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Ferranti Helicopters

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Ferranti Helicopters

Old 5th Aug 2010, 07:05
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting comments about Ferranti Helicopters. They must have been a smart company because when I approached them in 1976ish, they didn't offer me a job! However I did fly for Denis, the eldest brother, who was 68 at the time & incredibly fit despite having lost an eye racing in the IOM TT! He had a 500 to take him to Scotland for the shooting season & a 206 to take to the south of France. He traded in his DH 125 for a MU2 as it was STOL & pressurised.
I flew him & his attractive daughter to a nudist beach for a swim; very strange to have your boss & daughter standing next to you stark naked! Not to mention the 100s of naked tourists who wanted to inspect the 206!

Good days & he paid me well!!
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Old 5th Aug 2010, 07:46
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the request for photos of G-BAKT. If you google G-WOSP, it will list a Fliker site that has photos of the Clyde helicopters/ Burnthills machines working around Glasgow in the 1980/90's. There is also a photo of G-BFYA when it was being used as the Strathclyde Police Machine when Clyde had the contract.
Sorry I don't know how to link to them, but there a a few good shots of them.

Tarman


Last edited by Senior Pilot; 5th Aug 2010 at 07:53. Reason: Add photo
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Old 5th Aug 2010, 19:18
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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photo's of G-BAKT,G-WOSP and Clyde Helicopters

The photo's mentioned can be seen at Clyde Helicopter set
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Old 8th Aug 2010, 14:47
  #24 (permalink)  
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Thud & Blunder: Ferranti's aircraft were maintained in near pristine condition, both mechanically and cosmetically, and so your comments would not be unreasonable regarding the ex-Ferranti Bo105D (G-BAFD) which joined the Bond fleet via Gleneagle Helicopters.

The person who can answer your question with regard to the Skerryvore incident is ex-Ferranti pilot (and PPRuNeR) Speechless Two and, I'm sure that once he sees your post, will provide satisfying answers. Speechless also has an interesting history with BAFD.

Nigel: In the mid 70's Ferranti were at their busiest and may well have recruited someone prior to your interview but, at least you ended up with the Ferranti family for a season! I mean where else could you find a boss willing to let you see his daughter naked!

Tarman: Thanks for the information on BAKT/BFYA. Senior Pilot thanks for posting them and WiganAirways thanks for the link to them. You are all such gentlemen.

S.
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Old 8th Aug 2010, 18:11
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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G-BAKT

I flew KT loads in 1987-8 for Gleneagles and have a few pics which I will try to dig out....

Also flew FD with Bond in the early 90's as a spare air ambulance when the 105 was on maintenance in Cornwall.

Great thread guy's, keep em coming..
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Old 14th Nov 2010, 19:14
  #26 (permalink)  
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BN2 Islander G-FANS at Shoreham 19th June 1977

Dennis: Not sure if this will evoke any memories. The Ferranti Helicopters sign just visible on the Western wall of the Miles hangar.

Of course Ferranti's move to Shoreham is probably how you met the Colonel but, for me, the move has become a point of sadness as it represented an era of change which was to eventually extinguish the vision of Ferranti's founders.

It was at the 'Beehive' that the company experienced the pinnacle of its popularity and which are by far my fondest memories of what was a remarkable chapter in Britain's helicopter history.



Gatwick's 'Beehive' complex where Ferranti's management offices were in the early 70's

S.
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Old 14th Nov 2010, 19:38
  #27 (permalink)  
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I spent about ten days at Dennis' hunting lodge in Scotland.

Had to change the fuel tank in the 206 he had there.

It took that long because the 206 was a Bell and the tank was for an Agusta/Bell (or the other way around, can't remember), and the bolts for all the fittings were too short.

An interesting time.....
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 22:40
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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For 'S' ... Yes I sure remember the ducted fan BN2. The Dufon part of the business was run by a Canadian I seem to recall, but the brain cells won't part with the name. My party piece was to hold both hands to my ears as the Islander taxied by! But fitted with those two huge ducts, the two Lycomings 540s were supposed to be especially quiet ... and they weren't!

A small side titbit ... circa 1972/1973, I used to fly the all red Islander (G-AXDH?) for the 'Red Devils' display team. On one flight, a colleague who had flown the type more, showed me that the aircraft would fly faster in the cruise with three degrees of flap down ... accomplished by selecting flap 'down' and pulling the CB after a couple of seconds. Later I discussed this oddity with Des Norman on the I of W. He told me they knew about the problem ... caused by the incorrect rigged angle of the main plane. Assembly line changes weren't possible so all future production aircraft simply had the flaps welded down at the three degree position! Don't believe me ... just check the next time you see one up close.

