Republic Seabees in The UK

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G-AJVP

G-AJVP (s/n 644)
Photo: Unknown

It seems that 6 Seabees were imported to Europe in 1946/47 by the UK Seabee representative W. A. Rollason Ltd., London.  However, only three of the Seabees were registered on the UK Registers, G-AJNM (s/n 200), G-AJVO (s/n 645) and G-AJVP (s/n 644).  The first delivered (s/n 160) was sold on to France, while two others seem to have been sold on to Italy without taking up UK registration marks.  The Italian Seabees were registered I-AIAG and I-AIAH, and were operated by the company AIAX for commercial utility flights from Milan - Linate Airport.  The fates of these three Seabees are unknown.

The first Republic Seabee imported to the UK, NC87591 (s/n 160), was delivered from manufacturer Republic Avition Corporation on 26 November 1946.  The Seabee was probably shipped to England by sea, and arrived England late 1946 or early 1947.  After assembly in England, the Seabee was demonstrated for the CAA and soon the first flight test reports and articles appeared in UK aviation magazines. NC87591 was demonstrated for an 'The Aeroplane' Mar 7, 1947, aticle by demonstration pilot Walter Siner.

In the UK G-AJNM was sold to Short Bros (Rochester & Bedford) Ltd., the famous builder of large flying boats such as Sunderland, Solent and Sandringham.  The extent of the use of the Seabee at Short Bros is not known. However, some sources have suggested that Short Bros were negotiating with Republic to do licence building of Seabees.   G-AJNM was sold on to Denmark as OY-ABZ in 1949.

G-AJVO

G-AJV0 (s/n 645)
Photo: Unknown

G-AJVO and G-AJVP were registered to Air Transport Association Ltd., of Guernsey, a charter firm which operated in and around the Channel Islands.  The company was short lived, and in May 1948 G-AJVP was sold on to Norway as LN-PAM, while G-AJVO was retired to the back of Rollason's hangar at Croydon Airport  in lack of spares for a C of A renewal overhaul.  When sold to Norway early in 1949, G-AJVO was owned by Mr. G. C. S. Pearson of London.  Registered LN-TSN in Norway, the Seabee was operated by the air taxi operator Vestlandske Luftfartsselskap A/S (VLS), based at Bergen harbour.  VLS had already lost a few of their Seabees in accidents and needed a replacement Seabee.

Four decades later a fourth Seabee was registered on the UK Register, when G-SEAB was imported from the USA in 1988.  G-SEAB was cancelled from the UK Register in 2002 and registered in the USA again as N6210K.

N6210K / G-SEAB (s/n 413)
Nottingham Tollerton Airfield, UK, 2004-07-18
Photo: Roger Syratt

Mr. Roger Syratt visited a hangar at Nottingham Tollerton Airfield on 18 July 2004 and spotted the G-SEAB (s/n 413).  The Seabee is under wrapping and seems to have been stored there for a long time.  A note on the Seabee, however, suggests that she is under restoration.  A reporter says that s/n 413 is in storage waiting for engine parts for the Franklin engine.

N6191K

N6191K (s/n 382)
Rushett Farm, Chessington, Surrey, UK ca. 1990
Photo: Ken Tilley

In 1988/89 US registered Seabee, N6191K (s/n 382), was imported to the UK by Pete Kynsey, Geof Masterton & friends.  This Seabee never took up UK registration marks.  N6191K operated from Rushett Farm and Headcorn, Surrey, until 1991, when she was sold on to Mr. Telfer-Smollet.  Later in 1991 the Seabee was placed in store at Bratton Clovelly, Devon.  In 2000 the Seabee was advertised for sale again, but it is believed that she is still stored in Devon.  On US CAR N6191K has been listed as "Sale Reported" for several years.  Last known owner was Mr. Ben Burbridge, Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

 

If you can help me with any Seabee information or photos, please e-mail me (Steinar Saevdal)! Special thanks to Ian Callier, Malcolm Fillmore, Howard J. Curtis, Bernard Martin, Dave Reid, Mike Draper and Lars Finken for your kind help!

 

S Reg. Mk: S/N: Date: Remarks:
E NC87591 160 1946-11-26 Delivered from RAC to Smith, Kirkpatrick & Co for export to England as a demonstrator.
1947-??-?? Exported to France as F-BCJF to Union Coloniale Agricole et Sarrestiere.
E G-AJNM 200 1947-01-23 Delivered from RAC to W. A. Rollason Ltd, London, for export to Europe.
1947-04-10 Short Bros (R&B) Ltd., Rochester.
1949-01-26 Cancelled from UK Register on sale to Denmark.
1949-02-07 OY-ABZ
1951-06-08 OH-SBB
1967-08-06 Crashed Puumala, Finland. Destroyed?
E G-AJVO 645 1947-04-22 Delivered from RAC to W. A. Rollason Ltd, London, for export to Europe.
1947-06-05 Air Transport Association Ltd.; Guernsey.
1948-06-17 Mr. G. C. S. Pearson; London.
1949-05-12 Cancelled from UK Register on sale to Norway.
1949-05-31 LN-TSN (LN-PSN)
1955-08-23 Crashed Nordfjordeid, Norway. Destroyed.
E G-AJVP 644 1947-04-18 Delivered from RAC to W. A. Rollason Ltd, London, for export to Europe.
1947-06-05 Air Transport Association Ltd.; Guernsey.
1948-05-18 Cancelled from UK Register on sale to Norway.
1948-06-09 LN-PAM
1957-01-22 Crashed in Leirvik, Stord, Norway. Destroyed.
R G-CJSB 779 2016-10-05 Ex N11NW.  Registered on UK Register.

Ronald Henry Cooper
Jennifer Ann Cooper
Tallybont
Wickenby
Lincoln LN3 5AB
England

E G-SEAB
N6210K
413 1988-05-06 Ex N6210K.  Registered on UK Register.
1992-08-11 Barbara Ann Farries
38 Langbank Avenue
Nottingham NG5 5BU
United Kingdom
2002-01-24 Cancelled from UK Register. Registered in the USA, still owned by Mrs. Farries.
2002-01-24 N6210K to
Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc.; St. Just, The Cot, Cornwall TR19 7NT, United Kingdom.
U G-???? 642 1947-04-17 Delivered from RAC to W. A. Rollason Ltd, London, for export to Europe.  Sold on to Italy.
1947-06-13 I-AIAG
U G-???? 643 1947-04-18 Delivered from RAC to W. A. Rollason Ltd, London, for export to Europe.  Sold on to Italy.
1947-06-13 I-AIAH
U N6191K 382 1988-??-?? Imported to UK 1988/89. UK Registration not taken up. Operated from Rushett Farm and Headcorn, Surrey, until 1991. Sold to Mr. Telfer-Smollet.  Stored at Bratton Clovelly, Devon.  2000 advertised for sale.
  Crashed (C) / Scrapped/Destroyed (D)
  Confirmed flying (F)
  Unknown (U)/ Restoration (R) / Stored (S) / Exported (E).

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Updated 2016-10-31

2004-2016 Steinar Saevdal