1952 Farnborough Airshow: Flying Display.

This year Farnborough International Airshow is another victim of the Covid-19. Don’t know why but the horrid Farnborough of 1952 has suddenly came to my mind.

A stylish “DH.108 Swallow” on its astonishing program cover.

Hawker “Spanish” Fury: Furiosamente bella.

Spain ordered three of these beauties in 1935. Compared to the RAF models, the Spanish Fury was fitted with a Dowty clean cantilever internally strung landing gear and was powered by a neatly cowled 700 hp Hispano-Suiza 12X Brs engine. The idea was to licence-built this updated model in Spain; enough to equip at least three squadrons. The outbreak of the bloody Guerra Civil ended all those plans. The three produced were shipped to Spain where they had service lives as convoluted as the Spanish conflict.

By the time this photo was taken (1936) the “Furia” was already obsolescent, but what a classic beauty.

HS Harrier T.52: High on believing.

Patented by Swiss test pilot Heinz Erwin Frick (Bae) in 1982, the Skyhook concept was conceived to operate Harriers from smaller ships. Thanks to a crane, the Harrier would have been caught in midair by an appropriately equipped ship and armed and refueled, even in rough sea conditions. It had no takers.

An old friend demonstrating the validity of this pretty smart idea with a clever and quite economical rig.

Others tried…

Avro 534 Baby: Daddy Cool (XXI).

This cute, and minute, single bay biplane was the conceived by Roy Chadwick just after the end of WW1 to capitalice the expected private aviation boom. In that endeavour it failed; the market was really not there and only 9 were produced. The Baby is nevertheless well-remembered for its sporting achievements and specially the long-distance flight exploits of Bert Hinkler.

The natty father with his Baby’s first prototype. Photo taken before its one and only flight, Hamble, 1919. It was destroyed in that flight.