I remember visiting Mr George Miles in his office there at Number One Hangar, (then Premier hangar) Along with my old mate, Mike Woodley, we were trying to buy the specially prepared and streamlined Miles Gemini twin which we wanted as a Kings Cup contender. No luck tho'

In those days the Miles Dufon hangar was the most westerly on the airfield. At least another half a dozen have sprung up since. 'Twas about that time that Neville Duke was doing some flight testing with the Miles Student along the old grass runway. So many memories (mostly pleasant) that these threads evoke.

Best Christmas wishes 'S' and to all our readers. Dennis Kenyon.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 08:13
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Thud

I don't know the exact details but having done the job you describe I know that it was an incident with the blow hole on Skerryvore which can be quite surprising in a SW swell. I think whilst on the pad the blow hole blew deluging the 105 rendering it unserviceable. I think it was there for quite some time before Ferranti managed to recover it.

Speechless can fill in the gaps.
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Old 16th Nov 2010, 12:46
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Dennis Ferranti

Savoia.

I have just seen your post dated 18th July 2010.

I believe that Dennis Ferrantis's Hughes 500 was actually a 500M and was flown from the right hand seat. I think that Dennis had an eye problem. It had two mesh seats in the font - just like the OH-6A.

He also had an HS 125 and a Brantley, or two, before the Hughes 500.

In those days, Battersea was run by "Jonny" Johnson (I believe RIP) and Dave Ward. Dave was responsible for running the Silverstone heliport during the British Grand Prix - in the busy years!
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Old 17th Nov 2010, 06:11
  #31 (permalink)  
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TRC: I can't recall Dennis having owned a 206 but I shall check up on it as I am in contact with his son. I'm wondering whether he may have borrowed one of his brother's 206's from the Ferranti fleet and in which case it would certainly have been an Agusta Bell. I'm wondering what necessitated a fuel tank change?

Dennisimo!: Incredible story about the wing alignment on the Islander! The BN2 evokes only sad memories for me though - an horrific recovery operation I was involved in where one had crashed killing all on board. The military in the country I was working in had no operational helicopters so me and my team were tasked to recover the bodies. The army were kind enough to assist us with body bags which I grimly distributed to my pilots and then joined them in this gruesome task. The craft had impacted the ground at high speed and caught fire. My lasting memory of that exercise was of a mother and child 'welded' together in a charred statue of horror. Me and my team received a commendation from the government for this effort but it is not something I would wish to experience again. I can still remember the smell of the bodies as we heaved them aboard our aircraft.

Palma: First of all congratulations on your own accomplishments which of course by now have substantially eclipsed anything my godfather achieved. I do recall meeting you here and there as a young lad while accompanying Bob and a couple of times with Mike Smith and I remember you showing me one of your 500's (a D model) at the '79 Cranfield show!



I believe this was one of your first 500's appaently appearing in an episode of 'The Persuaders' starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis?

Re: Dennis de Ferranti, PPRuNer 500 Fan has a photo of EI-AVN which was Dennis' and there is a possibility that EI-ATY may also have been his. Concerning the craft's military origin - I seem to recall someone telling me the same thing.

In addition to Dennis' 500 Sebastian's Bell 47J2A G-ATFV was also an ex-military craft (MM80417 of the Italian Army) seen below in 1978 at Newcastle Airport while in the service of Air Anglia.



Anyone with any details, information or photos of anything to do with any members of the Ferranti family and their aircraft or Ferranti Helicopters specifically, please contact me.

S.
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Old 17th Nov 2010, 08:52
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Denis Ferranti

I flew for Denis from 1977 to 1983. At that time he had a Hughes 500M (EI-AVN) and a B206 (EI-AWA). The 500 was, as already posted, the basic miltary model flown from the right hand seat. Most remarkable was the ship's compass mounted on the floor between the seats. Denis's one eye made it the only instrument he could read clearly! He also had an MU2, based at Castlebar Airport (which he owned), which he changed for a Citation 1 during my tenure. The story of his "infrigement" of an Army airfield and his way of dealing with the incident are typical of the man; a great caracter, not easy to work for, but I had a great time there. If you're interested in pics I'll look them up and send them if you let me know your details by PM.
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Old 17th Nov 2010, 12:08
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Uncle Ian, I think you must have replaced me as I flew the 206 for Dennis in France in 1976. Did you leave Bristows to join Dennis? He also phoned me in Scotland when I was with North Scottish to ask me to come back as his pilot had resigned but I see from your dates that you were there to 83.
I only flew for him as a stop gap measure as his pilot had gone to the Gulf & he needed a pilot for a few months in France. My family & I had a great time there! I even managed to get Mrs F to do a few solo circuits in the 206. He flew me back to his Irish 'manor' to show me his fantastic set up & then to his house in North Wales in case his new pilot didn't turn up to take the 500M to Scotland.
He was extremely fit & flew very well for some one with only one eye, having lost his left eye in the 1929 Isle of Man TT.
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Old 17th Nov 2010, 18:31
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I remember reading a book about a ex Navy fixed wing pilot who then transferred to Wessex and after leaving the Navy worked for a private individual covering Wales Scotland and France with a 206 and 500, and I think his name was Mike something or other (Can't check book is upstairs in the child's bedroom). Could he be the new pilot?
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Old 18th Nov 2010, 12:02
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I think that would have been Lt Cdr Mike T who I replaced at Dennis' & by coincidence he replaced me at Gulf.
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Old 1st Jan 2011, 08:14
  #36 (permalink)  
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Identity Parade!

