sent 'please forward' letters to him to WW from where - presumably - his hangarage invoices originate - no reply.

I was given a phone number - left a message - nobody called me back.

OK - he may well be tired of anoraks pestering him but - well - - I have done a fair bit for the marque over the past couple of years. I even got Dr.D's mugshot published in FP - Kings Cup victor in 1979 flying Falcon G-AEEG.

You'd have though - wouldn't you? - that anybody with even the remotest interest in Miles machines would have enjoyed the recent publicity, gorgeous piccies and - well - just phoned me.....

Come on you guys at WW - what is the score with this bloke?

There has to be a reason why a learned man of letters is capable of behaving in such a strange way.

I would like to meet him. I would like to record his anecdotes on the Kings Cup win for posterity. It will be published. The aircraft history file demands it also.

No prizes for guessing that my letters to him contained a request for a picture of him with the aircraft and the Kings Cup. No prizes either for concluding that he simply ignored it. It took my good friends from Shipping and Airlines (Messenger G-AKVZ) at Biggin to stump one up. Thanks guys!

We are but the temporary custodians of our Nations aviation heritage. I take my responsibilities very seriously indeed.

Who knows how my fortunes will change - I may get a few quid together and expand my collection (of 2 only now..!).

If I do - then the Nation will benefit in future years. I hope they will stay together.

If I end up busted and they have to go, you be damn sure that they won't be sold to the first person who waves a cheque under my nose.

They will be kept in the air. The Public will enjoy them. When I finally join the Choir Invisible, adequate provision will have been made for my planes as well as my family.

Dr. D - If you are out there - please call me. I am a nice guy (apparently). You might get your @rse into my planes. However, it takes this communication thing to make it happen.

So, Aerohack - you did ask!

Wheres that picture??!!


19th Jan 2003, 15:55
I think I have spoken to Dr. D in the fairly recent past - I'll see if I have a phone number or email.

Of note perhaps, when we were on our trip back from Paris on 5 May 1963 in the Proctor we popped in to Persan-Beaumont. I noted F-BCDU, Magister c/n 850, the plate read Philips & Powis Reading. Also Miles 'H.T.3' F-BDPG c/n 1783. Whether my abbreviation, or actually shown on the aircraft I can't quite remember.................!

I also own a Biro....

Who designed the peculiar front glazing on, for example, 'EEG? Was it particular to Miles' products? I recall seeing Lord Montgomery one day near Farnborough, and his car had a similar backward top to bottom sloping windscreen.

Ex Oggie
19th Jan 2003, 17:49
The distinctive 'Miles' windscreen was, I believe, first used on several American types, names elude me at the moment. Miles widely introduced it starting with the M.3 series. It gave almost 5 mph extra and reduced distortion through the glazing.

19th Jan 2003, 18:12
The forward-sloped windscreen wasn't unique to Miles, but more common in the USA. Off the top of my head, types I can recall thus equipped included the original C.W. (later GAL) Cygnet, some Ford and Stinson Tri-Motors, and the Vultee V-1, but I'm sure there were many others. Reduced distortion/reflection and speed gains were claimed. Calls to mind the reverse-slope rear windows on the Ford Anglia, Consul Classic and some Reliant three-wheelers. I got to Persan-Beaumont about a year later than you atb1943, and rather less grandly, hitching a lift from the nearest station in a Renault Dauphine whose driver was, shall we say, 'enthusiastic'. I remember the Maggie, seem to recall it being the mount of the aero club commandant. BTW, is your Biro a Miles-made one? I"ll bet Hairyplane has one of those!

19th Jan 2003, 18:42

Are you sure you weren't looking at the back window of Lord M's Ford Anglebox??!!

The Falcon design was penned by Blossom Miles.

At the risk of getting shot down in flames(!) I reckon she cribbed the screen design from the American Stinson (?).

The theory - I believe - was that the forward-sloped screen gave a smoother airflow over the tail, a double teardrop effectively. This resulted in the design having a small - and thus less draggy - tailplane and tiny vertical surfaces.

I am a little sceptical about the '5mph increase in speed over an aircraft fitted a conventional screen'. I think it was just a fashion statement.

What it does do is a great job of leaving the raindrops on the screen - they don't blow off.

The screen is also narrow - a bit like looking out of a letterbox - and you also get some annoying reflections when you least want them, especially during a display or when formation flying.The 'glazing bars' (sounds more accurate than canopy frame!) are a pain in formation .

Check out which window the pilot (lucky me!) is peering on the latest FlyPast air to airs. The tiny one at the top!

The usual quip when I arrive anywhere in it is - 'love the leaded lights, wheres the stained glass??'

The tiny fin and rudder really requires ballet pumps as opposed to flying boots (and no - I don't wear a tutu...). It can be a box of frogs on the ground.

Mind you - I reckon the sloped- forward screen, raked tail and trousered undercarriage makes the Falcon one of the most gorgeous looking aircraft ever. A treasured posession that only wild horses (or a wild bank manager) could prize away from me.

Am I biased or do others think the same? So many old planes of the same 1936 era (I won't name them) just don't have the elegance and beauty of the Miles designs.

Regrettably though, many DH - types (oops!) are quite common yet the survival rate of Miles machines is appalling.

I implore you guys in the know out there to bang on Dr. Dalziels and Bob Mitchells (Witney Straight and Monarch in store at Cosford) doors and say - 'Come on geezer - there's no way you are going to do anything with them. You have had your enjoyment. Why not pass them on to somebody who will restore them to pristine, fly them and allow the nation , not just mice and spiders. to see them.'

I shudder when I hear of the conditions under which some surviving Miles aircraft - or viable projects - are being stored under.

I also had an annoying exchange with some Tw@t called B@b who wanted 'a million quid' for his Maggie fuz. Sheer profiteering and thus working against the preservation of old planes - a completely non-cost effective nonsense anyway that takes a nutter like me to get involved in.

Must go - my soapbox is creaking, I need to step off it before I break it through over-use.!!


19th Jan 2003, 18:47
Totally agree re the Miles 'look'. Just far far classier than most sheddy old GA jobs.

As for Dr. D etc. - well with AKBO's history of secret agent/commando use in 633, you're half way to forming your own aircraft abduction unit, complete with getaway vehicle. Got any black shoe polish?

19th Jan 2003, 18:49
Well, I mentioned the Biro because I just re-discovered the book 'Wings over Woodley', which I hadn't really read thoroughly.
Now I have indeed!

And to my chagrin, although Blackbushe-based, I never made it to Woodley. But then I was much influenced by those in the group in the early days. Would know better today.

19th Jan 2003, 20:40
.....and therein I read that the Broburn Wanderlust was a Reading product, a glider no less. What's in the name anyone?

And what became of the HDM105?

And what did the IAC do with its Martinet?

20th Jan 2003, 08:29
KBO looked great at Turweston on Saturday. (esp after a wash) :)

Hope to see it again at the Feb meet.

20th Jan 2003, 10:08
She did look a lot better after a bath. I also wiped her bottie down after - she does drop a bit of oil (don't they all??!!)

The 'bottom hangar' at Turdy gets really dusty due to the woodshop next door creating loads of sawdust.

Also, to even get to the runway you have to splosh your way through loads of mud at relatively high speed to avoid getting stuck.

I can't bear to fly any aircraft that isn't clean - it detracts from the pleasure in my book. If you ain't got time to clean it - don't fly it.

Despite the wind - KBO gave lots of pleasure to 2 lucky passengers and lots more to the toggies. Doesn't she look great waffling slowly down the approach with those biiiig barn-door flaps and triple fins?


The new owner of KBO lives down south near Shoreham.

Can I appeal to you all to come up with some suitable hangarage near there?

Whilst I am happy to keep it flying for them (who wouldn't??) it needs to be there so that they can cuddle it without a big road journey.


20th Jan 2003, 11:49

how about Lee-on-Solent - its got hard runways, fuel, hangars etc and is only about 1 hour from Shoreham on good roads.

There are lots of hangars there and some may have sufficient space for KBO. We have a couple in ours (& a pby in kit form)
and given the aircraft concerned it would I am sure it would be a welcome addition.

Also Goodwood which is much closer but is grass only and not sure about hangar space.

20th Jan 2003, 13:50
Hi Paul C,

Thank you so much for your reply.

Please send me an Email with the contact details and I'll pass them on.

I have promised Bob Ruprecht of the Air Support Unit there a visit, so - to turn up in KBO would be great!

Any more suggestions out there please?

Goodwoood is big bucks I am told - KBO is a big old bird too.

I like Nick Blooms description of the Messengers cockpit in Nov.02 Pilot - 'Like an old gentlemans club!'


20th Jan 2003, 21:50
Here are a couple of pretty poor pics of the Miles Student G-APLK, taken at prestwick in the late 1970s. I can't compete with DamianB coz I only had a cheap camera in those days!


20th Jan 2003, 23:22
Nice - the one Miles I'd really like to see back in the air. And I don't think I even had a camera then :)

21st Jan 2003, 04:49
There's a new hangar going up at Shoreham at the far west end behind Transair. Don't know what Tom Moloney's going to do wiv it, but I'll ask him Monday when I see him. You don't build a hangar fer nuffin', do yer!

Sir George Cayley
21st Jan 2003, 05:33
One can't mention Miles without immediately thinking of Fred Dunkerley. I noticed a previous reference to a Mike Dunkerley with a Widgeon- would he be a relative?

Also a search on G-INFO under that name reveals an Alan George Dunkerley with 'DNL, 'NWO and a CASA Jungman. Also deregistered a Boeing 75 and a Spitfire!

As the address is within gliding distance of Barton its a shame the a/c have never been seen there in the past 30 years

Which leads me onto the question about Fred Dunkerely. I heard dark mutterings of a disagreement between him and the committee of the Lancs Aero Club (presumably in the 1960's) but it was never expanded on. As there are precious few members left from those days its difficult getting to the bottom of this.

Does anyone know the story?

Sir George Cayley

The air is a navigable ocean that laps at everyones door

21st Jan 2003, 17:01
We've passed the 100 posts! Hurrah!

Wub - Fascinating contribution re Miles Student. How come the wing got 'lost'?? Where is the aircraft now? What state is it in (apart from no chuffin' wing..)? When did it last fly? Tell us all about it. Failing that, I'll ask the Oracle and tell you!

Sir George - I have asked the Oracle - Peter Amos of The Miles Collection (who will probably never get himself on one of these new fangled computers!) about Fred Dunkerly. I'll keep you posted (every pun intended..)

atb - Yes please! Let me have the details as soon as you have them - Shoreham would be great.

Just to remind you - The Miles Collection is such a worthwhile organisation to join. £17.50 a year buys you fascinating journals and definately some wonderful carrot cake on the Miles Stalls at the shows!




21st Jan 2003, 17:50
Ahhh... I thought the Student is actually at Woodley now??? It pranged at Duxford a few years ago (as I recall Peter Hoare joined the club of celebrated pilots who were faced with a sudden absence of power and parked their various mounts into the big field on the other side of the M11!) and was stored at Cranfield with the JP lot for a while.

Only time I ever saw it was over my school (about the third mention on this forum!) in 1976 - I was 12 and thought "what the hell is that?" Found a picture later. It was going into Dunsfold I think...

How about aiming for 200 posts, give Austers something to really aim for? :D


21st Jan 2003, 19:34

Am I missing something about the wing? Anyhoo, here is the lowdown on the Student:


Here's another much better pic:

The only other connection I have with Miles is that I used to drink in the same flying club bar as Jim Buckingham, who displays the Gemini G-AKKB, which was the last to be built at Woodley in 1947. It's still going strong:


21st Jan 2003, 23:20
Wub -

I thought that I read somewhere that the wing had gone missing? Maybe I dreamed it.....I'll need to consult the Oracle on this one and come back to you - maybe tomorrow. I hadn't realised that it had been comprehensively stuffed...

Sir George C -

Re - Fred Dunkerly. I consulted The Oracle this afternoon but could only post when I got back from the Rubadub. He is the guy who converted a Sparrowhawk into a Sparrowjet in the 50's.

His son Alan has undertaken the task of rebuilding the remains of it - not much apparently - back into the original Sparrowhawk.

Is Ben Cox doing this? Apparently so.

Where can I get hold of Ben Cox? I have a question for him.

Nice to find out how he is getting on with it if so.

Tredders -

Glad you are enjoying this thread! I feel a ride in the Maggie (or Falcon as you wish) happening this season. EMail me to arrange if you want.

At this rate, 200 posts seems feasible. We seem to be unearthing so much stuff.

Such a pity that The Oracle isn't taking part in this - he is a mine of information and undoubtedly - by a long long shot - the worlds expert on Miles Aircraft. Trouble is - as previously stated - he isn't into computers....

My letter in Pilot - Nov02 - regarding the dropping of his mates ashes still conjures up this image of poor old Peter Amos alias 'The Oracle' spitting ash out and absolutely smothered in them.

(I have to say it was a bit of a grin - especially as his incinerated chum was a right wag apparently.)

I think he otherwise enjoyed his ride in V1075. ....!

(Watch this space - the V1075 identity may be on its way out forever. If the CAA are happy for me to change it - can't think why not - it might get done this season.)


21st Jan 2003, 23:38
Just for gawd's sake don't paint it grey like every other damn aeroplane these days!

22nd Jan 2003, 08:32
Sir George, Mike is a Dunkerly without the second e. His mother was a Duchess of xxxxxxx? who's obituary I have but obviously not handy.

