With some reserves, the late 1950’s saw the zenith of British aviation achievements…., from there the only way was down. The signs were already there.
Charming artwork, just dandy.
This superbly convincing fictional aircraft was built to take part, as a supposed VTOL prototype fighter, in the almost forgotten “The Plane Makers” BBC series (1965-69). The series was about the running and personal dramas of an aircraft factory, the Scott Furlong Ltd. A sort of British “Dallas” or “Falcon Crest” with aircraft,…. something almost unimaginable in nowadays TV.
Nicknamed “Big Ack”, this clumsy looking general purpose biplane was designed by a Dutch maverick, the aircraft designer Frederick Koolhoven. Both F.K.8 and the RAF R.E.8 entered service in early 1917 as a long overdue replacements for the “bloody” B.E.2. Of the two Koolhoven’s F.K.8 was the less-known, but not because of its qualities. Compared to its partner it was more rugged and handled better, yet it was even less sprightly than the already passable R.E.8. One thing both had in common, they shared the deadly inbuilt stability of the B.E.2. Notwithstanding the certain lacklustreness, the F.K.8’s were well-received by their crews who appreciated they sturdiness, reliability and versatility.
A somehow dour F.K.8’s crew next to the lovely ultra-hideous nose of our protagonist. Ugliness apart, both the inverted V radiator and the V-shaped oleo-undercarriage suffered teething problems. That “A-W” logo is a touch I’ve always found really neat.
Ah, those Avon candles. Burnin’ Love.
The good ole RR Merlin makin’ some magic in this spotless Mk. IIC (PZ865).
One of the various second-hand Vikings acquired by Channel Airways in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s. Gorgeously captured here landing at the then called “London Southend Airport”. This photo sure takes you back in time.