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Folding 'Airborne' Army Bicycles

Including WWII British and post-war Danish folding models.

This is a bit of a departure from the usual VeloSolo theme but the main purpose of this page is to share information and large scale photos of various Airborne (aka 'Parabike') models. Links to some very informative Airborne bicycle websites can be found at the base of this page. We would be pleased to hear from any other BSA enthusiasts with further information - please send an email.

For more than a century the humble bicycle has been used by armed forces around the world and continues to feature even today. One of its most famous incarnations was the 'Airborne' folding model manufactued by BSA during the Second World War and originally designed to be dropped by parachute most notably at the time of D-Day 1944 and later at Arnham.

These simple, singlespeed folding bikes were a fantastic idea and have really stood the test of time. Sturdy, cheap (originally), virtually maintainance free and brilliantly practical they are one of the great bike designs and just as usable today.

The later Danish model dates from the 1950's and was intended for civil defence duties. It appears to be a very close copy of the BSA but there are a number of differences, amongst others: different shaped frame hinges; both wheels are 36 spoked; only one brake (rear coaster/pedal-back); chainset design etc.

Update: please see Parabikes (Part II) for more on the Danish model.

Links to other Airborne bicycle sites.

Colin's BSA Airborne website

3rd Para Brigade's BSA pages


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