Aerohack, Jenks (to revert way way back to page 2 or 3) lent a helping hand when the Birketts moved from Fleet to Elvetham Hall Lodge, or at least Joan Passini-Birkett and the two girls, because Hollie had remarried. Far as I recall Jenks helped me dig out a tree that was in the way (well, a bush, but a big one!).

Hairyplane, a photo of 'EEG probably from an Ian Allan booklet from the sixties shows it to have had a dark top in front of the cabin, possibly to cut out glare at high altitude??

22nd Jan 2003, 09:58
hairyplane: <Watch this space - the V1075 identity may be on its way out forever. If the CAA are happy for me to change it - can't think why not - it might get done this season.>

The pre-war CFS aerobatic team colour scheme is most attractive, but you'd need the broad chord fin for it to be truly authentic. What I'd really love to see is a post-war civilian Hawk Trainer scheme, preferably in 'Miles cream'. Despite my near-obsessive purist inclinations, I nonetheless defend to the death an owner's right to paint his aeroplane how he pleases, but from our exchanges here I have a feeling we won't be seeing 'KPF in anything other than tastefully appropriate colours.

22nd Jan 2003, 10:04
Damien B -

The proposed change relates purely to the registration.

V1075 was one of the last machines off the line and - as such - had bare legs and was painted in camouflage.

It is thus not historically accurate in its present, handsome yellow scheme.

However, mounting evidence of a more correct identity - N3733 - is emerging all the time.

In the 50's, the fuselage and lots of other airframe bits were changed following a crash. THe widely held view today - shared by me also - is that the identity of an aircraft should relate to the fuselage.

It retained its G-AKPF (previously V1075) identity purely because that was the reg on the CofA. This followed through to the present day.

Nothing - save for a few bits and pieces maybe - survive of the original V1075 - the wings were changed during its protracted restoration too.

The thing was basically a waterlogged, wingless hulk in the 60's when it was rescued and bought for fifty quid.

I think it is now time to ask the CAA if they mind -under the current Display of Military Marks exemption - if it is changed.

N3733 was a much earlier 1938 machine and correctly wore the yellow scheme.

My personal view is that whilst the Maggie looks pretty dull with bare legs and in camouflage, the pre-war trainer scheme is MMMmmm lovely.

Stand the 2 together at Shuttleworth and they could be mistaken at first glance for 2 completely different machines.

If they were a couple of girlies, you would try to pull the yellow one any day!

So - Damien B. Have no fear. It won't be grey!It will wear its correct identity and thus wear the correct paint scheme too.

Maybe time to look up and apply the myriad of stencils to it as well.

I reckon they must have had an army of 'stencil bods' in those days!

Lastly - wouldn't it be nice to see a Maggie in a civvy scheme?

The fuselage I have mentoned earlier has a wonderful post-war racing history. Photos at the time - I have one on my office wall - are of a very handsome aircraft indeed.

I think that the opportunity exists for just one more Maggie rebuild from bits. The costs would be ridiculous though, especially when there are people bent on profiteering from our aviation heritage - 'Tricky Bob' for one - and rendering such projects even less viable by the day.

atb 1943 - The Falcon still has a matt black strip between screen and prop. I don't think that its removal would cause any problems. However, I have no plans to repaint the aircraft. I think Tim Moores scheme - though without any historical connections whatsoever - looks great.

It was, without looking up the file - red fuz with cream wings when new.

I have details of all the schemes it wore from new, including details of the Swedish air taxi logos.

It is possible that we might see a series of artists impressions of them in the forthcoming Air Enthusiast feature. I am talking to Ken Ellis about this at the moment.

I can tell you now though that some of the Swedish pictures - especially the ones that show the aircraft on skis - are just wonderful so prepare yourselves for a treat!

Unlike the Maggie - the Falcon is a highly original aircraft. Most of what you see today left Woodley in 1936.


22nd Jan 2003, 10:48
Dull in camo? Never! I thnk it makes a fantastic contrast with 'V1075', indeed it makes a fantastic contrast with its own yellow undersides. In sunshine it just begs to be photographed, particularly coming round the corner at Old Warden, topsides to the crowd. I can feel my underwear tightening just thinking about it.

Rather like the sound of the red/cream scheme for the Falcon too...

22nd Jan 2003, 21:26

Yes Tim and Ben Cox are restoring the Sparrowhawk I was discussing it with him last week. He said it could possibly be ready at the end of this year but much more likely to be next year. I'll be speaking to him tomorrow and will pass on that you want to ask him something.

23rd Jan 2003, 19:57

Where did I see or read it??

I am convinced that someone somewhere had reported that the wing was found to be missing when they came to restore the thing to static.

So - I consulted The Oracle this evening - poor old boy was cream- crackered after chasing halfway around the countryside for MMMmmmiles piccies for his forthcoming 'definitive Miles' tome.

He confirmed that I was dreaming.

So - the Miles Student is bent but all there - more than you can say for me (hang on - I'm not bent but probably mostly 'there...')

I have to say that the student doesn't blow my frock up too far.

However, tell me where there is a complete Hawk for fifty quid and I'll need a pacemaker.

Do you think we'll make 200 posts??


I reckon wel'l hit 125 over the next couple of weeks though. Not bad!


24th Jan 2003, 19:20
Just wait until I find out how to post photos, then there'll be more fun. Got a gorgeous (IMHO) b/w photo of Smith's Gemini in long grass at WW............and a very strange scimitar tailed 4-prop job built or reengineered for a filum.

Incidentally Aerohack (or anybody of course), any idea what the CAP-looking red and white aircraft was aerobatting around Thorney today? The only link was that it wasMMMmmmiles away. An Army Lynx did a couple of circuits over Eastoke carrying rocket-launchers on its skids.

I note too that the day we departed WW in 1962 in 'GTC for Rotterdam, SE-AFN was present, today's 'EEG. The Proctor had quite a lot of wing surface from which to wipe the early-morning dew.

And travelling through Christchurch station yesterday, I wondered where the airfield was situated and what it had been like, because I can't recall a tiny bit of my visit 40 years ago, except to have noted what was there, Comper Swift 'BUU, two Consuls or Oxfords, and a US-registered Comanche, 6183P. Anyone got a photo of Christchurch? It might jog my memory.


Ex Oggie
25th Jan 2003, 04:37
It is interesting that mention is made of the Airspeed works at Christchurch in this thread. A fellow who was in the know there, assured me that all Miles blueprints were held by the factory and were subsequently destroyed under instructions from the management. Unless some 'escaped' of course!

25th Jan 2003, 11:25
Speechless Two: Austers that may have been based at Christchurch in the early 1960s included Alphas G-AHAT, 'JAE and 'JYB. The Consuls/Oxfords broken up there were indeed Oxfords, ex-Air Service Training at Hamble — G-AIAT and 'IAX, and according to my 'Big Book of Oxfords' which I happened to be reading last night, AST's G-ALTP also ended its days there after an engine fire in January 1962.

atb1943: Long way from Thorney Island these days, so can't help with the CAP-like.

25th Jan 2003, 20:30
Anyone know if anything - parts, drawings etc exist for the Miles Satyr. Several years ago I heard of a chap going to construct a replica - don't know if it was to be from plans or just to outline or even if it was ever started. ?????????

25th Jan 2003, 21:12
Dull in camo?

Umm, wasn't that the point ? I have never quite understood why someone would go into scrupulous detail over a wartime paintjob and then polish it to a mirror-like finish. Civil schemes are so much prettier anyway.

Shields up !

25th Jan 2003, 23:40
Many thanks for all the gen and website, Speechless Two, appreciate it. Will definitely check out Hampshire airfields when back home, here am living on borrowed (air) time. I do know that the Redwing and Desford were also noted, but I am about 700 kms from my records.

Was wandering about Hayling today up and down the old railway line with a friend whose father once owned an Auster, when G-TENT flew overhead, probably out of Goodwood. Nice coincidence, belongs on the Auster thread perhaps....

Aerohack, as far as I?


26th Jan 2003, 11:27
atb1943:<as far as I?>

No, South Lincolnshire, but still a regular visitor to Portsmouth and its environs, which will always be 'home'. There used to be a flying field on Hayling Island pre-war.

26th Jan 2003, 19:35
Hi Paper Tiger,

It was just a comparison between a Maggie in camo and bare legs versus one (mine!) in an earlier scheme - RAF trainer yellow, polished cowling and spatted U/C.

I defy anybody to stand in front of them both and say that the drab machine is prettier. Historically more accurate maybe but prettier? I don't think so...

You will understand from my previous posts that I am keen to see a Maggie in a civvy scheme. MMMmmm!

Polished camouflage or military schemes applied to aircraft with zero military history make me groan.

THere are a few civvy Miles machines in camouflage around the world. One particular Messenger 'down under' is painted in the most appalling 'camouflage' scheme that is so wrong it is laughable - even if it did once wear military markings (which it didn't...)



26th Jan 2003, 22:01

That aerobatic machine was most probably Robin 2160 G-VECG ex-Goodwood.

Found an extraordinary book today entitled 'Blossom', A Biography of Mrs. F. G. Miles, by Jean M. Fostekew, ISBN 0 9515598 6 9. I can already see that it will provide hours of absorbing entertainment.

29th Jan 2003, 17:54

Very sorry, but that hangarage won't be available. I watched them cutting the hard standing on Monday, and the steel is going up next week. But I guess it will house the Yak and occasionally the Strikemaster.

Was fortunate enough to fly up to Duxford in the Yak (Dosaaf 55) on Monday. What a gorgeous day for it! Arrived just as P-40 was cavorting about.

Picked up Flypast...now I know all...!

Do you have the book on Blossom? Fascinating.

29th Jan 2003, 19:00
Hi atb1943,

Thanks for trying.

I have seen the book on Blossom Miles - haven't got round to buying it yet simply because I have a shedload of 'also very interesting' books that I haven't read yet and - at the rate I read - there will be a good few Christmas's and Birthday's between, God willing.

I have a special interest in Blossom because a)she was drop-dead gorgeous and b) she penned the Falcon design. So, if they actually do invent a Tardis I'm going to nip back 20 years, kinda get used to being 30 again and then nip back to 1936 to see if I can pull her while George is whiling away the midnight hours at the factory.

I think a bit of pillow talk might just get her to cough up the truth about the screen on the Falcon!

I know I have mentioned this earlier but - 3 'must reads' for any 50's enthusiast are - Tails of the 50's, More Tails of the 50's and Tail Ends of the 50's - all by my good friend Peter Campbell.

The books are really a collection of anecdotes and some nice pictures.

Good news!

I have just heard that I have been awarded the Desmond Penrose trophy by the VAC for my Miles Aircraft contribution.

A busy year this season - off to Barkaby Stockholm again in June, to return my nice trophy won last year and guzzle some more Falcon beer (yes, they have a Falcon Brewery in Sweden!)

Also - I have been asked by the RIAT Fairford organisers to get my Falcon & Maggie in the exhibition for their '100 years of flight' exhibition and air display.

All expenses, accomodation and some dosh too so - can't be bad!

I reckon I'll do Schaffen Diest in Belgium too.

Coventry also want the Maggie at their display.

The Great Vintage Flying Weekend at Kemble 9-11th May is a must for all you Miles nutters.

If the weather and winds are favourable I would expect to do plenty of joyrides.

Oh yes! Guess what! Somebody on the Auster thread has described Miles Aircraft as 'plywood barges.'

I think you ought to nip across and file a complaint!

All the best


29th Jan 2003, 21:30
Hi, I've just got back from a visit to Cosford museum and was fortunate enough to be allowed into their restoration hangar where there was a Miles Mohawk looking in an advanced state of resto. The chap there knew nothing about it so can anyone tell me anything ??? Thanks

29th Jan 2003, 22:57
Aah Hairyplane, you have obviously been smitten by the very attractive Blossom - all the more reason to read the book.

I have two of those tales of the fifties, from the Brooklands shop, when I was present for Shell's award of the Pagoda to Polly Vacher as a permanent exhibition.

I wonder which eye Blossom lost, even her biographer is not clear on it.

Congrats on the Hairymouse award - great stuff.

You have a busy season ahead. The G-VWEG at Kemble is certainly a must, RIAT used to be, but if I have to choose...


29th Jan 2003, 23:07
HP - congrats.

Are you flying or static at RIAT?

As for the Auster - only one way to decide such disagreements - a dogfight. This is where Camo-Maggie [tm] comes into its own. I'm sure we could rustle up a Lewis gun for the rear cockpit and turn the seat around.

29th Jan 2003, 23:18
Congrats on the award Hairy!

You want to watch making suggestions like that Damien, those darstadly Auster pilots sometimes camoflague theirs too, and I suspect aren't above taking a leaf out of the Grasshopper pilots' book and tying bazookers on to handy things like struts! :D

Then again there's a faint connection between Austers and Little Nellie! Yes, I was watching You Only Live Twice last night when I should have been PPRuNeing! And the Dambusters the night before (thanks Chris!).

29th Jan 2003, 23:38
Hello guys!

Bingo - the Mohawk G-AEKW was the only one of its type, designed by Miles to the exacting requirements of Charles Lindbergh. He wanted a high-speed machine with a long range (you should see the tankage and fuel system!) in order to 'prove' airline routes throughout Europe.

It had a huge range - 1400 miles! - and cruised at 170mph.

Power was an American engine, a Supercharged 200hp 6cyl. Menasco Buccaneer.

