Geminis and/or Messengers at Lympne in the 1960s

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In the second half of the 1960s I used to go on a choir camp in Kent each summer. Frequently we would visit Lympne airport. Despite it being some 40 years ago and I being +/- 10 years old at the time, I remember there being a pile of Miles Gemini and/or Messenger components stacked behind one of the hangars. My memory is that they were major components - fuselages, wings, fins, etc. - bearing registration marks. I no longer have the notebooks that I kept at that time, so I have no record of their identity. The 4th edition of W&W suggests that these may have been G-AHKL and G-AKEM (I cannot consult the 3rd edition, of 1968, as it is the only one that I do not have). Can anyone confirm this or, otherwise, identify the components and what became of them? Better still, does anyone have a photograph of them that they are willing to post?

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The final owner of both of these Gemini was a Robert B Damon ('HKL from 29/3/65 and 'KEM from 10/4/65). Their registrations were cancelled as withdrawn from use (reportedly at Lympne) 'HKL on 15/2/66 and 'KEM on 24/3/65 - the latter was scrapped on site by 1967.

I have looked at the fates of all other Gemini and no others were reported as having been withdrawn or dumped at Lympne, so it is likely those are the two examples you saw.

Highly detailed histories of all Gemini appear in the series of articles "Gemini The Whole Truth" in the journal "Archive" . A picture of 'KEM (at Kidlington when it was still flying, appears in one of the articles.).

Hope this helps.

Tim

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Many thanks Tim.

However Don L. Brown, in 'Miles Aircraft Since 1925' (1970), records G-AHKL as "still on register 1968". So is the information in appendix XII of this work incorrect?

Does anyone else remember seeing the major components of these aircraft behind one of the hangars at Lympne in the 1960s? If so, can you confirm or otherwise identify the registration marks carried by these components?

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I only quoted extracts - the full situation is that the Air-Britain work also mentions that the withdrawal of 'HKL was not formally notified to the authorities until 3.4.69 even though it was actually was withdrawn on the date I previously quoted which probably explains the difference.

Regards
Tim

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The Cinque Ports Flying Club was reformed by Australian air enthusiast and pilot Barry Damon in March 1964 and was in business in 1968. The Geminis had probably outlived their purpose due to the influx of American light aircraft.

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So it looks as if what I saw in the 1960s were the mortal remains of G-AHKL and G-AKEM. I wonder what became of those? Burnt, I suspect, having regard to their wooden construction! C'est la vie des avions anciens!

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So it looks as if what I saw in the 1960s were the mortal remains of G-AHKL and G-AKEM. I wonder what became of those? Burnt, I suspect, having regard to their wooden construction! C'est la vie des avions anciens!

Non - c'est la mort!;)

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Oui, c'est vrai! But if these posts continue in French, I suspect that the interest level will wain below that of the present!

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Well no photo posted of the Geminis at Lympne. However, having searched my photographic collection I have come across one of major components of G-AJOJ and G-AKFX. It's not taken by me and I don't know where or when it was taken. Any ideas, anyone?

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G-AJOJ Stored At Ford in 1971. G-AKFX crashed on take off Shoreham 26.10.60.

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Getting quicker T-21, seven minutes on this question compared to thirteen minutes on the Magister question!:)

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I am not boasting but i have good references and know my stuff !! having been brought up on airfields till i was 17 (now 54).

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But where was the photograph taken? Certainly not Shoreham. I know that airfield far too well. Maybe Ford, having regard to the glasshouses, boiler chimneys and Sussex barn in the background? Or perhaps the LEC strip at Littlehampton? Or maybe none of these. And why are the two set of major components together, if one Gemini crashed in 1960 and the other was in store in 1971. Very strange! Over to you now.

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At a guess both owned by F.G Miles Ltd at Shoreham. G-AKFX was converted by them to a Mk 8 with 155h.p Cirrus Major 3 engines and enlarged fins.

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Almost certainly Ford as I believe Miles Engineering had a maintenance base there in latter years.

I think there is very little of the other Gemini there in that picture, but as has been said G-AJOJ, which was owned by Roger Pursey, who always did perfect wheeler landings in it on Shoreham's grass, spent its final days there.

Wicked Willip :diablo:

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.......................and still no-one has a photo of the Geminis that they want to post!

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I think that, finally, I may have answered my own question. Having spent some hours raising dust in my attic, I have come across a file containing a compilation of information from, I think, my earliest note books (which, I suspect, have long since gone the way of all flesh!). This records only three Geminis seen by me which, at the time, were not on a current register. Two of those were G-AHKL and G-AKEM - which suggests to me that they were the Lympne pair which I recollect seeing in dismembered form! The third was G-AJOJ which, I suspect, I must have seen at either Shoreham or Ford. So unless someone can come up with a photo of the Lympne Geminis, this is the end of this thread (except the same record in that file contains reference to three Vikings, G-AHPE, G-AIKN and G-AJBX - does anyone have any idea of where I might have seen those?).

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this is the end of this thread (except the same record in that file contains reference to three Vikings, G-AHPE, G-AIKN and G-AJBX - does anyone have any idea of where I might have seen those?).

Blackbushe? or if they are in bad condition, Southend.

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Which airline Eros,Pegasus,Continental Ai Services,Orion,Tradair,Independent Air Travel,Overseas Aviation ???

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G-AHPE is Continental.

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Ah, if only my surviving records were more informative! They just record the registration, type and operator. As to the latter, my records indicate that the operators were Continental Air Services (G-AIKN) and Epicair (G-AJBX). There is no operator indicated against G-AHPE. As to their locations, I don't think that I first visited Blackbushe before 1974 - so I suspect that any Vikings would have disappeared from there long before that date. Southend would seem to be a better bet - I remember my mother taking me there, to visit the BHAM, in the late 1960s or early 1970s. However I find myself wondering whether one of those Vikings was the one which served (or, more accurately, was torched by) the Fire Service at Gatwick in the late 1960s? Any ideas, anyone?