Mike Penrose has sent an email with photographs and cine film stills from his father, John Owen Penrose, otherwise known as Jack or Pen.
If anyone can provide information on any of them, please let us know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by using the comment form below.
Click on the photographs for a larger image.
Jack Penrose (Pen) with a Dragon Rapide.
Does anyone know who the other people in the photograph are?
Update January 2021: Ken Fostekew has identified some of these. L to R: 1?, 2?, 3 Peter Sharman, 4?, 5?, 6 Engineer Jim Roe?, 8 Pilot John Penrose. The others probably clients.
Can anyone identify this aeroplane? Is it a Fairey Surveys aeroplane? Possibly photographed in Sierra Leone. Update from Ken Fostekew January 2021: This is a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer, not an FSL aircraft, we used “Twin Pins” much later from Flight One at Staverton.
Is this the same aeroplane as the previous photograph?
Mike Penrose asks who is the man next to the aeroplane. Possibly this is the same plane as in the previous photographs – note the blue stripe. Update from Ken Fostekew January 2021: The man on the left is Tom Kirkwood.
The Historic Flight Foundation near Seattle, WA, have just acquired G-AHXW, a De Havilland DH.98A Dragon Rapide, that was owned for some years in the 1950s and 1960s by Fairey Aviation and then Fairey Surveys. They would like to hear about what sort of work it was doing, or any really interesting projects it may have been part of.
The museum has sent a couple of photographs of when the aeroplane arrived there on 31st March 2017, which are shown below. A trawl through the internet also found a photograph of G-AHXW in Fairey Surveys livery at White Waltham in 1965 on the website Air Photographic International (https://www.airphotographicinternational.com), which has hundreds of great photographs of old aircraft for sale, all identified with type, registration, location and date. Chris Knott, the owner of the website, has very generously allowed us to publish the photograph here.
If you have any information you would like to share, please reply, below, or send an email to email@example.com, and we’ll pass on your details to the museum, or contact them direct at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The website has been contacted by Bruce Hales-Dutton, who has been asked by the monthly magazine ‘Aeroplane’ to write an article about Fairey Surveys. The idea is to write about the aircraft, particularly the DC-3s, and to use the memories and stories of the Fairey Surveys staff who were involved with them, in whatever capacity.
Mr Hales-Dutton is a freelance aviation writer and journalist, whose name appears on at least one published aircraft book, about the Comet.
If you would like to send in a story to be used, or would like to talk to Mr Hales-Dutton, please leave a reply below, or send an email to email@example.com and we’ll pass on your details to him.
There are a few stories already on the website, but there must be many more. Rob Wallace remembers a search through the huge Enugu market in Nigeria for a special 5 foot long Pratt and Whitney spanner to change the engine on a DC-3. Astonishingly, the search was successful, and the engine was changed, but the process, with much arm-waving and sign language, was pure entertainment.
Please let us know if you have any stories you would like to share.
These photographs were sent by Steve Hulland, Mervyn’s son. Mervyn worked for Fairey Air Surveys/Fairey Surveys from about 1955 to 1966, when the family emigrated to South Africa. They came back a few years later, and Mervyn worked on development for deHavilland on the TSR2 in Bristol, and also for Atlas Aircraft Corporation on the Impala.
Most of the photographs are unlabelled, but quite a few appear to have been taken in Kenya. Any help identifying places or people would be appreciated.
This postcard was interesting – no change in aerial photography problems!
Message received from Elain Amos dated 3rd March 2013:
Greetings from Lelystad – here for 2 months to do low level photo of parts of NW Netherlands. In the aviation museum at the airport found a photo of their (orange) DC3 which was originally G-AMCA. It’s not here, currently starring in a musical of the \’Solider of Orange\’ at the ex Valkenburg Air Force Base
Roger Laffoley sent in these photographs of Dakota G-ALWC in Clyde livery, with a note of its history from service with the RAF up to 1982 with Clyde Surveys. The photographs show what looks like a miniature extra propellor on the fuselage – does anyone know what it is?
Click on the individual images to see the full size pictures.
This is a bit of advertising from Ken Fostekew, about the Museum of Berkshire Aviation in Woodley, which has a whole display case (pictured) dedicated to Fairey Surveys. The museum is amazing, and has a couple of reconstructed Fairey Aircraft amongst many others. It is run by volunteers, and has lectures regularly from guest speakers.
Geoff Milsom, former Chief Pilot, has drawn up a list of pilots who worked for Fairey Air Surveys, Fairey Surveys and Clyde Surveys during his time.
This list is not necessarily comprehensive. Any omissions or corrections would be gratefully received, along with any other information on the pilots themselves. For example: Desmond Plunkett was one of the wartime RAF officers portrayed in the film ‘Great Escape’ (see article under ‘Personnel’), and Paul Heimes flew Spitfires in the Battle of Britain.