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Airwork Limited, also referred to during its history as Airwork Services Limited, is a wholly owned subsidiary company of VT Group plc. It has a long and rich history in providing a variety of defence support services to the Royal Air Force (RAF), Fleet Air Arm and overseas air forces, as well as having played an important role in the development of civil aviation - both in the United Kingdommarker and abroad.

Origins

Airwork was founded in 1928 by Sir Nigel Norman and Alan Muntz, with the opening of the private Heston Aerodromemarker in Middlesexmarker. In the early days, Airwork’s chief pilot was Captain Valentine Baker M.C, D.F.C., who later formed the world-famous Martin-Baker company with Sir James Martin. In December 1936 Airwork Limited was registered at Companies House, and the newly formed company started its long association with RAF flying training.

Airwork moved out of Heston in 1935, due to a lack of adequate space, and relocated to Gatwickmarker, where it continued with a contract to maintain Whitley bombers for the RAF. During the 1930s Airwork also helped to establish the predecessors of the post-World War II national airlines of Egyptmarker, Indiamarker and Rhodesia. Thus, United Arab Airlines, Indian Airlines and Central African Airways were Airwork descendants.

In June 1936 Airwork opened No. 11 RAF Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School (ERFTS) at Perthmarker in Scotlandmarker, under contract to the Air Ministry. The company developed accommodation and facilities there, and provided aircraft in the form of the de Havilland Tiger Moth. Other Airwork operated ERFTS followed soon afterwards with No. 14 ERFTS at Castle Bromwichmarker in July 1937, No. 17 ERFTS at Bartonmarker in October 1937, No. 50 ERFTS at Barton, and Ringwaymarker in May 1939 and No. 44 ERFTS at Elmdonmarker in May 1939.

With the outbreak of World War II the word ‘Reserve’ was dropped, and the 50 ERFTS establishments were consolidated into 20 Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTS). No 17 ERFTS was disbanded at that time, and No. 44 ERFTS at Elmdon was merged with No. 14 ERFTS at Castle Bromwich to form No. 14 EFTS. One further Airwork-run unit, No. 21 EFTS, was established at Bookermarker in June 1941, with Miles Magisters supplementing the Tiger Moth then in use there and at all other EFTS. Through its sites at Gatwick and newer aerodromes at Stavertonmarker, Renfrewmarker and Loughboroughmarker, Airwork also became a vital part of the Air Ministry’s maintenance operations. Further aircrew training, for example No. 6 Air Observer navigation School at Staverton using Dominie and Anson, also featured prominently. Airwork’s contribution to the war effort was a vital one, and the company was responsible for the initial training of tens of thousands of pilots. There were also engineering contracts that included the manufacture of Lancaster wings and modifications on Bostons, as well as the preparation, maintenance and repair of Hurricane, Whitleys, Corsair, Hellcat, B-24 Liberators and Mustang.

Post-war operations in the UK

Flying training

Following the war, Airwork purchased Perth Aerodromemarker from the local Council, and developed a highly successful flying school for commercial pilots. In 1947 Airwork relocated its headquarters to Langleymarker in Buckinghamshire and further new sites were established at Blackbushe Airportmarker (overhaul and sales) and at Lashammarker (engineering). By now Airwork had been acquired by the Cowdray family, and had become part of the British & Commonwealth (B&C) group of companies. Airwork continued its flying training role providing elementary, RN grading, Volunteer Reserve (VR) and University Air Squadron (UAS) flying training across its locations initially using Tiger Moth and, from the 1950s, the Chipmunk. A new Reserve Flying School (13 RFS) was established at Grangemouthmarker in April 1948, and at RAF Usworthmarker (23 RFS) in February 1949. In April 1951 Airwork also assumed responsibility of No.2 Basic Air Navigation School at Usworthmarker. Approximately 25 Avro Anson T.21's were used and supported during this time. In addition there were between 15 and 20 Chipmunks, that were used by the Durham Universitymarker Air Squadron - mostly at weekends - also maintained by Airwork. At RAF Digbymarker Airwork was also responsible for running the No 1 Grading Unit during 1952/53.

Air transport

During the post-war period Airwork also further expanded its business into civil aviation. This expansion was financed by its wealthy shareholders, that included Lord Cowdray, Whitehall Securities, the Blue Star shipping line, Furness Withy and Thomas Loel Evelyn Bulkeley Guinness.

