No. 12280. Spartan Mailplane (G-ABLI c/n A.24/1) "Blackpool"
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Spartan Mailplane

02/28/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The Spartan Mailplane was designed by E.W. Percival for the Saunders-Roe company in 1931 and was originally designated Saunders-Roe A.24 Mailplane. The only one of its kind, this low-wing monoplane was typically Percival, with plywood fuselage and wooden wing, but was powered by three de Havilland Gipsy III engines, and seated a single pilot ahead of a small mail compartment.

Close ties between the Saunders-Roe and Spartan concerns, both of East Cowes, resulted in development being transferred to Spartan and the designation changed to Spartan Mailplane, and the aircraft was first registered to the Spartan Aircraft Company Ltd. on April 17, 1931, as G-ABLI.

In 1932 the single fin and rudder was replaced by a twin unit, and after further rudder modification the aircraft was flown to India by T. Neville Stack. Named Blackpool, it left Stanley Park Aerodrome with civic blessings on June 15, 1932, reaching Drigh Road, Karachi, in an elapsed time of 5 days 23 hours 50 minutes. After demonstration before the Director of Civil Aviation, it returned home, making a forced landing in Greece with an oil leak en route. Eventually it was withdrawn from use in February 1953."

Created February 28, 2014