It was impressed into the military but ended up as a derelict hulk post-war. Rescued from a dump - I can find all the details if you want - it went to The States for restoration. However, it wasn't completed and was generously donated to the RAF Museum.

The work to restore the fuselage - the wings have yet to be done - was awarded to my good friends at SkySport - restorers of the Bulldog, Wallace and a number of fine restorations/ recreations.

THe American work - shhhh! - was not good and it all had to be stripped out and done again properly, using as much of the original wood as possible. Even the odd bit of old fuselage skin - the sort of thing that would have been 'skipped' by others - was scarfed into the new regardless of the additional time it took, just to keep as much of the original aircraft as possible.

ATB - I hadn't realised that Blossom was 'optically challenged by 50%' - I thought that she was winking at me from the pages, urging me to nip back time and sh@g her. You have now spoit it for me you rotter!

Damien B - Thanks for the congrats. RIAT - I offered the aircraft for the flying display - flown either by me or a proper pilot. However, they wanted it only in the static.

No matter - I shall have some fun - and so will whichever mate of mine draws the straw - flying the 2 aircraft in and out, glugging beer and scoffing some nice tucker - oh, and getting paid for it too!. Well, I suppose someone has to do it....!

Great to see your posts guys - keep them coming!


vintage ATCO
30th Jan 2003, 08:21
There's a Hawk Trainer in civil scheme in this http://www.beney.org.uk/woburn.wmv , and a Gemini! And a few Austers. . . . .

I recognise some of the trees! :D

30th Jan 2003, 14:56
A message forwarded to me from Barry Clay, an aircraft enthusiast but a non-PPruner -

'Peter and others following the current Miles theme-

I have just scanned through the section on historic Miles aircraft types and found it very interesting reading and would like to add the following -

Yes G-AFBS Magister was indeed owned and operated by dear old Dick Emery,in fact he even used it in a few of those really old black and white oh so English films ! the interesting thing about this particular aeroplane is that it was painted in the usual trainer camouflage with yellow undersides but retained its British civil registration instead of its impressed serial BB661,after a spell with the Skyfame museum at Staverton it passed onto the Imperial War museum collection at Duxford where as far as I know it still exists amongst the collection.(It does! HP)

With regard to the Miles Marathon and if any of these exist,sadly no,although they were last used by Derby Aviation (the former company before British Midland came along under Ron Paines leadership). All of these airframes were scrapped off apart from one small item,an upper fuselage section used as a railway shelter on a preserved railway at Market Bosworth. I have a photograph somewhere of this small and fairly insignificent item in my files somewhere,it existed at least in the eighties.
Now on a more delicate subject of the Miles aeroplanes currently stored in the old hangar the far side of the Cosford museum,this is a very sad state of affairs with preservation to the airframes not getting any better,sitting on their flat tyres with a floor covered in bird droppings and branches.
Despite attempts to save these aircraft they cannot be touched (for reasons that can't be posted here - HP),a very sad and awkward state of affairs.
I am sure if they could ever be released then someone would extend the loving care they deserve and get them flying again,although the Miles Monarch G-AFRZ would need extensive work to get her airworthy,almost new wood throughout,nothing that Skysport Engineering or Speedwell Sailplanes could not tackle with confidence without a little money being thrown at such a project.'


Yes, it would indeed be wonderful to see these 2 important aircraft saved.

2 Monarchs (Bob M and Ian D) and a Witney Straight all suffering in less than ideal storage yet not for sale and no discussion even possible in this pursuit.

Isn't that such a shame...??


30th Jan 2003, 18:34
Sorry I'm a bit late joining the discussion, but on this chilly snow-ridden January evening I thought I'd just air a little reminiscence of mine from a couple of summers ago...

V1075 (complete with Hairyplane (I presume) and A N Other) had dropped into Skysport on a gorgeous warm Wednesday evening for a cuppa and a chat with the Guv'nor. BeauMan pitches up to do his Wednesday evening stint on Bristol bits and spies a lovely little yellow thing out on the grass, clearly getting ready to go.

Curiosity always gets the better of me at Skysport, so I wandered over and stood spellbound as Hairyplane hand swung V1075's prop into life (it took a few goes, I don't think she wanted to leave just yet), and then taxied out onto the strip. She took off into a still blue sky, followed by a wonderfully lit flypast and a climb out and departure into the sunset. Lovely.

So thank you for that Hairyplane, it was lovely to watch, and on a chilly January evening the memory of it has reminded me what summer's all about. :O

vintage ATCO
30th Jan 2003, 20:25
G-AFBS is featured in the clip I posted

31st Jan 2003, 01:15
Many thanks, Vintage, for the clip. Seeing 'FBS again gave me goose bumps!

And Barry, thanks for confirming that she used to belong to Dick Emery. Didn't think I was dreaming it all up.

Hairy, what difference does an eye make - just adds to the attraction. Seems to have been caused by an overreaction to the then new smallpox jabs.:)

31st Jan 2003, 20:20
Hi Beaman,

So you'r one of those clever bugg@rs who slaves away on wednesday evenings restoring Tims Beafighter?

I have been there on many occasions glugging beer in the house when you've been working out there in the chuffing cold or Pi@@ing rain.

I hope that one day your efforts will be rewarded by seeing air under the wheels once more??

Please come and make yourself known to me at OW on one of the display days - get there early - and I'll take you for a chug around the houses in the Maggie. My pleasure. You deserve it.

Fear not about the recalcitrant Gippo - it was probably finger trouble on my part - the engine in it is an absolute jewel. THey are always a bit tricky when they are warm.

Still - I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that.


1st Feb 2003, 04:09

Great clip.

Was that HP in the cockpit explaining to an ethralled spectator how to fly :rolleyes:

1st Feb 2003, 11:28
I just spent hours re-reading this thread - what fun! Like a time warp. And Hairy's taken it back to the thirties with his libidinous ravings about MM... (Maxine Miles).

Noticed a photo of the Mohawk in Feb Pilot that just dropped onto my desk. Maybe they cleared up the birdpoop for the shot.

Aerohack, your recollection of the Prentice then hauled himself half out of the cockpit to stand with one leg on the wing root, one hand steadying himself on the windscreen frame while the other polished vigorously at the 'screen with a bit of rag I half experienced Monday on the return to Shoreham in the Yak. The setting sun was to stbd (natch) and Tom needed to do the housework, so he set to with a duster on both side panels. I almost expected him to climb out to do the w/s, but he left it at that.
What I found very strange was the intercom button on the Mig-type sideways throttle. Coupla times got a thwack as I reached for it at the same time as Tom throttled back (mainly on the ground checks). Got a good look at Brighton's West Pier from all angles....Yak reminded me of a steam train when taxying!

Incidentally, how is Rex Smith obe? Believe he retired from the CAA recently? Knew him well from his time at Kidlington. And his Lordship Waterpark? He was a floatplane buff, wasn't he?!

Nice weekend all

2nd Feb 2003, 23:18
Tease me if you will....

I have the serious hots (woof woof!) for a Miles Hawk trainer.

This is a Magister but pre-war, with a slimmer fuselage, Falcon U/C trousers and Falcon tail feathers.


It has to be the best looking aircraft of all time - next to the Falcon of course....!

Can you imagine how well this would fit in with my Falcon and Magister?? Can you imagine how gorgeous this would look on a warm Sumers day at Old Warden?

Rumour has it that the Brazilian Hawk project - well known to us buffs - might be wending its way to the UK.

Let me in on this pleeeeeaaaase!

Anybody out there with the inside track on this?

I may know more tomorrow.

I'll post as and when I get the info.

However, if anybody out there knows more than I do please shout early!


3rd Feb 2003, 17:29
Hairyplane: Spotted this classified ad. from W. S. Shackleton Ltd In the March 1948 issue of the short-lived magazine 'The Light Plane':
"£295. Miles Hawk Major. Only 10 hours since engine and airframe overhaul. Cream and red. Two other similar machines available at the same price.
£295. Miles M.18. One cabin and one open machine available. Both now undergoing C of A and have low hours.
£575. Miles Hawk Speed Six. Under 150 hours since new. Flown by Mr. Tommy Rose, it won last year's Manx Air Derby."

A news item in an earlier issue reports that Gemini G-AJKS was taken across the Atlantic aboard an aircraft carrier of the Royal Canadian Navy for a North American sales tour, and took off from its deck about 20 miles offshore. I know that a Messenger conducted landing trials aboard a makeshift deck set up on a merchant ship, but don't know if it flew off again. If not, 'JKS may have been the only Miles aircraft ever to operate from a ship's deck.

3rd Feb 2003, 18:23

That'd be very kind of you, and greatly appreciated sir.

I am indeed one of Tim's volunteers; in fact, now the only one, as the other chap has decided to emigrate to France. Tim and I did ask him whether he'd be commuting back of a Wednesday evning, but reluctantly he declined... ;)

As for the old girl herself, she's a big job, as I'm sure you've seen. Her nose thankfully is on a stand which is frequently being shunted around the hangar to accommodate all sorts of wonderful old aeroplanes. I seem to recall both the Maggie and your Falcon being in from time to time, along with such diverse items as a Mosquito fuselage and a Russian spacecraft. Honestly, I must lose a good hour of productivity every Wednesday night just looking to see what gem's Tim's turned up this week. :D

Talking of the hangar, a quick TV heads up for UK viewers for tonight - Channel 4, 2100hrs, Leonardo's Dream Machines. Tim's chaps build Leonardo's glider. Watch out for the dog chews. ;)

4th Feb 2003, 13:59
A forwarded EMail from the Wings Over Warwickshire Website -

I have been discussing the Messenger v Auster for Army Cooperation. The consensus is that politics rather than any fault of the design led to very few military orders for the Messenger.

Barry Clay writes -


'Just been researching the military production of the Miles Messenger,it speaks for itself 250 ordered,only 21 actually built,this is the breakdown-

RG327 & RG333 two prototypes built at Woodley.
RH368-378 built at Reading.
RH379-409 Cancelled.
RH420-429 built at Newtownards,Northern Ireland.
RH430-468 Cancelled 01-1944
RH483-525 ''
RH539-580 ''
RH595-635 ''
RH648-680 ''

(RG333 was Monty's Messenger of course...HP)

So why were these aircraft cancelled,and where were the 21 aircraft built for the R.A.F actually based ?'


Let me consult The Oracle and post a reply!


4th Feb 2003, 21:05
Well, atb1943, your post about Stapleford 23 May 1964 (I was one day short of my first birthday) made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, since my grandfather had, by that point, owned two of those planes.

He had AIDE in the late 50s, winning the Goodyear trophy in it, and AJYZ which he bought new from Woodley after Handley-Page bought the bits left over from the Miles liquidation. Somewhere recently I saw the original invoice for the plane: I am hoping my mother has not thrown it out with a lot of rubbish!

Anyway, here are a few pix.





Pix are from A J Jackson's amazing photo library

If anyone knows any more history of these planes, I'd be very interested to know.

4th Feb 2003, 22:05
Just wondering if any of you know any more of the late 50s and 60s history of

G-AKBN : Messenger
G-AJYZ: Messenger
G-AKDK: Gemini - now in a museum in Denmark - apparently available to anyone with money, two Cirrus engines and undercarriage

All of these belonged to my grandfather Walter Bowles, some of whose photos are at http://www.beney.org.uk/personal/oldair.html

And just for luck: here's a lovely one of KBN, taken my John Yoxall.


On another note, you might enjoy G-AECC, Jimmy Rush's Falcon. I spoke to a friend of his widow recently, and gave her a copy of this picture (below)


And finally, how about this? Not strictly a Miles plane, but the winner of a Royal Aero Club design competition for a racing / touring aeroplane. Financed by Nat Somers, and designed by Hugh Kendall, it was the Somers-Kendall SK-1. Fuselage languishes at Breighton, I believe.


Here we have the dinner menu, as defaced by the attendees, for the 1954 Air Racing Dinner, in honour of Harold "Timber" Wood winner of the King's Cup Air Race in AKBO and Miss Freydis Leaf, winner of the Championship.

Towards top right you will note Lettice Curtis, of ATA fame, just about the then Civil Aviation Minister, someone who gained altogether different notoriety a little later.

Fred Dunkerley is top left below Jimmy Rush, and below him AJ Spiller of AKIN fame. Then Nat Somers who raced Geminis, and others whose names I can decipher if you wish.


Now another: Here's Ann Lindbergh in the Miles Mohawk


And finally: the handsome man on the right is my grandpa - anyone know who the man on the left hand side is?



5th Feb 2003, 08:08
Many thanks dde, an enrichment indeed. What a pretty little thing the SK1 was! I spotted it somewhere, way back in the 50's or early sixties, registered to a Miss M. Magalow. Wonder why it didn't get further than one off, or did it?

Could the autograph at the bottom of the card be Jacqueline Cochran's?

Not often I cause goose bumps, but happy to oblige!


5th Feb 2003, 08:53
Well done DDE!,

Thank you so much for joining this forum. I know that you have your own fascinating site too with lots of interesting pictures on it.

Can we take a peek?

THe dinner menu is of massive interest to me inview of the fact that the Messenger G-AKBO won the 54 Kings Cup celebrated at this dinner.

I hope we can see plenty more contributions from you.

I know that one of Bob Mitchells Cosford machines are of special family interest.

Please enlighten us.

THanks again for the wonderful pictures - more please!

