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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Imperial Air: 1931

Imperial Air: 1931

October 1931. "Imperial Airways aircraft refueling at Semakh, British Mandate Palestine." 5x7 glass negative, Matson Photo Service. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

The plane in action

Re: Small Prop Engine

Not an engine, a generator. I guess it provides electric power to the cockpit and cabin. Either supplemental, secondary or emergency. As far as emergency power is concerned, they still use that kind of arrangement on modern airliners. It's just hidden under a hatch when not in use.

Small Prop Engine

My guess is that it's not an engine but rather a device to measure air speed.

Re: Quiet

Switzarch: If you look closely at the end of the propeller you will see that it is has a spline (grooves that run the length of the shaft) that prevent the propeller from rotating in relation to the shaft. Ten bolts hold the propellers to the hub on the shaft and take the thrust load.

Beautiful posters

Imperial Airways also excelled in the quality of its advertising artwork, absolute classics of their era and subject matter.

Small prop engine?

Under the fuselage.
What could that possibly be?


Hard to imagine that the main cabin was the least bit quiet. Were four blade props made in two pieces then, how did they keep them aligned?

Thanks for the info, Green_Canoe! Knew some member of the madcap group would know the answer.

Another view of G-AAUD

Wikipedia's article on Semakh has a link to what is almost certainly another view of this same airplane at the same time. The registration, G-AAUD is clear in the Wikipedia's picture and what you can see of it in this picture is the same.

If you note, the propellers seems to have stopped in the same position in both pictures. It does look like they are done fueling in the Wiki picture.

Not slow at all

Considering the alternatives it was fast - alternatives could take weeks or months to go to, let's say, India.

What strikes me is how ungainly the aircraft looks - it sticks out way in front and has the biplane wings. It must have stretched the technology at the time to build.


After 1933 only Oliver Hardy could sport this mustache successfully.

Left Handed

British propellers, as usual, go the other way from the rest of the world. I wonder how that got started.

It's a hazard on takeoff unless you're prepared, because you need opposite rudder at the start to keep the plane from swinging into the trees.

The static propeller backwash hits the opposite side of the rudder.

The Hanno

The Hanno (G-AAUD) was the third of eight Handley Page HP42 airliners. It first flew on July 19th, 1931 and was later destroyed, on the ground, during a storm in 1940. The aircraft carried 18 to 24 passengers, and cruised at 90 mph. This picture was possibly taken during a flight between England and India.

During their eight year service life, the type had no major accidents.

Great pic

I'll bet from the look of those windows the plane wasn't pressurized. Looks like material I use to seal my windows in the winter.

Not one -- but two - Charlie Chaplin mustaches

Really, this mustache was never a good look for any man, even leaving aside its unfortunate historical association.

Slow but safe

This is the Hanno, a Handley Page HP.42, one of four used to provide service from London to India and South Africa. Safe and luxurious (for the time), but cruise speed was only 100 MPH, and refueling stops were needed every few hundred miles. You can be sure, though, that all 24 of the passengers were quite elegantly dressed.

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