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Thread: 1950's/60's Archive Part 20: French Classics

  1. #1
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    1950's/60's Archive Part 20: French Classics

    A new offering with a difference, French registered light aircraft photographed in the UK and abroad.
    As usual, very little background data, any help would be appreciated.
    Pictures taken by the late Gerald Lawrance, digitised and made available by Tony Clarke.
    Firstly, the French built types:

    F-BBZR Morane-Saulnier MS317:

    F-BBZR

    F-BCBA Morane-Saulnier MS317:

    F-BCBA

    F-BCBI Morane-Saulnier MS317:

    F-BCBI

    F-BCBR Morane-Saulnier MS317:

    F-BCBR
    F-BCBR

    F-BCNI Morane-Saulnier MS317:

    F-BCNI

    F-BBNP Morane-Saulnier MS502:

    F-BBNP

    F-BBUS Morane-Saulnier MS505:

    F-BBUS

    F-BEJQ Morane-Saulnier MS502:

    F-BEJQ

    F-BFNO Morane-Saulnier MS502 (Reg assumed from C/N 652):

    F-BFNO

    F-BBEZ NORD 1203:

    F-BBEZ

    F-BEBF NORD1203:

    F-BEBF

    F-BEKP NORD 1002:

    F-BEKP

    F-BEMB NORD 1203. At Gatwick 19-7-51:

    F-BEMB

    F-BFDY NORD 1002:

    F-BFDY

    F-BEZM NORD NC858S (Wfu by 1966):

    F-BEZM

    F-BFSG NORD NC854S (To G-BJLB 1981 and W/O 29-7-84):

    F-BFSG

    F-BFON Boisavia B601 Mercury (Still on French register) At Cambridge 1950:

    F-BFON

    F-BEKO SECAN SUC-10 Courlis. At Gatwick 19-7-51:

    F-BEKO

  2. #2
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    Next part:

    F-BCIH Type unknown. Any offers? EDIT:Starck AS57/3

    F-BCIH

    F-BBXH Bucker Bu181 Bestmann:

    F-BBXH

    F-BCRL Bucker Bu181 Bestmann:

    F-BCRL

    F-BDKZ Benes-Mraz M.1C Sokol:

    F-BDKZ

    F-BFVU DH.82A Tiger Moth (Ex PG706):

    F-BFVU

    F-BGCU DH.82A Tiger Moth (Ex French Air Force and DF214):

    F-BGCU

    DH.87B Hornet Moth (Ex and to G-ADKL, still based in France):

    F-BCJO

    F-BDPD Miles M.14A Hawk Trainer III. There must be a story behind this one, any offers?

    F-BDPD

    F-BEAK Percival P.44 Proctor V (Ex G-AMCP 1954):

    F-BEAK

    F-BHCM Percival P.44 Proctor V. (Ex G-AKEB 1954):

    F-BHCM

    F-BENP Miles M.65 Gemini 1A (Ex G-AIHI 1948):

    F-BENP

    F-BFAT Airspeed AS65 Consul (Ex G-AJHZ, Wfu by 1963):

    F-BFAT

    F-BIEG Edgar Percival EP.9 Prospector, Fenwick Aviation:

    F-BIEG
    Last edited by DCW; 21st April 2011 at 07:23.

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    Last part:

    F-BATL Beech D.17S:

    F-BATL

    F-BDAQ Fairchild UC-61K Argus III. At Cambridge 1950:

    F-BDAQ

    F-BEDX Fairchild F.24R-46A Argus:

    F-BEDX

    F-BENU Fairchild UC-61K Argus:

    F-BENU

    F-BEDM Stinson L-5:

    F-BEDM

    F-OAGN Globe GC-1B Swift. At Shoreham 1950:

    F-OAGN

    F-BEGO Piper PA-14 Family Cruiser. At Cambridge 1950:

    F-BEGO

    F-BFFH Piper J3C-65 / L-4J Cub. At Cambridge 1950:

    F-BFFH

    F-BFMB Piper PA-16 Clipper:

    F-BFMB

    F-BGSJ Beech D18S:

    F-BGSJ

    F-BJLC Beech G18S:

    F-BJLC

    F-BKRD Beech C-45H:

    F-BKRD
    F-BKRD

  4. #4
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    I think the Miles Hawk trainer was at a petrol station. I remember see in a book years ago.

    Dave

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    Great photos again.

    I've got nothing against the French but why have they never been able to design a pretty aeroplane?

    The same goes for French cars... Or is it just me?
    Ivor Ramsden
    Manx Aviation and Military Museum / Museum of the Manx Regiment
    Ronaldsway Airport, IOM

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    Are you the Ivor Ramsden from the LRSOC world?

    Anyway, I agree with you about the design - I find French design tends to be "pragmatic", quite functional!

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    BCIH is a Starck AS57/3. Again thanks for posting interesting aeroplanes.

    John
    Last edited by John Aeroclub; 20th April 2011 at 22:55.

