Oxford's 1:72 scale Aircraft series sees an unusual livery on this release of the De Havilland DH104 Dove, namely the construction company JCB. Although decorated in a bright white, red and silver colour scheme instead of the characteristic yellow and black we normally associate with the construction company, the JCB lettering style is instantly recognisable in black on the red tail fin.
The De Havilland DH.104 Dove was a short-haul airliner developed and produced by the famous British aircraft manufacturer from 1945 until 1967. It was one of Britain's most successful post-war aircraft, used primarily for civilian use on short-haul flights as a link to major airways. Developed as a direct competitor to the surplus military aircraft being converted after World War II, its key attributes comprised a completely metal structure, constant speed propellers, flaps and a retractable tricycle undercarriage. It was also modified for military use - the Devon and Sea Devon used by the RAF and the Royal Navy respectively. Many of the Dove's special characteristics feature on our model, which carries the civilian number G-ARJB in black on the rear fuselage and lower wings.
In its civilian capacity, with passenger seating of between eight and eleven passengers, it was ideal for standard passenger service but by removing rear luggage compartments and toilet facilities, the space could be extended for executive travel. Perhaps this is where its use by Mr Joseph Cyril Bamford and executive team came into play. The crew complement usually comprised a pilot and radio operator and the Dove was considered to have really easy flying capabilities. A few Doves remained in service until very recently, operated particularly by small commercial companies and private pilots.
JCB is a familiar name in Oxford Diecast circles where the extensive range of miniature JCB construction vehicles becomes more highly detailed as each release appears. The name JCB is synonymous with construction and it is now a generic word in the Oxford English Dictonary for such vehicles.
Joseph Cyril Bamford founded his company in October 1945, immediately after World War II in Rocester in Staffordshire. Like many far-sighted engineering geniuses, he started small, renting a small lock-up garage with his only tools being a second-hand welding set. His first vehicle was a tipping trailer made from surplus wartime materials - the sides were sheet steel from air raid shelters. With the sale proceeds he made a second trailer and within 3 years, he had six people working for him. Today, the company - Joseph Cyril Bamford Excavators Ltd is still a private company with Anthony Bamford as Chairman and Jo Bamford as CEO. Still concentrating on construction, agriculture, waste handling and demolition machinery, JCB now employs approximately 11,000 people and has a turnover of £3.35 billion; quite a hike from the £45 sale price of the first ever JCB manufactured in that rented garage back in 1945.
Where to land your latest DH.104 Dove is left up to you - will it be alongside other aircraft of the period or will it complement your JCB series? One for each shelf is the simplest answer!