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The D'havilland Heron Story

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The D'havilland Heron Story

Old 26th May 2009, 08:50
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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What do you know ! I have seen it several times in passing but did not realise it origins. Will take a closer look next time I am there.
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Old 27th May 2009, 09:13
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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On one occasion I took the local judge, based in Tarawa down to Abemama in FAY, on a scheduled service. I had to wait while Court was held in the terminal which was a grass hut basically. The judge was hearing a case in which the defendant was accused of cutting someone up with a cane knife, blood covered Exhibit A. The judge got thirsty so one of the locals started to cut up a coconut with aforementioned Exhibit A.
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Old 27th May 2009, 13:29
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Crikey this brings back memories. Heron G-ANUO was indeed based at Leicester. If I recall it was registered to the General Electric Company before British Nuclear Fuels. It's Chief Pilot was Alan Firmin and that I won't forget - he had a terrific daughter - she was part of our social crowd then and lived in the same village; Kibworth. Being the family anorak, I was more interested in her dad's aeroplane and went for a test flight flip in it around the early seventies - it's even in my first logbook entered as 'passenger'. She is still a family friend to this day.

My Gran used to be a social pal of the Foxes. They also lived on our road in the village. I didn't realise they had a Heron too. They used to keep a very smart and sizeable catamaran in Poole Harbour, which us teenagers were invited aboard for a sail occasionally if we promised to behave. There was always a packet or three of Foxes Mints in the house.

Frank Lazenby was a garage owner - can't remember the brand though. There was also a guy who used to be at the flying club a great deal - he was one of the big knitwear company owners and drove a fabulous Red Ferrari 246 Dino - can't recall his name - my old lady would know.
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Old 27th May 2009, 14:10
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Graous me

I Remember we used to look after the Hearon at Manchester when it went to East Fortune for NNC


Alan was a Gentleman sorry he lost his life so soon understand he was flying the Varsity from Leicester


A True Gentleman


R I P


Gerry ex Northern Executive at Manchester
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Old 27th May 2009, 14:29
  #65 (permalink)  
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Mercury Airlines

Mercury Airlines was based at Manchester Airport [EGCC]. The name originating from the old alpha-numeric telephone area exchange for the Airport (Mercury), prior to the change to the all-numeral system, now in use. It was set up in 1960 by Lord (Peter) Calthorpe and had two Herons on fleet G-AOZN and G-ANCI, which were later joined by DC3 G-AMSN.

Scheduled flights to the Isle of Wight were part of their regular summer runs. The IOW was a popular holiday destination in the mid fifties/very early sixties, along with Newquay. That was the time frame period when the all-inclusive package tours to the Spanish Costas were only just evolving. For the northern working classes it was either a holiday in nearby Blackpool; the more up-market Southport, or fish 'n' chips over the border in Scarborough. The IOW was luxury if you could afford it, but difficult to reach for northern folk, hence the very popular seasonal scheduled flights, mostly with Dragon Rapides. Then along came the Spanish package tour industry and the rest, as they say, is history.

The company was also a UK North of England agent for the Mooney 20A four-seater light aircraft, though as I recall only sold one aircraft to local business man, Ernie Raffles.

The Mercury operations chap at the time was local lad, one Michael Bishop, who kicked my shins on many an occasion during a game of football, in what was then the cinder car parking area at the old Manchester Ringway terminal.

Mercury was closed down in October 1964 by owner Lord Calthorpe who blamed the closure on the coming to power of the Labour Government and their protectionism of the State airlines versus private enterprise. Some of the routes were taken over by Derby Airways with MB moving over to become MAN Station manager for Derby Airways, with a later name change to BMA, now bmi.

Pictures of G-ANUO see here.
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Old 28th May 2009, 01:53
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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CLE Heron

Thirty-five or so years ago, I used to like to spot at CLE, which was not far from the house in which I grew up in Rocky River.
At the time, the predecessor to US Air, Allegheny, had a major hub at CLE.
One saw many of their CV 580s, BAC 1-11s, as well as a few of their DC-9s.
There was also a contracted commuter line, which flew to various small Ohio cities. The contractor's equipment included a couple of Doves and at least one Heron, all in Allegheny livery.
IIRC, these aircraft had been re-engined with HO engines, for which I believe there was an American STC.
Anyway, it was quite something to see both the Heron and the Dove in pax service in Ohio.
A bit off topic, but there were also two small airlines, Tag and Wright, which operated Doves across the lake to Michigan cities. This continued until one of the Doves was lost in the lake along with all pax and crew.
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Old 28th May 2009, 10:40
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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IIRC, these aircraft had been re-engined with HO engines, for which I believe there was an American STC.
You do indeed recall correctly.......... The Riley Dove

