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News

1939 Miles M14A Hawk Trainer III (Magister) - caption credit Peter Nicholson - 6
Monday 17 November 2014

THE AEROPLANE USED TO TRAIN WWII SPITFIRE AND HURRICANE PILOTS – THE 1939 MILES M14A MAGISTER 'MAGGIE' HAWK III – TO BE SOLD BY BONHAMS

The M14 Magister model was used to train RAF pilots of the famous Spitfire and Hurricane aeroplanes that roamed the skies throughout World War Two. The plane is to be auctioned at Bonhams Bond Street Sale on Sunday 30 November, with an estimate of £60,000-90,000.
The M14 Magister was a two-seater training aircraft widely used by the RAF and Fleet Air Arm during World War Two. A development of the civilian Hawk Major and Hawk Trainer, the aeroplane was an ideal introduction to high-performance flying for pilots moving on to the Spitfire and Hurricane. It was a development of the civilian Hawk Major and Hawk Trainer, and being a low-wing monoplane was the ideal introduction to high-performance flying for pilots moving on to the Spitfire and Hurricane.
 
Large numbers of the civilian Hawk versions were pressed into military service as well, and the design was also used by several foreign air forces. Many were also adapted for civilian use after the war.
 
Once forming part of the world-renowned Strathallan Aircraft Collection, this Miles M14A trainer is the only exhibit to be retained by the proprietor, Sir William Roberts, following the Collection's dispersal in 1981.
 
Sir 'Willie' Roberts, who died in November 2012, was a prominent figure in the history of aviation preservation. In the early 1970s he founded the Strathallan Collection of historic aircraft near Auchterarder, Scotland and was one of the first individuals to establish a privately run, working and flying collection of aircraft in the UK. 
 
The 'Duxford' of its day, Strathallan was at its zenith in the 1970s. Restoration work was done on site and the museum was open to the public most weekends, offering visitors the opportunity to inspect the aircraft at close quarters and talk to the pilots and engineers.
 
After many years of delighting the general public with flying displays and air shows, Roberts sold off his collection at auction in July 1981. Most of the light aircraft went to the Museum of Flight at East Fortune but many found new homes abroad. Roberts retained his love of aviation throughout his life and kept this Miles M14A.

Introduced in 1937, the M14 featured an open cockpit and a plywood covered spruce airframe, and was powered by the de Havilland Gypsy Major I four-cylinder inline engine. The latter produced 130bhp, which was good enough for a top speed of 142mph at 1,000 feet. Cruise speed was 124mph, range 380 miles and service ceiling 18,000 feet. The M14/M14A was produced up to 1941, by which time some 1,200 had been built in the UK with a further 100 assembled in Turkey. 

Fully restored while in Sir William's ownership (including an engine rebuild, believed in the early 1990s), the Miles was a regular flyer and was used for many of the Strathallan Collection's air shows, but will require re-commissioning before further use, or would make an excellent static museum piece.

For more information on the Bonhams New Bond Street Sale on Sunday 30 November (CLICK HERE)
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