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Remembered Today:

RAF aeroplanes-are they WW1 vintage or later?


espiegle

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This is a photo of a flight of aeroplanes -definitely post RAF creation as I can see RAF written on the fuel truck at the back, but are they World War One or slightly later?

What type of planes are they? Also there is a large bomber type at the back of the photo, what might that be?

Thank you

Andrew

post-3164-1249508935.jpg

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Andrew

The aircraft in the foreground are Westland Wapitis, which entered RAF service in the late 1920s to replace the DH 9A. I don't know about the machine in the background - my guess is a Vickers Virginia.

I hope that this helps you.

Gareth

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As well as replacing the Dh 9a the Wapiti also used many of its components. These are I think Wapiti II General purpose aircraft and a mainstay of the RAF in India and Iraq. The bomber does look like a Virginia (with those engines a Virginia VII) however AFAIK all Virginias were based in Britain. The photo is a bit pixilated and it could just possibly be a Hindustani (but again, despite the name, I think this stayed at home as well). Any chance of a clearer photo?

Edit correction Hinaidi not Hindustani - but see next post

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I believe the bomber is the HP Hinaidi, the prototype of which was purchased by the Indian Government modified and used in a number of roles as a quasi civilian aircraft. One role was the evacuation of British Civilians from Kabul during an insurrection in 1929 - some 8 flights being carried out. It was also used to ferry the Secretary of State for Air around RAF stations on a visit to India in, I believe, 1929.

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Gareth,

I spotted that but the general outline looked a pic of the O/400, and thought, maybe they re-engined the beast

you never know. Will have to go thru some more books.

Edit : Will go along with Centurion as HP Hinaidi. There is a good article and photo in Wiki (Where else ?)

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Hi

The serial number of the aircraft nearest the camera is J9743. (A readable serial number in an old photo – does this not break the Official Secrets Act?) According to the ukserials.com site this belonged to batch from J9725 to J9759 of Wapiti IIV aircraft. As far as I know there was a Wapiti II, a Wapiti IIA and a Wapiti V, but not a Wapiti IIV. Whether this means that this was a mixed batch of II and V versions, or it is a misprint for one mark or the other I do not know. The difference between the IIA and V was that the Wapiti V had a 2 foot longer fuselage.

The bomber type is certainly one of the Handley Page Hinaidi family; the way the nose curves down to the front gun position is quite distinctive. However, it appears to have a row of airliner type windows down the fuselage, I think this could very well be the Handley Page Clive. According to Wikipedia, 3 aircraft were built as Clives and they operated out of Lahore, and another 20+ Hinaidis were converted to Clives, and these were operated on the North West Frontier.

Regards

Bob

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Hi

The serial number of the aircraft nearest the camera is J9743. (A readable serial number in an old photo – does this not break the Official Secrets Act?) According to the ukserials.com site this belonged to batch from J9725 to J9759 of Wapiti IIV aircraft. As far as I know there was a Wapiti II, a Wapiti IIA and a Wapiti V, but not a Wapiti IIV. Whether this means that this was a mixed batch of II and V versions, or it is a misprint for one mark or the other I do not know. The difference between the IIA and V was that the Wapiti V had a 2 foot longer fuselage.

The bomber type is certainly one of the Handley Page Hinaidi family; the way the nose curves down to the front gun position is quite distinctive. However, it appears to have a row of airliner type windows down the fuselage, I think this could very well be the Handley Page Clive. According to Wikipedia, 3 aircraft were built as Clives and they operated out of Lahore, and another 20+ Hinaidis were converted to Clives, and these were operated on the North West Frontier.

.

The converted Hinaidi prototype I mentioned had windows and may well have acted as the prototype of the Clive. The Clive had a different nose from the Hinaidi and a slightly different arrangement of windows to the aircraft in the photo. Given the situation I would still plump for it being the Indian Governments civilianised Hinaidi at an RAF base during the Secretary of State's tour of RAF bases

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I have cropped out the rest of the photo to try and show the bomber type at the back,

Regards

Andrew

post-3164-1249583495.jpg

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Gareth

Thank you for the id on the aircraft. The photo belonged to a pilot by the name of T H Downes who joined the RAF in the mid 20's, but then transferred to the Army in the late 30's and ended up as a Lt Colonel in Indian Army service Corps.

Regards

Andrew

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