Skip to main content

Phillips and Powis Aircraft Ltd built the most spectacular private aircraft in Britain during the 1930s, and the Miles M.3A Falcon Major was no exception. Originally developed by the company’s Chief Designer, F.G. Miles, as a cabin version of the successful M.2F Hawk Major, the prototype first flew on 12th October, 1934. Original versions of the Falcon had three seats (pilot, then seats for two passengers, with luggage space behind), although a more powerful engine allowed an extra passenger to be carried. The aircraft had a distinctive forward-sloping windscreen, rather like the American-built Vultee V-1.  An advertisement in ‘Flight’ stated, “FALCON – four-seater. The designer’s first real cabin aeroplane….in all respects similar to the Hawk Major”. Power was provided, initially, by a 130 hp De H Gipsy Major, 4-cylinder engine, but racing and record-breaking success came when the bigger Gipsy 6 of 200 hp was fitted. One of these aircraft, flown by Flight Lieutenant Tommy Rose, won the 1935 King’s Cup Air Race; Rose went on to break the London to Cape Town record in the same machine. The Short & Mason Company Ltd. made a great deal of the fact that one of their ’Sestrel’ compasses was used in the Cape flight (‘London to the Cape – 3 Days 18 Hours’ read an advertisement). By 1936, second-hand Falcons were coming onto the market; one was being offered for sale by the well-known firm of Airwork Ltd, at Heston Airport, Middlesex, and Aircraft Distributors Ltd , of Skegness Aerodrome, Lincolnshire were offering this example, “MILES FALCON, Gipsy Major engine, Schwarz propeller, total hours 150. Price, with C of A for 1 year, £725.”

Phillips & Powis Aircraft Ltd were getting in on the act themselves, offering a ‘Hire and Fly Yourself’ service under the following terms! “Have started an Air Hire Service equipped with MILES FALCON MAJORS. The rates include insurance for flying in the British Isles and Europe. Per day – £5.5.0, plus petrol and oil; per 3 or more days – £4.10.0 per day, plus petrol and oil; per hour – £3.0.0, including petrol and oil. Reading Aerodrome, Berkshire.” A Falcon, flown by Henry Deterding, was one of 57 foreign entries (4 of them from the U.K.) which flew into the Olympic Air Rally at Rangsdorf, to the south of Berlin, to mark the ill-fated Berlin Olympic Games in 1936.

G-AEEG (c/n 216) is seen here in the sunshine at the former RAF Abingdon (now an Army base, known as Dalton Barracks). She is in a very pleasing white over blue colour scheme, with the Miles Falcon symbol under the windscreen. This aircraft was built during March 1936, but was soon sold to a Swedish owner (as SE-AFN).

Falcons in the U.K. and Australia were impressed by the military authorities during WW2, and the Swedish Air Force acquired SE-AFW as a communications machine in 1940 (as the single Tp7, “913″ coded F1-71) based at Västerås, which was the home to the only ’heavy’ bomber unit in the Swedish AF at the time, F1 Wing, flying the Junkers 86K. Sold to a civilian firm in 1944 (Svensk Flygtjänst AB, as SE-AFW), after a series of adventures, it has ended up in the hands of that great Miles enthusiast and collector, Peter Holloway. It couldn’t be in a better place!

Originally posted to Kossack Air Force on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Aviation & Pilots, History for Kossacks, and World War Two Aircraft.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site