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This cribbage board is a mystery I am trying to solve. It has an aircraft flanked by linked flags - they look like the Union Jack and the former Canadian Flag - and a maple leaf. It suggests that it's a commemoration of a 30's/40's aviation link between those countries. I have asked the question on every forum I can find, and sent requests to various aviation museums. A number of aircraft has similar features - but none has the tail structure of this one. Any input would be appreciated. I understand that it may be a 'flight of fancy' on the part of the artist! Th

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Thank you all for your input. The suggestion that the flag could be Australia or New Zealand ... I hadn't thought of that. The maple leaf could have been included because the flags were similar. Will hunt further on that one.

Re the suggestion of maybe 3 flags ... I see two flags, each with the fly draped over the centre. Will look further into that one.

Re the cribbage board itself - no markings. I unscrewed the top plate in the hope there might be something. No luck. And the green felt underneath it looks sufficiently aged to have been there from scratch.

Re the Fiat BR.20 Cicogna and Armstrong WW - yes, very close. They look to be wartime aircraft, with the nose bubble etc. Was there a civilian version? Re the Albatross - that was one of the first I found. Four engines knocked it out of the race.

I'm intrigued with the artwork. It has enough features of various aircraft to suggest that the artist was looking at an image - but that tail is different to any I've found. Maybe Albatross tail, Hudson or similar front. If the artist was looking at an image, why depart from that?? And the flags - it's commemorating something. The mystery deepens and the search continues.

Edit: the latest is that I am contacting Air Canada to see if it's part of their history. A commemoration of an event, a PR item, maybe even available to passengers to play onboard. Although with its weight, it is probably not something that would be carried on board. Stay tuned!

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  • $\begingroup$ The cribbage board fascinates me to some extent more than the picture of the aeroplane on the front. Is there any other markings/inscriptions on it at all that would help identify it? $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Apr 19 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ The plane shares the two engines and tail with the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, which in its civilian version was operated by the British Overseas Airways Corporation, but I cannot find any pictures of it in order to contribute an answer. Therefore, this becomes a comment. $\endgroup$ Apr 19 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Other twin engine with lookalike tail is Fiat BR.20 Cicogna $\endgroup$
    – user721108
    Apr 19 at 22:02

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Based on a comment by community member "mins", I took a look around. Mins initially thought it was the Lockheed Electra Model 10, but that didn't look quite right to me. "Mins" later edited their comment to include the Model 14, so I performed some searching, and I think the cribbage board features a Lockheed 14-WF62 Super Electra.

If you look at the photo on this page on Airliners.net, you can see a striking resemblance to the aircraft on the cribbage board.

I'm not sure of the fair use of the photo on that page, so I'll just link to it here.

Most of the credit for this answer goes to "mins", because their suggestion is what helped me find this specific photo.

According to the caption on Airliners.net:

Sold to the first British Airways in August 1939 as G-AFYU and crashed off Malta on 21 December 1939.

The use by British Airways in the late 1930's could possibly explain the presence of the Union Jack on the cribbage board.

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  • $\begingroup$ The tail shape of the Lockheed 14-WF62 Super Electra is wrong $\endgroup$ Apr 19 at 23:30
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You specifically asked about the tail structure which is very unusual. The closest match I believe is the prototype de Havilland DH.91 Albatross, and would have a more obvious British / Canadian connection than the Electra.

It first flew in 1937. Of course the major difference is that the Albatross has four engines: the engraver may have used it as a source, but realised four engines was too fiddly and resorted to two.

enter image description here

The prototype DH.91 Albatross, E-2/G-AEVV is first flown at Hatfield by chief test pilot R G Waight. source

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  • $\begingroup$ Also mentioned here with some more speculations. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Apr 19 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ @kegaro and mins --interesting that Wikipedia has a photo of a (apparently the second) prototype with a very different tail -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Albatross#/media/… . I think there's no question the first prototype as shown in this answer was a major source of inspiration for the artwork-- note the shape and placement of the vertical tails, and also the straight trailing edges and swept leading edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizer. However there's obviously been no attempt to fully replicate the plane in all details (eg # engines) $\endgroup$ Apr 23 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ @kegaro and mins -- as to whether the choice of a twin-engine radial-engine design, and the fuselage shape and other fuselage details, were heavily inspired by the Super Electra, or is just the artists generic idea of what an airliner should look like, is hard to say. One problem with the Super Electra idea is that the tops of the passenger windows should be lower than the bottom of the cockpit side windows, and the passenger windoes should be closer together. But since some artistic license was obviously taken anyway, it's possible that the Super Electra was a significant inspiration. $\endgroup$ Apr 23 at 14:31
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I cannot provide a full answer, but I'm providing more clues if that can help a fellow poster:

Possible model

The aircraft seems to be a variant of Model 14 Super Electra , the Hudson, used during WW2 as a light bomber and maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The number of windows seems to correspond to Hudson Mk.I, the variant delivered to UK:

enter image description here

Hudson Mk.I (source).

The number of windows varies a lot for Electra. While Chamberlain returned from Berlin in the airframe above, G-AFGN had more windows at the time. He also traveled on another Electra for the trip to Berlin, with less windows. So relying on the number of windows might be risky.

Flags

The flags seem to be 3:

enter image description here

Uk, Canada, but also either Australia or New Zealand. Thus the commemoration could be related to some event with these three nationalities involved.

What to commemorate?

  • Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic on 1932, taking off with a Lockheed Vega, from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, Canada. She disappeared while flying a Electra 10-E in 1937.

Anyone who wants to add clues is welcome, this post is a community wiki.

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  • $\begingroup$ Having the maple leaf would suggest Canada to me. The upper flag could be a Red Ensign, used in Canada (and Australia) before the current national flags were designed. The Union flag below would also have been widely used in Canada in the inter-war period. $\endgroup$
    – tgdavies
    Apr 21 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ Some issues w/ the Super Electra idea are given in this comment aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/104828/…. Another issue is the cockpit windscreen shape-- see how the Super Electra windscreen comes to a much sharper point on the aircraft centerline. (The same could be said of the DH 91 Albatross, to a lesser degree.) Honestly I think it's kind of a tossup as to whether the artist drew any inspiration for the fuselage from from the Super Electra specifically, or not. $\endgroup$ Apr 23 at 16:41

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