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  1. Coldharbour says

    This fascinating footage does not show a RAF pilot.

    It is unmistakably Mr. Herbert Sykes, the diminutive but very skilled, test pilot for the Whitehead Aircraft company, circa 1917.

    See related films no's 1892.31 , 1928.45 , 202.07 , 212.40

    Sykes is shown here climbing into a Maurice Farman MFII pusher in front of the Whitehead Aircraft erecting shops at Hanworth park near Feltham, Middlesex. The difference in height between Sykes and the great-coat clad serviceman is very apparent as each climbs up into and onto the aeroplane. The distinctive shape of the gables of the buildings in the background also confirms the location of the footage. Aircraft workers can just be glimpsed through the wing struts moving about in the background.

    Whitehead Aircraft was contracted to build 100 Maurice Farmans as basic training aircraft for the RFC prior to being awarded a large contract to manufacture Sopwith Pup fighters.

  2. Coldharbour says

    Given the seasonal theme, with Sykes being handed a bouquet of holly, this film may be related to film id no. 1862.18, which shows female Whitehead Aircraft workers assembling wings ribs. In the last 9 frames one of the workers is holding a triangular tail fin for a Maurice Farman MFII.

    Rather conveniently for cinema audiences, each of the workers has a paper label pinned to the front of their overalls bearing the name of their employer, Whitehead Aircraft!

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