At 145 posts so far, this thread will run and run...!


5th Feb 2003, 11:30
Hairyplane surely the Auster was the AOP aircraft of choice because the pilot could actually see what was below him :confused: Every AOP aircraft I can think of (post WW1 and the 30's) has been a high wing design, 0-49 & L4 Cubs, L18 SuperCub, O-1 Bird Dog, 0-2 Push me Pull you (Cessna 336/7).

A story so good it deserves to be true

I heard this story from my Dad who, although he wasn't there, knew a man who was and thus swears it's true;

During WW2, Swansea took quite a pasting from the Luftwaffe Urban Re-development Group. The ex-RFC Wingco of RAF Swansea, which was a training base as I understand it, got a bit irate about his inability to retaliate. One night he had a bright idea. Stooge around at around xx,000' and when the assorted Heinkels, Dorniers and Junkers came to give Swansea docks another pasting, he would swoop on them like an avenging angel.

In a Magister :eek: .

Armed with a Very pistol (flare gun) :eek: :eek: .

Must have given the German crews a shock to see Britain's latest secret weapon in action. ;)

Apparently, this ex-WW1 ace actually did this. Is there anybody out there who can confirm this wonderful story or debunk it as apocryphal?

5th Feb 2003, 13:35
I've heard a similar story of someone (Jean Stampe?) coming across a group of soldiers under strafing attack from some Me109s in Belgium whilst he was flying an SV-4 - he flew amongst the 109s and harried them to distraction by zipping around amongst the trees and using the Stampe's nimbleness to great effect until they ran low on fuel and had to run for home...

5th Feb 2003, 15:52
Low n Slow - The Maggie 'Verygunner' story is great - see if you can get it verified.

Low n SLow/ Barry Clay - The Messenger was designed as a result of a direct approach by a group of frustrated Army Officers 'in the field' who wanted an aircraft hat wasn't 'designed by committee.'

Miles, in his inimitable style, got hold of a M28 Mercury and designed a longer, thicker STOL wing. huge flaps and strong, long-stroke UC. Voila!

Unfortunately, despite being wowed by this machine - that could lift 4 fully equipped troops plus a big radio out of impossibly small fields - the beaurocrats had a sense of humour failure at this flippant approach and - I believe - ensured that the ringleader was posted overseas. He went on to distinguish himself apparently but thats another story.

THe Messenger was produced but in the Military, it was used exclusively for VIP flights and Comms.

It was eminently suited for AOP work - the low wing is no disadvantage. Indeed, its very slow/ long loiter performance, huge opening windows and the large bubble screen that extended beyong the fuselage sides was a quantum leap forward. However, I agree that it would have represented a break with tradition.

The story of the fate of the military Messengers is a complex one but will all be covered in the forthcoming book 'The Miles Aircraft Story 1927-1978.'

THis tome, representing 50+ years of work by Peter Amos - 'The Oracle' will answer all Miles-related questions.

It will be out in the Spring.

We are going up a gear on this thread with wonderful contributions. I am getting more confident of 200+ posts and still more to go. This thread will run and run!

If you are just browsing but have a story to tell - fire it off to me by EMail - just like Barry Clay is doing - and I will post it for you.

Please share your stories with us MMMmmmiles nutters!.

Thank you all!


5th Feb 2003, 20:59
dde0apb - fantastic contribution, love that shot of AKBN. Hope you don't mind, have sent the scan of the menu to the people looking after AKIN these days - and pointed them at this thread too!

5th Feb 2003, 21:56
No problem, Damien. Delighted. Will even forgive AKIN for beating my grandfather one year in the King's Cup!!

6th Feb 2003, 10:06
A post onto the Wingsoverwarwickshire website today -

N Hitchman writes -

I saw a very nice looking Miles M2R Hawk Major in the Chilean AF museum in Santiago. A number of their aircraft are airworthy and flown, but Im not sure if this is.
( no it isn't - HP)

While in Argentina at the same time last April, I didnt see any Miles aircraft, but was told that there was at least one airworthy Magister in the Mendoza area at San Martin airfield. (It is airworthy and last reported for sale - a pre-war Maggie and thus of significant historical interest. I have seen recent pictures of it. It looks exactly like the Shuttleworth Maggie - HP)

I did see a GAL Cygnet in poor condition on a pole outside one aeroclub at Colon!!! There are lots of very intresting vintage aircraft down here! (Tell us more! - HP)

If you want to save some Miles aircraft, can I suggest those at the Ulster Museum of Folk and Transport, they have two Geminies AKEL and AKGE, stored dismantled. I've visited there twice, but not in the last 7 or 8 years. Both times I failed to see the aircraft, the last time the curator told me he was too busy to show me them, even though he seemed to have 30 min to explain to me why he was too busy!!
Later we found the wings and tails of the two aircraft stored in an open barn along with lots of other non aviation stuff, one of the workers there told us that all the aviation stuff was not very well cared for in store and the curator wasnt really interested in it. (Geminis are not that sought after unfortunately. Now if they had a Hawk, Witney Straight or Monarch, these would be of great interest! - HP)



6th Feb 2003, 10:23
Don't know if this has been reported here already (server prevented me from going through the whole thread), but a pair of Gemini wings has recently been on the move. After having been stored at the Brooklands museum for years they have now moved to Hooton. Last time I saw them was three years back and they weren't in that fair a shape then, so no telling what they are like now.

6th Feb 2003, 11:59
Pasted fromBarry Clay's excellent website

[email protected]

Barry writes in response to the limited market/ low prices for this classic wooden twin -

'Its strange how things change. Whenthe Miles Gemini was in production, it was the last word in twin engined private owner aircraft. Now, with all these American twins with heaps of power the little old Gemini nobody wants.
Percy Blamire used to love his G-ALZG,a bronze coloured machine which he raced each year in the Kings Cup Air Race. He bent it a few times and on one occasion a Hornet Moth taxied right into it ripping into the fuselage,another occasion he had a bad bird strike and had to make a single engined landing luckily just making Bagintons threshold. ( I too had a single- engined Gemini approach into Old Warden last season when one of the props fell off! - HP)
The aircraft went eventually to Russell Winn in Ireland (famous for his remote submarines) who was tragically killed when the entire tail assembly detached itself in the air. Russell had a few Geminis including the rare Aries G-AOGA which he purchased from the Rapide group at Baginton.
I can tell you all now that there was very little of the 'original' G-
ALZG in this machine,most of it was ex G-ALMU with parts from no less than four other aeroplanes incorporated into her.
Alvis did a total rebuild of the airframe,when Percy used to give her the gun before he flew her,the aircrafts tail would shake and I often wonder whether this ground resonance did some damage to the airframe in later years and caused that terrible break up in the air and subsequent crash ?
( I have a theory here. One should never push or/ lift the Messenger/ Gemini tail. We found a crack attributable to poor ground - handling on Messenger 'KBO and this seriously weakened the stbd. side tailplane attachment. The vertical former in front of the tailplane relies on total skin adhesion for tailplane rigidity and we found a crack between the two parts - all model plane stuff only 1/1 scale! THe only external evidence was that one side of the tailplane seemed more flexible than the other.A simple repair but nevertheless one that would certainly have propogated if it hadn't been spotted on the CofA 3 yrs. ago. - HP)
Several Geminis were used for air racing and at one time it was a
fairly common machine at airfields,slowly they are getting rarer but lets hope the Skysport example gets a good caring owner to look after her for generations to see flying.
(((Sir John Allison, Adrian Brook and Jim Buckingham have 3 excellent airworthy examples in the UK. With a fourth in Sweden and a fifth in Belgium - plus shed-loads of spares all over the place, these fine machines are not endangered. The skills required to fly these old twins are quite different. You have zero single-engined performance at anything other than minimum weight thanks to the good old Cirrus Minors (the Gipsy-powered version was a better machine but none are flying) - . Couple this with the tailwheel UC configuration, the cost of ownership/ restoration v residual value and it don't stack up for many - HP)))


THanks to Barry for these fascinating anecdotes.


6th Feb 2003, 20:13
Gosh, I'm so excited, I could....

Today I spoke to Ian Whittle, the son of Sir Frank. Now Sir Frank and F. G. were working together on the M.52 supersonic design weren't they! It was to be powered by the 200 lb Whittle W.2/700 jet engine with augmentor (reheat).

Since it was a business call and on his ticket, I invited Ian to browse the thread.

What a day this has been!

7th Feb 2003, 20:22

Talking of Kings Cup how about this from the attic !!

A few names and aircraft to tickle the grey stuff !:D

and another fine Miles product !!;)
The aircraft - not the Juke boxes !! ( I think;) )


10th Feb 2003, 00:23
Yet another forwarded EMail from Barry Clay -


G-AJOG/OO-ERY was the last Miles Aerovan to survive,in 1963 I was part of a team sent down to Wrafton Gate (a strip at the end of R.A.F Chivenors airfield) to remove the engines,instruments and other recoverable equipment from this aeroplane,the airframe despite my pleas to the very few people interested in old aeroplanes at that time to save her,she was set alight,the fire brigade arrived on the scene to read us the riot act and put the fire out ! the remains were burnt on November 5th by the R.A.F.
The company who purchased G-AJOG was Devonair Ltd for use on a ad hoc air service to the Lundy Islands,the aircraft came from the Belgium Royal family but became the subject of a complicated legal battle and it remained in the blister hangar at Wfafton Gate.
For many years I always thought that the aircraft never actually flew to Lundy but only just recently I have confirmation that she flew there at least once quote this e-mail 'With regard the Aerovan,yes it certainly flew to Lundy,Martin Harman,the then owner of the Island around 1959 invited the R.A.F officers over to the Island for a cull of the red deer,the officers provided their own guns and ammunition,we certainly have a photograph of the aeroplane on Lundy following the successful deer shoot' so ended a forty year old mystery for me.
The idea was to fit the Aerovan with Lycomings much like the Miles Gemini conversion in Australia done some years later,however the ownership problems held everything up.
One remarkable story about the Aerovan can be summed up in this accident at Croydon in 1944,one of these machines loaded with racing pidgeons took off in a strong wind failing to get any altitude over 100 feet,it turned downwind after flying for three miles out from the airfield then struck a tree,and disintigrated with hundreds of birds flying away ! performance was not one of its good points.
The only other machine to be developed was the Hurel Dubois high lift high aspect ratio version of the Aerovan aircraft which was later developed into a special aircraft used for geophysical survey work in France.


Thanks Barry!

What a mine of information you are!



Fascinating stuff!

I have a picture of my Falcon in Sweden - taken at Norrkoping in Sweden in 1938 on the occasion of a fly-in.

There is a German Swastika flag fluttering on a pole mounted on a hangar in the background.

Not only does the hangar survive - and we recreated the same shot last June - I have an original programme of the event which lists my aircraft - SE-AFN as it was then - as taking part in the navigation competition!

As far as Kings Cup winners are concerned - My Messenger G-AKBO won it in 1954, My Falcon won it as late as 1979 and my Magister came third I'm not sure in what year - I'll look it up!

Keep it all coming guys - we are looking to break 200 posts!

Anybody seen British Airshows 2002 yet?

Great footage from Kemble.


10th Feb 2003, 02:20
We had an Aerovan at Burnaston that was with a photo survey outfit. I worked on it a little and seeing the waves on the top of the wing was something to behold!

The pilot was a lady ( Jean ??) and the camera operator was Chris ??? . I am sure HP will fill in the gaps!

They were both killed when one of the props came off ( Cirrus crankshaft sheared) and went through the fuse.

11th Feb 2003, 17:02

I will indeed consult The Oracle and come back to you with more details if he has them.

The prop incident gives me the shudders.

In my case last season it was simply the owner pilot of the Gemini (Cirrus Minors) saying to me - 'what was that?' as something flew over the port wing.
'Er...Its the prop'.
'Oh..so it is...I'd better shut it down then'
It all continued as a 'no-drama' incident - the landing was skilfully executed - a non-event too.
Only later did we consider the consequences of the prop flying towards us as opposed to away.
A scything prop wouldn't stop at thin ply..Ugh!
We were also told by ground observers that the errant prop narrowly missed the tailplane as it arced behind.

THe crankshaft didn't fail, the prop bolts sheared.

I haven't seen a report yet..


11th Feb 2003, 21:46
It could have indeed been worse HP imagine if the engine had failed. Fixed pitch prop..... single (Cirrus) engine...... best find a field fast.....

I was talking to an engineer friend of mine who worked on the Gemini that shed it's tail. He had to go to Haverfordwest many moons ago when the chap who was subsequently killed landed wheels up there. Seems he had a penchant for Geminis and owned 3 or 4 of them over the years.

15th Feb 2003, 00:14
An Airwork advertisement in Flight of January 19, 1939 reads:


who has flown in the new


has expressed the keenest
appreciation of its qualities.
The latest system of Flap-
operation, the Miles Glide-
Control, must be tried to
be appreciated.

Experienced pilots who have
tried this device state that
it is the biggest step to-
wards safe and easy flying
since the introduction of

Write or 'phone for a demonstration

Hounslow 2345


W.S. Shackleton has on the same page a sales ad with several aircraft at bargain prices, e.g.:

175 Pounds, Westland Widgeon..........

225 Pounds, Hawker Tom Tit .............

345 Pounds, Miles Hawk Major, 440 hours since new, flaps, two 22.5-gallon tanks; standard instruments plus Reid & Sigrist turn and bank and fore and aft in rear cockpit; air speed indicator, altimeter and bubble in front; engine hours 487 since new and 111 since top overhaul; C. of A. to 25th April.

