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Thread: Miles Aerovan

  1. #1
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    Miles Aerovan

    Are there any Miles Aerovans left in the world? They seem such a strange and ugly aircraft.

    Did they get much military use at all during or after the war? The RNZAF had two in the 1950's, one crashed, the other was apparently made into a caravan!

    I just wondered if anyone knows what they were like? Were they safe to fly? Tricky? Popular? Underpowered with those little biddy engines hauling a full load? Well liked?

    It's simply a type I can't imagine people agreeing to build, near alone buy!

  2. #2
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    I don't believe that there are any left....
    An unusual craft indeed. I still find the picture of the one on it's totally shattered nose incredible - especially when they say the pilot wasn't killed.
    It is only kinky the first time...

  3. #3
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    There is a small section of fuselage at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation at Woodley but sadly that's all there is.

  4. #4
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    f mine flew the Aerovan - would you like me to get his recollections?

  5. #5
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    One served with the Israeli Air Force during the 1948 war.

    http://www.iaf.org.il/Templates/Airc...ntPageNumber=0

  6. #6
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    While the Aerovan wasn't exactly a success, am I right in thinking Shorts developed the basic design into the Skyvan.

    Certainly the configuration, boxy fuselage, high aspect-ratio wing, twin tails - is familiar.

    Never saw an Aerovan, but I spent a bit of time sitting in 'Whistling Wardrobes'!

  7. #7
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    The Aerovan was designed in late 1944 as a private venture military STOL transport able to carry its own weight. The army liked the look of it but the Air Ministry didn't! It was marketed post war and was sucessfull as a cheap freighter. Production was cut short at 52 examples. A 4 engined version was under construction when the compant folded.
    The link with the Shorts Skyvan came about when Miles restarted the company at Shoreham in the 50's. He converted a Aerovan to have high aspect ratio Hurel Dubios wings, this was the last airworthy example w/o 6/58. The rights were sold to shorts who used the basic idea for the Skyvan.

  8. #8
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    I was looking through the Putnam's Miles Aircraft book last night and according to Don Brown's (IIRC) text the reason the Ministry didn't like it was that Miles developed and flew it without Air Min approval or sanction.
    They also proved that with all unnecessary fittings (i.e. soundproofing etc) and with full tanks and a pilot the aircraft would lift more than it's own weight. It was also one of the first aircraft to airlift 1 ton on such low power.
    Only two went into RNZAF service. both were written off after.
    It is only kinky the first time...

  9. #9
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    Last Surviving Aerovan - and Horsa question.

    I seem to recall that the last Aerovan in the UK was G-AMYC, the fuselage of which was stored in one of the "top" hangars at Stapleford Tawney for a while.

    I think it was there when I visited in February 1967, behind a few Austers and a Hornet Moth, but it was eventually pulled out and burned at a Stapleford Flying Club November 5th Bonfire Night party some years later.

    It certainly was no longer extant when I learnt to fly there in the mid 70's.

    Anybody know what became of the almost complete Airspeed Horsa fuselage which was stored outside at Stapleford in February 1967?

  10. #10
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    A tail boom from an Aerovan is on top of a WW2 pillbox at Newtownards airfield (where the Aerovan was built)and is used as a pillar for the windsock.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arm Waver
    Only two went into RNZAF service. both were written off after.
    Yes, and the remains of one went on to become a caravan. Probably quite a large caravan in its day.

    Box Brownie, yes please. Cheers eeryone else, interesting stuff about this bizarre plane.

  12. #12
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    I spoke with John earlier today. At the time he flew the Aerovan he was a Flt. Lt. instructor at No 1 Flying Instructors School, Woodley. he was asked by the Chief test Pilot of Miles if he would like to stay behind one weekend and fly the Aerovan.
    Just the two of them were on board - John did all the flying. Having beaten up the farm of a friend of the Chief pilot, John recieved a b........ from the Tower!
    He was sufficiently impressed with the a/c to resign his commission for the post of production test pilot on the Aerovan. When he arrived at Woodley after a short leave the gates were locked. Miles had folded.
    He says it was pleasant to fly bearing in mind that it was a light freighter - he feels there was a ready market for it and that it was a casualty of Miles collapse.

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  14. #14
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    Spey111 can you please describe the item you saw at at Berkshire? On one of my visits a guide showed me a portion of fuselage and claimed it to be Aerovan - it was in fact a metal section from a Marathon. Is there really even a small part of Aerovan there?

  15. #15
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    Miles Aerovan

    How about a picture of the aircraft in question . . .
    Last edited by Papa Lima; 17th April 2007 at 23:34.
    "Aviation is a useless and expensive fad advocated by a few individuals whose ideas are unworthy of attention."
    Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir W. G. Nicholson

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