Britten Norman Islander and Lettice Curtis

Ask any Isle of Wight resident which aircraft they most associate with the Island and, depending upon their age and how long they have lived there, they will give a different answer.

People who have known the Island from the 1930s will suggest the ‘Spartan Arrow’. Those who lived through World War Two may answer, ‘The Walrus’. Saunders Roe post-war workers of the 1950s era will say ‘The Princess Flying Boat’. But the generation who started work in the 1960s and the decades following, will probably chorus, ‘ The B-N Islander’.

Islander G-AVCN Aircraft Preservation Society

Islander G-AVCN Aircraft Preservation Society

Bob Wealthy, of the Britten-Norman Aircraft Preservation Society, will give a talk at a social meeting, to be held at the Propeller Inn, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, on the restoration progress of the historic aircraft, the Britten-Norman Islander G-AVCN.  Bob’s talk takes place on 28th October (see the poster for full details).

The fuselage of the aircraft has just been painted. Recently, the restoration volunteer group were informed that they have been awarded a grant by the Transport Trust to help with this project.

The 50th anniversary of the first flight of the prototype B-N Islander is in June 2015 and the volunteer group hope to have completed the restoration in time for this occasion.

In the 1970s the well-known wartime Air Transport Auxiliary aviatrix, Lettice Curtis, was hired by Britten-Norman to ferry a military version of the Islander, called the Defender, to India.

Another British aviatrix, Janet Ferguson, who learned to fly just after the war, accompanied Lettice Curtis in a second Defender. Together they flew G-BDJW and G-BDJZ, to Cochin, India.

Anyone interested in the B-N Islander G-AVCN restoration project, can contact Bob Wealthy at solentaeromarine@hotmail.co.uk

 

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