Riley also converted the Heron to Lycoming IO-540 K1C5 engines (290 hp each).
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Old 28th May 2009, 17:45
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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I flew co pilot on Herons out of Burbank and Long Beach to Las Vegas for the Hacienda Hotel back in 1963. The two aircraft that we operated both had the original engines with the impulse couplings on their magnetos. These were a constant issue for us and as I recall we were switching them over to a traditional Bendix magneto when I left to join another airline. I enjoyed flying them it was great 4 engine experience for a lad just twenty years old at the time. It was not uncomon for us to make a three engine T.O., dive the aircraft to get an engine started and then leave it running for the next two pax drop offs before we returned to our maintenance base at Van Nuys, Calif. I don't think the feds would approve of that today and probably not then either!
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Old 30th May 2009, 06:34
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Helen 49
There was some info on North South Airlines on the key website a year or so ago...inc a reference to a book with more info,might be worth a look.
What is your interest in N/S airlines ? (being nosy !!)

https://www.key.aero/forum/historic-...-d-h-heron-mk1

regards LR

Last edited by longer ron; 24th Mar 2020 at 09:20. Reason: update link
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Old 30th May 2009, 09:04
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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I can recommend;

"Air Ambulance: Six Decades of the Scottish Air Ambulance Service"

By Iain Hutchison is a good read on DH Heron Ops in Scotland.
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Old 1st Jun 2009, 06:06
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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For former Air Pac/Fiji Airways staff, there's a book written by Bob Kennedy titled 'Harold Gatty's Legacy' which provides an interesting history of the airline and lots of photographs of the Heron.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 12:09
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Lost photo of VH-CLR at Paya Lebar circa '63

Re "VH-CLR and another on a delivery flight. Parked near the Singapore Flying Club at Paya Lebar."

David,
is this picture of VH-CLR and another still available. The linked web site no longer works.
The picture was of their delivery to Connellans Airways in Alice Springs, I think from India.

ian
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 17:42
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Remember Izal?
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 18:47
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, it had its uses in aviation! I once used about 7 feet of Izal bog roll to map out *real size* corrosion on a horizontal stabiliser spar top cap, which was then faxed, section by section, to McDonnell Douglas for stress analysis and blending limits. It also worked perfectly when doped over De Havilland Dove and Heron emergency roof exits as a frangible weather seal.
As stated, it was pretty useless for its intended purpose.
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 18:56
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by stevef View Post
YIt also worked perfectly when doped over De Havilland Dove and Heron emergency roof exits as a frangible weather seal.
Time for an aaaaah, DeHavilland, moment. . . Rather fond of that particular gentleman's aerial carriage (my username here might be a clue). Unique smell in the cockpit and that wonderful and wacky combination of air operated bag brakes and hydraulic wipers (would have been wonderful if they had done this the other way around).
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 20:16
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Time for an aaaaah, DeHavilland, moment. . . Rather fond of that particular gentleman's aerial carriage (my username here might be a clue). Unique smell in the cockpit and that wonderful and wacky combination of air operated bag brakes and hydraulic wipers (would have been wonderful if they had done this the other way around).
Quite! The Dove was one of my favourite aeroplanes to maintain, along with the Heron and Dakota. I liked its little design quirks, like the offset engine mount to counteract torque and different span elevators. Was it the idle-cut-off controls behind the P1 seat? I've not touched one for about 12 years and my memory, like my combing habits and waist size, aren't like they once were. :-)
Meanwhile, back to the jokes...
"My grandfather invented the cold air balloon. It never really took off." (Milton Jones)
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 20:36
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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When I first did a walk around on a Devon I asked about the asymmetric elevators. The story I was told was that they trimmed a bit off one when doing flight trials, to correct an over-balance problem, found it worked, so just left it like that in production.

Diverted to HMS Gannet in a Devon, strict instructions given to NOT chock the nose wheel, but to chock the mains (castoring nose wheel and virtually non existent parking brake). Car took us home. Woken at ~05:00 by the line chief at Gannet on the 'phone, saying he'd "lost" our aeroplane. Drove hell for leather up to Gannet to discover they had found it, parked on the grass. The plonkers had only chocked the nose wheel and the wind had castored that around during the night, then taxied the aeroplane between two rows of parked Seakings, before it rolled on to the grass and hid behind a hangar. How it never hit one of the parked cabs is a complete mystery.
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 22:29
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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VP959 sack your navigator. Only 2 shore bases called HMS Gannet that existed were in Northern Ireland and Prestwick in Scotland.
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Old 22nd Mar 2020, 23:01
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cdtaylor_nats View Post
VP959 sack your navigator. Only 2 shore bases called HMS Gannet that existed were in Northern Ireland and Prestwick in Scotland.

'Twas Prestwick, and I was the navigator in the right hand seat!
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Old 24th Mar 2020, 01:10
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
Time for an aaaaah, DeHavilland, moment. . . Rather fond of that particular gentleman's aerial carriage (my username here might be a clue). Unique smell in the cockpit and that wonderful and wacky combination of air operated bag brakes and hydraulic wipers (would have been wonderful if they had done this the other way around).
It most certainly would! The combination of the quirky brakes and castoring nose wheel led me into some bother on more than one occasion.
And we need more aaaaaaah DH moments, or am I just getting old and nostalgic?
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