Airwork's other air transport related activities include contracting, aircraft servicing and maintenance, sale and purchase of aircraft, operation and management of flying schools and clubs, contract charter flying, overhaul and modification of aircraft, specialised aerodrome catering and aviation insurance.

Airline operations

During the early post-World War II years, charter flights using Handley Page Hermes and Vickers Viking airliners, primarily flying out of Blackbushe Airportmarker, constituted the bulk of Airwork's commercial air transport activities. These included a twice weekly series of flights on behalf of the Sudanesemarker government, that carried 10,000 passengers - including 394 babies - between Londonmarker, Wadi Halfamarker and Khartoummarker between 1947 and 1950, as well as a series of inclusive tour (IT) flights under contract to the UK Civil Service, and flights carrying Muslim pilgrims to and from Jeddahmarker during the annual Hajj season. Airwork was also among the UK independent airlines participating in the Berlin Airlift.

Airwork first proposed transporting troops by air rather than by sea in 1950. The company's contacts with the War Officemarker helped Airwork become the first carrier to be awarded a trooping flight contract. The War Office subsequently made Airwork its main contractor for the UK-Singaporemarker trooping service, as well as its unofficial "chosen instrument" for all trooping flights that were contracted to third parties. However, the Hermes aircraft that operated most of these flights frequently suffered from engine faults. This resulted in crash landing on a number of occasions. These incidents cast doubt on the aircraft's reliability and the airline's safety record, as a result of which the firm lost its monopoly in the trooping business.

In 1952, Airwork began operating quasi-scheduled low-fare services from the UK to East, Central, Southern and West Africa using Vikings. These services were part of a joint operation with Hunting Air Transport, another wholly private independent Britishmarker airline of that era. Flights initially operated on a fortnightly basis. International Air Transport Association (IATA) minimum fare rules did not apply to these services because the governments that owned most of IATA's member airlines had not empowered it to set and control domestic air fares, that included dependent overseas territories.

The first joint Airwork-Hunting all-economy Safari/colonial coach class (British residents only) service departed London for Nairobimarker during the middle of that year. The service routed via Maltamarker, Benghazimarker, Wadi Halfa, Khartoum, Jubamarker and Entebbemarker. It utilised single-class 27-seat Vikings, that took three days to complete the journey. Although this compared unfavourably with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), whose regular scheduled services took only 24 hours, load factors averaged 93% during the first nine months of operation. Airwork and Hunting-Clan continued to achieve very high average load factors of 85-90% because their £98 single fare was £42 cheaper than the comparable BOAC fare. These load factors were much higher than BOAC's, as a result of which the independents doubled the flight frequency on their London-Nairobi Safari/colonial coach route to once-a-week. This service proved to be so popular that a second weekly frequency was eventually added, that was operated alternatively by each airline.

In June 1953, Airwork and Hunting jointly launched a fortnightly Safari/colonial coach service between London and Salisburymarker, entailing one round trip per month by each company.

In June 1954 Airwork and Hunting launched a joint Safari/colonial coach service to West Africa linking London with Accramarker via Lisbonmarker, Las Palmasmarker, Bathurst and Freetownmarker.

By 1957, Airwork and Hunting-Clan had converted their successful East, West and Southern African Safari/colonial coach flights into regular "third-class" scheduled services. However, the Government forced the independents to maintain additional stops that were no longer needed, as a result of replacing Vikings with technologically advanced Douglas DC-6s and Vickers Viscounts. It also required them to share all traffic with BOAC on a 30:70 basis. Despite these restrictions, the new service was fully booked five months ahead within a fortnight of its launch. When Britainmarker's African colonies became independent, Safari/colonial coach was converted into a fully fledged scheduled service. To secure their traffic rights between the UK and the newly independent African nations, Airwork and Hunting-Clan began participating in revenue-sharing agreements with BOAC and the destination countries' flag carriers. (Following Airwork's absorption into British United Airways (BUA) and that airline's subsequent acquisition by Caledonian Airways to form British Caledonian (BCal), these arrangements continued to be the legal basis of BUA's and BCal's UK-Africa scheduled services.)

1957 was also the year Airwork acquired control of Transair, a fellow independent airline. A year later the process of merging the Airwork-controlled airlines with Hunting-Clan to form BUA started. In 1959, Airwork took over Air Charter, Freddie Laker's first airline venture. By the time Airwork merged with Hunting-Clan to form BUA in 1960, the former's air transport subsidiaries already included Airwork Helicopters, Air Charter, Bristow Helicopters, Channel Air Bridge, Transair and Morton Air Services. By that time, Airwork had also negotiated a long-term charter contract with the Gold Coast Chamber of Mines. This entailed regular Hermes services between the UK and West Africa.

