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Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander
Britten-Norman BN-2T Islander
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Pilatus PC-12
D-IBNA Britten-Norman BN-2A-6 Islander c/n 269 - LFH (LW colours and logo) - Flugplatz Harle in Germany - 28 April 1984 Flugplatz Harle (EDXP)

The Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander is a twin-engine high-wing light utility transport aircraft for up to nine passengers. Britten-Norman Ltd. started in 1963 with the development of the BN-2, a 10 seat STOL aircraft. The prototype BN-2, G-ATCT s/n 01, flew on 13 June 1965, powered by two 210 hp Lycoming IO-360 engines. A production line for the BN-2 was set up at the Britten-Norman factory at Bembridge, Isle of Wight. The first production BN-2 Islander, G-ATWU s/n 2, flew on 20 August 1966. Deliveries of the production model started on 13 August 1967, after UK CAA certification was awarded on 10 August 1967. The first production BN-2 Islanders were powered by two 260 hp Lycoming IO-540 engines. By 1968, demand for the Islander had outstripped the capacity of the Bembridge factory. A contract was signed with the Romanian IRMA to build "green" Islanders and deliver them to the UK for finishing. The BN-2 Islander was developed further and in 1970, the BN-2 was replaced in production by the improved BN-2A Islander. Despite the succes of the Islander, Britten Norman was in grave financial difficulty by the end of 1970. In October 1971, the new company Britten-Norman (Bembridge) Ltd. was set up. In August 1972, Britten-Norman (Bembridge) Ltd was sold to the Fairey Group and a new holding company, Fairey Britten Norman Ltd. was established. Most of the Islander and Trilander production was moved to the Fairey S.A. factory in Gosselies, Belgium. Islanders and Trislanders were produced in Romania, then shipped to Gosselies in Belgium for finishing and later flow to Bembridge in the UK for the final flight certification. In 1977, the Fairey Group went in deep financial difficulties. As a result, production slowed down and Britten-Norman got a new owner and became Pilatus Britten Norman Ltd. in July 1978. Production of the Islanders returned to Bembridge. In July 1998, the company was renamed Britten-Norman Ltd., and from May 2000 it became part of the B-N Group Limited. Over 1250 BN-2 aircraft are delivered since 1967, including production in the UK and Romania and military Defenders.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Britten-Norman BN-2A-6 Islander is BN2P.

The 1971-built Britten-Norman BN-2A-6 Islander s/n 269 was test flown as G-51-269. On 8 July 1971, the aircraft was registered OH-BNC in Finland with OY Soffco AB. The Finnish Air Force rented the Islander from OY Soffco AB and on 10 May 1974, the Islander entered service as BN-1 with the Finnish Air Force. The Finnish Air Force or Suomen Ilmavoimat operated the Islander BN-1 as a liaison aircraft out of the Luonetjärvi airfield near Jyväskylä. On 9 April 1975, the Islander was returned to OY Soffco AB and restored as OH-BNC. The aircraft was sold to OLT Ostfriesische Lufttransport GmbH and registered D-IBNA in April 1976. The same month, the Islander entered service with OLT. In December 1977, Britten-Norman BN-2A-6 Islander D-IBNA was transferred to LW Luftverkehr Wilhelmshaven-Friesland and was operated on scheduled and charter flights out of Flugplatz Wilhelmshaven-Mariensiel and Flugplatz Harle. In 1983, Luftverkehr Friesland Harle was founded and when LFH started its operations on 1 October 1983, Britten-Norman BN-2A-6 Islander D-IBNA was one of the first aircraft. As before with LW, the Islander was operated on the scheduled flights out of Flugplatz Harle near Wittmund-Carolinensiel to and from the East Frisian Islands of Baltrum and Wangerooge. On 15 February 1990, the Islander was registered G-BRZH with Pilatus Britten Norman Ltd., Bembridge, Isle of Wight. On 19 May 1990, the aircraft was seen in LFH colors with registration 8R-GHB painted on. On 12 June 1990, registration G-BRZH was cancelled as exported to Guyana and the Islander was registered 8R-GHE with Air Services Limited. On 28 December 2014, the Air Services' BN-2A-6 Islander 8R-GHE disappeared on a routine cargo flight from Mahdia to Karisparu in western Guyana with 2 on board. No trace of the wreckage or its occupants was found.

page last updated: 05-12-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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