Civil Airliners - or Now for Something Completely Different

Discussion in 'Gallery' started by oldravendale, 15 October 2018.

  1. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I've steadily been scanning my photos and recently dealt with a few I took in Heathrow in the '60s. Whilst these may have less interest than military aircraft they are now around 50 years old so represent some sort of historical document in their own right. I'm gonna bung some on here - if not appropriate just let me know and I'll close the thread down, but if more are needed I have a total of around 40, of which something over half are suitable for publication.

    I was never a plane spotter, but the London Transport 140 bus which terminated at Heathrow passed close to home and on the occasional quiet day I'd take myself off to watch the aircraft. Then, in November 1968, the Kodak Photographic Society of which I was a member wangled an invitation to the BEA maintenance hangers - a trip for which I immediately signed up.

    Until that time I'd never been close to a civil aircraft, although I'd flown in an Avro Anson from RAF Benson and also a Bristol Belvedere from RAF Odiham as a member of the Air Cadets at school. This is a selection of the photos taken on the Kodak trip and earlier.

    Serial 161
    First Flight 06.02.63

    Registration History
    Delivered F-WJAL Sud Aviation 00.01.63 Left Fleet and went to
    OE-LCA Austrian Airlines 18.02.63 Left Fleet and went to
    F-BUFC Catair 16.01.73 Left Fleet and went to
    F-BUFC Euralair International 00.04.78 Left Fleet and went to
    HK-2402 Aerotal Colombia 25.11.79 Scrapped on date unknown

    Taken on 29 March 1966

    Austrian Airlines Caravelle SE210 V1-R.  OE-LCA.  LAP.  29 Mar 66.  FINAL JPEG - Copy.jpg

    Serial 6803
    c/n 6803 Series 222
    28th of April 1965 to BEA as G-ASXO.
    4th of April 1970 to Transair as CF-TAX.
    November 1976 it went to SOACO as TR-LWQ.
    9th of March 1979 joined the Australian register as VH-IPA and operated by IPEC Aviation.
    5th of December 1990 struck off the Australian register and broken up at Essendon Airport, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

    BEA Argosy 222 G-ASXO.  Heathrow.  Nov 1968.  See Properties for details.  FINAL.jpg

    G-AVFB was the second of fifteen Trident 2Es ordered by BEA. It made its first flight at Hatfield on 2nd November 1967, and was delivered to Heathrow on 6th June 1968.

    In June 1972 it was sold to Cyprus Airways, to replace one of that airline’s 2Es which had been damaged in a heavy landing, and was re-registered 5B-DAC In July 1974.’AC was parked at Nicosia airport when the Turks invaded Northern Cyprus, and it suffered gunfire damage in the ensuing fighting. Afterwards it was abandoned on the airfield along with other damaged Tridents Eventually British Airways sent some engineers to survey the Tridents to see if any of them could be repaired and then recovered to London with a view to returning them to service. ‘AC was in better condition than the other aircraft, having sustained just some bullet holes in its fuselage, and these were repaired with patches. It was ferried to Heathrow in May 1977, and restored to its original British registration. Following its total refurbishment and repainting in BA livery, ‘FB was used on the airline’s inter-city shuttle services until 27th March 1982, when it operated a London-Manchester service. It was then donated to the DAS, and was flown to Duxford on 13th June 1982, where the year’s main airshow was being held, and performed a short display before landing. It had then flown a total of 21,642 hours and made 11,726 landings. Work then began to prepare the aircraft for opening to the public. In1990 ‘FB was repainted in its original BEA ‘Red Square’ livery. Since then the Trident has remained on display outside, and this has necessitated a continual programme of monitoring both its external and internal condition and dealing with any problems that are encountered.

    This was photographed in November 1968.

    BEA Trident 2E G-AVFB.  Nov 68.  LAP.    See Properties.  FINAL JPEG (3).jpg

    Civil aircraft were new to me, hence this photo of BEA Vanguard G-APED through the window of G-APFB, same date, same trip.

    Reg Aircraft Airline Status Delivery Date 30.01.61
    G-APED Vickers/BAC Vanguard-951 British European Airways Scrapped Heathrow 1973

    BEA Vanguard G-APED from Trident 2E G-AVFB.  Nov 68.  LAP.  See Properties.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    and our privileged access to the flight deck.

    BEA Trident 2E G-AVFB Flight Deck.  Nov 68.  LAP.    See Properties.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    On 3 July 1968 an Airspeed Ambassador, G-AMAD of BKS Air Services suffered a failure in the flap operating mechanism on one wing, causing the aircraft to bank to the left and lose height. It touched down and left the runway, colliding with two parked Tridents, G-ARPT and G-ARPI. 'PT's entire tail section was torn off whilst 'PI suffered significant damage to its tail. No one was onboard either Trident at the time, but there were six human fatalities on the Ambassador and also a number of equine fatalities. 'PT was written off and after much work, 'PI was repaired.

