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February 2008

"SEB" Takes to the Air Again!


Great news from Thatcham in Berkshire. Sam Harper's Luton Minor, G-ASEB, has taken to the air for its first post-restoration flights after a quarter of a century of inactivity. She last flew in 1982, so it seems perfectly appropriate that she got back into the air, just in time for her 45th birthday!

Sam gives us the update on progress thus far:

"Test flying took a while to complete, but finished 1st Jan and permit issued 14th January. She is flying well, from memory just like she did 25 years ago!"

Sam also filled us in on a little powerplant history...............

"You mentioned Lycomings been used as GPU’s during the war. I was aware that Continentals were used for this purpose but not 0-145. The original engine fitted to ‘SEB (0-145 B2) was imported from the States after being removed from a J3 Cub, and another I bought in the UK for spares was from a Vagabond.

The present 0-145A2 (130hrs TT) in ‘SEB was removed from a Taylorcraft Plus C by the RAF in 1942 and was in storage first with the RAF then Auster and lastly Beagle until 1966 before being sold.

About 20 Taylorcraft were requisitioned by the RAF at the beginning of the war and had Blackburn Cirrus engines fitted. The 0-145 was stored and disposed of eventually.

I think that a lot of the 0-145A2 engines in the UK came from that source."

Thanks for the update Sam - and for putting me straight on the engine history!