365 Pounds, Puss Moth............

475 Pounds, B.A. Eagle...............

695 Pounds, Miles Whitney Straight, outstanding bargain; only 62 engine hours since new; standard instruments plus Reid & Sigrist turn and bank; turquoise blue with silver wings and tail; no crashes; carefully kept under dust sheet and condition virutally as new; C. of A. to November.

795 Pounds, Percival Gull............formerly the property of the late Duchess of Bedford and owned only by her and her personal pilot, Flt/Lt. R. Chevalier Preston, AFC.............colours, olive green fuselage, silver wings...........

A a a h!

3rd Mar 2003, 08:48
Another interesting anecdote from Barry Clay (Wings Over Warwickshire) -

Roys story of the landing Cygnet at Heathrow reminded me of a similar incident about 1968,the flying club at Baginton where I worked had a variety of even by then vintage aircraft flying,but they were not looked at in that light just useful aircraft to teach people to fly.
Anyway one day this charming young American lady came along to the club house one day and said that she was staying in this country for a while and wanted to do some aerial sightseeing,oh thats fine we can get a instructor to take you up,no she said I have my FAA licence and want to take my boyfriend up with me,so we wheeled one of the Miles Magisters (G-AKKY) out of the hangar,filled it up and off she went into the blue,it was time to lock up for the day and all of the Austers,Tigers etc were safely in the hangar except the Magister which had not returned ! getting a little concerned we rang the tower who said the aircraft was last reported over the Stratford area circling Shakespeares birthplace ! but as the aircraft was non-radio nobody knew quite where it was after that.
We went home and just put it down to another lost aeroplane who had probably put down in a field for the night which was nothing unusual in those free and easy days,the next morning the newspaper headlines said 'Little old Cheryl chauses chaos over London Airport' apparently she had got terribly lost and wandered South towards what was then London Air Port (now Heathrow) seeing all the airliners and runway below she decided to land on the perimeter track as it was getting dark and she was running short of fuel,
Little Cheryl was never seen again and we had to fly the Auster down with a instructor to pick up the Magister,what amazes me on reflection is that we never even checked what types of aircraft she had flown in the States,off she went and that was it !'

Thanks Barry!


17th Mar 2003, 15:04
Hi Hairyplane,

I feel that your Miles thread needs a kickstart and I haven't seen anything yet on Maggie sideslipping.

When I was taught to fly the Maggie, my instructor recommended against sideslipping the beast. As you know, when applying sideslip, a large amount of back stick is neccessary, so when removing the sideslip, if the back elevator is not removed in sympathy, a flick roll into a spin could result. This is not a good thing at low level!

Most students of the day passed from the Tiger to the Maggie, and given the benign sideslip of the Tiger, I can understand the instructors concern.

However, as we both know, when the engine fails, so do the flaps. In such a case, if we can't sideslip, we have nothing to help us adjust the glidepath.

Sooooo, my own line is to practice the sideslip at height until I'm fully conversant with the control inputs required to remove the sideslip safely, then when the inevitable happens, I've got another weapon in the arsenal to control rate of descent.

What think you?


19th Mar 2003, 08:48
Hi Airbedane!

Thank you for keeping this thread alive - I like to think that there are plenty more afficianados out there, hopefully soon to come on line so it is important to keep it running.

THe information gleaned thus far has been fascinating and will be preserved for future generations.

Sideslipping the Magister - -

I have a detailed pre-war test report from Farnborough.

Not only is sideslipping near the ground dangerous, it is also completely unecessary in view of the highly efficient flaps.

It seems that a number of young trainees mysteriously speared in on the approach whilst flying Maggies and the Air Ministry were sufficiently concerned to get Farnborough 'on the case.'

Basically, as you introduce yaw with the rudder, the slab-sided fuselage begins to blank the airflow over the tail. However, beyond a certain degree of rudder deflection, there is a sudden, alarming pitch-down. It gets worse because in this condition, the elevator authority is suddenly and dramatically reduced too.

It is therefore easy to understand what was killing our boys.

Sideslipping was the norm in those days, taught by old-school 'dyed in the wool' instructors. So, our young student - taught to come in high and sideslip flapless a la Tiger Moth (we'll experiment with those flappy things later lad) would experience a sudden pitchdown near the ground and would haul on the stick (a real pull in view of the reduced authority) to compensate.

That was fine until he kicked the drift off. Imagine the aerodynamic considerations here - landing approach (ie near the stall), lots of up elavator - kick the drift off - sudden increase in elevator effectiveness - flick roll into the deck.... Goodnight Vienna.

The accidents were eradicated by this evaluation and supported by proper training.

Once you know about it - you simply avoid it and remind yourself (and curious passengers/ budding Maggie pilots alike) at altitude why you shouldn't do it near the ground.

Another 'quirk' - for want of a better expression - is the vacuum operated flaps.

If the engine quits, they don't come down. An engine failure will therefore focus the mind, especially in view of the sideslip thing.

Does that answer it for you?

Classic Wings Down Under - I plan to start another thread to publicise this excellent Antipodean Journal. However, the latest issue features the Magister. The RAAF were considering licence production but decided on the CAC Wacket instead.

A 'static' Maggie survives in NZ - one of 2 impressed into the RNZAF.

All the best


19th Mar 2003, 20:36
Hi HP,

Interesting stuff, but we are in a diffrent world now compared to that of the service pilots in WW II. We have more experience than the students and the benifit of more corporate knowledge than the instructors. Our remit is also different, as is the way we fly.

Given the lack of flap on the engine off glide, I still believe the sideslip is useful. I also believe it's safe if it's first practiced at height to gain the skill.


20th Mar 2003, 08:10
Hi again Airbedane,


Is the simple and safe answer.

The pitch-down at anything approaching sideslip rudder deflections is both severe & sudden.

This, coupled with the (significantly) reduced elevator authority in such a configuration is extremely dangerous near the ground.

Having said all of that - if the donkey stopped on me and I found myself in a situation where I needed to lose a lot of height quickly to get into my chosen field, I would make that decision early and slip some height off at a few hundred feet.

However, to set up a meaninful degree of sideslip near the ground will in my view likely present the pilot with greater risks than he would face by running into the far boundary hedge.

So - In the Maggie - plan the circuit well, get rid of excess height early.

Meet me at OW and I'll demonstrate it to you - my pleasure.


24th Mar 2003, 11:54
Hi HP,

Apologies, I thought you knew who Airbedane was - we had the conversation on it over dinner a few months ago. (I've left a note on your mobile).

We've already had the discussion on sideslips, too, and I already knew your views, but I was hoping to get some support to convince you that they were a good and safe thing to do in context.

Maybe I'm wrong to so do, and maybe I'm right. The reason was that when I FL'd a maggie, I had too much height over the fence and landed long on the strip - I wasn't the only person to discover that day that the flaps don't work without the engine. I didn't sideslip, and for the life of me, I don't know why...........

I'd still be interested in other pilot's thoughts - there must be some Maggie pilot's out there with a view on the subject??


PS Fly together? - we already did; it was a great pleasure, and I'm sure we'll do it again in the near future.

24th Mar 2003, 18:59
Hi AB,

Your true identity now revealed and all without the need for you to run into a phone box and put your underpants on outside your tights!

If I were you I would have kept quiet, claimed the ride and then coughed that I had changed my log-in name!

Looking forward to flying with you this season.

(Much embarrassment for bantering with a TP who has more experience and types than most could ever shake a stick at!)


3rd Apr 2003, 06:09
Hallo all, after a rather long absence!

Whizzing past Shoreham on Sunday enroute Steyning to Frankfurt I noticed with much pleasure Gemini 'KHP outside the Sussex Pad hangar. Believe the door was flipped up. Getting ready to fly?

Popped in to Tangmere too. Nice display, considerate staff.

Have copied some Mmmmiles ads from old 1939 Flights, if anyone would care to drop me a line....

5th Apr 2003, 19:44
Hi nHP,

No need to be embarrassed, banter is what it's all about, and at least I now know your true thoughts on the subject..........

Notwithstanding, I still believe the sideslip is a good trick to have up your sleve just in case. If you are just about to crash anyway, it would be worth trying - so practice at a safe height to gain the skill.

Talkinf of underpants, did you ever read the 'Fosdyke Saga' in the Daily Mirror in the late 60's and early 70's? If you did, you'd know thet you can always trust a bloke that tucks his short into his underpants..!?!



Lets try that again!

You can always trust a bloke that tucks his SHIRT into his underpants!


9th Apr 2003, 21:49
Lets run through some of those famous names in the annals of (Miles in particular) aviation history,that old programme brings back some memories because I am proud to say that I was there and met all of these great pilots,so lets see what they got up to-

Peter Clifford,amazing chap,imported Zlins,agent for Omnipol,ran a maintenance organisation at Kidlington and lived in a little cottage on the airfield visible from the main road,surrounded with old aircraft,flew with him once on an airtest in a Super Aero 45 his attention to detail was astounding,he knew Czech aircraft in and out.

Buster Paine-flew Proctors,chief engineer for Orion Airways (the ones with Vickers Vikings not the later one with Boeing 737's) then director of Derby Aviation later to become British Midland Airways,raced the Miles Hawk Speed Six G-ADGP.

Percy Blamire-Late of the Ring Road Garage in Coventry,founder member of the Coventry Aeroplane club,once held an agency for Auster Aircraft,owner of Miles Gemini G-ALZG raced in all gold with blue trim,well known for his low level flights down the railway line as a practise course from Baginton to Berkswell where he lived,lost one leg in a motorcycling accident and had a special rudder pedal set up,involved with 84 squadron ATC.

David Ogilvy-Well it would take a book to write about this chap,once manager at Shuttleworth,flew De Havilland Mosquitoes with Derby Aviation/Spartan Air Services magnetometer research aircraft,flew for Skyfame museum,excellent author on aeroplane and relevant engine handling,now saves airfields from closure,well I think that he is still doing this ?

A.J.Spiller-Well known for his Miles Messenger G-AKIN which is now with a flying trust after being in the family for many years,had his own airstrip on his farm and welcomed visiting aircaft and their owners.

Jimmy Denyer-Newcastle Aero Club CFI,entered almost every year in the Kings Cup flying Tiger Moths and Austers,amazing navigational skills flew the Tiger down from Woolsington,no radio or nav aids in far from perfect weather.
Had a hearty team of supportors who used to carry him on their shoulders ! he found time for me as a young lad to sign my programme when he did well one year,wonder if he is still around ?

Neil Williams-Once again could fill a book with anecdotes on his life,flipped a Zlin onto its back when the wing bolt failed,flipped it over last minute to land,aerobatic pilot supreme,excellent aviation author,sadly lost his life with his wife ferrying a Heinkel bomber from Spain when it struck a mountain in bad weather trying to get through a gap.
Flew Tiger Moths before he could get hold of a Stampe SV.4 from France.

Beverly Snook-Well known for his long distance ferry flights in Piper Comanches for Vigors Aviation etc long distance fuel tanks strapped right behind his back ! aviation consultant.

Westoby-well known businessman from Blackpool who had his own maintenance company-still alive ?

Noel Husbands-Owner of several aircraft over the years,came from Fairwood Common,Swansea,once he forgot to put the racing number underneath the wings of his Benz Mraz Sokol G-AIXN,I came to the rescue got on my back with my brushes and painted the white circle and black numerals,he asked me what he owed me and I said,give me a flight around the Kings Cup course ! he did and frightened the life out of me,low level and flat out !

If anyone can add any more to the above please do.
What happened to Geoff Marler,Nat Somers ? for whom I know nothing about.

12th Apr 2003, 07:21
Well Cloudancer100, there's some food for thought - facinating stuff, too.

I believe I was at said race, as well. I was born in Coventry and because of my inborn passion for aircraft, my parents moved to Baginton when I was 6, in 1956 - my sister still lives in the same house now.

I didn't miss an airshow after that.

Percy Blamire was a personal hero for me. I was a member of 84 Sqn ATC, as well as cycling past his garage in Coventry on my way to school every day.

I'm also lucky enough to count David Ogilvy as a friend - he converted me to the Maggie some years ago, the first, and therefore, the most memorable of several Miles types.


16th Apr 2003, 20:22

'EG' looked great at Turweston last weekend - would look even better at Popham sometime :)

Did you ever sort out the hangarage for 'KBO' ?? as I may have another possible contact.

22nd Apr 2003, 15:24
Hi Paul C.

Dropped into Popham in the Magister on Monday - that is such a lovely machine too. Not much going on.

The owners of the Messenger are based near Shoreham so Turweston isn't that convenient for them. Any help to get it further South will be appreciated.

I will come down in the Falcon - a sensible destination for these types in view of the choice of (grass) runways.

I have a personal limit of around 8kts/90 deg. in the Falcon. The Maggie is less of a problem - one of the less tricky tailwheel machines. A 15kt crosswind limit on the Maggie seems about right.


20th May 2003, 17:12
A record turnout of Miles Aircraft this year. Nice that we get parked in pole position next to the tower.

Ten Miles Aircraft visited over the 2 days including all 3 airworthy Geminis.

Falcon - Magister - Geminis x 3 - Hawk Speed Six - Messengers x 4

Think about which airworthy UK-based machines 'didn't' attend this year and the statistics make interesting reading.

