Canadian Warplanes 4: Miles Magister

Miles Magister

(IWM Photo CH 1250)

Miles M.14A Magister, No. 28, No. 8 Elementary Flying Training School at Woodley, Berkshire, September 1940, prior to a training flight.

The Miles M.14 Magister is a two-seat monoplane basic trainer aircraft designed and built by the British aircraft manufacturer Miles Aircraft It was affectionately known as the Maggie. It was the only low-wing cantilever monoplane to ever be authorised to perform aerobatics.

The Magister was developed during the 1930s in response to Specification T.40/36, and had been deliberately based on Miles' civilian Hawk Major and Hawk Trainer aircraft. The first prototype conducted the type's maiden flight on 20 March 1937. It quickly became praised for its handling qualities, increasing the safety and ease of pilot training, while also delivering comparable performance to contemporary monoplane frontline fighters of the era. Having suitably impressed British officials, the Magister was promptly ordered and rapidly pushed into quantity production.

Entering service barely a year prior to the start of the Second World War, the Magister became a key training aircraft. It was the first monoplane designed specifically as a trainer to be induced by the Royal Air Force (RAF). Amid the war, it was purchased in large numbers, not only for the RAF but also for the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) and various overseas military operators. It was an ideal introduction to the Spitfire and Hurricane for new pilots. Its sister design, the Miles Master, was an advanced trainer also designed and produced by Phillips & Powis at Woodley. During the postwar years, surplus Magisters were exported in large numbers, often following a conversion to suit civilian uses. (Wikipedia)

At least eight RCAF aircrew and Canadian aircrew serving in the RAF were killed in flying accidents (KIFA flying the Miles Magister in the UK during the Second World Wa. The casualties included RCAF Squadron Leader John McCormack, No. 405 (B) City of Vancouver Squadron (Ducimus) and RCAF F/L W.H. Fetherston on 4 Apr 1942. The Magister Mk. (Serial No. L 8162) crashed while performing Aerobatics one mile west of RAF Pocklington aerodrome in England. (CWHM/CASPIR)

(IWM Photo CH 140)

Miles M.14 Magister (Serial No. N3780), flown by Miles Aircraft's test-pilot, Bill Skinner, from Woodley airfield, Berkshire. The aircraft later served as 49 with No. 15 Elementary Flying Training School at Carlisle.

(Alan Wilson Photo)

Miles M.14A Magister (Serial No. P6382), c/n 1750, Reg. No. G-AJRS, The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Bedfordshire, UK.

(Alan Wilson Photos)

Miles Magister (Serial No. N3788), Reg. No. G-AKPF, The Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Bedfordshire, UK.

(Roland Turner Photo)

Miles M.14 Magister Mk. III (Serial No. BB661), FDT-A, Reg. No. G-AFBS, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK.

(Happy Days Photo)

Miles Magister (Serial No. T9707), Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, Hamsphire, UK.

(Alan Wilson Photos)

Miles Magister M.14A (Serial No. T9738), Reg. No. G-AKAT, Real Aeroplane Company, Breighton Airfield, North Yorkshire.

Miles Magister Mk. I (Serial No. 35), National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin, Ireland.

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