.
Firstly, new year's greetings to Heliport, Senior Pilot and the entire Rotorheads community.

Secondly, our work on the Ferranti Helicopters tribute site continues in earnest and we expect to go live 'sometime' between now and June. The timing has much to do with my personal schedule plus the fact that there is much material to sort through and information to collate.

The site will dip into other areas of helicopter activity beyond Ferranti including snapshots from the operations of BCal Helicopters (Ferranti's successor).

We need help!

Can you identify any (or all) of the following BCalH crew (pilots and hostesses) from the visit of Pope John Paul II in May 1982? Any assistance will be gratefully appreciated.













S.

ps: This enquiry has also gone out to the BCal 'Tribute' and 'Reunited' sites.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 21:19
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For Savoia. Having just tuned in after a week or so, I haven't responded to an earlier item.

Eric, I'll e-mail a copy of the relevent page of "Appointment on Lake michigan" where I write about 'pilots in white gloves' and an executive heli operation - which you might like to see.

Reference the Biggin Hill B206 accident ... that year I was parked in the Enstrom G-BENO 'rotors running' on the grass adjacent to the 03 threshold (in those days) waiting for the ATC call to display. The Ferranti Jetranger lifted off fifty yards ahead of me and climbed into the underside of a short final Tiger Moth removing both wheels from the Moth. Sadly the M/R head detached and the Jetranger crashed ten yards from the crowd line with the loss of all on board although there were no spectator fatals. The Tiger Moth completed a sucessful 'no wheels' landing without injury.

The pic of G-AWJW was taken parked on the Spooner Aviation parking area at Shoreham. The landing gear 'cuff' was missing because I removed it due to cracking of the GRP. The marking forward of the registration was the temporary logo of Southernair.

The adjacent Enstrom G-BHAX ... was the first F28 'Dash Two' model in Europe. It was owned by Derek Chandler of Flair Soft Drinks ... later Flair Air at Goodwood. Derek's son Wayne became MD of the Southernair business.

Next heli was Enstrom 280C G-PALS, which I sold to Property Associates Limited and subsequently displayed at the 1981 Biggin Hill event. It was also flown in "To the Manor Born" TV series by that super blonde lady Gay Absolom.

Looking at the pics of Ferranti pilots meeting the Pope, I feel sure the third pic is of Bob Baff, but I wasn't aware that he was ever associated with Ferranti' Since Bob and I were both ex Meteor pilots, we spent many an hour at Fairoaks chatting about the old times.

Happy and safe flying to all in 2011. Dennis Kenyon.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 06:44
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Dennis thanks for the info on Bob Baff, we shall keep searching for the identity of the remaining crew.

Denis de Ferranti Update

We've managed to secure the following images of aircraft which belonged to Denis:



EI-AVN visiting Galway. This is presumably the 500M to which Palma refers. (Photo courtesy of 500 Fan)


EI-AWA (date/location unknown). This 'might' be the 206 on which TRC performed a fuel tank change.

Marc de Ferranti

We have a number of images relating to an operation called 'HoverKnights' based in Wales and which used to operate Ecureuils, evidently under the direction of Marc de Ferranti. Anyone with any information about this or any of the Ferranti operations - please contact me.


.

Last edited by Savoia; 22nd Sep 2011 at 10:17. Reason: Image removed
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 09:00
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EI-AWA

The Jet Ranger EI-AWA, is still on the British register as G-COIN, S/N 897, still going strong.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 11:46
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Great to hear she's still flying. Seems to have been built in '72 and entered the Irish register as the third 206 in the country.

When she became G-COIN it would appear as though Denis sold her to Roger Woodward at about the time Roger sold his 206 G-ROGR to Rodney Crook who re-registered ROGR as G-RODY.

COIN on the other hand seems to have kept the same mark since going onto the G reg.

Another take courtesy of Martin Pole.



Bell 206B EI-AWA at Luton on 6th June 1982

For TRC: She was a Bell as opposed to AgustaBell. Unusual for the Ferranti family. Denis' brother Sebastian would only accept Agusta-built versions in his fleet.

S.
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