de Havilland Heron: Long-lasting Feederliner

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

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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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