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MBB Bölkow BO.105
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PH-RPM Britten-Norman BN-2T Turbo Islander c/n 2190 - KLPD - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 14 September 1989 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

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. On 2 August 1980, BN-2T Turbo Islander prototype G-BCMY, powered by two Rolls-Royce Allison 250-B17C turboprop engines, flew first. The first production BN-2T Turbine Islander, G-BIUJ, flew on 13 May 1981. 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.

On 14 September 1989, Britten-Norman BN-2T Turbo Islander PH-RPM of Korps Rijkspolitie/Dienst Luchtvaart was photographed at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. Behind the Turbo Islander is another aircraft of the KLPD visible: MBB Bo.105C PH-RPR. The Britten-Norman BN-2T Turbo Islander s/n 2190 was registered first in the UK as G-BLNK. On 1 December 1988, it was registered in the Netherlands as PH-RPM. After the aircraft was sold the registration PH-RPM was cancelled on 14 July 2003. The BN-2T was registered the same day as G-BLNK. After the aircraft was exported to Nepal as the RAN-50, the registration G-BLNK was cancelled on 3 August 2004. The aviation-division of the police in the Netherlands: the "Dienst Luchtvaartpolitie van het Korps landelijke politiediensten" (KLPD) operates a number of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Their first aircraft was an Auster III, which was registered PH-POL with the Corps Rijkspolitie/Dienst Luchtvaart on 18 April 1955. The Auster III served before as 8A-6 with the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Over the years a wide range of aeroplanes and helicopters was operated by the police force of the Netherlands, including the Britten-Norman BN-2T Turbo Islander and the MBB Bölkow Bo-105.

page last updated 19-08-2004
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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