In addition to Airwork's airline operations, the company serviced numerous airliners in the civil maintenance hangar at Hurn Airportmarker. These included Sudan Airways Dove, and Dakota, Skymaster, and Vikings of various operators.

Post-war fleet details

The Airwork airline operated the following aircraft types:















Fleet in 1958
In April 1958 the Airwork fleet comprised twelve aircraft.

Airwork fleet in April 1958
Aircraft

Total
Handley Page Hermes 4
Vickers Viscount 800 2
Vickers Viking 5
Airspeed Consul 1
Total 12


Accidents and incidents

A fatal accident occurred on 21 August 1952. It involved a Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A (registration: G-ALDF) operating an international non-scheduled passenger flight from Blackbushe to Khartoum via Malta. When the aircraft approached Sicily, an engine malfunction affecting engines no. 2 and 3 forced the flightdeck crew to shut down both engines as well as to feather both propellers. Intensive use of the onboard radio equipment to send out emergency signals soon depleted the aircraft's batteries. The resulting electrical power failure caused the remaining two engines to fail as well. This in turn forced the flightdeck crew to ditch the aircraft off the port of Trapanimarker, that killed seven of the 57 occupants (all six crew members and one out of 51 passengers). The subsequent accident investigation established the failure of one or both of the inner two engines (no. 2 and 3) as the primary cause. Although the reason for the engines' failure could not be determined, the investigators concluded that only one of these engines malfunctioned and that an error of the flight engineer caused the other one to fail. The investigators furthermore cited a number of contributory factors. These included:
  1. The flightdeck crew's state of mind arising from the knowledge of an earlier accident involving the same aircraft type that had been caused by a power plant failure.
  2. Failure of electrical generators following the stoppage of the no. 2 and 3 engines.
  3. Inadequate batteries that neither ensured normal flight functions nor permitted the transmission of a satisfactory distress message.
  4. Limited experience of the flightdeck and cabin crew on this aircraft type.
  5. The cabin crew's failure to properly follow emergency procedures.
  6. Missing or unusable life rafts.
  7. The failure of life belts.


The first non-fatal accident occurred on 23 July 1952. It involved a Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A (registration: G-ALDB) operating a trooping flight from Blackbushe to the RAF station in Fayid, Egypt. While the aircraft was overflying Francemarker, the flightdeck crew noticed a defect in the no. 4 engine and decided to make an emergency landing at the nearest diversion airfield. This resulted in a crash landing at Pithiviersmarker. Although the aircraft was damaged beyond repair, there were no fatalities among the 70 occupants (six crew and 64 passengers). The evidence at the crash site seemed to suggest that an internal failure occurred inside the no. 4 engine, that caused over-speeding and subsequent disintegration of the reduction gear pinion bearing.

The second non-fatal accident occurred on 15 August 1954. It involved a Vickers 627 Viking 1B (registration: G-AIXS) operating a passenger flight from Blackbushe to Nice Côte d'Azur Airportmarker. The captain noticed oil streaming from the no. 2 engine ten minutes after takeoff from Blackbushe. He decided to feather the propeller and to return to Blackbushe, where the aircraft struck the ground 135 yards short of the runway. Although this damaged the aircraft beyond repair, there were no fatalities among the 37 occupants (five crew and 32 passengers). The accident investigators concluded that the captain's failure to prevent the aircraft from stall while making a single engine approach was the probable cause. The captain's distraction by a flickering red undercarriage indicator light during the critical final approach stage was cited as a contributory factor.

The third non-fatal accident occurred on 1 September 1957. It involved a Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A (registration: G-AKFP) operating an international non-scheduled passenger flight from Blackbushe to Singaporemarker via Karachimarker, Delhimarker and Calcuttamarker. While approaching Calcutta, the aircraft was cleared for a runway 19L Instrument Landing System approach at Dum Dum Airportmarker. A shower passed at break-off height, as a result of which the flightdeck crew could not see the runway and decided to carry out an overshoot. Dum Dum Air Traffic Control then offered the captain an assisted approach to runway 01R and advised that he was no. 2 to land. Radar Control guided the aircraft during the assisted approach and cleared it for a visual landing. At that time the aircraft was a mile from the runway threshold and to the left of 01R's centreline. After breaking through the clouds, the captain was able to see the runway and continued his visual approach without realising that he was actually approaching 01L. When the Airwork Hermes came in to land, an Indian Airlines DC-3 (registration: VT-AUA)[396743] had just been cleared to line up and hold on runway 01L. This resulted in the Hermes striking the DC-3. This in turn resulted in the death of the Indianmarker aircraft's four crew members who were its only occupants. There were no fatalities among the Hermes's 64 occupants (six crew and 58 passengers) although the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Accident investigators cited the Hermes captain's failure to maintain effective radio communications with the tower during the final stage of the radar-assisted approach and his decision to continue with a visual approach under conditions that did not allow him to positively identify the correct runway as the probable cause of this runway collision.

