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Thread: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

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    Default Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    In my grandfather's logbook for 14 June 1932 I have an entry for a flight in a Fairey Monoplane but the only indication of a serial number is J. I don't believe there were many of these so based on date and location, RAF Upper Heyford, could anybody advise which plane this might have been? My grandfather was a passenger for this trip, the pilot was Squadron Leader Routh. I'm guessing he was Eric John Daubeney Routh. At the time my grandfather was with No 99 (B) Squadron. The flight lasted 20 minutes, started at 15:30 and they viewed the gunnery and bombing ranges.

    Any help with the serial number gratefully received.

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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    There were but two built

    The first, J9479, the Fairey Long Range Monoplane Mark I, was lost in Dec 1929 30 miles S of Tunis en route Cape Town.

    The second aircraft , K1991, first flew on 30 June 1931, later successfully flying to Egypt on a proving flight, then set a World Distance Record of 5410 miles in Feb 1933.
    Seemingly the best candidate?

    Source:
    Thompson & Sturtivant RAF Aircraft J1 -J9999 and WW I Survivors (Air Britain 1987)
    Halley The K File The RAF of the 1930s (Air Britain 1995)
    Addnl summary details of service use of both aircraft available if required.

    At the time, the Fairey Hendon was the RAF's first metal monoplane bomber - prototype K1695 first flown in late 1930 as the Fairey Night Bomber, service trials at AAEE Martlesham Heath from March 1932.
    Somewhat protracted development saw the small numbers (14) built enter service in 1936 as the Fairey Hendon, all K serialled, all 38 Squadron.
    Source as above. Addnl summary details of service history of K1695 available if required, but seemingly not such a good candidate.

    Addnl note: Eric JD Routh
    S/Ldr Routh was posted to 9 Squadron (Vickers Virginia, Boscombe Down) from Apr 1931 to c July 1933.
    Source: Malcolm Barrass Air of Authority (www.rafweb.org) Squadron Personnel, aircraft, location tables (members area)
    Last edited by Don Clark; 19th August 2020 at 00:36. Reason: addnl
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    See 1932 thread post http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...440#post153440

    In fact Fairey Night Bomber (Hendon to be) protoype K1695 is meant.
    see TNA http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8384950
    Last edited by Don Clark; 20th August 2020 at 22:32.
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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    It's interesting to note that the K File (cited above) service summary for the Fairey Night Bomber (Fairey Hendon prototype) K1695 records it's allotment to 9 Squadron in 1932 but does not mention 99 Squadron.

    A look at the 9 Sqn Operations Record Book records very sparse detail - although the Sqn rejoiced in the possession of a typewriter (and someone with skill to use it) in the Adj Office. Very modern, for the time.
    The Fairey prototype, along with Vickers and Handley Page bomber prototypes of the time, all came 9 Sqn's way for trials.

    The HP prototype turns out to be the Heyford prototype J9130...and also issued to 99 Sqn for trials in May 1932.
    The magnificently quirky Heyford, a late biplane bomber design, was so constructed to make it "easier" for the armourers on loading, as the lower wing centre section was the bomb bay, and very close to the ground.
    As an aside, my late father did some of his Air Gunnery training in the Heyford's dustbin under "turret" - he was a smallish man.

    The point here is that if you know a man's Squadron and dates, the Operations Record Book is an excellent source of information, although continuity, accuracy and level of detail are all apt to be very variable even in carefree peace, let alone the press of War.

    At the UK National Archives, free to view as watermarked greyscale PDFs and, on simple registration, free to download as umarked sets for the time being.
    For IX Squadron records 1914 Sept 01 - 1939 Sept 30 see
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8407583
    Last edited by Don Clark; 20th August 2020 at 22:41.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    Hello,

    Tim Mason's 9 Squadron history, provides the following:

    During the summer of 1932, three experimental night bombers made by Vickers, Handley Page and Fairey, to the same Air Ministry specification were tested. The Vickers aircraft was judged to be the best, the controls of the Fairey having been found inadequate. Although the Handley Page was nice to fly, its undercarriage was weak, and collapsed for no apparent reason; after repair it was written off by a pilot of No. 10 Squadron, In September, 1932, The Vickers B.19/27 was collected for a month's testing; it carried out more lengthy trials from May to September, 1933, when Flt. Lt. F. E. Nuttall* did much of the flying.

    Appendix V - SQUADRON AEROPLANES - AIRCRAFT TESTED.

