DOG DAYS - Beagle 206 at 60

CLASSICS Beagle 206 at 60

Some loved it, others loathed it. But in its 60th anniversary year, what do former pilots of the Beagle 206 think of the British twin?

For the 1966 SBAC show at Farnborough, Beagle mounted this memorable four-ship. In the lead was 206C G-ASOF, accompanied by 206Ss ’ATVT, ’ATYD and ’ATYE. At the controls were chief test pilot ‘Pee Wee’ Judge, Charles Masefield, Trevor Howard and Vyrell Mitchell.

“Essentialla dreadful aeroplane”, says one pilot. “A pleasure to fly”, remarks another. The same type of aircraft, two wildly differing views. Nothing especially unusual about that, but the Beagle 206 has always divided opinion. Was it the machine that could have brought Britain success in the burgeoning market for light executive transports had it not been for American manufacturing might, or a fundamentally flawed offering from a small company that was never going to be profitable?

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