Tribute to Alex Henshaw - Percival Mew Gull G-AEXF
and Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb EP120/G-LFVB
Related Notes & Links
Alexander Adolphus Dumfries Henshaw MBE (7 November 1912 - 24 February 2007) - British Air Racer, Test Pilot (and awarded MBE for this Work), holder of Queen's Commendation for Bravery (1953). Business Man and Author.
Whilst owner of G-AEXF he won the 1938 Kings Cup and in 1939 set the London-Cape Town Record, which at time of writing has yet to be broken.
Volunteered for Service with the RAF (at whcih point he sold G-AEXF) but became a Test Pilot with Vickers. Initially doing post-production testing on Wellingtons and Walrus Aircraft at Weybridge, then onto Castle Bromwich and testing Spitfires and Lancasters. It is estimated Alex Henshaw flew 10% of all Spitfires (including EP120) ever produced, doing up to 20 Flights a day!
He also during this period Barrel Rolled a Lancaster Bomber, the only pilot known to have carried out what was deemed an impossible feat.
Post-war Alex spent a relatively short time in South Africa as Sales Director for Miles, before returning to Britain to settle down to running the Family Business. Due to his rescue efforts in the 1953 Floods he won the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.
Briefly reacquainted with G-AEXF after a Major Restoration in the late 1970's, he became even more involved during the late 1980's restoration to Cape Town Record Configuration.
After and Accident the Aircraft was rebuilt again, this time to its Air Racing Configuration and Alex Henshaw had a replica built which is displayed at the RAF Museum.
So there are now two G-AEXF Aircraft, one owned when the picture was taken by Rob Fleming and Operated by The Real Aeroplane Company at the Breighton Aerodrome, Yorkshire and the Replica Configured in Cape Town record form at the RAF Museum.
Alex Henshaw MBE - Wikipedia Entry
Percival Mew Gull - Wikipedia Entry
The Real Aeroplane Company - Breighton Aerodrome
Supermarine Spitfire - Wikipedia Entry
The Spitfire Site
The Fighter Collection - Web Site