Col. Frederick Frank Reilly Minchin


 Frederick Minchin  1913


b. Madras, India, 16 Jun 1890; a very early flier (RAeC certificate No 419) in Feb 1913, when his address was given as County Tipperary.

June 1926: "Colonel F. F. Minchin, an Imperial Airways pilot, and Mr Mayer, of the Bristol Aviation Company, will leave Croydon at dawn today in a Bristol Bloodhound aeroplane, fitted with 40 h.p. Jupiter air-cooled engines, upon an attempt to fly from London to Cairo in two days."

August 1926: "EXPRESS AIRMAN. Visits Five Towns in Four Countries in a Day. Lieut. F. F. Minchin, the Imperial Airways pilot, made a remarkable Continental flight yesterday, visiting five cities in four countries.

He left London at 8.30 a.m. on a Napier-Vulcan Air liner, carrying passengers, called Lympne, near Folkestone, at Brussels, to pick up and set down passengers, and arrived at Cologne at 12.15 p.m. Leaving Cologne an hour later, he flew to Amsterdam, and, after calling at Ostend and again at Lympne, arrived back in London at 8.45 p.m."

October 1926: "FLYING CIRCUS. BELGIAN MILLIONAIRE'S AIR FLEET TO VISIT ENGLAND. The whole of the private air fleet owned by Capt. Alfred Lowenstein, the Belgian millionaire financier, will visit Britain for the first time next week.

Capt. Lowenstein is transferring his headquarters from Biarritz to his English estate, near Melton Mowbray, for the hunting season next week. His "Flying Circus," as his private air fleet is known in air circles, now consists of an eight-seater Napier Fokker, a three-engined Fokker, a Martinsyde F4, and a Napier Viking Amphibian flying boat, is bringing his guests to England, and be stationed on his Leicestershire estate for rapid communication with the Continent.

Lieut.-Col. F. F. Minchin, the Imperial Airways Pilot, is in charge of Capt. Lowenstein's air fleet, with Mr Leslie Hamilton, another famous British pilot, his second in command." (see also Donald Drew)


Fred was killed, with Leslie Hamilton and Princess Anne Lowenstein-Wertheim, when trying to cross the Atlantic from East to West in 1927. For a video of them and the aeroplane, see the middle bit here.


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