HC Deb 14 June 1939 vol 348 cc1283-4
22. Mr. Perkins

asked the Secretary of State for Air when all the 14 Ensign airliners, ordered by Imperial Airways, Limited, in 1934, will be in regular service; and what modifications are contemplated?

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

Of the 14 Ensign air-liners ordered by Imperial Airways, Limited,. 12 are having their existing type engines boosted to improve take-off. One has already been delivered so modified, and others will be delivered at the rate of one a week during the next seven weeks. Thereafter, the balance will be delivered at the rate of one a fortnight. It is the intention to re-engine at least eight of these aircraft with a more powerful engine, the American Wright Cyclone. A sufficient number of these engines and spares have already been ordered and deliveries will commence within four months. The aircraft will then be withdrawn from service one by one and fitted with these engines. No decision has yet been arrived at as to the re-engining of the 13th and 14th aircraft.

Mr. Perkins

Who will pay for these new engines— Imperial Airways, or the makers of the aeroplanes?

Captain Balfour

That is a different question. If the hon. Member puts it down he will get an answer.