The Flying Land Rover
by Georgina Hunter-Jones
HELICOPTER LIFE flew the Scout with Captain Maurice Hynett, Deputy Chairman of the BN Group Ltd.
The Westland Scout AH1 flew in 1958, it was in military service from 1962 to 1994 and after it was de-commissioned the decision was made to sell off the helicopter, parts and servicing equipment to civilian buyers. When Rod Coplestone heard that the Government Flying Service in Hong Kong was selling off their Scouts, he and a partner went out to Hong Kong and bought the remaining helicopters and all the spares available. Last year, 2006, he sold everything remaining to the BN Group. As Maurice Hynett, Deputy Chairman of the Group put it: “I owed them so much money for maintenance (he owns G-BRXS) that I bought the company!”
Desmond Norman and John Britten met in 1947 at the De Havilland technical school. In 1953, they formed Britten Norman Ltd at Bembridge , principally to do crop spraying, and they started designing and making the ten seat, STOL aircraft the BN-2 (renamed the Islander in1966) for which they are famous, in 1963. After a turbulent but in parts successful history in which they built the Trilander; the BN-2T, the turbine version of the Islander; had a few brushes with bankruptcy, and were for a while owned by Fairey and then Pilatus, they were bought by the BN Group Ltd on 5th May 2000. It is this group (which also owns FLYBN, the maintenance company, BN Logistics, warehousing worldwide...