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Thread: Rare BA Swallow restoration down under

  1. #1
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    Rare BA Swallow restoration down under

    Again setting up the website for the Australian National Aviation Museum's BA Swallow, I thought there may be interest here in its current restoration to airworthy condition.

    The first of three Klemm L.25 Swallow aircraft arrived in Australia in 1929, while the first BK Swallow arrived in 1935, the first of a total 8 to eventually arrive, with the last 6 being BA Swallow II examples and the last arriving in 1937.

    Our BA Swallow II, VH-UUM, was imported into Australia in 1935 by R.H.F. Hickson of Sydney. In 1939 it was sold J. Finch of Wiluna WA, and sold again in 1943 to L.G. Hancock of Mulga Downs, Roebourne WA.

    L.G. Hancock, better known as the famous iron ore magnate Lang Hancock, discovered the world's largest deposits of Iron Ore in the Pilbera in WA in 1952, while flying with his wife in his Auster.

    Sold by Lang Hancock in 1957, VH-UUM passed through 4 more owners until being donated to the museum by noted vintage aircraft enthusiast Bob Burnett-Reid in 1967.

    As one of the earliest aircraft in the collection it has been in undercover storage throughout that time and is now under airworthy restoration under the direction of our Life Member Nelson Wilson.


    Today our BA Swallow is one of two examples surviving in Australia, along with a Klemm L.25 Swallow, while 4 airworthy survivors exist in the UK.





    Can anyone confirm other Klemm L.25 or BA Swallow survivors.


    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  2. #2
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    There are two L25's registered in the UK

    G-AAUP registered to a lady in Hungerford and G-ACXE to a Gentleman in Buxted, neither appear to be airworthy.
    Ian

    MAKING A LIVING IN PHOTOGRAPHY BUT ONLY ON MY WIFE'S TALENTS

  3. #3
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    I was told that the Hungerford Swallow has a lot of glue failure, by someone who was intrested in it. I have an old log book of BA Swallow G-AEMW some where in my archive's.

    Dave

  4. #4
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    mark
    in the late 60's and very early early 70's the swallow was stored in the garage of our house in boxhill,i was a legend with the boy's at my primary school as i had a plane in my garage my mother had to duck under the tail to do our washing as it protruded into the laundry .
    paul

  5. #5
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    WELL
    FACT is both G-ACXE and G-AAUP have been totally rebuilt in recent times by a couple of the BEST woodworkers in the country-and 'not to a budget'.
    Hope that helps!

  6. #6
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    Britain and Ireland actually boast a somewhat longer list of Klemm L.25 and BA Swallow survivors:-

    Klemm L.25 G-AAUP G-AAXK British Klemm L 25 Swallow G-ACXE

    BA Swallow II G-ADPS G-AEVZ G-AFCL G-AFGC G-AFGD G-AFGE G-AFHC
    EI-AFN EI-AFN

    Those underlined have, to my knowledge, flown within the last ten years. The others have been stored for very long periods.

    Planemike..........
    Last edited by Planemike; 8th February 2009 at 11:19.

  7. #7
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    .
    Has anyone got any side on, profile etc photos of British Klemm Swallow G-ACXE, when it was active?

    I am keento see what a BK Swallow looks like compared to the Klemm and the later BA Swallow II.

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  8. #8
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    BA Swallow, not so rare, there is one in my hangar VH-AAB belonging to John Sinclair, powered by Cirrus Minor II and in flying condition. I have had a fly of it in the past. It had been pranged about 25 years back John rebuilt it. The prang busted the centre section main spars and the wing root of one outer wing panel. These are of laminated spruce construction.

    Build in 1936 from memory and went to India before coming to Australia.

    From memory, the Klemm has a rounded turtle deck, the BA has an angular one, easier to build. Also from memory the stall speed is 25 mph.

    cheers
    Last edited by Proctor VH-AHY; 8th February 2009 at 23:04.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proctor VH-AHY View Post
    BA Swallow, not so rare, there is one in my hangar VH-AAB ......
    Ross,

    with only two BA Swallows surviving in Australia and a total of 10 world wide, its certainly not common or numerous, not like those garden variety Proctors that just about everyone has in their hangar smiles.

    AAB and UUM are the only survivors of 8 BA Swallows that flew in Australia, (a Klemm Swallow UUR also survives) interestingly they preserve the inline Cirrus Minor and radial Pobjoy Cataract versions of the marque.