    Fairey Night Bomber K1695 - tested 5/32 - 11/32.
    Handley Page Night Bomber - J9139 - tested - 4/32.
    Vickers B.19/27 - J9131 - tested - 12/9/32 - 10/32, 5/33 - 9/33.

    * 16081 F/Lt Frank Edward NUTTALL RAF, (later, W/C., OBE[M], G/C., CBE[M], thrice MiD).

    See:
    The History of 9 Squadron Royal Air Force.
    Mason,T. F/O (comp.)
    Waterside North:Lincolnshire Chronicle,1965.
    pp.36 & 102.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 21st August 2020 at 04:05.

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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    I think I need to make an amendment to my original post as when my grandfather flew in the Fairey Monoplane he was at North Coates Fitties and not Upper Heyford as I thought. A thank you to Malcolm for answering a question on what/where NCF is and the subsequent light bulb moment for me that he'd spent 3 weeks at that location. I believe the monoplane must have been K1991, just not where I thought it had been.

    Also in these posts I see comments about Heyford prototype J9130 which I also see my grandfather flying. This was in UH in July 1932, he flies it for some photography tests and for W/T test.

    I'm transcribing the logbooks into an excel spreadsheet to make it easier for me to look and see what planes he flew, when and what adventures he had. Today's interesting plane is Vicker's Exp J9131 which I think has also been mentioned in this thread. I think this is the Vickers Vannock? Flown 15th November 1932 in UH, first with Flying Officer Woolveridge and then on his own the same day for 15 minutes for solo landings. Is there more information anywhere about this plane? I also like to see if I can find out anything about the other pilots he flew with so does anybody know which squadron Woolveridge was with as I don't see him listed in No 99 Squadron for this time period.

    Thank you for any comments. I find them very interesting.

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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    Again urge viewing the 99 Squadron Operations Record Book entries for 1932 at
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/D8384950

    There, May/June/July 1932, there are several entries for the
    Fairey Experimental Night Bomber (prototype K1695), the last two entries reporting
    a) departure of Fairey Experimental Night Bomber for Air Pageant
    next line
    b) arrival of Fairey Monoplane... "for further trials"
    This latter the only mention in those words.

    99 Squadron was a night bomber unit, engaged in service trials of current prototype night bombers. Variation in entry not unexpected in ORBs, together these suggest that all ORB entries, and the Flying Log Book entry, refer to the same aircraft:
    Fairey Experimental Night Bomber (prototype K1695)
    Last edited by Don Clark; 22nd August 2020 at 23:40.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Fairey Monoplane in Upper Heyford, June 1932

    At this point, it seems worthwhile to add the published service histories of the various aircraft. Air Britain provided a great service in publishing these transcriptions, compiled laboriously in the 1980s and 1990s (cited above). These, if I recall correctly, summarise the information from two Air Ministry record sets: AM Form 78 Aircraft Movement Cards and AM Form 1180 Aircraft Accident cards.

    The published transcripts are very useful but may be subject to error/omission.
    Reference to the original source is always to be prized in preference, though occasional errors/omissions/losses may still be present: sets are held on microfilm by the RAF Museum.
    While some have made their way into the internet age as digitised images (Lancaster, eg), most I gather have not and not for this early period.
    When conditions improve, enquiry to DoRIS (Dept of Research and Information Services) RAF Museum may help.
    https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/researc...t-records.aspx
    Meanwhile, extracts from Air Britain vols follow

    J9130 Handley Page Experimental Night Bomber prototype (Heyford to be)
    "I HANDLEY PAGE H.P.38 ordered on Cont No 790320/27. To Specification B.19/27. Re-ordered on Cont No 819857/28 (Two 480hp R-R F.XIVS)
    J9130 FF 12.6.30; MKRS (new cockpit layout) FF 28.10.30; Test mod rudder 11.5.31; A&AEE (15 Sqdn) 3.10.31 (armament tests); MKRS; A&AEE 26.11.31; MKRS 5.32; A&AEE .32; MKRS 18.3.32; 10 Sqdn trials 1.4.32; 9 Sqdn trials 4.32; 99 Sqdn trials 24.5.32; Stbd u/c collapsed, Upper Heyford, 10.6.32; MKRS; Hendon Display (No 12) 25.6.32; 10 Sqdn trials 30.6.32; 99 Sqdn trials 6.7.32; Crashed into boundary sea wall, North Coates Fitties, 8.7.32"
    See also http://www.aviation-history.com/handleypage/heyford.htm

