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Beagle B.206

Old 15th Mar 2021, 17:59
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Beagle B.206

In May 1963 the 'Air Pictorial' aviation magazine published a report of an air test carried out on the new Beagle B.206. The editorial of the same issue deemed the aircraft to be 'best in its class' and expressed high hopes for its success.

In the event only 79 examples of the aircraft were built, including 20 for the RAF and sadly the Beagle Aircraft Ltd - always struggling financially - was declared bankrupt in 1969.

Beagle B.206 air test
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 19:00
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I remember a number of ex RAF 206s at Biggin in the mid 1970s and a line of them outside a hangar at Fort Lauderdale Executive in 1984 - guy there loved them and offered refurbished and upgraded 206s for the customer's delectation...

Nice looking aircraft, perhaps like the Pup too expensive to build? If only...

There was a story about a friend of Peter Masefield asking if he could buy a Pup at cost. "Sure" replied Masefield, "we need the extra cash"!
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 19:00
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Beagle Basset of Southern Communications Squadron arriving at Coltishall from Bovingdon. Battle of Britain Display September 1967. (Steps Deployed !)
Photo credit David Taylor.
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Old 15th Mar 2021, 22:40
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I flew the Key Publishing Basset several times - lovely to fly but MASSIVELY over-engineered. Treaders has hit the nail on the thumb, it's superior in most ways to the Seneca/TwinCom/Baron etc but was very expensive.
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 04:41
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lovely to fly but MASSIVELY over-engineered.
For example, hydraulic airstairs!

It is interesting to compare the B206 with a contemporary Cessna 411 - same power, roughly the same speeds, same useful load, but the B206 was 25% heavier!

_______Empty (lb) Gross (lb)
C 411 __3800 ____6500
B206 __4800 _____7500


What were Beagle's management thinking? Obviously they had forgotten or never heard of the apocryphal saying:

Simplicate and add lightness
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 07:59
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Give me a Piper PA-31/310 Navajo any day.

Worked with a guy that had flown them with the RFDS NSW Section out of Broken Hill, he said they were over engineered and under engined- needed a lot more horsepower and better engine reliability.
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 08:59
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For anybody interested, the original now has a home here....and if anybody has an interest in helping restoring it please let me know and I'll put you in touch with some people I know who would be very appreciative of your involvement.

East Midlands Aeropark
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 09:16
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Stationair8, at least two of the RFDS 206s made their way back to Britain (replaced by Beech 200s?), they were parked at Biggin for a bit circa 1978/79 I think. I believe they eventually went on to the US. If I recall, the Fort Lauderdale outfit installed uprated engines.

The Beagle Miles 218/Beagle 242 was a prototype four seater twin originally designed as a replacement for the Gemini but never really developed due to the concentration on the 206 and the Pup - I wonder how it might have fared. Beagle planned a family of GA twins.
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 10:21
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Wasn't the B206 a favourite with the purveyors of Colombian Marching Powder? Cheap to buy with a reasonable load and therefore cheap to abandon when the job was done..
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 10:52
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I recollect the RAF buy was originally for the purpose of transporting V bomber crews to dispersal airfields, until it was found you couldn't get 5 bomber crew members and all their flying gear in it along with the 2 crew flying it.
Shorts provided the groundcrew contract at Bovingdon and several of my ATC squadron adult staff worked there. It was a standing joke that when selecting a Basset from the 206 production line, the RAF were allocated those which had encountered 'problems' of some sort as they were built. Certainly they found that when landing on Bovingdon's main runway 20, undulations in the surface caused the propellor tips to touch the ground so the props had to be 'modified' locally (I was told this entailed filing the blade tips down).
Last Basset flying (as opposed to B206) was I believe the ETPS one at Boscombe Down which I think was still operating until the late '80s or even early '90s.
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 11:31
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According to a post elsewhere on PPRuNe, the ETPS Basset ceased flying in November 2014.

Fifty plus years of flight, 46 years with ETPS.





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Old 16th Mar 2021, 11:42
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Isn't the original B206 preserved with Farnborough Air Sciences Trust?
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 12:19
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Originally Posted by bobward View Post
Isn't the original B206 preserved with Farnborough Air Sciences Trust?
Please see the link in # 7
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 14:45
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
Please see the link in # 7
how complete is it?

I was taught to prop swing on one at saints.
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 15:02
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Nutty ,still got yr fingers ....?
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 15:16
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He seems to be missing the two he's holding up!
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 16:38
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spare 206

I expect there is still a 206 sitting in the ice south of Sondrestrom airfield Greenland .Don Bullock put it there on a ferry flight when an oil line parted.He repaired it and was having a strip prepared when another storm came in. We flew over it in a king Air 90 in 1973and you could see the tail plane. The old sod tried to sell it to me for $10 .Happy digging.
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 16:55
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
For anybody interested, the original now has a home here....and if anybody has an interest in helping restoring it please let me know and I'll put you in touch with some people I know who would be very appreciative of your involvement.

East Midlands Aeropark
It was indoors at Brooklands: will it be undercover at East Midlands?
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 18:19
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There used to be a Basset on the line down at Halton airfield. Anyone any info on how it came to be there and where it ended up?
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Old 16th Mar 2021, 18:59
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Originally Posted by Akrotiri bad boy View Post
There used to be a Basset on the line down at Halton airfield. Anyone any info on how it came to be there and where it ended up?
This was 7449M, which wasn't an RAF aircraft but as I recall donated (by Rolls-Royce?) after an accident. Very comfy and a welcome windbreak when doing engine runs on a windy airfield in the Chilterns. I last saw it on a Queen Mary at Lyneham (early 90s?)
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