Shuttleworth Magister and Southern Martlet - Fly-ins aren't within the remit of The Collections operation. There is nothing sniffy about this. They are owned by a charitable trust and need to earn their keep. Some of them get booked for shows elsewhere. However, I can't imagine that anybody would pay The Collection to send them to a fly-in?? Otherwise, If so, I would consider the Maggie (only) a possibility.

Breighton Magister - I think its airworthy. A pity that it doesn't venture far from home.

Sywell Messenger G-AKIN - On an Annual I believe.

Messenger G-AKBO - sitting in a hangar at Turweston, fueled and ready to go. If we could have found a pilot I am sure that the owner, a non-pilot himself, would have been delighted to have seen it there.

I had my hands full with my Magister and Falcon. If the weather had been better on the Sunday I would have gone to Turdy with Alan Cooper, an experienced Miles man who flew my Maggie in - to collect it during the show.

Richard Earls Miles Trainer (MMMmmm!) is nearing completion so will hopefully visit next year.

Peter Lees Messenger project at Earls Colne is some way off I understand.

Hans Kolby Hansens Miles Mercury - Danish registered - is currently in the museum at Stauning. I'll work on him for next year too! It has spent a lot of time in the UK in the past. He has significant business interests here.

THere is also a recently completed Gemini in Sweden and Guy Valvekens' Gemini in Belgium - also airworthy I believe.

Lets see if we can achieve 'the full enchelada' next year!


6th Jun 2003, 04:55
THose of you who visited G-VFWE @ Kemble on the Sunday will have seen Peter Bishops Messenger G-AJOE - a long-term Kemble resident - depart for its new home in Germany where Peter works on the Airbus project as a stress engineer.

Plenty of stress last week when he lost the donk on climbout from his home base (can't quite remember the name of it..) and greased it into a field.

THe problem was quickly found - the 2 fuel pumps on the Cirrus Major 3 have a single drive (great design that...) and the thing broke = instant engine failure.

At the time of writing, there is a local security guard camping out to prevent the locals from vandalising it (not the most affluent of locations apparently) and Vintec are 'on the case' overhauling some spares.

Fingers crossed Peter will fly it out next week.

He tells me that his girlfriend - with him at the time and a bit nervy of the thing already(!) is unlikely to fly with him again.

Not such a bad thing - us pilots like a nice dinner waiting for us when we get home.

(Just a joke ladies honest!!)

All the best for Peter next week.


13th Jun 2003, 21:57
Happy to report that G-AJOE was successfully flown out of the field by a much-relieved Peter Bishop yesterday and is now safely tucked away in a hangar at Lubeck, Germany.

Well done to Vintec and Gordon Spooner for getting the parts to him.


1st Jul 2003, 08:18
I got a shock on Saturday when I pulled open the hangar door at Old Warden and saw Roger Mills' beautiful Speed Six alongside my Miles machines.

What a tease! (though shalt not covet thy neighbours posessions...)

It appears that the Six is going to be displayed by him next weekend so decided to deliver it early.

The aircraft used to be based at OW and was very popular with public and pilots alike.

The plan is to move it from Fairoaks to White Waltham. However, I am on the case to try to bribe him to leave it in The Collection, where it will be lovingly cared for and much admired, rather than stuck out of the way at WW (next to Dalziels shameful pile of poo in the dusty black hangar that was once a lovely Miles Monarch until he decided to have a brain f@rt and allow it to rot despite offers from nutters like me to buy it and preserve it for future generations.)

Roger flies Sally B and has plenty of other exotica under his belt.

Nice guy. He will love the operation at OW. Bloke Heaven!

If anybody out there can help me to persuade him to bring the Six back to OW on a permanent basis he will make a lot of people happy, most of all meeeee!

Fingers crossed.


5th Jul 2003, 03:48
Hairyplane, I wouldn't hold your breath for the Speedsix to move back to Old Warden. It has been waiting for hangerage at White Waltham since the current owner acquired it. I know that he would acknowledge that Old Warden is an important centre for British aviation heritage and hopes to display the aircraft there as much as possible but it is not currently suitable geographically for him and the maintenance team.

The aircraft was delivered to Old Warden for last weekends Royal Aeronautical Society Garden Party which was a fantastic day. Roger is looking forward to displaying the aircraft on Sunday!

As for coverting the aircraft yourself, who can blame you but again don't hold your breath. The aircraft will remain in the Mills family hands for the rest of it's days. One of Roger's grandsons was trying the aircraft on for size on Sunday and he is only six months old! Like you he was thourghly impressed!

10th Jul 2003, 23:31
RE: Speed Six at Old Warden

Why shouldn't we hold our breath? As long as the aircraft still exists, Old Warden will be its ancestral home. The current owner may want to hangar it at White Waltham, but minds are made to be changed - ask any politician!

The Speed Six is a delight to fly and display, and looks just great turning round the Tower at Old Warden. Lets work on Mr Mills, at least for more displays by the machine at Old Warden, after that, who knows?!


17th Jul 2003, 00:55
Hear hear Airbedane!

The sight and sound of the Speed Six snotting around the tower at OW was a delight to behold. I had never seen it displayed before.

Pity Roger was limited to a 200ft display (his DA limit on the B17!) but it still did it for me (big time). Beautiful aircraft and I want it!

Miles Aerovan -

For those of you who are wondering what that funny looking mystery aircraft is on page 38 - Air Mail - August Pilot, it is a Miles Aerovan.

Quite a bit of history is known on this machine - all being passed on to Dave Calderwood. I hope to see it published in the next issue.


17th Jul 2003, 18:22
I hardly think that Old Warden could be considered the Speed Six's ancestral home. Yes the aircraft was based there for several years but I think places like Woodley and Wolverhampton hold a stronger claim.

Woodley was where the aircraft was built and Roger often over flies the museum there when in the Speed Six.

Wolverhampton was the aircraft's base for many years when owned by Ron Paine. It is also where Roger first saw the aircraft as a boy and promised himself that one day he would own the aircraft.

The importnat thing is that the aircraft is flying and be displayed again!

Hairyplane, Roger is workig on lowering his DA limit but unfortunately no one was available to sign him off for a lower DA that weekend.

Airbedane, rest assured the Speed Six will be displayed at Old Warden as often as possible, invitations to display at Old Warden will always be welcomed.

18th Jul 2003, 16:29

OK, it's a fair cop, I was getting emotional, OW is not the ancestral home of the Speed Six. Woodley, however, is not now available as an airfield, but OW is...... As well as in many other ways, OW is one of, if not the, best collection of 30's aircraft going. People come to the displays to see what we have, and the Speed Six would be a good attraction, as it always was.

When she was there, we really enjoyed having the Speed Six at OW, and I have to say, I really enjoyed displaying her. SHe's much like the Spitfire in that her lines and speed diplay the aircraft for you. It would be great to have her back in any form - as a guest or a visitor.

We didn't give Roger a lower DA on the day as it was the only time we could have done it and it's against ours (and the CAA's) safety policy to test for DA deviations at a display. Roger, I apologise for not having time to talk with you on the day. Please get in touch and we will sort your DA variation soonest.


19th Jul 2003, 00:31
Hairyplane, bit of a light hearted debate going on over at the Flypast forum as to whether that lovely little Maggie of yours is officially a Maggie or a Hawk.


Don't suppose you could pop across and enlighten us at all could you please?

Ta muchly,


22nd Jul 2003, 20:54
I have just nipped across to the FP site - very impressive.

I am so pleased that my 2 Miles aircraft continue to give so much pleasure.

They were at RIAT over the weekend in the '100 years of flight' exhibition.

THe original 1935 Hawk was quite different to the Magister.

The Hawk had the Falcons trousered undercarriage and swept tailplane. It also had identical (tiny!) cockpits, a narrower fuselage and altogether a much more dainty (and drop dead gorgeous!) aircraft. I have to have one!

It was clear that the military needed a much more durable machine and one that you could get in and out of easily with parachutes.

The Magister was borne out of this requirement.

The official post war civvy designation of the Maggie is 'Miles M14A Hawk Trainer 3'.

Thats what appears on all the official CAA documentation. Magister isn't mentioned anywhere.

I'll consult the oracle - Peter Amos of The Miles Collection - and come back if I can find out more.

I will log in to the FlyPast Forum when I get a chance - I honestly didn't know anything about it and was pleased to see such lovely pictures of my machines.

A flight in the Maggie isn't out of the question for the right reasons - especially where there is a a connection with the aircraft or somebody can demonstrate an obsession!

However, the word has got around that I do the occasional enthusiasts jolly in it before or after the shows and I do get asked an awful lot now. This can be a bit distracting when I am trying to get my head into my display routine.

A ride in a Moth is open to anybody at the Annual Moth Charity Rally annually at OW. Not much money and all properly organised.

Any Maggie afficiandos are encouraged to EMail me, especially if they have any old 'unseen' pictures of my aircraft.

I intend to put comprehensive hstory files together for future generations.

All the best.


24th Jul 2003, 07:19
A Lebanese gentleman has sent into Pilot magazine a pic of what seems to be a Miles Aerovan taken in Baghdad in around 1952 (Pilot August p.38). There's a black cat on the nose and the company name Contracting & Trading Ltd.

Quite interesting - wonder what it's ident was and what happened to it.

(I know...consult the oracle!)

Would love to have had the onerous job of flight planning you back from Fairford to OW, Hairy. Bit different to planning tandem B-52s to their i/f refuelling rendezvous over the Oggin and then seeing them off to their respective bases (but I'm harking back to the mid-nineties now)

24th Jul 2003, 16:47

B52 - awesome sight, on the ground and in the air. Love to look inside one.

Nice trip back to OW despite the wind - my mates in the 2 Miles machines had some fancy footwork to do on take off.

Sitting back with the autopilot on in the warm sunshine - lovely! I almost dozed off.....

Aerovan - take a look at a previous post from me on this page.

All the best


29th Jul 2003, 15:50
I've been looking through some old Aeromodellers recently. Plans abound for many of the Miles types; I'll give references when I get around to it. In the mean time, does anyone out there have a definitive list of available models or plans of Miles aircraft?


29th Jul 2003, 18:40

Just thought you would be pleased to know that the Hawk Speed Six will be displayed at Old Warden again this year! I cannot of the top of my head tell you which show but I know from talking to Roger that forth coming displays include displaying the aircraft at Woburn, Old Warden and it will be static at Shoreham.

29th Jul 2003, 19:43
Hi Airbedane,

As a highly skilled maker of flying model aircraft yourself, you will know all too well the frustration of researching particular aircraft, producing drawings etc., only to discover that somebody else has already done it.

I have the most exquisite museum quality models in 1/24th scale, of both Falcon and Magister. Doug Bone made them for me. He will therefore have some drawings.

I was also delighted to see 2 x 1/5th scale flying models - of both Shuttleworth Magisters - at Old Warden Scale Weekend just.

The builder of V1075 is also well on the way to producing a 1/5th Falcon.

The Maggie model looked wonderful in the air - if a little fast....

There seems to be a significant renaissance of interest in Miles Aircraft - surely in no small part due to their drop dead gorgeous good looks.

A definitive list of all available plans and models of Miles Aircraft would be so useful.

Doug Bone spent a whole day climbing over the aircraft, taking photos and measurements - I was unable to give him very much.

With you on the case I think we wll see lots more Miles models in the air.

I would love to see a trophy for a Miles model at The Indoor Nats. although I am well aware of the limitations of a free flight model with small tail surfaces etc. However, the Messenger, with its significant dihedral and triple fins might work?

Can I persuade you to produce a flying model kit of a Miles Aircraft in the same way as you did the Lacey?

I would offer you a go in the full size but - well youv'e done all that already! I can only offer you beeeeeer and foooood!


30th Jul 2003, 00:10

Thanks mate, good news!


Done the beeeeeeeeer and fooooooooooood, thanks, as well as the aiiiiiiiiiiirplaaaaanes, but it's not a bad idea. I'll give it some thought when I've done the Lysander that you keep bumping into whenever you pop in for a beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer.


30th Jul 2003, 01:58
I asked Barry Clay - master modeller from Warwickshire - Le Grande Fromage of the 'Wings over Warwickshire' Yahoo Group - to respond to Airbedanes plans. Here is what he had to say via Email direct to me -

What a great idea,some that come to mind are as follows,Aeromodeller Magister rubber model plans,I have built one and it flew well,they did a Master and Kestrel trainer (beautiful machine),the book of Miles aircraft has numerous drawings to 1=72 nd scale of a lot of Miles types,Air Stories magazine (1936 vintage) did the Kestrel trainer again (James Hays Stevens who designed the Skybirds series,ask (Airbedane) if he remembers those,bet he does),Flying review did a small section on how to convert a Master into a Martinet target tug,I will no doubt think of others as the day goes on.
Yes I do put the occasional item onto Prune the last thing was on the Kings Cup races and the Miles types that were raced,you know (HairyPlane) with people like yourself the name of Miles will live forever,I met someone once who worked for him and he said that he was a hard taskmaster,Blossom was a genius by any standards,the aircraft do have a certain feminine touch about their design hence their inherent beauty,that could only be achieved with wood and not metal structures,lovely !
If ever you bring the Falcon to Shotteswell I would love to get a Falcon in my log,the Magister would be equally lovely,you are indeed a lucky man to own such beauties and I know that you have their interest at heart,more than can be said for the Cosford/Mitchell inmates which continue to gather more bird debris and sink into the ground,why do they do such things ? my last letter to Bob about their future remains unanswered.
I will try and sort out more Miles memories and think of more plans for AB to add to his list.you take care now,Regards Barry


Bob Mitchell is the guy who is allowing his Whitney Straight and Monarch to rot into the ground at Cosford - won't talk to anyone - shades of Dr. Ian Dalziel and his W Waltham Monarch - wierd....

