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The D'havilland Heron Story

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The D'havilland Heron Story

Old 17th Mar 2009, 12:25
  #21 (permalink)  
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Location: 58-33N. 00-18W. Peterborough UK
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I was working at Seletar Singapore when one of the Air North aircraft came through on ferry from UK. 78’ish. Three things stick in my mind. One, the internal ferry tank fit. I thought I’d help out by fitting some Mil Spec switches to control the temporary fuel pumps. This was preferable to the ‘in transit Mod’ of twisted wires used to switch the pumps on and off. Two, the owner had brought some Kiwi mates along for the ride. Three days off in Singapore and the wildest bunch I’d ‘entertained’ in a long time. Three, the take-off from Seletar took place in the middle of a memorable monsoon storm. I went though Rotorua some months later; seems they’d taken a lightening strike after take off and flown Singapore Jakarta with half the fabric gone from the rudder.

By gum – we ‘ad some fun.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 15:51
  #22 (permalink)  
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South African Heron

Rand Mines Ltd operated a Heron during the '60's as ZS-RML.
There are still some rather aged pilot's around that flew it!
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 18:57
  #23 (permalink)  
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DH Heron's

Worked on the Doves and Heron major overhauls at DH's SDCR at Leavesden in the 1950's
Herons that spring to mind were the two BEA ones ,the Queens flight (stripping that Dayglow off them was a lousy job) plus many more for modifications.
On moving on to McAlpines 1965 found me as the engineer bringing back ex Jordainian Herons, registration G-APPD and G-APRI from Amman to McAlpines in the company of three Doves for Riley conversion . Four weeks later we went back to Amman for one Dove we left behind.
It is a credit to the reliability of the the DH aircraft that I did not have one problem with any of the aircraft and have written a story of both trips

Leavesden was a great place to work to obtain skills on the components of Herons . Corrosion was the number one enemy,(as was the Doves) and all flying control hinges had to be replaced and if my memory serves me right, they were of magnesium alloy and steel alloy ones replaced them.
Herons had Bag fuel tanks, unlike the Dove that had metal . and they could cause a few problems,pressure testing etc.
Power plant removal and fit was not bad and great compared to the Queen 70's .
One little story goes that the Duke of Edinburgh was in the cockpit of his Heron and was fiddling around and moving the elevators . A fitter was working on the elevators at the rear, and pig sick of people fiddling with the controls, lost it and and ran up to the cockpit from the outside and his language was choice and the Duke apologised to him.
The same aircraft had to have the Dayglow removed and when stripped covered in brown paper for spraying . As it was around Xmas, someone had put a large stamp on the paper with the words, POST EARLY FOR XMAS. The Bosses were not amused.
Lots of memories for both me and my wife because I married the girl in the office at DH's Leavesden , 51 years ago.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 20:06
  #24 (permalink)  
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Re the Queen's Flight Heron, it was ferried out to Bangkok for a visit by Princess Alexandra in the early 60s. One trip on the itinerary was to Hua Hin - at that time a laterite strip. On the days before the trip the aircraft was polished until it sparkled - quite stunning. After arrival at Hua Hin, came the rains!!!! An attempted take-off was abandoned with wheels stuck in the mud and when it did eventually come back to Don Muang it was almost unrecognisable! I suspect that the techies were not hugely amused
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 07:40
  #25 (permalink)  
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Flew the Heron at Airlines of Tasmania in the early 1990's, so have a fair few photos if you require them.

DH Heron 2D VH-KAM Serial # 14123 for the endorsement ex Kendall's

DH Heron 2D VH-CLV Serial # 14124 ex Connellan's

DH Heron 2D VH-CLX Serial # 14098 ex Connellan's

DH Heron 2E VH-CLZ Serial #14075 ex Connellan's

Can probably point you in the right directions for a few knowledgable contacts from both ex Connellans and Airlines of Tasmania staff.

Lets see V1 65 knots, VR 70 knots, V2 74 knots, engine out climb 91 knots , enroute climb 110 knots.

110 kilos in the nose locker, 360 kilos in the rear locker.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 08:23
  #26 (permalink)  
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the Queens flight (stripping that Dayglow off them was a lousy job)
In 1969, at least one of the retired Queen's Flight Herons was at 27 MU at Shawbury, ostensibly a spare. The MU pilots used it as a hack for ferrying parts and people. One day, while hanging around the UBAS crew room (Chipmunk flying had been scrubbed because of a low cloud-base), the MU phoned and asked if anyone wanted to go to Aldergrove as they had to pick up some parts.

