Kestrel conundrum Q Peter Winning asked in February about a Hawker Siddeley Kestrel at Shoeburyness.
A Tony Hill writes that the only Kestrel detailed in the aircraft Receipt & Issue record at Shoeburyness was the fourth prototype, XP976, parts of which arrived in October 1972, December 1976 and on another unrecorded date. It appears that some parts, together with others from Harriers XV798 and XW264, formed an aircraft suspended under a modified gantry which underwent plenum-chamber-burning trials there in the early 1980s, so Mr Winning’s nozzle probably came from XP976.
Paraguayan Lincolns Q Clint Hierlihy’s father was in the Royal Canadian Air Force and based at Langar, Nottinghamshire, from 1955 to 1959, and recalls several mothballed Avro Lincolns, said to have been bought for carrying meat. Was this project realised?
A No, it was not. Lincoln at War 1944-1966 by Mike Garbett and Brian Goulding (Ian Allan, 1979) relates the story in detail, but the bare facts are that a charter firm was awarded a Paraguayan Government contract to fly 84 tons of fresh meat weekly from Asuncion, Paraguay, to Lima, Peru, 1,350 miles. Three Lincolns were ordered, with conversion to be carried out by Fields at Tollerton, eight miles from Langar, and the first, RE376, was ferried there on July 28, 1957. Conversion was extensive and only one was completed, RE376 becoming ZP-CBR-97. The other two, RF417 to be ZP-CPG-96 and RF458 to be ZP-CPG-98, remained, since the first conversion could not get a Certificate of Airworthiness. All three were sold for scrap in 1959 for a total of £2,975, and ended their days with International Alloys, Aylesbury.
Walter Lesley Handley Q Details were requested in March on motorcyclist W.L. Handley and his Bell Airacobra crash.
A We have replies from Vic Smith, David Rich, Ian Simpson, John Perrott, Glenn Middleton and Graham Skillen. Pre-war, Handley owned several aircraft, including S.E.5a G-EBTO, Bristol Fighter G-ACAC and Avro Avian Monoplane G-AAYW. He was serving as a captain and was CO of the Air Transport Auxiliary’s No 3 Ferry Pilot Pool, Hawarden, at the time of the accident. He took off in Airacobra AH598 from Kirkbride on November 15, 1941, suffered engine failure and appeared to be trying to land on treetops, but the aircraft crashed and exploded two miles east of the airfield, near Fingland.