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  10. #10
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    NZ can't help you. We only had two, both B.A. Swallow II - c/ns 435 (ZK-AEN) Pobjoy powered and 489 (G-AFHR / ZK-AGP / NZ583 / ZK-AGR) Cirrus Minor powered.
    They were both operated from Timaru in the late 1930s. ZK-AGP was impressed into the RNZAF in September 1939, found to be unsuitable, and restored to its owner the following year.
    Both Swallows were then stored in a hangar at the old Saltwater Creek (Timaru) airport for the duration. Some bright spark breached the adjacent stopbanks during a river flood in July 1945, and the airfield was inundated. Did the timber construction of the Swallows no good at all. That was the end of them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark_pilkington View Post
    Ross,

    with only two BA Swallows surviving in Australia and a total of 10 world wide, its certainly not common or numerous, not like those garden variety Proctors that just about everyone has in their hangar smiles.

    common in my hangar, been there for years, the wing span is too big and I have to walk around it all the time. What is it - over 40 feet? big thick wing.

    Stinson Reliant is common as well, NOW - that's one hell of an aeroplane, Austers used to be common, but the steel aeroplane has gone down to Victoria, Tigers too common to mention.

    cheers

  12. #12
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    Klemm l25 d2

    I thought you may like to also know of the Klemm l25 which I operate out of a strip north of Sydney at Wiseman's Ferry.

    She flys , not often but regularly, and was the first aeroplane we had.
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  13. #13
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    Roy,

    hopefully one day there can be a Swallow formation to bring all 3 Australian survivors together.

    I know UUR was originally fitted with a Siemens engine, did you recieve that with the airframe? or is it long gone, and given the number of pobjoys you have for other projects, have you contemplated putting one on UUR?

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  14. #14
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    Mark,

    Regarding engine installation in the Klemms,

    Somewhere in my pile of unorginized paperwork is an intimation that during the design evolution of the Klemm over 40 perhaps as much as 46 different engines were popped onto the nose of the klemm.

    If re-engining it I would probebly put a Rotec on it rather than a Pobjoy as it gives the impression of a "non-geared" radial as was.

    What has stopped me in the past is that the Rotec is a lot heavier than the Pobjoy and I was waiting for the design to be refined a bit. However I now regret this delay as I have the possibillity of bringing the Klemm to Oshkosh next year as part of their theme of "Mission and Humanitarian Aviation".

    Over the next week or so this exciting project may mature but I have a lot of "stuff" to sort out first.

    Is Nelson Wilson still involved activly with the swallow project? I havn't seen G Wilson who lives in Sydney for some time now.

    Roy

  15. #15
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    Roy,

    Nelson is well and continues to work on the Swallow, it is being restored at his hangar, and he is leading the team of 3 working on it.


    regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

  16. #16
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    Hi Fellahs!

    One of my first aviation recollections was being allowed to sit in AAXK in the big old hangar at Thruxton back in the late fifties. I since saw her for sale at Baden-Baden, and as far as I know she has been restored and is displayed at Schleissheim. Not quite sure though.

    Here's something taken from a 1955 Observers book

    brgds
    Alan
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  17. #17
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    Wrecks & Relics 21 lists G-AAXK as stored in Kent..........

    Can anyone confirm the location of the aircraft. I would dearly like to see it if at all possible.

    Planemike

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by battle_damaged View Post
    ...and as far as I know she has been restored and is displayed at Schleissheim. Not quite sure though.

    Here's something taken from a 1955 Observers book
    Not on public show or in the workshops at either location of the Deutsches Museum as of June last year.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDK View Post
    Not on public show or in the workshops at either location of the Deutsches Museum as of June last year.
    Apols JDK and Planemike et al, I got my Klemms muddled! The one I sat in was G-AAHW, once Roy Nerou's. It went to Germany in about 1983, languished in the back of a hangar at Moenchengladbach, was offered for sale at Baden-Baden, and eventually joined the Koch collection, which seems to have resided at Sandown until...? Herr Koch had her restored in Augsburg, and registered D-EFTE, which is the one I saw at Unter-whatsit in 2003. She is now the oldest airworthy aircraft in the country.

    I note I have also seen AAXK, prior to 1960, I wonder where...she was registered to C.C.R. Vick at the time.

    brgds
    Alan
    If you meet a piebald horse, wish before you see his tail.
    New Forest Proverb

  20. #20
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    out of interest what year was she built?

    cheers
    Ross

  21. #21
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    G-AAHW First registered 26 Aug 29. CofA renewed 06 June 72.

    G-AAXK First registered 16 Jun 30. G-INFO lists the a/c as still registered to CC Russell-Vick (deceased) at Sevenoaks. I seem to recollect it disappeared in to storage in about 1962...........

    As you will see the above are registration dates so they will have been manufactered just before, I guess.

    Planemike
    Last edited by Planemike; 19th February 2009 at 08:35.

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