Well, I also think of Blossom when I rub the gentle curves of the Falcon - a design she penned. Very tactile...

OK - she only had one eye but hey - my six pack turned into a Party Seven yonks ago and the 'hair' on my handle (I think I ought to rephrase that..... Baaaaaaa!) has nothing whatsoever to do with my follicly challenged bonce.

Brazilian Maggie - Airworthy Maggie for sale in Brazil - very important pre-war machine - check out Barnstormers!


Ex Oggie
31st Jul 2003, 01:26
There are details of some RC Miles models at:


The new website is close to being finished, and will be uploaded sometime soon. This contains details of many more Miles models, including a list of all known Miles models and plans available. The delay in finishing the new website is due to time and money constraints and getting cramp in the two fingers I type with. I am a bit of a squashed hedgehog on the information superhighway. :)

re: Brazillian Maggie do you mean the Argie one at Mendosa (873 LV-XSG) or is there another?

1st Aug 2003, 15:40
Thanks EO, it seems I struck gold with that one!

By the way, while I'm on, has anyone out there got any idea why the Auster thread has five stars while the Miles thread has none - both appear equally popular to me, and the latter is achieving it without the advertising help of the five stars?


1st Aug 2003, 17:58
There Airbedane your wish has been granted !!a five star "General".Easy just scroll down to rate topic!!.Flying out of Ltn the next 5days (earlies ugh) or so ,so hope to see you at OW with HP.trust the recovery is going well!!. :ok:

1st Aug 2003, 18:50
Hi EO,

Its at San Fernando Argentina.

I've asked for some info - nothing yet. A path I have trodden before.

No doubt 'Tricky Bob' - well known barnstormer advertiser (probably because its free) who purports to be an avid collector and keen to restore rare types but is actually just a home-based dealer responsible for putting otherwise viable projects out of reach - has been onto them already...

I had a bit of a set-to with 'Tricky Bob' recently over an important Maggie survivor. He paid tuppence for a fuselage and other bits on the promise that he was going to get it flying, only to offer it to me for a 'million quid'. All ended up in a right slanging match.

Beware of 'Tricky Bob'. ( I think he has a pony tail too...)


Ex Oggie
1st Aug 2003, 19:32

I well remember our conversation a year or two ago regarding "Tricky Bob". I have since had dealings with him myself, fortunately with no problems so far.

Re: Argie Maggie - I have alternative contact details that I have actually received a response from. Will e-mail the addy to you when I am home at the w/e.


2nd Aug 2003, 16:06

Thanks, mate, that puts us where we belong.

(The recovery is going slow but sure, have a good trip and I'll see you over a beer with HP when you return),


2nd Aug 2003, 16:24
Thanks EO,

I look forward to seeing it.

I seem to have lost touch withthe Maggie fuselage - very interesting history and excellent basis for restoration - that Tricky Bob put out of reach, and probably the subject of a static restoration instead of where it belongs..

Any news?

I think Tricky Bobs MO is becoming clearer.

He seems to have 'infiltrated' the Miles Aircraft 'inner sanctum' made friends with everybody - took the prize 'for tuppence in good faith that I will luvv it forever', scarpered off, flogged it (most likely diverting its history from flyer potential) and has never been seen again by them.

I bet he is doing this with other movements.

Don't like the bloke (he certainly didn't like me when I told him a few home truths! - you should have read his EMails to me! OOOh! Nasty!

Tricky Bob - where are you?


7th Aug 2003, 06:28
So what are vou going to do about it then, HP?


11th Aug 2003, 03:22
Hi AB,

Nothin' much I can do - he is free to do what he can get away with.

I will try to find out what happened to the fuz in question. Trouble is - there are no Maggie wings anywhere so you really would need a sense of humour to fund the rebuild.

What it needs is somebody to look after it for future generations.

Shades of 'when Spitfires were fifty quid' it will be viable one day.

Just got back from Hans Kolby Hansens private island (with 425m strip) in Denmark - Peter Bishop turned up in his Messenger G-AJOE from Germany so, together with Hans' Miles Mercury OY-ALW, we had a mini Miles meet in a really exotic location.

Hans spends 2 months of the year on the island and flies the Mercury every day - nice to see such an old rare plane being used!

Great fun. Great trip.


By the way, yours was the 200th post on my thread - well done!

12th Aug 2003, 04:30
Hi HP,

Welcome back and I hope it was as good as reported, although I hear you've been bitten in places that you didn't know existed.....

200th post - somebody had to do it.

Mercury - there was a rumour sometime back that the Mercury may be coming to Old Warden - any chance you think??


14th Aug 2003, 22:50
A remarkable aircraft - retractable, flaps (all vacuum) etc and built in 1946 out of plywood.

I flew in formation with it on a couple of occasions - it looks great in the air with her legs tucked away.

Hans is a very busy man. He also has a very good arrangement whereby the aircraft resides for free in the Stauning Museum over the winter and on his own private strip for the 2 months a year he is on Hindo (an island in the middle of the fjord just north of Stauning).

Lets keep our fingers crossed about it coming to OW. However, it won't be this year.



16th Aug 2003, 00:18
Maggie Models:

Saw a very nice rubber powered free-flight Magister at the SAM 35 Champs at Old Warden last Sunday. Earl Stahl (sp?) design, I believe. Unfortunately, before it was trimmed properly, another model crashed into it damaging the back end. To make it worse, the 'bogie' was being flown without regard to others AND the owner just fronted up, picked it up and departed the scene without so much as a by-your-leave. Whatever happened to common courtesy - at least he could have apologised, or even asked as to the health of the other model.........Oh well, that's the way it is now, I suppose!


16th Aug 2003, 02:13
Heard that Miles Gemini OO-RLD was sold to the UK last week, any news where it' s going to.


16th Aug 2003, 04:38
Sorry to come so late to this thread. I have just spent a facinating hour reading it.

I havent got much to add I'm afraid but I will keep my ear to the ground.

I love Maggies, always have done. So I hope these piccies will do in the meantime. All taken at the last Shuttleworth display.



Two Maggies fly off into the sunset.

2nd Sep 2003, 21:29
What a joy the Maggie has been this season. A gorgeous aircraft that is such a priviledge to own and fly.

I am so pleased that it gives so much pleasure to others too.

Looking through my latest issue of 'Classic Wings Down Under' - a great read - I see that Lyn Foster from Australia (who flew my Maggie last year) has a Gemini project for sale - VH-GBB.


3rd Sep 2003, 20:50
I've not seen the Maggie much this year, just tucked away behind that marquee at RIAT (surely the organisers could have found a better spot for her?), and then a surprise appearance at Gransden late on Sunday. A very pleasant sight, watching you float her down onto the grass. I took a couple of pictures, but they're on soggy film and have yet to be developed. If I can figure out a way of posting them up on here I'll do so at the weekend (only if they're any good, of course! :D )

9th Sep 2003, 05:56
By way of bumping this up to the top. A couple of snaps of the Speed 6 and Falcon at Shuttleworth.





Rallye Driver
15th Sep 2003, 21:08
Nice to see the Maggie parked up near the Tucano at North Weald on Sunday, and also the two Messengers that flew in.

Great turn out for the Battle of Britain fly-in.

Thanks guys!

RD :ok:

1st Oct 2003, 20:23
Happy to take the Maggie into NW - I felt compelled to do so in view of its WW2 training role.

SPent half an hour queing for a grot-burger, gave up, flew back to Old Warden, jumped into the Robin and flew across to the Norfolk Coast for an overnight at The Crown at Southwold.

If you want to spoil somebody - take them there....

Oh yes - Maggie -

Flew it down to Headcorn at the weekend and bumped into that larger than life character Brendan O'Brien.

Well, before you could say 'Biggles flies undone' he was in the thing, turning it upside down with me shrieking like a little girl in the front cockpit.

Great experience and what a hoot of a bloke Brendan is.

We need more characters like him in aviation - superb pilot and 100% wag.


1st Oct 2003, 20:36
Ah yes "My Names Brendan O'Brain and I'm a Pilot"

Comes across as all ego on Dic Wings, however I met him briefly when I was a nizzletwerp in his Fournier display team days. A thoroughly nice chap who took the time to chat at length to a snotty little kid (me!!).

The Fournier Team were bloody good as well.

Upside down in the Maggie, sounds like fun, shame I wasn't there with the camera.

7th Oct 2003, 14:44
I remember being upside down in the Magie --- Ah, nothing on the clock but the makers name (literally) ------ but that's another story...................

It was good to see the Falcon and Magisters display at Old Warden this year, but what readers may not realise is that Hairyplane has now progressed to display flying in formation. The pictures of his machine in DamianB's and Man-on-the-fence's latest threads show him strutting his stuff with the Shuttleworth Magie and resident Bulldog.

Well done 'H', we'll have you turning it upside down yourself as well in display next year, just you see......


Miles Magister
7th Oct 2003, 21:49

Thanks for letting young MM sit in the aircraft, he is telling everyone about it. Just a shame most of them do not know what he is on about!

A lovely machine and much appreciated.

12th Nov 2003, 21:17
Posted on HairyPlane's behalf...


Scan courtesy Barry Clay/Wings over Warwickshire.

13th Nov 2003, 00:54
G'day folks!
An ex-Policeman suggested I add a post here, and always delighted to oblige the law...

Also happy to keep this amazing thread going. Soon to be avaliable as "the Mmmmiles thread book - bigger n' War n' Peas"!

What we really need is a replica of the Miles Hobby. Yes, 'Hobby' is a member of the Hawk family (both natural history and Mmmmmiles) and was a one off by the Miles clan as a tiny racer with a (troublesome) retractable undercarriage. Hobby was chosen as a name as the bird was tiny - so small that alegedly it would choke on the insects it caught Swift style...

I've only seen passing references to it, and an article with plans in a French mag I've got somewhere. Anyone keen?
James K

14th Nov 2003, 02:34


THe Miles M13 Hobby (as I read from 'Miles Aircraft from 1925' by Don Brown (Anybody got a spare copy I might beg, steal or....OK... buy?) is certainly a little cracker.

Little it is too.

Built for the 37 Kings Cup, it had a mere 21ft-span/ 78sq ft wing and a retractable undercarriage.

Good for 207mph apparently!

Did it win?


Where did it come.

It didn't....


It wasn't ready in time for the race!


When they did the retraction tests, the recesses in the wing were in the wrong place.


By the time they redesigned the wing and rebuilt it, the race had been run.

They came within a gnats winkle of doing it, working day and night.

So near yet so far.

Maybe I should scan the picture and post it on the thread.

However, whilst I can pat my head and rub my (ample) tum at the same time, I havent quite worked out the magic of getting piccies onto Pprune (and please dont try to explain it - I'll just watch the next Harry Potter movie and hope he does it on screen)

Kings Cup - My (ex) Messenger won it in 1954, My Falcon won it in 1979 (better late than never) and my Magister (or at least the registration.....!) came 3rd in nineteen can't remember.

Glad you like my thread guys - lets try to keep it going.


14th Nov 2003, 09:14

Just thumbing through a Swiss avmag (Cockpit) and find a photo of Challenger ZS-ALT at Lanseria. Caption goes on to say that the first ZS-ALT was a Miles Magister operated from 1938 to 1940 by SA Airways.

Must say I have enjoyed accompanying you on this thread for almost a year now, and appreciate the works of DamienB and MOTF in illustrating your aerial activities.

Best wishes,


14th Nov 2003, 19:52
Kind words indeed atb!

There are clearly some wonderful old photos out there as well as anecdotes that should be recorded for posterity.

Anybody out there with any Miles photos? We want to share them with you!

Having said that, I am so guilty of the offence(!) myself.

I have some marvellous old piccies of my Falcon on skis, in Swedish military markings and pre-war with a swastika flag fluttering in the background.

I also have piccies of it in bits in 1963.

Oh yes, how about it sitting on the apron at Lymne in 1961, motor still 'ticking hot' - following its arrival from Sweden (sold subsequently for ten quid!)

I will Email them 'off to a boff' and get them posted.

OK - I surrender - how do I post a J-Peg photo here? Slow words please.


Great Vintage Flying Weekend (G-VFWE) is being held at Abingdon in May this year.

THis event is a must.

I plan to do a few jolllies in the Maggie and Falcon during the evenings - happy to draw names out of a hat for a free ride.

B there or B square!


14th Nov 2003, 20:05

Save your JPGs at a reasonable image size - a max of about 600 pixels wide and at 72 dpi - this is perfect for viewing on screen. You can experiment with the compression ratio - smaller = lower quality...

Save them somewhere on the Internet - perhaps you could host them in a PPRuNe folder in your company website.

Click the IMG button in the "post reply" window in PPRuNe (lurks in the VB code section) and paste in the path for your file, ie http://www.hairyplane.co.uk/pprune/falcon.jpg

Repeat for each image...

Think that's it - hope it is slow enough, PM if not and I can expand on details (particularly with file sizes) if it would help.

Spot on with the Hobby, and superbly humourised!

I have a pic of the Hobby, will try and post if I remeber to bring the book in!



