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One of the most distinctive features of the Hudson is its nose glazing configuration, yet only one of Adastra's aeroplanes (VH-AGS) retained the classic four window layout. None of the Adastra fleet retained the flat bomb-aiming transparency under the nose. Throughout their careers, the Adastra Hudsons had many changes in configuration, depending on whether they were used for photographic or geophysical survey. All of Adastra's aircraft (with the apparent exception of VH-AGP) had a camera aperture and wind deflector on the underside of the nose compartment as well as a drift sight installed immediately aft of the nose transparency. This modification entailed relocating the pitot mast(s) to the top of the nose, forward of the windscreen. Most Hudsons eventually carried dual pitot masts in this position. Peculiarities to each Adastra Hudson are as follows:

When acquired from East-West Airlines this aeroplane had a "solid" nose. The aircraft initially entered service with only a transparent nose cone and no other windows. A single nose window in the top forward position was later added.
See photo.

This aeroplane was the only Adastra Hudson to carry a name, being named "Frank Follett" in honour of the company's founder.

Acquired from Herald Flying Services, this aeroplane featured a rather haphazard glazing configuration of varied shapes, with only the nose transparency and the upper window being standard. Earlier in its survey career as VH-SMM, this aeroplane featured a non-standard nose transparency incorporating additional metal framing and framed flat windows top and bottom. This was subsequently replaced with a standard Hudson nose transparency. See Mike Mike's Nose

Apparently the only two Hudsons to have an identical nose glazing configuration, these aircraft had a removable panel with a wind deflector in the top aft position on the left side only, evidently for oblique photography.

This aeroplane retained its Lodestar type nose door from its days as an airliner with East-West. This aircraft was modified for aerial survey by East-West before being sold to Herald Flying Services. At one stage of its career, the lower half of the nose transparency was rendered semi-opaque.

The only Adastra Hudson to retain the classic four windows was previously East-West's flagship and featured a "solid" nose and a Lodestar type nose door. In addition to repairing the aeroplane after its ground running accident, Adastra removed the nose door, restored the conventional nose glazing and converted the aircraft to Wright Cyclone engines! The aeroplane now flies in wartime military configuration, complete with turret.


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Adastra Hudson Nose Configurations.
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