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    Smile Je pense qu'il est vous uniquement!

    Quote Originally Posted by Derbyhaven View Post
    Or is it just me?
    I think that it's just you! But I am just a little biased.

    Excellent photos, again, DCW. Now I don't suppose that amongst the French images you have one of Miles Falcon F-BBCN at the old Lognes Emerainville aerodrome, particularly if it was after it was moved out of the hangar to the far side of the runway before disappearing like Lord Lucan!

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    Quote Originally Posted by VOD80 View Post
    Are you the Ivor Ramsden from the LRSOC world?
    That's me! Can you imagine what a French Land Rover would look like? Imagine the normal square back end with something like a VW Beetle front stuck on. Practical but hardly a harmonious design!
    Ivor Ramsden
    Manx Aviation and Military Museum / Museum of the Manx Regiment
    Ronaldsway Airport, IOM

  10. #10
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    The high wing, twin fin Nord planes remind me of some of Keith Laumer's designs:

    http://my.pclink.com/~dfritzke/Laumer/Laumer-Page.html

    Maybe one set of designs inspired the other -- but which came first?!

  11. #11
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    I do wish someone would publish a single-volume English language book on postwar French aircraft.

    Nothing too deep, just a few pages on each, but broad enough to include the major military and civil aircraft.

    I recently spent some time in the south of France and checked book stores with no luck.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    Very nice photos - thanks for posting them. I do agree about French design though, it always seems very functional with the exception of the Mirages.

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    Caravelle.................!!! No need to say any more!!!

    Planemike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemike View Post
    Caravelle.................!!! No need to say any more!!!

    Planemike
    Now how could I have forgotten that - Especially as I have flown on one! (Luxair LX-LGG)

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    I will concede that the Caravelle is a bonny French thing.

    Now name another ....
    Ivor Ramsden
    Manx Aviation and Military Museum / Museum of the Manx Regiment
    Ronaldsway Airport, IOM

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    ...........Caudron C.362.

  17. #17
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    Don't forget that the Caravelle was part English!

    Personally, I always loved the Sipa S200. Hard to get more harmony out of a set of lines... in my humble opinion, of course!

    http://machdiamonds.com/s200.html
    Last edited by VOD80; 23rd April 2011 at 21:13. Reason: Forgot the link!

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    re;

    The Mirage 2000 has to be one of the sexiest beasts of the current generation...
    pb::

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    Wink An interesting tail

    Derbyhaven's comments got me thinking about Manx aeroplanes and whether they could be described as aesthetically pleasing. It seems that there are very few of them but I did find reference to one on a French website. There it is referred to by its French name, le Chat Volante. Apparently not only did it not look pretty but its aeronautical performance was abysmal. It seems that it failed even to get airborne. Maybe that's hardly surprising in that it didn't have a tail!

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    Ah, the well-known chat volante! ??? Tell us more.

    The Isle of Man has enough aesthetically pleasing things without having to resort to aircraft design. Hence it is renowned for many things but aircraft construction isn't one of them. The things that most people know about are the TT Races and Manx cats, which don't have a tail.

    Back to Manx aircraft: In the early days of WW2 Handley-Page's chief designer, Gustav Lachmann, was interned here as an "enemy alien" due to his German origins. Not a man to bear a grudge, he carried on with his work, some of which was concerned with a tail-less aircraft, the H.P.75. Seeing as the aircraft shared its tail-less design with the local pussy cats it was eventually christened the Handley-Page Manx. If this is what you're referring to, AA, you're right, it wasn't the most successful of prototypes but it DID fly several times.
    Ivor Ramsden
    Manx Aviation and Military Museum / Museum of the Manx Regiment
    Ronaldsway Airport, IOM

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    Wink Incredible but true?

    As I understand it, that Manx Chat Volante was designed to be launched in a most unusual fashion. Apparently its designer - Didier Chère - had competed in the hammer event for the French national team at the 1936 Olympic Games before coming to Great Britain on the outbreak of war. He too was interned on the Isle of Man. Someone had once told him that on such a small island "there's hardly enough room to swing a cat". From that experience and comment, he came up with a centrifugal launching device. The starboard wing of the Chat Volante was constructed with an immensely strong main spar, at the tip of which was a release mechanism similar to that of a cable launched glider. That was the point of attachment to a semi-rigid arm connected to a central rotary motor. The Chat volante was positioned on a circular runway. The rotary motor started at a low speed with the arm in rigid mode. The Chat Volante was thus propelled anti-clockwise round the circular runway. As the rpm of the motor increased, the Chat Volante speeded up and, gradually, the motor operator de-clutched the arm mechanism so that it moved from rigid to free rotation mode. When the Chat Volante had gained sufficient speed, the pilot pulled back on the stick enabling it to lift off the circular runway. As the rotary speed increased, the Chat Volante gained height until reaching an altitude at which it was automatically released from the arm and flung outward by the centrifugal forces. It was at this point that the lack of a tail became critical. Having no rudder and an underpowered engine, it was unable to counteract the centrifugal forces. Thus rather than flying, effectively it was thrown through the air in a thoroughly unaerodynamic fashion. The result was that it landed on its port wing - which did not have the benefit of the specially strengthened main spar - which crumpled on impact. Apparently the Chat Volante was never repaired and its designer gave up on aviation and moved into fairground ride design. His next design achieved lasting use in this field. I believe that it was called the Manx Chère-o-plane!
    Last edited by avion ancien; 25th April 2011 at 11:34. Reason: Spelling

