Page published February 05 2017 Revised March 06 2021
The Avro Avian came to fame In 1928 when the Australian aviator Herbert (Bert) John Louis Hinkler (1892-1933) made the first solo flight between England and Australia, using Avro 581 Avian G-EBOV. Leaving London/Croydon on 7 February, he arrived at his home town of Bundaberg, Queensland, on 27 February. The flight took 128 flying hours and in the process Hinkler had smashed the old record time between the two countries from 28 to just over 15 days. This feat of course featured in the Meccano Magazine shown left. To find out more about Meccano Aeroplane Constructor sets click on the picture below.
 In the nineteen thirties The Meccano Company made a wonderful  series of sets to build model aircraft “Meccano Aeroplane Constructor Outfits.” The sets were quite revolutionary when introduced in 1931 unlike standard Meccano the parts these were made of painted tin plate with holes only where necessary for joining the parts together. This particular model is based on the Avro Avian III , G-EBWU built in 1928 this was an aircraft owned and flown by my Late Grandfather from 1933 until sometime before the Second World War. Sadly the aircraft ended its life as a prop at the National Studios Ltd Elstree and was there from 1944. My Grandfather had learned to fly in a De Havilland 60X Moth at Croydon aerodrome some years earlier in 1931. It was a great achievement for him to gain his pilots licence and made him very proud. My mother once told me, he had left school at 13 to work on a farm and had very little formal education he was very much a self made man. The parts for this model were purchased over ten years ago and they have lain in a box all that time partly because they were in such a poor play worn condition too poor for me to bother to make up into a model that was until I could find time to restore them.  This I did in January 2017, the parts were silver and red and the paint was soon removed in caustic soda. I used a strip roller to smooth out the flat parts, the wings were in the poorest state and proved to be the most difficult to straighten and are still far from perfect. I sprayed the parts using Plastikote paint, cream and Royal blue, dark blue was not a colour used in the original Aero sets. The style of the colours is based on a picture I own that was taken in 1933 of my Grandfather’s Avro Avian at Gravesend Aerodrome, above right. I have no idea of the actual the colours of the aircraft. Those who perhaps knew have all long passed away, my regret is that I never asked! Must respray those wheels cream! A page from the instruction manual for the Aero Constructor (shown below) showing what is described as a “Standard light biplane” typical prototypes being the D.H. Moth and Avro Avian. So you can see where I was coming from in building this model.