A fourth non-fatal accident occurred on 28 January 1972, Vickers Viscount D-ANEF was damaged beyond repair when the undercarriage collapsed after a heavy landing at Bournemouth International Airportmarker.

Fleet Requirements Unit

A major contract was secured in September 1952 when Airwork was selected by the Royal Navy to operate the Fleet Requirements Unit (FRU) at Hurn Airport, near Bournemouthmarker. The FRU employed civilian pilots using Fleet Air Arm aircraft to provide target aircraft for the training of Royal Navy radar operators. The first type of aircraft, Sea Mosquito, began arriving at Hurn in August 1952 and these were replaced during 1953 by the Sea Hornet. Over the next decade the FRU's duties were expanded to include all aspects of Fleet requirement tasks including target towing for gunnery purposes, eventually covering not just UK based destroyers and frigates but the Mediterranean Fleet as well. A wide variety of aircraft types were used over the years with the Sea Hornet being followed, in chronological order, by the Supermarine Attacker (1955-1957), Sea Fury (1955-1961), Sea Hawk (1956-1969), Westland Dragonfly (1958-1961), Gloster Meteor (1958-1971), Supermarine Scimitar (1965-1970), Hawker Hunter (1969-1972) and English Electric Canberra (1969-1972). The Airwork activity at Hurn provided the enthusiast with a welcome opportunity to witness serviceable aircraft that had in many cases long since completed their primary and front line roles.

Military training in the UK

Airwork was also contracted by the Fleet Air Arm in January 1950 to provide aircraft at RNAS Brawdymarker to exercise the Aircraft Direction School at nearby Kete. They also undertook a Heavy Twin Conversion Course for Fleet Air Arm pilots using Sea Hornets and Sea Mosquitos. This Unit moved to St. Davids in September 1951 and operated a jet conversion course with Meteor T.7s. It returned to Brawdy in October 1958 but continued to use St. Davids as a satellite. Finally, in January 1961 it relocated to RNAS Yeoviltonmarker where it operated as the Air Direction Training Unit (ADTU). Aircraft used here were the Sea Venom, Sea Vampire, Hunter and Sea Vixen.

A further contract was won in 1953 when Airwork was appointed to operate RAF Oxfordmarker for the benefit of trainee radar operators at the RAF Sopleymarker radar station situated close to Hurn. The Oxford were replaced in June 1957 by fourteen Boulton Paul Balliols that provided a service to the trainee trackers and plotters of the School of Fighter Control that had relocated to Sopley from RAF Bolt Headmarker in Devonmarker. The Balliols remained in service with Airwork until 1960.

In January 1957 Airwork Services Ltd was created to separate the defence support activities from the airline business elements, that continued under the original Airwork Ltd name. During summer 1959 Airwork moved its head office from Langley to Hurn. Its overhaul facilities were also centralised there. As a result, the operations at Blackbushe, Langley and Lasham were closed.

In 1960 Airwork acquired the Aeronautical Engineering College in Hamble, and relocated it to its existing training operation at Perth Aerodrome where the revised enterprise became known as Airwork Services Training. In 1971 Airwork added an English Language School to the facilities at Perth in order to service a training contract with the Imperial Iranian Navymarker. Quickly the School's main business became language training for students due to train at either the Flying School or the Aeronautical Engineering College and it became part of Air Service Training. Pilot training at Perth ceased in 1996 but a successful engineering training college continues to this day under new ownership as Air Service Training (AST).

