de Havilland Heron: Long-lasting Feederliner

The Heron was a pioneering commuter aircraft. Charles Woodley assesses this elegant British airliner.

Sea Heron CC.4, XM296, was the ‘Admiral’s Barge’ for Flag Officer Naval Air Command (FONAC) who oversaw the Fleet Air Arm. Key Collection

Designed for simplicity as a ‘feeder liner’ to connect smaller airports with bigger hubs, the DH 114 Heron was on de Havilland’s drawing boards at the same time as the smaller, twin-engined DH 104 Dove. The Heron was basically a scaled-up, four-engined partner to the Dove and, in terms of the market place, was intended to fi ll the capacity gap between that model and the war surplus C-47 Dakotas in widespread use

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