General Aircraft GAL.42 Cygnet II was a 1930s
single-engined training or touring aircraft built by General Aircraft Limited and Hanworth Aerodrome.
Cygnet was designed at Slough by
Aircraft Limited in 1936. It was the first all-metal
stressed-skin lightplane to be built and flown in the United
Kingdom. It was first flown in May 1937 at Hanworth Aerodrome
. Only one prototype
was constructed by C.W. Aircraft. It had a tailwheel undercarriage.
It had a low cantilever wing, the outer panel of which was tapered
and had dihedral. Two persons sat side-by-side in an enclosed
cabin. The metal airframe employed a semi-monocoque
tailcone. Atop the tailcone sat a
, with dual fins
at the tailplane's ends. The inverted piston engine
drove a two-blade
During that period C.W. Aircraft had invested heavily in another
design, the C.W. Swann. Too overextended, it became insolvent and
sold all rights for the Cygnet to General Aircraft Ltd
General Aircraft modified the design to incorporate a nosewheel
undercarriage and designated it the GAL.42 Cygnet
. Production of a large batch of aircraft began in 1939
but only 10 were built and delivered (1939-1941) due to the start
of the Second World War
. Five aircraft
were impressed into service with the Royal Air Force
trainers for aircrews slated to man the American-made Douglas Boston
. Another two were used by the
government for various liaison duties but retained their civilian
A trainer version of the Cygnet II was designed with an open
cockpit as the GAL.45
There are two known survivors of the 11 examples produced.
flying survivor, company number 111 and registered as G-AGBN
(ES915), was retired in 1988 and is now on display at the Museum of Flight at East Fortune, Scotland.
version was operated in south Argentina, in Tierra del Fuego province where it was damaged in a landing
incident. After being repaired and being flown for
several years, it was landed at a short airstrip in Colon and was unable to depart therefrom.
remained there and subsequently was converted into a monument at
the Air Club entrance. At present (2008) it is reported to be in