Before the issue of Air Ministry Specification 12/41, it had been standard RAF practice to use out-dated aircraft, however unsuitable, for the task of target towing. The outbreak of World War II had highlighted this short-sighted policy, leading to the procurement of an aircraft designed specifically for such a role. The Miles M.25 prototype (LR241) was flown for the first time on 24 April 1942, the aircraft being based on the Miles Master Mk II but with a lengthened nose to compensate for the weight of target-towing equipment. Incorporated within a modified cockpit was the drogue cable winch, which could be powered by an electric motor or wind-driven propeller, and there was comfortable space for the operator and stowage of the drogue targets. THe type entered service as the Miles Martinet and between 1942 and 1945 a total of 1,724 was built; the type was complemented in 1946 by the M.50 Queen Martinet which had been developed to Specification Q.10/43. This was a radio-controlled pilotless target version of the Martinet, 11 being built as new and the remaining 54 being conversions of M.25s. Planned variants included a glider-tug version of the Martinet, similar to the Master GT Mk II, and the M.37 two-seat trainer of which two prototypes were built. Six surplus Martinets received civil registrations after the war, four of them sold to Sweden and operated by the civil target-towing company Svensk Flygjarst.
| MODEL||M.25 Martinet|
| ENGINE||1 x Bristol Mercury XX/XXX piston engine, 649kW|
| Take-off weight||3062 kg||6751 lb|
| Empty weight||2105 kg||4641 lb|
| Wingspan||11.89 m||39 ft 0 in|
| Length||9.42 m||31 ft 11 in|
| Height||3.53 m||12 ft 7 in|
| Wing area||22.48 m2||241.97 sq ft|
| Max. speed||386 km/h||240 mph|
| Range||1117 km||694 miles|
|Shaun McCarthy, e-mail, 07.03.2022 06:15|
My uncle James John McCarthy flew out of Rednal with 61 OTU. I am the oldest remaining relative now after my dad (James younger brother) passed away recently. James (everyone called him Jimmy) was a drogue operator with pilot Norman Martin Hansford. Their plane crashed into the sea and both were killed on August 15th 1943, after the engine of their Martinet cut. If anyone has any additional details /links /photos regarding his unit and their lives I would be very grateful. Thanks so much.
|Ed Callender, e-mail, 26.08.2020 23:34|
Jim.swan My father was in the 31st Fighter Group, 308th Fighter Squadron, USAAF, that arrived in England in 1942. The 31st was the first American fighter group to enter England after WW1. They were given Spitfire Vbs and trained by the UK before being sent to N Africa for Operation Torch. He said they received aerial gunnery practice on the Isle of Man and told us that a pilot in his squadron shot the windows out of a tow plane. The tow plane pilot refused to fly any more for "The Damn Bloody Yanks" so they had to go back to their base near Atcham and practice there. My apologies for that incident. It is are a bit late but sincere.
|Andrzej Wroblewski, e-mail, 16.10.2017 01:16|
Hi. P /O Henryk Wroblewski was a brother of my grandfather. I'm looking information about his service history and eventually adiotional info about this crash. If you read this please send me an email on email@example.com or give me a call 07928395045.
|R TANNER, e-mail, 16.02.2017 12:42|
Very interested in the Martinet I was at Miles Aircraft 1942-1947 as an apprentice does anyone know who made the target towing winch
|R TANNER, e-mail, 16.02.2017 12:38|
Very interested in the Miles Martinet as I W 1942-1947
|Keith Searle, e-mail, 09.12.2016 15:43|
People interested in the Martinet may not know that there is one to see in the Museum of Berkshire Aviation at Woodley, near Reading (home of Miles Aircraft)
It has been re-manufactured from the very few remains of 1 that was used after WW2 on fishery duties out of Iceland and has been a major project for a number of years. As far as is known it is the only one in the world.
|Ron Eisle, e-mail, 07.12.2016 00:20|
My father was up on flight test, seated in the back of a Martinet based at RAF Walney Island sometime 1945 /6. The aircraft had just undergone service. Shortly after take-off the oil filler cap, which had been improperly secured, came loose. Both pilot and my father were doused in engine oil. Impossible to see out the windscreen. Pilot leaned out, repeatedly wiping his goggles. He asked father if he wanted to bail-out. At which point my father recalled he lost all feeling below the waist! He replied. "What's your intention?" Pilot replied. "I'm going to try and land her." Father: "Then I'll stay." Pilot: "It's your neck!" They circled around and landed. Hydraulics failed and with them the brakes. Martinet ran off the end of the runway and ended up nose down in the sand dunes. Both climbed out safely, drenched in oil, including father's parachute. He'd made the correct decision to stay. He said that, at the time of decision, he'd looked down at Barrow steelworks and pondered the consequences of coming down under silk, covered in oil, on the smouldering slagheaps. The fitter was put on a charge.
