Airspeed AS.5 Courier: The Retractor.

The pretty-looking Courier was a six-seat light taxi/airliner designed by one of the founders of the humble Airspeed company, Hessell Tiltman, in the early 1930s. The first prototype which flew for the first time on the Spring of 1933, was especially built for Alan Cobham. He employed it in a unsuccessful non-stop flight to India using Cobham’s air-to-air refuelling expertise.
All in all, only sixteen of these cute little things were produced. They endured quite chequered lives, gun-running fiasco to Spain and being seconded into the RAF during WW2 included.

Gorgeous drawing in this ad published at the Aeroplane magazine (Jan 10th, 1934 issue). The “retractor” undercarriage was a first in British aviation.

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