    J9131 Vickers Type 150/195/255 (sole Vickers Vanox)
    "1 VICKERS TYPE 150 ordered on Cont No 819856/28. To Specification B.19/27 (480hp R-R FXIV)
    J9131 (1); FF 30.11.29; MKRS; A&AEE 3.30; Flown at Digby; Hendon Display (No 7) 28.6.30; MKRS; A&AEE (15 Sqdn) 28.8.30; Both engines cut out on take-off, FL, Martlesham, 9.10.30; MKRS Rebuilt as type 195 Vanox on Cont No 63600/30 (525hp Kestrel III) FF 5.31; A&AEE 6.31; MKRS mods 9.7.31; A&AEE 13.10.31 (480hp Kestrel IIIS) (Flown in comparison with H.P.38 J9130 11.31); MKRS 11.31; Mainplanes changed from 12 degrees to 7 degrees sweepback 22.3.32; Re-engined on Cont No 181512/32 dated 7.5.32 (622hp Pegasus I.M.3) FF 21.5.32; A&AEE 2.6.32 (performance); 9 Sqdn trials 12.9.32; 2 ATC North Coates Fitties 19.9.32 (gunnery and bombing trials); 10 Sqdn 4.10.32; MKRS 22.12.32; Rebuilt with new wings on Cont No 285256/33 as Type 255 FF 2.33; A&AEE (22 Sqdn) 14.3.33; 9 Sqdn 4.5.33; MKRS 26.9.33; RAE 16.11.33 (Fit refuelling trials)(Wire barrage trials); Caught fire, Farnborough, 19.7.34 (re-paired); Last flown RAE 7.1.38
    See also https://www.baesystems.com/en/herita...type-150-vanox"

    K1695 Fairey Experimental Night Bomber prototype (Hendon to be)
    "Fairey Hendon prototype delivered in March 1932 to Contract 872875/28
    K1695 FF 25.11.30; deld to AAEE 21.3.32 for type test; Fairey 18.5.32; 9 Sqn 23.5.32 for Service trials; Fairey 6.32; AAEE 5.12.32; Fairey 3.3.33 for mods to bomb racks; AAEE 26.4.33 for bomb trials; 10 Sqn 8.8.33 for Service trials; Fairey 8.9.33; AAEE 7.5.34 for comparative trials with Heyford; Fairey 5.7.34; AAEE 28.2.35; Fairey 21.4.35; AAEE 23.8.35 for performance trials; Fairey 13.12.35; RAE 3.4.36; FRL 5.2.38; SOC 2.1.39"

    K1991 Fairey Long Range Monoplane
    "Fairey Long Range Monoplane delivered in September 1931 to Contract S.2669/31
    K1991 Deld 29.8.31 to Cranwell; proving flight to Egypt 27.10.31; retd and tipped up in forced landing in fog near Saffron Walden, 11.31; Fairey 14.1.32 for repair; Cranwell 18.2.32; RAE 9.7.32 for auto control and engine trials; Cranwell 21.10.32; left for World Record flight to SW Africa 6.2.33; RAE 5.5.33; Halton 19.7.33; SOC 28.11.35"

    It's worth noting again that transcripts and indeed source records are liable to error, omission and inconsistency. Related points are that in the above summaries, 99 Sqn is noted specifically only for J9130, while the Armament Training Camp is noted only for J9131, North Coast Fitties for both J9130 and J1931, and A&AEE for all three night bombers (as is 9 Sqn). For K1991, the main assn is with Cranwell, with no Sqn, A&AEE or ATC noted. Hence, close comparison of
    the above aircraft service summaries dates/places with
    the 99 Squadron Ops Record Book and
    the 1932 Flying Log Book entries
    suggests itself.

    Taking in all these posts and sources, seems to me most likely that Teardrop's father and the 99 Squadron ORB were referring to
    K1695 (Fairey bomber protoype service trials),
    not K1991 (Fairey long range etc).
    If any doubt does remain, then reference to the RAF Museum AM Form 78 & AM Form 11180 may finally resolve the point.

    Sources:
    Thompson & Sturtivant RAF Aircraft J1 -J9999 and WW I Survivors (Air Britain 1987)
    Halley The K File The RAF of the 1930s (Air Britain 1995)
    Last edited by Don Clark; 23rd August 2020 at 21:51. Reason: formatting
    Toujours propos

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