|Mark haywood, e-mail, 30.11.2016 11:22|
Eric Roberts martinet pilot raf walney ..would love to talk to you .my grandad was on walney may 1943 .thanx mark
|Tim Bishop, e-mail, 17.08.2015 22:50|
Dear Ms Jill Lloyd-Jones,
I have details on the incident you mention please make contact or make a request for the information on the rafcommands webpage general forum.
|Ms Jill Lloyd-Jones, e-mail, 14.08.2015 15:14|
My father Norman Lloyd Jones flew a Martinet thing a drogue, that had to ditch in the North Sea due to technical problems in December, 1943. I believe the co pilot did not survive. He could have been based at RAF Morpeth. Any information about this event or where I could find details would really be appreciated. Thanks.
|T.Brian Waters, e-mail, 27.07.2015 16:54|
Hi Mr T Brian Walters. My Name is Ron Egerton.I am the son of LA Harold Charles Egerton. My father was target winch crew on Mile Martinet HP366 which crashed in Burry Port South Wales IN 1943 I would be interested to know any more information you may have on this accident and indeed a log on any missions reference to the aircraft. I was just 2 years old when my father died ( now 74 yrs old ) My Best Regards Ron Egerton
|Ron Egerton, e-mail, 27.07.2015 16:15|
Dear Brian Walters. Many thanks for the info re my father. I did know the pilot on the day of the accident was a sgt Rigby. My father name was Harold Charles Egerton.
The cause of the accident never came to light.
Any further info you may have would be gratefully appreciated. via firstname.lastname@example.org. Best Regards
|T Brian Walters, e-mail, 19.07.2015 21:25|
RON EGERTON. Sorry,forgot email address - email@example.com
|T. Brian Walters, e-mail, 19.07.2015 21:20|
To RON EGERTON: A book titled Carmarthenshire Air Crashes has just been published that mostly covers RAF flights that crashed within the County of Carmarthenshire. There is a reference to a Martinet HP366 that crashed at Burry Port on November 20th 1943. The pilot was Sgt Rigby and your father was the Tow Operator.For more information, please e-mail
|Neville Bougourd, e-mail, 13.07.2015 20:37|
Does anyone have any information about a Miles Martinet that was involved in an accident on the ground in mid 1943 at 4AGS RAF Morpeth. The pilot was Sgt Rudolf Marczak
|Tim Bishop, e-mail, 08.01.2015 23:58|
Please contact be over on the RAF Commands forum as my have information on your Grandfathers loss.
|david lines, e-mail, 12.11.2014 15:52|
Just recently found out that my grandfather was a martinet operator (M.S. 659) based near Ipswich, his name was walter Frederick fowles, he was flying with a polish pilot called henryk wroblewski, unfortunately technical problems caused the plane to crash on 4 /9 /43 near Walton-on-naze essex both were killed, would love to know some more information about this time if anyone has any. best regards Dave w
|RON EGERTON, e-mail, 27.11.2013 17:38|
Hi I am the son of L /A Harold Egerton. My father Harold Egerton was a target droung operator on a Martinet based at RAF Pembrey South Wales. Unfortunately whilst on a flight opps from RAF Pembrey S Wales. On around 23rd November 1943 the aircraft he was in apparently went into a spin and crashed into a hill not far from it's base and both the pilot who's name was Rigby and my father were killed. If any body has any further info on this accident I would be pleased to hear about. thx all Ron
|Eric Roberts, e-mail, 25.10.2013 21:58|
I first started my flying in the Martinet has a drogue operator on the 13.6.43 at 10 AGS Walney Island and my last flight was on 29.11.45 during that period I put in 771.50 flying hours I really enjoyed my time has a drogue operator and during that time I flew with a number of Polish Pilots.
|Bertgrim, 05.10.2013 13:09|
As a FAA Air mechanic, in 1944 for eight months I was posted to 679 Squadron RAF, to an airfield near Ipswich, where Martinets and various other air craft flew for target and radar practice for the Artillery on the front at Clacton. Really good memories! No probs.
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