HP42 G-AAXF 'Helena' at Croydon Airport, 20 January 1932.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This was the first London-Cape Town service on 20 January 1932. Three significant pasengers were Air Vice Marshall Sir Vyell Vyvyan and Lady Vyvyan and Mr FGL Bartram. The Handley Page HP42 was the most famous Imperial Airways airliner of the period. It first flew in at Radlett in 1930 and entered service in June 1931. The eight aircraft served until 1941 in different versions over routes to Australasia and Africa. It was powered by 4 Bristol Jupiter engines and carried 24 pasengers and four crew at about 100mph.