De Havilland DH.91 Albatross, s/n: AX903
Aircraft AX903 (name Faraday) was on cargo flight from Ayr (Scotland) to Reykjavík. 200 miles SE of Kaldadarnes the crew sighted a German U boat. The aircraft was not armed and the position of the U boat was reported to Reykjavík.
Aircraft AX903 landed at Reykjavík at 20:17 hours. During taxi after landing the R/H main landing gear collapsed and the aircraft skidded off the taxi strip and hit a Fairy Battle aircraft
located on a parking space beside the taxi strip. AX903 sustained heavy damage and was written off. The Battle aircraft L5547 was repaired in Reykjavik.
The crew survived.
Manufacturer: De Haviland Canada
Type: DH.91 Albatross
Identification No. AX903
The Operator: 271 RAF Squadron operated the DH Albatross Postal / supply flights in Iceland from September 1940 to April 1942.
Only seven DH 91 Albatrosses were ever built (two prototypes and five production aircraft). The prototypes were configured as long range mail planes, while the production aircraft were built to carry 22 passengers. The passenger aircraft entered service on 2 January 1939.
At the outbreak of the Second World War all seven Albatrosses were moved to Whitchurch airfield, Bristol, from where they operated on the routes to Shannon and Lisbon. In September 1940 the two mail planes, with their longer range, were taken over by the RAF. They were allocated to the No.271 Squadron and used to fly between Prestwich and Reykjavik. Both aircraft were destroyed in crashes at Reykjavik.
Of remaining five one was destroyed after a forced landing at Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire, in October 1940 and a second during a German air raid in December of the same year. For the next three years the remaining aircraft continued to operate on the long range passenger routes, until one was destroyed in a crash near Shannon in July 1943. The remaining aircraft were scrapped later in 1943 because of a lack of spares.
Source: FSI EN bls. 201
RAF 271 Squadron History
The Albatross story
ASN Data base