The elegant twin that helped make Airspeed’s name
Airspeed was an unusual company even by the remarkable standards of aviation businesses in inter-war Britain. Founded in York during 1931 by the engineer (and later author) Nevil Shute Norway and designer A. Hessell Tiltman, with A. E. Hewitt, Lord Grimthorpe and Alan Cobham, it was not lacking in original ideas.
Its first design was a glider, the AS1 Tern, and after a couple of paper-only concepts came the AS4 Ferry, a tri-motor biplane intended to carry pleasure-flying passengers from temporary airfields for Alan Cobham’s National Aviation Day Displays, better known as his ‘Flying Circus’. Four were built, and two went into airline service.