10/31/2010. Flight Refuelling Limited was registered by Sir Alan Cobham on October 29, 1934, carrying out air-to-air refueling experiments from Portsmouth, Flight Refuelling moved their operations to Ford, Sussex on January 1, 1936. The company operated an extraordinary variety of aircraft, including three Harrows.
These three were converted by Handley Page at Radlett from K6933, K7027 and K7029, and all three were transferred to the civil register, K6933 and K7029 as G-AFRG and G-AFRH respectively on February 15, 1939, and K7027 as G-AFRL on March 6, 1939. They were equipped with fuselage tanks of 1,000 gallons capacity and the necessary valves for controlling rapid fuel transfer through long hoses which could be reeled out and back by powered winches, also large observation transparencies in the front fuselage fabric covering.
Imperial Airways Empire flying boats were able to fly a transatlantic service via Ireland and Newfoundland, only with increased fuel capacities and hence reduced payloads. To increase payload again, experimental fuel transfer from Harrows to Empire flying boat receiver aircraft were successfully conducted.
For transatlantic trails Harrows G-AFRG and G-AFRH were then shipped as deck cargo to Montreal on the Canadian Pacific 'SS Bedford', they were re-erected by Fairchild Aircraft at Longueuil and thereafter based at Hattie's Camp (later Gander). G-AFRL was based at Rineanna (later Shannon Airport), Ireland and refueled the Empire flying boats G-ADHM 'Caledonia' and G-ADUV 'Cambria' after take-off from Foynes, Ireland. On their return flights the flying boats were refueled by G-AFRG and G-AFRH, after take-off from Botwood, Newfoundland.
On August 5, 1939 a weekly service from Southampton to New York was begun, with the Empire flying boats G-AFCU 'Cabot' and G-AFCV 'Caribou' relying on the Harrow tankers, after sixteen transatlantic flights were completed the service terminated at the end of September 1939. G-AFRL was returned to Ford, where it was destroyed by enemy action on August 18, 1940, along with others of the Flight Refuelling fleet.
G-AFRG and G-AFRH remained in Newfoundland and both were impressed into the RCAF, possibly initially operated under their civil registration. Anyway, on October 21, 1940, both aircraft were taken on strength by the RCAF and serialed 794 and 795 respectively, and were subsequently assigned to the Test and Development Establishment at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, Ottawa. Only three months later, January 22, 1941, 795 was struck off charge and dismantled for use as spares, for 794, which in turn, was struck off charge on November 17, 1941.