Friday, July 20, 2012

British Hudsons

Today's post features two unrelated snapshots of British Lockheed Hudsons. The first one shows a Hudson parked in front of one of the hangars at Burbank's United Airport. The airplane is roped off and a number of well-dressed people are milling around. Stacked off to the right in the image are a bunch of folding chairs. This has all the appearances of an event or a ceremony, such as a rollout or unveiling. The first flight of a British Hudson I took place on December 10, 1938 at Burbank...could this view be of the post-flight hoopla? Or, could this be the first Hudson delivery? Unfortunately there are no markings on the back of the image, so there's no way to tell.

The second images shows a Hudson approaching for landing, flaps down.  Note the lack of tail markings. 

The Hudson was a light bomber and coastal patrol aircraft based on the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra, a design that was made famous by Howard Hughes' record-setting round-the-world flight from July 10-14, 1938. The design also led to the later Lockheed Ventura. 

When the U.S. started delivering Hudsons to the RAF, American neutrality in the European conflict complicated the process. The aircraft were flown from Burbank to the U.S.-Canada border, where they were towed across by tractor or even horse-team, and then disassembled and loaded onto a ship for the trans-Atlantic voyage. On October 8, 1939, a Hudson became the first RAF aircraft (though not the first British plane) to shoot down a German opponent.

1 comment:

  1. First pic taken about 22 Dec 1940, presentation of Hudson MK.III T9465 "Spirit of Lockheed Vega Employees". Not hard fiure that, read name of plane and serial on picture.