Monday, 23 September 2013

From the shoe box. Marathon G-ALUB.

I have two small rather battered monochrome prints of the Handley Page Marathon G-ALUB (c/n 101). I suspect the shots are taken at Paraparaumu. This aircraft arrived in NZ on 02-02-1950 and was flown on scheduled NZNAC routes by Captain H C Walker and R T Mounsey.
It departed Auckland for Norfolk Island and Sydney on 13-02-1950.

 The Marathon was actually a Miles design - their first all metal aircraft - but financial ruin meant that Handley Page  took up the production of these aircraft.
G-ALUB was the first production aircraft and was registered to Handley Page on 24-06-1949 and obtained its UK CofA on 13-01-1950.
It was used for a demonstration machine. A such it departed Woodley (UK) on 14-01-1950 for a sale tour of Australia and New Zealand.
A much better view of this aircraft is below and comes from the Evening Post on or about 10-02-1950. Taken at the old Wellington Rongotai airfield.
The engines are DH Gipsy Queen 71's.
 Below we have a photo and blurb (in blue)from the Ed Coates collection.
"Not a super shot, but quite rare.  It is from the personal album of Ellis Trautman and shows the
first production HPR.1 Marathon at remote Forrest, West Australia whilst it was on its sales tour of Australia and New Zealand, having left Woodley on 14 January 1950.    
 Not only were no sales forthcoming in the antipodes, but, upon returning to the U.K. the aircraft was also rejected by BEA. 
This, despite it having been painted in full BEA livery and given the name 'Rob Roy'. 
 In the event, the only airlines to operate this small four engine machine (at least from new) were West African Airways Corp and Burma Airways.      
Pic above shows G-ALUB in BEA markings.
The RAF did, however, take some 28 odd of the unsold ones and used them as navigational trainers, branded as Marathon T.11s."
G-ALUB was listed to the UK Ministry of Supply on 29-08-1951 and delivered to the RAF on 28-03-1952 and given the RAF serial of XA249. It was scrapped in January of 1959.