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Instone Airlines

Old 19th Jul 2006, 17:57
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Sub Judice Angel Lovegod
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Instone Airlines

My father is primarily a postal historian, but he has acquired from a member of our family a substantial collection of documents relating to Instone Airlines, Hounslow, Croydon, the King's Cup and the early days of Imperial.
I have yet to see this collection, but he describes it as being 5 volumes (I assume like stamp albums) of letters, timetables, internal documents etc.
This material has been shown in the past, indeed he first saw it as a presentation by its collector, but the audience has always been postal historians.
Does anyone know if there is a historian who specialises in Instone and its milieu, who might benefit from seeing the material? I doubt if my father will want to make it publicly available, but I imagine that one or two knowledgeable enthusiasts would be welcome. He is in the SW outskirts of London.
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Old 23rd Jul 2006, 13:45
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Despite the fact that I am talking to myself....

I have now looked at the collection and it may well be of interest to someone who specialises in that period.

It includes a button and "wings" from the Instone uniform (plus the information that Instone were the first non-military air operation to introduce uniform) and some timetables which slightly piqued my interest in that they appear to have advertised and priced a route to Prague, but they never seem to have flown it (and then timetables a month later have Prague removed.)

There are other little gems in there, like a payload vs range sheet for one of the aircraft (Bristol or Vimy, I forget which) and an interesting guarantee to deliver passengers and mail to Paris providing that the "weather is reasonably suitable for flying." I love the idea of it being reasonably suitable.

There is a nice correspondence in there concerning a passenger who was taken out to Paris in the very early days (1920 AFAIR) but could not be brought back because the engine had blown two valves, which took "4 or 5 days to repair". But the passenger is reassured that the company is buying an aircraft with two passenger seats and they hope to bring him back soon!

There are also numerous photos and postcards showing operations at "London Air Terminal" (which I think must have been Hounslow) and Croydon, manufacturers' advertisements for various aircraft and similar memorabilia.

Let me know if anyone is interested.
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Old 26th Jul 2006, 14:41
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Whilst the collection is both outside my normal area of interest and defintely beyond my finances, the vignettes you have provided of Instone's Operations are fascinating (so I and around 200 others are listening :-)
DIH
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Old 26th Jul 2006, 16:18
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I am sorry if I have given the wrong impression about finances. My father has just bought the collection because he doesn't want it to leave the family. There is no question of selling it.
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 09:53
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All I can remember / tell you about Instone is that they were based at STN in the very late 70's early 80's. I was a ground engineer with Transmeridian Air Cargo at the time, and I remember they were locally known as "Flintstone Aviation". This probably was because they were flying two Bristol "Vibrators" (Freighters ) at the time.

Mike.
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Old 2nd Aug 2006, 11:15
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Instone Air Line was set up by the Instone Shipping Line in 1919 to carry bills of lading in advance of The Company ships arriving in port, so clearance could be speeded up. The Company operated as an independent cargo and passenger airline before eventually amalgamating with other operators to form Imperial Airways, the forerunner of BOAC.

In the early 1920’s Instone Air Line carried the first known racehorse to be transported by air in one of its freighter aircraft. Jockeys were also frequent travellers on The Company’s passenger services operating from London to the capitals of Europe.

Instoneair was reformed in 1976 to supply aircraft and horse stalls for the transport of bloodstock and livestock throughout the world. I believe they are still in business today but do not operate any aircraft of their own but charter aircraft from the Freight Companies.
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Old 3rd Aug 2006, 21:08
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Originally Posted by Timothy
It includes a button and "wings" from the Instone uniform (plus the information that Instone were the first non-military air operation to introduce uniform) and some timetables which slightly piqued my interest in that they appear to have advertised and priced a route to Prague, but they never seem to have flown it (and then timetables a month later have Prague removed.)
In an article entitled "Wings of Peace" by John Stroud, published in the November 1987 issue of Aeroplane Monthly, John describes the Vickers Vulcan. The Vickers Type 61 Vulcan was a single-engined,single-bay biplane transport aircraft and often ranked as the uglist aeroplane built in Britain.
According to John Stroud's article:-

Instone Air Lines ordered four of these aircraft.G-EBBL, G-EBDH,G-EBEA and G-EBEM However the aircraft was not a success. G-EBBL ran out of fuel and force-landed near Tonbridge on the 23rd June 1922 was rebuilt. G-EBDH crashed at Oxted in August 1922 and returned to Vickers and, due to poor performance, G-EBEA was also returned to Vickers in June 1923. The fourth aircraft on order G-EBEM was cancelled. This left G-EBBL as the only Vulcan remaining in service with Instone.
From the begining of October 1922 Instone Air Line's only route was from London to Brussels and Cologne. Instone had plans to extend its route to Prague and Budapest and on August the 4th 1923. Capt F.L.Barnard flew G-EBBL from Croydon to Prague on a route survey carrying Col W.A.Bristow of Ogilvie & Partners, consulting engineers to Instone. Political problems prevented regular operation of this route.
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Old 4th Aug 2006, 22:41
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All I can remember / tell you about Instone is that they were based at STN in the very late 70's early 80's. I was a ground engineer with Transmeridian Air Cargo at the time, and I remember they were locally known as "Flintstone Aviation". This probably was because they were flying two Bristol "Vibrators" (Freighters ) at the time.

Mike.
Just wonder about the year.?
Would that be Freds start up using a couple of ex RNZAF Frighteners?
He was on the Merchantman at ABC late 70's
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 09:45
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tinpis

Yes, that rings a bell. I think the year was 1979 / 80

Mike
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Old 5th Aug 2006, 16:12
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Instone Airlines

Would that be Fred Scott and Joe Lyons? Ex ASCEU/C-130
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 02:58
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Would that be Fred Scott and Joe Lyons? Ex ASCEU/C-130
The very same
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 09:12
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The Instone Airlines of the 70s and 80s has no real relationship to the Instone of the 20s. It was the latter that I was trying to see if there was any interest in (though the answer seems to be a resounding "no", which I find most surprising.)
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 12:54
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Originally Posted by Timothy
The Instone Airlines of the 70s and 80s has no real relationship to the Instone of the 20s. It was the latter that I was trying to see if there was any interest in (though the answer seems to be a resounding "no", which I find most surprising.)
Not quite sure what you mean about there being a resounding "no" to your endeavours to find if there was any interest. I refer you to my post #7 which resolves your question regarding the Prague route, surely that is of some interest? Regarding there being no real relationship between the current Instoneair and the old Company I refer you to the following link.
http://www.instoneair.com/pages/co_history.html
What exactly are you after?
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Old 6th Aug 2006, 13:47
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MReyn,

Sorry, I had missed your second post. I will pass that snippet back to my father.

I guess what I was after was finding someone who has a personal special interest in the original Instone. Given the pioneering nature of what they were doing, and also that they were a foundation stone of Imperial/BOAC/BA I was expecting/hoping that someone here would be a keen historian specialising in them.

However I have also spoken to a friend, David Edgerton, who is Professor of Aviation History at Imperial College, and he doesn't know anyone specialising in that period either.
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Old 7th Aug 2006, 00:51
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you could ask in flypast or aeroplane magazine or on their website forums
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