AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 28

PILOT BRIEFING

30 NEWS 32 MILESTONES 34 SWEEPSTAKES 36 BUDGET BUY 40 FLYING CLUBS 43 TEST PILOT

A FLAGSHIP
This Concorde of the 1930s traveled at 100 mph and could reach
a top speed of 120. It carried 24
passengers in a cabin based on
a luxury Pullman railroad car. No
seatbelts were installed until a
seaplane accident in the mid-

Monster biplane may return
to the sky
British group has team ready to build

1930s that resulted in all aircraft,
including the H.P.42 fleet, belting
its passengers. The H.P.42 was
the darling of royalty, celebrities,
the well-to-do, and companies
that wanted to use it to promote
their products. The fashion industry posed models around it, and
passengers who had never flown
had afternoon tea during a scenic
flight around London. It was the
flagship of Imperial Airways.

B Y A LTO N K . M A R S H
A FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN is under way to
build what was considered the Concorde of
its time, the Handley Page H.P.42 25-passenger biplane. Team Merlin, which operated
the Vickers Vimy World War I bomber that
graced the cover of National Geographic in
May 1995, is spearheading the project. The
130-foot-wingspan aircraft will be built by
teams at three locations in England and
assembled at two additional locations.
There were only eight of the biplanes
built, four for service from England to mainland Europe, and four to serve India and
Africa. None of the aircraft survives today,
although there is a propeller at one location
and a propeller hub with Team Merlin. The
group is establishing a museum for artifacts.

28 | AOPA PILOT January 2015

While all of the 28,000-pound aircraft
eventually were destroyed-either in
windstorms while parked, hangar fires, or
damaged beyond repair during hard landings-no civilian passengers were injured
or killed. Eight lives were lost on a military flight.
If you don't get to see it in person (the
builders are looking for a sponsor to bring
it to the United States), you'll see it at the
movies. Team Merlin official Neil Farley
said two movie producers are writing the
aircraft into scripts. There is no schedule
for when it might fly, but several sponsors
have been found.
"Together with over 20 years of
research to find the necessary technical

information for the build, the team has
also arranged the entire infrastructure for
the project from websites to hangarage,
and pilots to paperwork, not to mention
a builder for the project who has worked
on hundreds of historic aircraft around the
world," Farley said. "The airliner is a replica, as there are no major pieces of original
airframe in existence, and we are giving a
rough estimate of two to three years for
the build, but this timeframe can change
depending on how much money we have
to throw at the project."
EMAIL alton.marsh@aopa.org
WEB

www.team-merlin.com


http://www.team-merlin.com

AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover1
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 2
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover4
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