Aircraft Seen Over Rugby in the 1950s and 1960s

The Reid & Sigrist R.S.4 Bobsleigh at Eastleigh, c. 1962-1964
Image courtesy of Tony Banham. Originally uploaded to

As a young child I became interested in aircraft. My earliest aircraft memory is of the Armstrong-Whitworth flying wing aircraft passing over Rugby. The Armstrong-Whitworth factory was at Baginton, Coventry.

Other memories from living in Rugby that come to mind are:

  • A DC-3 flying low with one engine cut and propeller feathered.
  • A giant Convair B-36, powered by six piston engines plus four jet engines, also flying impressively low.
  • A formation trio of Miles aircraft – including a Miles Gemini (owned by a Coventry butcher), and a Miles Messenger, with the unusual triple fin and rudder empennage [the tail, or tail assembly] arrangement.

Surveying the M1

In the early 1960s the one and only Reid & Sigrist Desford light twin was seen flying around. It had been originally proposed as a new trainer for the RAF but the type was never adopted for service. Carrying the civilian registry G-AGOS it was for a time employed in photography / surveying in connection with the new M1 motorway, then under construction.

I was in the Royal Observer Corps back then. The origin terminus of the M1, Crick roundabout, was overlooked by our ROC monitoring post at Crick.

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