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    Thumbs up

    AA, I think you've misunderstood the drawings and design spec of Monsieur Chere's machine. You appear to have been looking at the plans 90 degrees out. Our museum files show that the aircraft was designed for vertical launch, assisted by a large waterwheel which he and his fellow internees built at Laxey known as Lady Isabella, and mistakenly thought by many to be associated with Laxey's mines. This provided rotary motion in a vertical plane rather than horizontal.

    It was the difficulty in timing the machine's departure from the wheel which led to his abandoning the idea. Incorrect timing could lead to the machine leaving the wheel whilst heading towards the ground, river, trees etc and this problem was found to be insurmountable at the time.

    We have a 2BA by 2 inch round head screw in the museum's bottom drawer which is said to have come from the machine. This small fastener itself has a fascinating history, and shows Monsieur Chere's ingenuity in adapting readily available household items for aviation purposes. It is said that he liberated the screw from the lock of the WC door in his internment camp.

    Enough of this silliness; I feel a moderator hovering.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Ivor Ramsden
    Manx Aviation and Military Museum / Museum of the Manx Regiment
    Ronaldsway Airport, IOM

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    I first visited Toussus in 1960. More residents than ever at Croydon, inc $-types. e.g: a row of 6 PA-15/17 Vagabonds. 5 of them much later were imported G- as vintage classics. UK had ex-military airfields and aircrew galore, but little general aviation. France had few ex-military pilots...yet every small town had a flourishing Aero Club and a crop of modern aircraft. Dealers like Fenwick, Transair, were handling new & used Cessna, Beech from early-1950s; leftover Stinsons and Cubs were everywhere. Why (next to) none in UK?

    I much later concluded the causes were:
    - France encouraged "airmindedness" by subsidising hobby-flying; and:
    - despite its steady parity erosion, eventually so its decimal point would be moved as NF, FF was convertible long before Spring,1958. Only then could Brit citizens access $, unleashing new & used imports that would destroy the market for new Austers, later BEAGLE types.

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    I know it's thread drift- but the Auster killed itself by over complicating simple design and adding weight.
    The French system of giving a FINE french plane to every club each five years, kept clubs going and co-incidentally the french aviation industry.
    But remember the French aero club is just that - a CLUB not a business.

  25. #25
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    You are absolutely correct about Austers. I had an Aiglet Trainer, quite a late model, which had a max take off weight similar to a C172 but which had an empty weight 90kg more than the Cessna. With a similar fuel consumption, the Cessna would be 20kts faster...

    Quite a performance difference! But I still have an irrational love for Austers... perhaps it's just that they're cheap

  26. #26
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    Do any of you guys have any photos of Tiger Moth G-ANHG, which became F-BHIN? I am currently restoring this aircraft. It was with Whittemore's at Croydon betwen 1953 and 1955, but there seem to be photos of just about every G-ANH.. Tiger out there except 'HG!

    It went to the Aero Club de Bearne in 1956, so maybe someone has a photo of it in France?

    Many thanks!

  27. #27
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    DH83, I understand from your PM (from months ago!) that you have a photo of Tiger Moth F-BHIN at Croydon, but you were having problems with your scanner. Is there any way you can get it to me? Please contact me at vintageminor-at-gmail.com. I PM'd you yesterday but I'm not sure how often you check your messages - probably once every few months like me!

    TIA!

    Ian

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    I just saw that this excellent thread has been rejuvenated. I note the Hawk Trainer 3 F-BDPD in the second set of photos with a question as to the story behind it. I have in my notes for August 1968 that I saw F-BDPO outside a garage in Airaines, and G-ASEA refers to a petrol station in the thread. It could be that I misread the D for an O. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.
    Laurence

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
    I just saw that this excellent thread has been rejuvenated. I note the Hawk Trainer 3 F-BDPD in the second set of photos with a question as to the story behind it. I have in my notes for August 1968 that I saw F-BDPO outside a garage in Airaines, and G-ASEA refers to a petrol station in the thread. It could be that I misread the D for an O. Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks.
    Yes the Hawk Trainer you saw would have been F-BDPD - Picture below taken of it at Airaines in January 1965.


    F-BDPD M14A Hawk Tr at Airaines Jan 65 by AJCDuxman, on Flickr

    Duxman

    Flikr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/64209520@N05

  30. #30
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    I don't suppose anyone visited (the old) Lognes Emerainville aérodrome in the sixties and photographed Miles Falcon F-BBCN that used to be there?

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