AEROPLANE parts stored near Swindon for several years will be auctioned off before Christmas.
Around 145 lots will be sold on November 30 from 10am, including the fuselage of a de Havilland that reportedly transported Prime Minister Anthony Eden and disgraced cabinet minister John Profumo in the 1950s.
Auctioneer Allen & Innocent in Cirencester has received fuselages, wings, tail fins, nose cones and propellor blades from full-sized de Havilland planes which had been stored in Cricklade.
The de Havilland Aircraft Company built aeroplanes between 1920 and 1963. Many of the lots concern the Dove short-haul propellor-driven airliner - which was developed in 1945 then manufactured 404 times over 20 years - and the Devon, its military counterpart of which 127 were made.
Most Doves were sold to commercial airlines for the transportation of between eight and 11 passengers. Today, only a handful of Doves or Devons are still flying.
If TV drama The Crown is to be believed, Prince Philip piloted a de Havilland Devon at least once.
Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: "de Havilland aircraft are an important part of our aviation heritage. We are hoping that museums, preservation groups or enthusiasts might restore them to their former glory – either as a static display or even taking to the skies again."
One star lot is the fuselage of de Havilland Devon VP955, which was operated by the 207 Squadron of the RAF and believed to have been used to transport government ministers and officials from 1947, then sold to its former pilots in 1984.
It commands an auctioneer's estimate of £3,000 to £5,000.
Also going under the hammer for the same price is the fuselage section of de Havilland Dove G-ARBE, originally owned by British Aerospace.
Meanwhile, de Havilland Dove G-ARJB was once owned by high-flying British businessman Joseph Cyril Bamford, the founder of heavy plant manufacturer JCB. The fuselage and a pair of wings are being offered with an estimate of £3,000 to £5,000.
Many of the lots are quirky collectibles – an RNAS Culdrose Sea Hawk tail fin decorated with sea hawk motif carries an estimate of £300 to £500, while sets of seats – including three red leatherette passenger seats – are expected to achieve around £30 to £50.
Propellor blades (£200 to £300) would make interesting wall or floor ornaments, while doors, wheels, engine covers and wing and fin elevators can be converted into tables or shelves.