Skip to main content

In the 1920s two brothers, Clarence and Gordon Taylor from Nottingham, the historic city better known for Robin Hood than engineering, left for the USA and better times. The brothers formed their own aircraft company to build a light, two-seat trainer and ‘club’ aircraft. Relocating to Ohio, from Rochester, NY, following a disasterous flood, they were joined by an oilman, William Piper. This sharp businessman quickly engineered a take-over of the company for his own benefit. Piper later renamed the firm, and the rest is, as they say, history. Clarence Taylor (his brother Gordon having been killed flying one of their aircraft) was forced out, mainly following an argument over changes which Piper had caused to be made, unilaterally, to an aircraft that Taylor had designed. Clarence, after leaving the company he had founded, went on to form a new company which became known as Taylorcraft. Always concentrating on two-seat, high-wing and fabric-covered machines, their product line was in direct competition with the much-more aggressively marketed Piper Cub, which quickly began to dominate the U.S. market for light aircraft. Both designs were to be used extensively during WW2 - the BL-65 shown here was known by the US Army as the L-2F - undertaking such tasks as artillery observation, liaison, medical evacuation, etc. As such, the Taylorcraft was known by the troops as a 'Grasshopper', a generic name for all the similar types which fulfilled the same function!

G-BVRH was built in 1940, and is powered by a Lycoming O-145-B2, a 2.4 litre engine putting out about 65hp (the same engine as used in some Piper Cubs). There are no less than 257 BL-65 survivors on the US register. This particular aircraft is seen in the early morning mist at the Great Vintage Flying Weekend, Abingdon, and you can see that the occupants have spent a rather damp night in a tent pitched on the port side of '-RH', opposite some of the WW2-era hangars at this former RAF station. There is another, personal, connection for me in that the owner of this particular Taylorcraft lives in Barry, South Glamorgan, a town where some of my family live; we had a nice chat!

In the 1930s, Taylorcraft returned to their roots in the East Midlands by founding a British subsidiary, British Taylorcraft Ltd, which they established at Thurmaston near Leicester in a former osier shed. This firm went on to produce Taylorcraft aircraft for the British Army under the name of Auster – and the rest, as they say, is even MORE history!

http://peoplesmosquito.org.uk

http://shortfinals.wordpress.com

Originally posted to shortfinals on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 04:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kossack Air Force, Aviation & Pilots, and History for Kossacks.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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