The Alouette is a French built helicopter, hence the 'F' in the registration number F-BNKZ which can be seen on the cabin just beneath the door. This is the helicopter used for filming at Portmeirion, seen in aerial shots, and used for filming ground shots from the air.
Powered by the Turbomeca artouste C6 turboshaft engine built by Sub-Aviation. First known as Aerospatiale between 1955 and 1961, when the design changed to the Alouette II which continued in production until the advent of the Alouette
III in 1975.
The Alouette II helicopter lives in the minds of fans for it's appearance in the Prisoner, yet F-BNKZ, which had been re-registered G-AVEE by the time of filming for the episode 'Fall Out,' is not the only helicopter to apprear in the series. A second Alouette F-BOEH was used in the later part of 'The Schizoid Man 'pictured below. However unlike F-BNKZ, F-BOEH did not go to Portmeirion, but was used simply to take off and land during The Schizoid Man on a back lot at
MGM studios at . At the time of the shoot for 'The Schizoid Man,' F-BNKZ was not available, so a substitute helicopter had to be found, that was F-BOEH owned at the time by Hili-Union in Elstree, England . Paris
Yet the French helicopters were not the only ones to appear in the Prisoner, in the episode 'The Girl Who Was Death' is G-ATSH, an American built Bell 47 D-1.
has only a fleeting appearance in The Prisoner episode of The Girl Who Was Death, but worthy of mention none the less for that. G-ATSH was registered on Bell the 11th of March 1966 and was fairly new to the country when it was used in the episode. Little is known about this helicopter, except that it was operating out of Rush Green Aerodrome in for Farmair Limited as a crop sprayer. G-ATSH also appeared in other televiison series, and more notably a James Bond film. Hertfordshire, England
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Interesting blog. Was a very early Six of One member (Dave Barrie/Roger Goodman years). Currently building a model kit of the Alouette with Prisoner markings, which is how I stumbled across this site whilst researching the helicopter details. Now I have to spend hours reading all the pages.ReplyDelete
Good to read from you, and thank you for taking time to comment. I hope you enjoy reading my blog.
You were a very early member of Six of One, those must have been very exciting days.
I myself was a proud and active member of Six of One for 15 years, but left in 2001.
I wish you well in building the Alouette helicopter. I myself have made such models associated with 'the Prisoner.' Perhaps you would care to send a picture of it when its complete.
Very kind regards
I believe I have the original perspex bubble canopy from G-ATSH. It was found in a warehouse in Kent in the early 80s. It had suffered fire damage which is consistent with the accident report for this particular helicopter. There is part of a label on the canopy with the name Farmair and the Construction number 183.ReplyDelete
That's a very interesting comment, and I was very intrigued to read it.
What I know of G-ATSH is that on July 21st 1966 the helicopter was being used for crop spraying in the Malton area. The helicopter was loaded up with liquid and all pre-flight checks were carried out. Having taken off the helicopter was about 5 feet above ground when the engine cut out. The pilot attempted to land but the skids caught the wheat, and possibly a fence, the helicopted crashed and turned over. The pilot escaped injury, but the helicopter was badly damaged. It was owned by Farmair Limited at the time. The helicopter was repaired and later written off in an accident, catching fire and was destroyed after landing at Cranbrook airfield in Kent on June 11th 1971. So that would seem to tie in with what you wrote in your comment about the fire damaged canopy. And of course part of the label with the name Farmair does confirm it.
I should very much like to talk more about this, but in private, as I have something I want to ask you. If you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I can tell you more about what I want to talk about. However if you do not wish to, I quite understand.
Very kind regards
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