TWO Oxford city police dogs – Danko and Rex – were taken for a ride in a helicopter in March, 1963, at Kidlington Airport.

They were demonstrating, for the first time in the UK, the possibilities of a new system for catching fugitives in open country areas like Dartmoor.

The dog was carried in a 'kennel' strapped to the side of a helicopter, with an observation window and a hole through which his handler could instruct him.

Once the fugitive was sighted, the dog could leap from its kennel and give chase, leaving the helicopter to hover nearby.

Chief Inspector George Miller, in charge of the demonstration, said the dogs had become used to aircraft noise after a week of training.

He said: "We've been experimenting with the idea with the cooperation of the Chief Constable of Oxford, using the small American Brantly helicopter which at under £10,000 is an economic proposition."