By H.A. Taylor
A ancient account of the Airspeed plane corporation, describing the tasks and plane produced over twenty years, with info of the winning twin-engined Oxford coach produced through the moment global struggle, and test-development crises.
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Extra info for Airspeed Aircraft since 1931
The last of 4,411 Portsmouthbuilt Oxfords provided an occasion for a special demonstration and official party on 14 July, 1945, at Portsmouth Airport before delivery. With Portsmouth's final aircraft on show there was the seventh to be delivered to the RAF, L4542, in January 1938. The last Oxford in RAF service was, to use the long-familiar term, struck off charge when the AFTS at Pershore closed down in 1954. One of the many civil-registered Oxfords was Scottish Aviation's G-AHDZ seen on the apron at Prestwick Airport with the original hotel and control tower in the background.
M. Graham, in 53 flying hours after leaving Portsmouth on 15 June. While in Kwangsi Province, Errington took a busman's holiday to test a locally built fighter. Earlier, a hard, and no doubt reasonably economic order had been received for seven convertible civil/military Envoy IUs from South Africa. Four were intended primarily for use by South African Airways, though capable of quick conversion, and three were military variants for the South African Air Force. The military variants were designed to carry bombs, had a single fixed forward-firing gun in a trough immediately beside the pilot's cockpit and a revolving gun turret on the fuselage aft of the wing.
Registered as G-AEXX, in the name of Wg. Cdr. E. H. Fielden (later Air Vice-Marshal Sir Edward Fielden), Captain of the Flight until 1962, this Envoy had accommodation for a pilot, a radio operator, four passengers, and a steward. It was fitted with Cheetah IX engines in helmeted cowlings and was styled in the colours of the Household Brigade. Delivered in June 1937, G-AEXX carried HM King George VI on a tour of four RAF stations-Northolt, Harwell, Upavon (the Central Flying School) and Thomey Island-in May 1938.