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XR442 De Havilland DH-114 Sea Heron C.1 c/n 14102 - Royal Navy - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 6 August 1984 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The Hawker Siddeley Heron, originally known as the De Havilland D.H.114 Heron, is basically a scaled-up version of the successful DH.104 Dove. The D.H.114 was designed with particular emphasis upon simplicity of construction and maintenance. Utilising many of the Dove's components, the Heron had a longer fuselage; four Gypsy Queen engines; a wing which allowed good short field performance and a fixed undercarriage. The prototype Heron Srs. 1 (G-ALZL) flew first on 10 May 1950 and production of the Heron 1B followed with ZK-AYV coming off the production line for NAC-New Zealand National Airways on 10 March 1952. The initial model of this 14-17-seat feederliner having a fixed undercarriage, the seventh production aircraft became the prototype Heron Srs. 2, which provided retractable undercarriage. This Heron Srs. 2 (G-AMTS) flew first on 14 December 1952, and the Srs. 2 eventually supplanted the Srs. 1 in production. When production ended, one hundred and forty-nine De Havilland DH-114 Heron aircraft were built, including 51 Srs. 1s and 98 Srs. 2.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the De Havilland DH.114 Sea Heron is HERN.

On 6 August 1984, De Havilland DH-114 Sea Heron C.1 XR442 was photographed at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. The XR442 was in on a navigation flight out of Yeovilton Naval Air Station in the UK. In May 1956, this aircraft was originally delivered as an Heron Srs. 2B to Jersey Airlines as G-AORH. After the airframe was sold to the Royal Navy, it entered service as XR442 with the Yeovilton Station Flight on 17 April 1961. After being retired from service with the Royal Navy, the Sea Heron C.1 was registered G-HRON with St Helena Airways on 4 April 1991. De Havilland DH114 Heron 2 G-HRON was registered with Michael Ewart Revans Goghlan, Blandford Forum, on 11 May 1993. Registration G-HRON was cancelled by CAA on 10 April 2002 and the aircraft was stored in Royal Navy colours at Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton, until it was sold to Happy H. Miles / Albany Aero Club in the USA. The aircraft left Staverton in a container on 20 January 2006, bound for Portland, Oregon. In 2006, a start was made on the restoration to flying condition, but the restoration was not completed and the airframe was offered for sale. In the absence of buyers the aircraft remained at Albany, Oregon, where it disappeared in 2016. Although it was assumed that the aircraft had been scrapped, nothing could be further from the truth: on 1 December 2021, the aircraft was seen in poor condition on the roadside in Chiloquin, Oregon, at about 300 kms from Albany. The aircraft had no engines, avionics, gear, or interior and the right wing was missing, but was still in the original Royal Navy livery, including markings and registration XR442.

page last updated: 10-12-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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