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XM296 De Havilland DH-114 Heron CC.4 c/n 14130 - Royal Air Force 60 Squadron - RAF Brüggen AFB in Germany - 16 September 1971 De Havilland DH-114 Sea Heron C.1

The Hawker Siddeley Heron, originally known as the De Havilland D.H.114 Heron, is basically a scaled-up version of the successful DH.104 Dove. The D.H.114 was designed with particular emphasis upon simplicity of construction and maintenance. Utilising many of the Dove's components, the Heron had a longer fuselage; four Gypsy Queen engines; a wing which allowed good short field performance and a fixed undercarriage. The prototype Heron Srs. 1 (G-ALZL) flew first on 10 May 1950 and production of the Heron 1B followed with ZK-AYV coming off the production line for NAC-New Zealand National Airways on 10 March 1952. The initial model of this 14-17-seat feederliner having a fixed undercarriage, the seventh production aircraft became the prototype Heron Srs. 2, which provided retractable undercarriage. This Heron Srs. 2 (G-AMTS) flew first on 14 December 1952, and the Srs. 2 eventually supplanted the Srs. 1 in production. When production ended, 149 De Havilland DH-114 Herons were produced, including 51 Srs. 1s and 98 Srs. 2.

De Havilland DH-114 series 3 Heron CC.4 c/n 14130 was delivered to the R.A.F. as a VIP aircraft for the Queens flight and registered XM296 on 17 April 1958. The 1958-built aircraft was operated for the Queens flight until 1968. That year, the DH.114 Heron CC.4 XM296 was transferred to the Royal Air Force Germany Communications Squadron as a replacemant for the Vicker Valetta VX573 as the AOC-in-C's VIP aircraft. From 3 February 1969, the RAF Germany Communications Squadron was renamed RAF 60 squadron. In 1972, the Heron CC.4 was converted to a Heron C4 and delivered to the Royal Navy Naval Air Command on 9 June 1972. At the end of 1989, the Heron C4 XM296 was retired from service with the Royal Navy. On 22 July 1993, the aircraft was registered G-BVBI as a DH-114 Heron 2X with Gloster Aviation Services Ltd., Gloucestershire Airport. On 29 August 1996, registration G-BVBI was cancelled as exported to the USA. On 30 August 1996, the aircraft was registered N82D in the USA. On 25 August 2009, Happy H. Miles, Linn, Albany, was registered as owner of the N82D. On 1 November 2014, De Havilland DH-114 Heron N82D made an emergency landing at Santa Cruz-Viru Viru International Airport in Bolivia following the in flight separation of the nr. 3 prop. The prop struck engine nr.4, causing substantial damage to that engine. The airplane reportedly operated on a ferry flight to a new owner. It had received maintenance at Opa Locka, Florida before it departed from Miami,Florida to Providenciales International Airport, Turks and Caicos Islands on 21 October 2014..

 On 16 September 1971, when seen during the family day at Brüggen AFB in Germany, the RAF De Havilland DH-114 Heron CC.4 XM296 had the Queens flight' Royal Blue cheat line and the tail badge of the Royal Air Force Germany Communications Squadron with under the badge the text 'Quadriga'.

page last updated: 12-11-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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