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Flying Down to Rio


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Posted by Paul Crisp on December 30, 2016 at 06:15:56 user Paul_Crisp.

Researching something to do with post-Great War British aeroplanes, I came across the Gnosspelius Gull registered G-BGN on 29th May 1923 and withdrawn the following year;. A second was built but unregistered; it crashed in1926, killing its pilot.
Oscar Gnosspelius designed the Gull whilst working in the test department of the Rochester based Short Brothers, later famous for their Empire and Sunderland type flying boats; a Lake District link is that Shorts had a war-time shadow factory on Lake Windermere. Before the Great War, in 1911 he had designed the Lakes Water Hen, a seaplane operating on Windermere.
Given the introduction of a seaplane in the recent film, who knows, perhaps a future production of Pigeon Post could have Squashy Hat using an aeroplane to reconnoitre the fells; perhaps the hawk that threatens the Pigeon Postal service could become a Gull or a Water Hen? At least such an inclusion would be an extra tribute to the actual, pre-copper prospecting, career of Squashy Hat, as well as a chance to include the title music from the 1933 film!
No doubt lots of readers know far more about SH’s aviation background, but I cannot recall it appearing on Tarboard before, and thought it might be of some interest for research over New Year’s day.



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