This Messenger always brings good news……
Tags: 2nd Baron Mildmay of Flete, aircraft, Anthony Bingham Mildmay, Auster J5K, Aviation, Berkshire, Blackburn Cirrus Major 3 engine, C of A, Chrislea, Chrislea CH3 Super Ace Skyjeep Series 4, flaps, fly-in, G-AJOE, General Montgomery, Great Vintage Flying Weekend, Holland, horse racing, M.28 Mercury, M.38 Messenger, Messenger 2A, Miles, Miles factory, Newtownards, Northern Ireland, Peter Bishop, Queen Elizabeth, Reading, Royal Air Force, Second World War, short field performance, steeplechase, the Queen Mother, trailing edge, upholstery, Woodley
Developed from a Second World War design for the Royal Air Force , and used primarily as a liaison aircraft – one was notably used by the then General Montgomery, as a personal transport – this Miles design showed excellent short-field performance; you can see here the generous trailing-edge flaps which contributed to this. The M.38 Messenger was a development of the twin-tailed M.28 Mercury, and the post-war civilian Mk. 2A was built at a facility in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. The aircraft were then flown over to the Miles factory at Woodley, near Reading, where they were painted and upholstery fitted. Powered by a Blackburn Cirrus Major 3 engine, of 155hp (the same as the Auster J5K, and the Chrislea CH3 Super Ace Skyjeep Mk 4), the Messenger was a popular four-seater touring aircraft, but unfortunately production ceased with the 71st example in 1948.
G-AJOE had an interesting start; it was bought in in April 1947 by Anthony Bingham Mildmay, 2nd Baron Mildmay of Flete. Unfortunately, the aristocratic steeplechase rider (who was credited with introducing Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, to the sport of horse racing) disposed of G-AJOE fairly swiftly, and it was back in the hands of Miles at Reading by October 1947.
After a series of owners, the aircraft is now in the hands of Peter Bishop, and has been restored in a traditional Miles cream and red livery. One of only a handful of Miles aircraft still flying, it appears regularly at GVFWE and other events.
As you can see from the comment below, the owner of G-AJOE, Mr. Peter Bishop, reports that his Messenger has, indeed, been restored, and received a new C of A in December 2010, following the crash in Holland. We are delighted to see that G-AJOE has once more joined the UK ‘fly-in’ circuit. Well done, Peter!
17 comments on “This Messenger always brings good news……”
This month’s offerings!