Top of the Class (continued...)

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As a result of sales tours and demonstrations by 'DIO-X,a further three DHC-1 models, numbers 18,19 & 20 were imported during June 1947 to fulfill an order for Loxhams Flying Services Ltd. of Squires Gate, Blackpool. Only one of these c/n 18 was in fact registered to that company as G-AKCS during August of 1947, delivery taking place on September 8th. from Witney. It remained in service at Blackpool until early 1950 when it was sold to the Royal Aero Club of N.S.W.Registered in October of that year as VH-AFR, it crashed at Narrandera N.S.W.on 28.12.54 and was written off.

The other two machines remained in storage for a very lengthy period until delivery to Force Aeriene Belge (Belgium Air Force) during November 1948, where they were used at Gossoncourt for evaluation until February 1952. Serialled C1 & C2 respectively, the contract for a training aircraft was eventually awarded to the locally built SV-4B Stampe biplane. Both machines were subsequently sold to the Royal Antwerp Aviation Club and registered during December 1955 as OO-PHS & OO-MER respectively. OO-MER was the first to receive a C of A on 14th. May 1956 and survived until the controls jammed and the aircraft crashed near Massenhoven, Holland on January 4th. 1965. Stablemate 'PHS was certificated on November 8th. 1956 and crashed during take off at Seppe, Holland on September 19th. 1970 - both aircraft remained in service at Antwerp throughout.

The fitment of the Gipsy Major Ten engine was first accomplished in 'JVD in mid 1947 and flown in the experimental or special category.It overcame the criticism levelled at the early aircraft, as reported in flight tests in the popular aviation press, of being easy to exceed the permitted rpm. Also with the change came the availability of a 24 volt electrical system, plus starter, generator and vacuum pump which allowed the venturi to be removed from the forward starboard fuselage.

The cockpits of an early chipmink, showing the positioning of both sets of magneto switches on the port side of the separating bulkhead, where they were accessible from the front cockpit. This feature was eliminated from the UK version. A placard at the panel apex states that the cockpit canopy must be open during take-off and landing.

As such, it was reported in June 1947 that an RAF version was flying equipped with standard blind flying panels, night flying equipment and two-way radio with intercom. 'JVD is known to have been evaluated at several EFTS units, including RAF Shellingford about this time, in order to gather comments from instructors in the field.

All three aircraft were usefully employed with the service department at Hatfield and in conjunction with the test and development programme were regularly entered in air races during the 1948 season. Visiting Air Attach‚ and other high ranking Officers from overseas air forces also flew many of the military types on offer at Hatfield including the Chipmunk. This eventually resulted in orders from Denmark, Burma, Portugal, Ceylon (Sri-Lanka), Egypt, Siam (Thailand), Eire, Lebanon, Uruguay. and Saudi Arabia.

This cutaway drawing depicts a standard RAF Chipmunk T Mk 10, powered by a de Havilland Gipsy Major 8 engine. (Click on it for a blow up)

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