After purchase by the Duchess, the aircraft was flown to Fokkers for overhaul. It re-appeared with a new name “The Spider” (for perseverance), and was flown to Filton where a new geared Jupiter XI of 500 hp was fitted in place of the 480 hp Jupiter VI. A second attempt was then made at the India record. Departure was made from Lympne on 2nd August, the Duchess’ pilots this time being C. D. Barnard and R. Little. The flight was successful, the return flight to Karachi and return being achieved in 7 ½ days.
In January 1930 The Spider arrived at Woodford (Avro's now being well versed in the F.VII) for overhaul. On completion the aircraft was re-sprayed silver with blue(?) lettering, the registration marks ending in an “Avro trade-mark” full stop. The intrepid trio then set off from Lympne on 10th April for Cape Town, returning triumphant a record-breaking 21 days later. The machine was then exhibited in London at Bush House on the Strand for a week.
Subsequently it was sold to C. D. Barnard Air Tours Ltd., for £900 and converted by Avro's at Woodford to have the original cabin windows fitted, together with a 12-seat cabin layout and an extended exhaust to reduce cabin noise. It was completed in March 1931 and was rolled out in a new blue finish with white lettering (including full stop!) in preparation for a joy-riding season. This commenced in April and by the end of the season in October 118 locations had been visited in the UK and several thousand passengers carried.
WE HAVE RECENTLY ADDED A NEW IMAGE OF THE SPIDER, TAKEN AT WOODFORD IN THE SPRING OF 1931 FOLLOWING CONVERSION BACK TO A PASSENGER-CARRYING AIRCRAFT. OF INTEREST IS A PANEL ATTACHED TO THE FORWARD FUSELAGE, WHICH APPEARS TO RECORD THE LONG-DISTANCE FLIGHTS ACHIEVED BY THE MACHINE.