Fine Frobisher


Today’s Poster is one of a series of Imperial Airways posters of the late thirties featuring their notable fleet of aircraft types, presented in cutaway form, a previous example shown on the blog, the Shorts C.30 flying boat being seen here.


This time its the remarkably elegant de Havilland DH 91 Albatross four engine airliner, both a beautifully shaped machine, but also of a remarkably innovative, albeit mostly forgotten design nowadays. An all-wooden structure, it was the real grandfather of the DH 98 Mosquito’s airframe design, while the air cooled inline engine reverse cycle cooling was also unusual, and apparently efficient.

But the poster focuses on the interior, and and what an interior it is, too. Well worth a closer look (the image should enlarge adequately, if not, see the link below). However you’ll look in vain for the type’s name or manufacturer, as  Imperial Airways decided to present the aircraft under the lead passenger version’s own name, Frobisher. The seven build were Faraday, and Franklin, both mailplanes, Frobisher, Falcon, Fortuna, Fingal and Fiona, the latter five being passenger carriers. The family only entered service in 1938-39, just before the war started, where they were transferred to wartime related duties and operated by Imperial’s successor, BOAC. That relaxed cabin environment saw very little real peactime use, sadly.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

The poster is presented from the Smithsonian’s collection, details here, a better example of the image as above found here. Smithsonian’s details: Sponsor: Imperial Airways. Medium: Poster, Advertising, Commercial Aviation. Dimensions: 2-D – Unframed (H x W): 63.5 × 101.6cm (2 ft. 1 in. × 3 ft. 4 in.) Type: ART-Posters, Original Art Quality. Country of Origin: United Kingdom. Date: 1939. Physical Description: Cross-section of the airplane (De Havilland D.H. 91 Albatross “Frobisher”, F Class Albatross) in flight over landscape, compartments labelled; airplane’s registration number is G-AFDI; multicolor image on paper; G-AFDI “Frobisher”, flagship of the Imperial Airways fleet of Albatross passenger aircraft. Inventory Number: A19900631000

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