Throughout the 1960s Airwork continued elementary and University Air Squadron flying training including training pilots of the Army Air Corps at Middle Wallopmarker in DHC Chipmunks and Hiller UH-12s. Airwork was also responsible for overhauling these aircraft. It also provided a complete flying grading service for the Royal Navy's Britannia Flight at Roboroughmarker, near Plymouthmarker – something that under its present guise it continues to do today. The 1970s saw the introduction of the Bulldog, that gradually replaced the popular Chipmunk. The Baron training aircraft of the College of Air Training arrived at Hurn in February 1971 and Airwork assumed responsibility for their maintenance. At the end of 1978 Scottish Aviation Bulldogs of the Southampton University Air Squadron and DHC Chipmunks of No. 2 AEF relocated to Hurn and Airwork became responsible for their storage and maintenance. The Bulldogs were used for training by potential RAF pilots whilst the Chipmunks were used by local Air Cadet.

In November 1972 the Fleet Requirements Unit was relocated from Hurn to RNAS Yeoviltonmarker and amalgamated with the Air Direction Training Unit to form the Fleet Requirements & Air Direction Training Unit (FRADTU). The word ‘Training’ was later dropped from the Unit’s name to form the more familiar FRADU. The new Unit continued to use the Hunters, Canberras and, in the early days, Sea Vixens that had previously been used by the FRU and ADTU. In 1983 the FRADU contract was put out to competitive tender and was subsequently awarded to FR Aviation.

Airwork quickly put this setback behind it and in 1984 was awarded a contract for the operation of No.1 Flying Training School RAF Linton-on-Ousemarker. It was then equipped with the Bulldog and Jet Provost. the Jet Provost was in turn replaced by the Shorts Tucano in 1989. The Company also managed to regain an element of the FRADU business when in 1988 it obtained a contract to overhaul FRADU Hunters at Hurn.

Whilst Airwork's airline activities had merged into the B&C-controlled BUA group as long ago as 1960, it was only in January 1980 that the company's remaining operations reverted back to the original name of Airwork Ltd. At this time, Airwork also supplied air traffic control services at Exeter Airportmarker and operated Unstmarker and Scatstamarker airfields in the Shetlandsmarker. Airwork Services Training also continued to thrive at Perth Airport in Scotland. In 1991 the Britavia (formerly Aviation Traders) design office moved from Southend to the Airwork offices at Hurn once they were rebuilt following a serious fire in August of that year.

Overseas activities

Airwork operated the British Civil Air Training Mission to Saudi Arabiamarker from 1947 to 1949, based in Taifmarker, Saudi Arabia. This was a flying school with 3 Tiger Moth and 1 Anson Aircraft.

Following the creation of the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman Air Force (SMOAF) in March 1959, Airwork was appointed to provide maintenance and technical support. The new air force initially consisted of Scottish Aviation Pioneer CC1, Hunting Provost T.Mk.52 and DHC-2 Beaver aircraft. Growing problems with civil unrest and insurgency, primarily in the Dhofarmarker region, during the late 1960s led to the expansion of the SMOAF. Initially this was through the formation of a squadron of BAC 167 Strikemaster T.Mk.82 aircraft and also through acquisitions of the C-47 Dakota, DHC-4 Caribou, Shorts Skyvan, BN-2A-21 Defender, Vickers Viscount, BAC One-Eleven and Vickers VC-10 types of aircraft.

The conditions in which Airwork staff had to work were some of the most challenging in the world with shade temperatures of over 40°C commonplace and cockpit temperatures on the ground often exceeding an unbearable 80°C. Existing working practices had to be radically amended accordingly. Airwork’s support role in Omanmarker was further cemented in the late 1970s by the arrival of over thirty Hawker Hunters. Two squadrons of SEPECAT Jaguars followed further expanding the capability of the Sultanate of Oman Air Force (SOAF), the name of which had been adopted in 1970. During the early 1980s three C-130H Hercules transport aircraft were ordered. In 1990 the SOAF was renamed to become the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). Four new BAE Hawk 103 and twelve Hawk 203 were delivered in 1993.

In addition to providing aircraft maintenance and airfield communications support services to SOAF\RAFO, Airwork was also involved in providing radio and radar support to the Oman Navy and ground radio for the Oman Army. Spares provisioning and personal recruitment were provided from Airwork’s UK headquarters at Hurn and the nearby Supplies Division in Ferndownmarker.

The success of the Omani partnership led to Airwork securing similar support contracts in other countries. In Saudi Arabia Airwork was contracted between 1966 and 1973 to provide servicing and training for the Saudi’s English Electric Lightnings, Hunters, BAC Strikemasters and Cessna 172s. Airwork also provided a similar service in Aden (later South Yemen) and to the Kuwaitimarker and Jordanianmarker air forces. In Africa, Airwork developed a support presence in Nigeriamarker, Sudanmarker and Zimbabwemarker with aircraft from these countries also being overhauled at Hurn.

