Interest in Nevil Shute - RC Groups
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Dec 22, 2005, 07:11 PM
Derek Marshall
Derek Marshall

Interest in Nevil Shute

This message from "Derek Marshall" <> brought to you by EFLIGHT!

If you have not read any Nevil Shute, then you will find a fascinating world
of aviation history in novel form that I think is unequaled. In his book
Around the Bend, Shute follows the life of an aviation entrepreneur from
WWII into Asia as he starts a private chartering service that takes him all
over Asia. My question is trying to figure out what aircraft is being used
as sometimes Shute creates fictitious planes based on actual aircraft. He
starts out with a DeHaviland Fox-Moth, a biplane configured to carry a
couple of passengers. This is a legitimate aircraft. He (the protagonist)
then buys a Basing Airtruck which turns out to be (thanks to a web site I
can no longer find) a Miles Aerovan, a small twin-engine high wing transport
craft. After this he purchases an American "Cornel Carrier" which, according
to Shute, is similar to a British Plymouth Tramp. I can't find either of
these aircraft on internet searches. This is a much larger twin engine
aircraft produced shortly after WWII.

Well, the story is fascinating and I recommend it to any aviation
enthusiast, as is true with all Nevil Shute works. Trying to figure out the
aircraft is just part of the fun. Anyone have any ideas?

Sandwich NH USA

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Dec 22, 2005, 07:41 PM
Registered User
The Milea aerovan was built by Miles Aircraft Ltd,of Shoreham,in Sussex.
It was ,I believe powered by 2 De Havilland Gipsy major engines of about 100 BHP( just a guess).
The Plymouth was possibly based on the Bristol Freighter,Built sometime after WW2 as a DC3 replacement.It was powered by 2 Bristol Hercules engines of around 1600HP.
Incidentally,Bristol and De Havilland must be two of the very few Manufacturers who built both aircraft and engines (a third being the Wright Bros of course)
As an aside,both the Aerovan and the Freighter would be worthy of a high placing in any lists of the Worlds ugliest aircraft!
Incidentally,I believe Neville Shute was invoved with the Ill-Fated R101 Airship.Can anyone confirm/deny this?
Sep 20, 2009, 10:38 PM
Registered User
Hi Olphart,
I know your inquiry was posted years ago but I just found this website and joined.
I am currently reading first edition of "Around The Bend" and inserted in the book was a pamphlet, a blurb really, about the book and Neville Shute. In the text it clearly states
"After the First World War he helped design the rigid airship R100 and as chief calculator flew the Atlantic twice in her".

Hope that isn't too little too late.

High Rolls Mtn Park,
New Mexico

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