Douglas Baders Travelair G-APUB

Profile picture for user Elmdon Boy

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2 years 9 months

Posts: 205

Is this aircraft still active, and if not what is its current situation. Registered G-APUB it was used by Douglas Bader as his company aircraft whilst he was MD of Shell Oil until his retirement in 1969, upon which it was gifted to him by the company as a retirement gift. He last flew it in 1979, and in 1981 was sold in the USA and re registered as N2620U. Looking on the FAA registry site it says it was de registered in 2013 due to expiration, and the last owner lived in Virginia. Can anyone provide any further information.
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Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years

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While I don't know the gate of that particular example, as a species, 1950s-1970s light twins are getting to be a rare item in airworthy condition. Why? Well overhauling two engines and two props cost more than the aircraft is worth. Besides, modern single engine aircraft give one most of the performance and will have modern avionics...an important consideration if you are going to be doing some real traveling ( as opposed to pleasure flights). They are however, fast and reasonably fuel efficient. A early 310 powered by two 240 go engines travels at 170-90 kts while burning 18gph. Not bad for a five seat aircraft. At out local general aviation field there are two twins that look more or less abandoned...with flaking paint and flat tyres (though construction has forced them to be moved from their long time parking spot. One is a late 50s Piper Apache, the other is a early straight tail Cessna 310 (an A, B or C model). The 310 has been moved to the Community College aviation maintenance facility. Hopefully, they'll give it a paint job and give it to an area museum. And a few months ago at the field I saw a pickup with the nose section of a 60s vintage 310 in it, the cabin was cut behind the front seats. So it's either a cockpit project, or someone is going to have near home computer flight simulator.
Profile picture for user Sabrejet

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9 years 8 months

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Remember seeing 'PUB and Bader at Hurn circa 1975: had often wondered what happened to it. Please let us know if you find out.
Profile picture for user Consul

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15 years 2 months

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The is an anomaly on the FAA database in that for Beech 95 c/n TD-240 it shows a build date of 1982. The CAA database does have TD-240 as the c/n of G-APUB registered in 1959, but interestingly they didn't record the build date. It must however have been 1959 or earlier. There is a nice clip on YouTube showing Douglas Bader with G-APUB. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z31RgLde_Dw There is an old thread on this forum which discusses this aeroplane and includes pictures of it in the USA and some of its post sale history. See: https://forum.keypublishing.com/forum/historic-aviation/102413-g-apub-douglas-baders-beech-travel-air
Profile picture for user J Boyle

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15 years

Posts: 9,636

They quit building Travel Airs (a junior Baron) in the late 60s (1968, IIRC), so '82 is obviously incorrect. As with all databases...garbage in - garbage out. Not to mention the joys of civil service bureaucrats who don't know (or care) the differences between a Merlin and Allison.
Profile picture for user Elmdon Boy

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2 years 9 months

Posts: 205

So, back to my original question, anybody know of its current status.
Profile picture for user Archer

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15 years 11 months

Posts: 1,698

The is an anomaly on the FAA database in that for Beech 95 c/n TD-240 it shows a build date of 1982. The CAA database does have TD-240 as the c/n of G-APUB registered in 1959, but interestingly they didn't record the build date. It must however have been 1959 or earlier.
I suspect that the date of manufacture in the FAA database has been influenced by the fact that the N-number wasn't issued until June 1982. They may have created that field at a later stage and filled it using the date of first registration. Edit: I noticed that TD-80 is still around, and was built in 1958. For TD-219, a date of manufacture of 1959 is mentioned. Based on that, 1959 seems a reasonable assumption for the build date of TD-240. I also found a nice period photo from 1960: https://www.airhistory.net/photo/112233/G-APUB Elmdon boy, you could try contacting the photographer through this page: https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/view/1056262 He appears to know, or knew, a bit about the whereabouts.