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as told by Joe Tidey


The re-painted Prince VH-AGF outside Hangar 13 at Mascot. [Photo: Bob Cozens]

In the absence of any definite information, it had been deduced that "Adastra Green" made its debut on the Hudson fleet around 1959. However, Joe Tidey recalls that the colour was first used as early as 1957 and that its initial application was on the Prince VH-AGF. Ted McKenzie's log book shows that he test flew the Prince in January 1958, so it is possible that the aeroplane could have been out of service for an overhaul and repaint in the preceding months. Joe takes up the story:

"Formerly, as G-AMLW, and painted an unobtrusive silver colour, this rather utilitarian smallish aircraft began to take on something of the elegance of a peacock. The snow-white of the upper fuselage and fin, highlighted with stripes and flashes of blood-red, complimented by further touches of red and white on the engine nacelles, was accepted as bright, attractive, and unremarkable! It was only when the tint being used on the wings and lower fuselage was unveiled that there was a great surge of interest and speculation among those working (or just hanging around) in the hangar at the time. What colour might we call this strange shade? Blue-green, greeny-blue, teal and others were suggested and discarded. It was finally decided (if not unanimously, then at least by a number of us) that it had to be turquoise. A faintly exotic name for what we regarded as a fairly exotic colour to paint a working aeroplane. Our curiosity next turned to the mystery of how such a colour came to be selected. To the complete satisfaction of some of us, this was solved when Bunny Hammond's immaculate MG Magnette saloon was driven into the hangar and parked next to the Prince, to have its original showroom paint job over-sprayed TURQUOISE! Whether this was Bunny's choice or that of Mrs Hammond, I don't think was ever established. It is reported that when the Prince was returned to Huntings base at Elstree in February 1959, their hangar chief pronounced the colour to be 'horrible' and immediately expressed his intention to return it to plain silver."

Joe Tidey
January 2005

The Prince was still green in April 1962!


See also:

It's Not Easy Being Green #2


If you wish to contribute your experiences, please contact Ron