HC Deb 24 November 1926 vol 200 cc423-4W

asked the Secretary of State for Air what sums have been paid, and to what companies, for the civil types of aeroplanes ordered by the Air Ministry, the three-engined Handley-Page "Hampstead," the Avro "Andover," the Vickers "Vanguard," the De Haviland "Highclere," the Armstrong-Whitworth "Argosy," the Beardmore three-engined monoplane, and the freight carrier; to what uses have these machines been put; if these machines are still the property of the Air Ministry; and, if they have been disposed of, to what company and for what amount have they been sold?


As regards the first, third and last parts of the question, it would not be in the public interest and would be contrary to established practice to disclose prices paid or received by the Air Ministry. The "Hampstead" was not ordered by the Air Ministry, but the "Hamilton," which is a similar type of aircraft built by the same firm, was purchased from Messrs. Handley-Page, Ltd. The constructors of the remaining aircraft are as given in the question. No contract has yet been placed for the freight carrier. As regards the second and third parts of the question, the "Hamilton" has been sold to Imperial Airways, Ltd., the "Argosy" is undergoing acceptance tests, and the three-engined monoplane has not yet been delivered. Of the remaining aircraft which are all still Air Ministry property, the "Andover" is being prepared for service tests abroad, and the "Vanguard" and "Highclere" are being put through the tests referred to on pages 25 and 26 of the Annual Report on the Progress of Civil Aviation, 1925–26 (Cmd. 2707).

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