No. 8171. Hanriot HD.1 (N75 c/n 75)
Photographed at Hendon, London, UK, by Bryan Gibbins

Hanriot HD.1

09/30/2008. Produced by Société Anonyme des Appareils d'Aviation Hanriot at Neuilly-Sur-Seine, Paris, as the 75th of 79 HD.1's for the Belgian Military Aviation, the aircraft was delivered to the 1e Escadrille de Chasse, at the Les Moores (The Moors) near La Panne, Belgium, in September 1918. The 1e Escadrille was the well-known 'Thistle' squadron, among its pilots were the famous Willy Coppens, André de Meulemeester and Jan Olieslagers. Initially coded 75 the aircraft was recoded H-1 in 1920, by that time it had transferred to the 7e Escadrille de Chasse at Nivelles.

Willy Coppens (Baron Willy Coppens de Houthulst) flew the aircraft in the World Aerobatic Championship at Nice, France, in March 1922, winning the championship. Till 1928 the aircraft was a front-line fighter, it was newly re-covered in 1930, and by 1933 it was deregulated to training duties. Withdrawn from service in 1934, it was sold in late 1934 to the Drossaert brothers of Brussels, André, Paul and Jules, indicated by the registration OO-APJ that was issued on January 8, 1935. In 1937 the aircraft was registered to Jacques Ledure of Évère, Brussels.

In October 1937, it was sold to Richard Shuttleworth and flown to Old Warden, near Biggleswade, UK, where it was overhauled. It was registered to Warden Aviation Co. as G-AFDX on May 4 1938. It was badly damaged on June 18, 1939, when Richard Shuttleworth landed at Old Warden unaware a wheel was missing, and the aircraft overturned. Earlier that day at Brooklands, the wheel had a punctured tire, after repair the split pin securing the wheel was not placed and the wheel fell off when the aircraft took to the air.

The damaged wings were lost at the Chelsea Aeronautical College Workshop during a bomb raid early in WW II, the aircraft was deregistered December 1, 1946, and the fuselage was stored at Old Warden till 1962. Sold to Marvin Hand of San Francisco, California, USA, it was used to rebuild the aircraft, a 120 hp Le Rhone 9JB rotary engine replaced the original 110 hp 9J. Registered N75 on April 21, 1967, the aircraft was flown again by Walter Addems at Sonoma County Airport, Santa Rose on April 27, 1968, and it received a CofA on February 2, 1973.

The aircraft was presented to the RAF Museum on December 20, 1978, restored at the museum Restoration Centre at Cardington, arriving at Hendon on December 10, 1979, where it is still on display. The aircraft is finished in the markings of the 1e Escadrille de Chasse with the Scottish Thistle on the fuselage sides, while the motto "Nemo me impune lacessit" (No one provokes me with impunity) is written on top of the fuselage, just behind the cockpit.

Created September 30, 2008