The Hermes airliner.

Hermes airliner

The Handley Page Hermes airliner, which came into service with British Overseas Aircraft Company [a nationalised airline] in the early 50s. It was used on the Africa route, and it was on an aircraft similar to this [perhaps an Argonaut] that we as a family flew out to Kenya in 1952 - stopping at Rome, Khartoum, and Entebbe - and probably other places too. It took 24 hours, and at the age of 4, it seemed like an eternity.

This is one of the many cutaways drawn by Leslie Ashwell Wood : he figured in Eagle No 1., and was still going almost to the bitter end. As such, he would have been Eagle's longest running artist.

Another reason why I like this drawing is the setting: the Needles, at the end of the Isle of Wight. The topological details look right - it is one of my favourite sailing areas! I have been past that lighthouse many times. And up at the top of the cliff, to the right of the Needles battery, is High Down, where there is now a disused rocket testing base.