So six of us piled into the Heron and set off. The call sign was nothing special so there was some consternation in the tower at Aldergrove when a bright red Heron appears out of the gloom on final. By the time we had taxied in, the Station Commander and the SATCO had showed up to greet their unexpected VIPs.

They were not impressed when a bunch of long-haired (by RAF standards) students in flying suits ambled down the steps

Coincidentally, I had another trip to Aldergrove a week later, this time in a Dove.

It occurred to me recently, that I have been in more DH products, either as a pilot or passenger, than those of any other manufacturer. To date the list includes DH-82, 89, 104, 114, 115, 125, DHC-1, 2, 6 and 8. I'm hoping to add to the list.

Correction years later: for Dove, read Devon.

Last edited by India Four Two; 29th Mar 2020 at 19:13.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 08:39
  #27 (permalink)  
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Have sent you a PM.

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Old 30th Mar 2009, 07:31
  #28 (permalink)  
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Guess ZS-RML was a DOVE cn 04349
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Old 30th Mar 2009, 21:45
  #29 (permalink)  
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I've sent an email to you.
Please check.
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Old 31st Mar 2009, 06:23
  #30 (permalink)  
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The prototype Heron, VH-CJS, was still flying in Australia until 1976. It has been exposed to the weather in open storage ever since, but at least it hasn't been scrapped.

It is now stored at the RAAF Association's Aviation Heritage Museum, in the Perth suburb of Bull Creek. The wings were detached and placed under a small garage structure next to one of the museum's buildings (which contains the engines).

Here's some photos of the aircraft, including a couple that I took:
Airliners.net | Airplanes - Aviation - Aircraft- Aircraft Photos & News

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Old 31st Mar 2009, 09:56
  #31 (permalink)  
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Heron at Shoreham

Progressive Airways operated a Heron on the Channel Islands shuttle from Shoreham in the late 1970s ... all painted very orange !

Dennis K
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Old 31st Mar 2009, 21:51
  #32 (permalink)  
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Dennis K, As you say very orange ! I think it must have been early 70's, as Progressive didn't survive that long (former employee), if you look back to post #9 that was the delivery of the two herons from Falk Air, Denmark to Norwich for Progressive, below is a sample of the colour scheme, although on one of the doves.


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Old 1st Apr 2009, 14:30
  #33 (permalink)  
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I believe the picture of the Prinair machine N574PR is a Saunders ST-27
of which about 13 were modified from the Heron.
It has the P&WC PT6-34 in it and fuse plugs.
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Old 5th Apr 2009, 17:54
  #34 (permalink)  
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'I believe the picture of the Prinair machine N574PR is a Saunders ST-27'
It was the one and only stretched Heron ever built, developed as one possible answer to the carrier's need for more capacity by CADI of Opa Locka, FL. This scheme was abandoned after extensive flight trials.
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Old 6th Apr 2009, 12:21
  #35 (permalink)  
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Air-Britain are about to reissue a revised and updated version of their monograph book on the Dove/Heron family.
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Old 6th Apr 2009, 13:19
  #36 (permalink)  
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The Heron was the first aircraft I ever flew in. Southampton to Guernsey in about 1957. Jersey Airlines was it?

Also one with Lycomings? Flat somethings certainly - Nadi to Taveuni in Fiji, but about 40 years later

Anyone got any photos?
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Old 6th Apr 2009, 21:42
  #37 (permalink)  
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Hope this works, Ex Jordanian AF ferry flight to UK ex Amman -Luton, note my hand painted registrations, never was a signwriter . Code sign for this trip was PPD+3

Im slowly getting the hang of this so will try again, honest
a href="mervs ferry flight 1965 amman uk picture by merv32249213 - Photobucket" target="_blank"><img src="http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/i...erryflight.jpg" border="0" alt="Aircraft"></a>

Last edited by merv32249213; 6th Apr 2009 at 22:11. Reason: photo
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Old 6th Apr 2009, 22:27
  #38 (permalink)  
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merv ! yes it worked and your photos are here for all of us, very nice, thank you.

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Old 6th Apr 2009, 22:36
  #39 (permalink)  
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The heron story

Thanks Norwich, I still have to fine tune it to paste the actual photo on to the site cheers Merv
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Old 25th Apr 2009, 20:57
  #40 (permalink)  
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I remember the late Bill Webb telling me about ferrying a Heron to Australia.

He was supposed to refuel somewhere in the Indian Ocean ( Guam?) , but for some reason they neglected or forgot to open for him. He continued to Aus. annd landed after I think a 27hr flight.

Ferry tanks of course, but the main difficulty was topping up engine oil in flight via a "wobble" pump from drums in the cabin.

A lovely man missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and learning from him.
In his own Dove, TOSS, gear up, rotate!! Bigginites know what I mean.
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