During the 1960s Airwork carried out delivery flights of a number of Fairey Gannets to Indonesiamarker. A large number of aircraft were also handled at Hurn during this time prior to delivery for the Abu Dhabi Air Force (Caribou and Islander), Ghanamarker (Shorts Skyvan), Qatarmarker Police (Gazelle helicopter), the Singapore Air Force (BAC Strikemaster), South Arabian Air Force (Bell 47G and Dakotas) and the Sudan Air Force (Jet Provost). The supply of spares and equipment from Hurn was central to activities with Britannia, CL-44 and Douglas DC-6 freighter aircraft being frequently used.

Takeover and current status

Following a management buyout in 1988, Airwork became part of the Bricom Group of companies. Airwork were part of the Nobel Group and administered through a bank. In 1992 a contract with the RAF at St. Athanmarker to modify a number of Tornado F.3 aircraft was to have far reaching consequences for the company. Serious damage was caused to the centre fuselage of 16 aircraft during the removal of rivets. When the extent of the damage became clear, the Ministry of Defence cancelled the contract with Airwork and pursued compensation from Bricom. Questions were asked in the Houses of Parliamentmarker and the reputation of Airwork, at least in the UK, was dealt a grievous blow. Later, that was not supported by the facts that the MOD and BAemarker had produced the incorrect engineering drawings. A multi-million pound compensation settlement was eventually agreed out of court, and the Tornado F.3 aircraft involved were repaired by new contractors, replacing the damaged centre fuselages with those from surplus Tornado F.2 aircraft, that had been earmarked for disposal.

Short Brothers of Belfastmarker, that had itself been bought by the Canadianmarker company Bombardier in 1989, acquired Airwork as a wholly-owned subsidiary in November 1993, and the company became known as Bombardier Defence Services Limited. The VT Group subsequently took over the business – renaming it VT Defence - in a £30m deal in June 2000. Whilst in the UK, the former Airwork element of the business now trades under the name VT Aerospace, the name and brand of Airwork is still used prominently in Oman as Airwork Technical Services and Partners LLC, and a new five-year contract to support the Royal Air Force of Oman commenced in January 2005.

Official website

  • http://www.vtplc.com/aerospace/


References

Notes
  1. Flight International, 20 November 1953, Civil Aviation ... Airwork's Silver Jubilee, p. 685
  2. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, p. 58
  3. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, p. 59
  4. Flight International, 18 April 1958, World Airline Directory ..., p. 526
  5. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, pp. 16, 58
  6. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, pp. 29, 58
  7. Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United Kingdom > Airwork
  8. Flight International, 8 January 1954, Hunting-Clan - Air-Sea Alliance: The Background to Some Efficient Independent Airline Operations, p. 46
  9. Flight International, 10 August 1961, Goodbye BUA Viscount Safaris --, p. 201
  10. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, pp. 58, 165/6
  11. Flight International, 23 March 1961, Air Commerce, Sierra Leone and BUA, p. 385
  12. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, pp. 58, 61, 165/6
  13. Flight International, 21 March 1987, The Caledonian punchbag, p. 33
  14. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, p. 166
  15. Fly me, I'm Freddie!, p. 61
  16. ASN Aircraft accident description Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A G-ALDF off Trapani, Italy
  17. ASN Aircraft accident description Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A G-ALDB - Pithiviers Airport, France
  18. ASN Aircraft accident description Vickers 627 Viking 1B G-AIXS near Blackbushe Airport (BBS)
  19. ASN Aircraft accident description Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A G-AKFP - Calcutta Dum Dum Airport (CCU)
Bibliography


  • ‘The Squadrons Of The Fleet Air Arm’ by Ray Sturtivant and Theo Ballance, (Air Britain) ISBN 0 85130 223 8
  • 'RAF Flying Training and Support Units' by Ray Sturtivant, 1997, (Air-Britain) ISBN 0-85130-252-1
  • ‘Bournemouth’s Airports – a History’ by Mike Phipp (Tempus Publishing Ltd) ISBN 0-7524-3923-5
  • 'Manchester's Early Airfields' by R.A.Scholefield, an extended chapter in 'Moving Manchester', 2004, (Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society) ISSN 0950-4699
  • (various backdated issues relating to the Airwork airline, 1928-1960)


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