First flown 50 years ago this year, the twin-turboprop Jetstream was ultimately developed into a successful and versatile aeroplane. However, it also went down as the final product of a company that was among British aviation’s greatest names. A member of the Jetstream test team recalls how the aircraft contributed to Handley Page’s demise


An early outing for the first Jetstream prototype G-ATXH before its maiden flight, possibly for fuel flow tests.

On 18 August 1967, chief test pilot John Allam lined up the prototype Handley Page Jetstream, G-ATXH, on Radlett’s runway 21, ready for its maiden flight. The hopes of the company and its employees hung on making a success of this promising design, after a disappointing period in the history of a firm that was within a couple of years of its 60th anniversary.

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