15th Nov 2003, 00:05
Excellent the G-VFWE moving to Abingdon the only must attend major event of the season as far as I,m concerned!!.Hope they can organise some slightly better form of Air traffic and arrival procedures than at Kemble this year.Super event and all those lovely MMMMMMMMMMiles aircraft.Anyone know the runway alignment?crosswind options?grass options at Abingdon??.Always handy for the vintage types,red faces etc:D

15th Nov 2003, 01:12
"Great Vintage Flying Weekend (G-VFWE) is being held at Abingdon in May this year."

Are you finally cracking up HP, or have you gone relative on us? A new candidate for the next Dr Who perhaps? Reminds me of a limeric I heard many years ago:

There was a young lady called Wight
Who could travel much faster than light
She set off one day
in a relative way
And arrived the previous night.......

Abingdon - lovely place. Spent many happy days there with 6 AEF on Chipmunks and a decade later, helping the UTP on Jags and Hawks. If I remember right, there's two long runways, one east/west, the other north/south, with lots of good grass around them - utopia for vintage nuts I would think.....

Best Wishes to All,

15th Nov 2003, 02:21
Good news about The G-VFWE. its only about 5 minutes away from me so I shall be there (it does clash with a Shuttleworth evening bash though). I may even drag Mrs Fence along for a bit (scary!!)

15th Nov 2003, 06:47
Has anybody been to the Berkshire Museum of Aviation on the site of the old Miles Aircraft factory in Woodley? They have a very large quantity of old photographs of Miles aircraft as well as one or two restoration projects on the go. Not huge, but an interesting museum for anybody interested in Miles aircraft.

Berkshire Museum of Aviation (http://fly.to/MuseumofBerkshireAviation/)

16th Nov 2003, 16:58
According to my (very) old 1990 Pooleys, Abingdon runways are:

18/36, 1991m x 46m Asphalt

08/26, 1463m x 46m Asphalt

Gives a rough idea, but of course that information will be 14 years old by the time of G-VFWE...

21st Nov 2003, 22:19
The IWM are showing of their Magister among lots of other wood and metal as a 'trailer' for the new AirSpace development at Duxford. I'll report back once I've heard their plans for it. Details of AirSpace here...



8th Dec 2003, 17:45
Great to see my old Messenger G-AKBO in the opening sequences of 633 Squadron.

Neville Browning certainly displayed the agility and STOL performance well, getting it out of a smal field and then a hard crank left to avoid a tree!

A pity that a similar survival story cannot be told in respect of the gorgeous Mossies.

Hurrah for wood! The Messie is also made of 'Natures Composite'.

KBO is on a Star Annual currently but will hopefully be airborne in time for G-VFWE.

THere is every chance that I might be invited to carry on flying it (doesn't that have to be the best deal ever?!)


8th Dec 2003, 18:00
Latest edition of the Miles Magazine dropped through the door a few days ago.great read ,got to be worth joining the Miles club to get this.Peter Amos,s book on Miles Aircraft which will become the "master work" on the subject replacing the hard to obtain and very expensive putnam book is being published soon.Can,t wait for my copy.:ok:

17th Dec 2003, 01:32

What can I say except: "Thank you, thank you and thank you!"

We've just returned to Old Warden after a day in Cambridge with your Maggie and Falcon. The first 'thank you' is from the kids who looked over the aeroplanes, the second is from 'Miles Magister' who was in the front cockpit of his namesake aeroplane (realising a childhood dream at the same time) and the third is from me for my first trip in the hot-seat since the operation.

The Champagne was a great end to a great day.


PS: Oh!, and a fourth 'thank you' to Stampe for letting me bump him out of his cockpit for the day..........

17th Dec 2003, 02:47

Congratulations on getting back in the saddle. hope to see you tomorrow, if not have a good one and I'll see you next year.

Look forward to seeing you in a Spit again :ok: :ok:


17th Dec 2003, 04:48
Thanks MOTF - I'll be there tomorow, but we'll both have to wait until next year for the Spit.................unfortunately.

27th Dec 2003, 17:40
Was watching a programme on the history channel about Charles Lindburgh which showed him flying a two seater in Europe I believe a Miles Mohawk,what a fabulous looking aircraft.I vaguely recollect seeing a fuselage a t Skysport a few years ago which I was told was the remains of the mohawk.Does it still exist?? who does it belong to ??.It should fly again.??Any info??:ok:

27th Dec 2003, 18:58
I believe the Mohawk was donated by an American to the RAF museum. It is actually Lidbergh's aircraft. Skysport are restoring it to static exhibit status.

27th Dec 2003, 23:21
Skysport conpleted the work they were budgetted for a couple of years ago and the machine is stored at Cosford awaiting the RAFM to finish the rest.

28th Dec 2003, 18:54
Merry belated Christmas to all.

Have a question. Did anybody receive Don Brown's "Miles a/c" as an early pressie?
Due to unforeseen circumstances I posted it slightly later than anticipated - apologies to the recipient - so I'm curious to know if it arrived. Can't for the life of me find the address and I've forgot the nic.

Anyway, I trust all's well.


28th Dec 2003, 19:18
Well coincidentally I got a copy as a gift from my good friend Hairyplane as a 50th birthday gift on that most significant of dates 17th December.Currently the definitive work on the mmmmmmagnificifent MMMiles stable and worth a fortune on the second hand book market.Its position as bible will shortly be challenged by Peter Amos,s (of Miles collection fame) new definitive work on Miles which is at the printers I believe.This will then become the masterwork on the subject,can,t wait. :ok:

6th Jan 2004, 04:19
Not a pretty sight, however on the bright side she is under cover.
I'm sure HP can fill in the details (as posted before).


6th Jan 2004, 12:39
Insomnia rules! It's 4.15am.......

Thank you MOTF for posting such an excellent picture.

The aircraft is a rare Miles Monarch G-AFLW - a type that hasn't graced our skies for many years. I am not sure whe 'LW last flew but would guess at 10 years or more.

The owner is Dr. Ian Dalziel - the pilot who flew my Miles Falcon to victory in the 79 Kings Cup.

He ignores all efforts by many to contact him regarding the aircraft.

Whilst it is at least hangared, it has suffered badly in storage and appears to need a full rebuild.

Alas, old plywood aircraft are rare for a simple reason. My guesstimate of the costs involved for a full rebuld to flying condition are circa £200k+ and for an aircraft that you would struggle to sell for £30k in pristine order.

The Monarch- effectively a 3 seat cabin fuselage on a Magister wing and U/C and a Falcon/ Hawk fin & rudder - lacks the beauty of the Falcon and Magister etc. and this will further restrict its appeal to anybody other than a 'Miles Nut' like me.

I would love to save it. So, if anybody out there has the inside track on the mysterious Dr Ian Dalziel and can tell me why he won't even speak to me let alone respond to my letters (or anybody elses for that matter) I would dearly like to know.

He must have spent a fortune on hangarage over the years at White Waltham. It appears that he will continue to do so....

Ho hum.

Back to a hot bottie!


8th Jan 2004, 01:54
Tis a very sad sight. Some guys took pity on it a few years ago and washed it!!

I understood from an uncorroborated source that the Doctor was deceased and his wife doesn't want to part with the 'plane.


8th Jan 2004, 02:54

If you succeed to buy the Monarch, then spend £200k+ putting her back to airworthy condition, can I be the first to offer the £30,000 you reckon she's worth once she's flyable?!


8th Jan 2004, 08:02
Fantastic thread:cool: Have spent the entire evening reading through it and enjoyed it very much.

Are there any very good Gemini stories out there?

8th Jan 2004, 18:01
Galdri I see your in Iceland where I believe one of the Gypsy Major powered Gemenis has just gone for restoration.Are you anything to do with that ,not alot of people in Iceland??.Wonderful,wonderful aeroplanes so ahead of their time.Do tryto read a superb book by Cecil Lewis Gemini to Jo,burg an excellent read.:ok:

8th Jan 2004, 20:16
Well, it so happens that I have something to do with that:p I have the remains in my hangar now.

8th Jan 2004, 21:55
Well Galdri your a very lucky man the Gypsy powered Gemeni the ultimate variant!!.Do let us know how you are progressing and look forward to seeing it back in the heavens.This is a great thread read by lots of people operating Miles aircraft.if your not in touch already we can put you in touch with most of the operators of the type in the Uk.One of my colleagues is a licenced engineer and gemini owner and an expert on all the existing Miles types.Welcome to the forum.:ok:

10th Jan 2004, 11:53

Would this be he or just a coincidence...?


Happy New Year!


10th Jan 2004, 18:13
No it's a different Ian Dalziel.

Happy New Year to you too, ATB!



10th Jan 2004, 19:35
Hi TD&H,

It would be a nutter indeed who spent £200k on a restoration, only to give most of it away immediately to the new owner.

If I took on something like that I would expect to be cremated in it - Viking style!

Seriously though, there are a number of aircraft out there for sale for just a fraction of the cost of rebuild. One that springs to mind is the pretty little wooden Sokol (have I got that right?) retractable.

It was advertised extensively last year - likely no takers(?) and possibly still for sale. I think it was around £37k.

The classic car thing is the same.

My DB5 is probably worth £50k but would cost twice that or even more to rebuild to its present condition. (I paid £1500 for it but thats a story that takes us off-topic!).

Unlike cars though, there is a very limited market for obscure and expensive-to operate flying machines. Great news for nutters like me but not if you need to sell, especially if you are in any hurry.

I am not sure when Gordon Spooners beautiful Messenger G-AJWC, a concours ground-up rebuild, will come up for sale. However, his latest Navion project is progressing well and the Messenger will at some stage be sold I guess.

It cost him - without any exaggeration, a billion pounds to do...

Oh yes, and a squillion man hours beavering away in his workshop.



11th Jan 2004, 02:12
Hi Hairyplane

From my own experience of helping to rebuild expensive warbirds, and my own puddle-jumper I know exactly what you mean. Still a comment about your wish to spend vast amounts on such a project seemed appropriate at the time.

I know of Gordon's aeroplanes, and the effort he is putting into them also. Didn't quite realise he was spending quite so many squillions on his projects though! Will be good to see the Navion flying.

Must rush off and put another pound on the lottery, but at only a few million pounds first prize, it won't be enough to buy one of your billion dollar aeroplanes! There again it might be better spent on a ticket at OW to win a flight in their Maggie.

Happy flying

12th Jan 2004, 01:40
The Monarch is a classic though perhaps not the best looking of the Miles stable.Guess HP,s figures for a total rebuild aren,t far wide of the mark.I would guess for a complete rebuild/reglue to concours at a suitably qualified facility.
2000 man hours minimum @£25 per hour minimum=£50000
Gypsy major total rebuild £20000
materials minimum £10000
miscellaneous remanufacture of items like undercarriage say£10000
Theres £90k easy,and very possible to go way beyond.Of course if you wanted to , had the ability and could get an engineer to sign the work off big savings could be made in exchange for years of leisure time.Then again the restoration would lack the quodos of having been completed by one of the recognised names and would have to stand on its own excellence.I seem to recall seeing the the PFA had recently accepted a pre war restoration project of a wooden aircraft under their auspices which surprised me greatly presumably it was not eligible for a CofA. was it a Miles aircraft can anyone recollect??:confused:

12th Jan 2004, 04:04
Geting off the Miles thread for a second, I am desperately waiting for Bob Mitchells SAI KZ-8, G-AYKZ either to be sold on to a serious restorer, or restored by it's owner to flying condition. It's a shame that it's only one of two original KZ-8s around, yet languishes in a hangar among other classics including a Miles Hawk Major I believe going rotten.

13th Jan 2004, 02:43
Hi Zlin,

Whats a KZ8 pardon my ignorance?

The Bob Mitchell story has been posted on this thread before so if you are stuck for some reading on a wet day......!

Basically, he owns 2 Miles Aircraft - or what's left of them - in that same hangar. One is a Witney Straight and the other is a Monarch.

He is in the same mould as Dr Ian Dalziel, the owner of the rotting Monarch at White Waltham.

Both own rare fragments of our aviation heritage, neither will restore them to fly, neither will communicate with anybody about their aircraft or even consider selling them on, both are happy to let them rot....

The KZ8 population will undoubtedly reduce to one when Bob M's example finally rots into the floor of a building I am told is barely deservant of the term.

A strange world we live in.

All the best


13th Jan 2004, 03:08
Could it be, that these gentilmen referred to, are not selling their aircraft because they think they are SO valuable and are resoning their value will only increase as time goes by? I've seen quite a few of that type in my (admittedly, short) time in aviation. People that have the mindset, are usually completely ignorant of the fact that they are destroying their prized aircraft and reducing their prize to almost nothing.

Good luck trying to get the aircraft.

13th Jan 2004, 03:12
KZ8 G-AYKZ (http://www.flymuseum.dk/DK/DKFly/kzviii_dk.html)... a rather spiffy looking mini-Chipmunk sort of thing from the Danish KZ range (http://www.flymuseum.dk/UK/UKfly/kzfam_uk.htm) of various rather spiffy looking things.

13th Jan 2004, 05:29
KZ8 quite a looker seem to remember seeing it display impressively at Rochester back in the late 60s early 70 s any of you aero-historians recall the date??.Somehow airshows seemed more diverse and exciting in those days .Must just be getting old.

17th Jan 2004, 06:40
Nice photo of Gemini G-AKHP on front page of January's Shoreham Newsletter including pilot in plus-fours.