Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter Since 1995

Aviation Memorabilia Newsletter

Since 1995

wayne albertson articles

Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander

In NetLetter #1418, we have a small piece on Westward Airways in the ‘Odds and Ends’ section.

The aircraft, the Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander, used on the short-lived shuttle service caught my interest so I asked Terry for a few personal details of his knowledge of this aircraft.

Terry responded:

“Just a bit of trivia for you. 

The Britten-Norman Islander was manufactured on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England.

When I was seconded to Antigua and worked for L.I.A.T. (1974) running their computer department, they had a bunch of Islanders.

The airline was so strapped for money, that various governments gave them aircraft; Canada donated a Dash 8.

Barbuda donated a Trislander, which was a bigger Islander with the third engine in the tail. Barbuda insisted that the aircraft operate between Antigua and Barbuda.  Upon arrival, flown from the UK via Iceland and Canada, the pilot had collected his family from the US during transit.

Most of the cabin seats had been removed, and the space was filled with containers of fuel all linked; almost like a flying bomb!

The distance was so short between Antigua and Barbuda that the luggage followed on an Islander. I think the Trislander was either returned or sold later due to operating costs.”

This extremely versatile aircraft was designed and built by De Havilland-trained John Britten and Desmond Norman in 1965 and has been in continuous development ever since. There are currently over 750 in operation around the world.

They recognized the need for a light utility aircraft with an adequate payload to move both passengers and cargo between the numerous islands in Europe and later, North America. Also, it is used in many countries for military and law enforcement operations.

I was not able to find much information regarding Trislanders in service in Canada, however, Ken advised the following:

There are actually 15 Islanders in the current Transport Canada registration database, although 4 show the registrations as cancelled (C-FJJR, C-FKAW, C-GGIY, C-GPPP) leaving 11 with valid current registrations.


Transport Canada registration database

Also, an Ottawa-based operator that uses 2 modified BN-2s in their geophysical survey work all over the world.



Additional Reference:

Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander at Wikipedia 

you tube linkClick on the YouTube icon to take a simulated ride from Hamburg Airport to Sylt Island near Denmark.