    On 18th June 1972 British European Airways operated flight BE548 departed Heathrow's runway 28R at eight minutes past four in the afternoon. As the aircraft climbed its speed was consistently below that that it should have been and this appears to have gone unnoticed. Then at 1770ft and 162kts IAS whilst in a 20 degree bank, the leading edge droops (high lift devices) were retracted. Correct retraction conditions dictated altitude >3000ft, IAS >225kts and wings level. The aircraft entered a stall which was recovered by the stick pusher (automated recovery system). No further action appeared to be taken and the aircraft entered a second stall. This time the stall recovery override lever was pulled and the aircraft entered a deep stall, descending rapidly in a flat attitude with a very low forward airspeed before impacting the ground near the town of Staines. All 118 persons onboard were killed but thankfully no-one on the ground was injured. Some form of human error or errors appear to have contributed to the crash but without a cockpit voice recorder it was not possible to determine with total certainty what did indeed happen. Factors may have included a heart condition suffered by the Captain that was discovered in the post-mortem or inexperience and slow reaction to the situation by the P2 pilot. As a result of this accident it was recommended that all airliners be fitted with a cockpit voice recorder.

    Photos taken in November 1968

    BEA Trident G-ARPI.  Nov 68.  See Properties.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    The removed damaged tailplane from G-ARPI

    BEA Trident G-ARPI.  Scrapped tailplane. Nov 68.  See Properties.  LAP.  Nov 68.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    Serial 418
    Line Number
    First Flight 24.03.59
    Model Vickers/BAC Viscount-806
    Comments built from the remains of G-AOYF (C/N 255)
    Registration History
    Reg G-APOX British European Airways 11.04.59 Left Fleet and went to
    PK-RVL Mandala Airlines 00.06.70 Scrapped on date unknown

    Photographed November 1968

    BEA Viscount G-APOX.  Nov 68.  See Properties.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    Serial 810
    First Flight 22/11/1963
    Model VC-10-1101
    Status Scrapped
    Registration History
    Reg Airline Delivered Status G-ARVH BAC Vickers 16/01/1963 Left Fleet G-ARVH British Overseas Airways Corporation 08/07/1964 Left Fleet G-ARVH British Airways 01/04/1974 Subsequently Scrapped

    BOAC Super VC10 G-ARVH.  Heathrow.  Jul 1965.  See Properties for details.  FINAL  JPEG - Copy.jpg

    A Comet IV of East African Airlines at Heathrow in July 1965. I believe that, at this time, East African Airways was part of BOAC. I did not record the registration so have no details.

    East African Airways Comet IV.  Heathrow.  Jul 65.  FINAL JPEG - Copy.jpg

    Finally, just to show how important it was at the time, a photo taken from our 405 line b;lack and white TV of Concorde 001 first flight in Toulouse on 2 March 1969.

    Concorde 001 first flight in Toulouse, France.  2 Mar 69.  405 line.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    No more for the moment. Let me know what you think.....

  2. John Rich

    John Rich Active Member

    Lovely photos, my Dad trekked all the way from East London to take me to "London Airport" probably around late sixties, very happy memories of days spent on the roof viewing area watching and being totally fascinated by proper aeroplanes. Always came home with an airfix kit as well. Thanks for the memories.

  3. John57sharp

    John57sharp Active Member

    Fascinating pictures and write ups. The Comet’s shape really evokes the glamour of the era. I took a tour of the Dan Air maintenance hangers at MAN when I was a member of the Institute of Travel Managers and also found it fascinating, but I don’t think we were allowed to take photos. I got a few good freebie trips around then too. Thanks for posting these.
  4. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    Glad to see a VC10 there one of the aircraft father worked on. We had the occasional trip there in the days you could get onto the roof of the Queen's building.
  5. richard carr

    richard carr Western Thunderer

    Great pictures Brian

    I used to be in the air cadets back in the 70s, used to love aircraft, always wanted to be a pilot, then as a teenager I had to ware glasses and that wasn't going to happen !

    I wold love to see some more

  6. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Hi Brian
    A couple of comments:
    "Civil aircraft were new to me, hence this photo of BEA Vanguard G-APED through the window of G-APFB, same date, same trip."
    The view was from G-AVFB not PFB.
    It might also be worth mentioning in your narrative that the aircraft which crashed at Staines was the same G-ARPI that had been de-finned in the earlier mishap.
    (13 years a Trident pilot!)
  7. Oz7mm

    Oz7mm Western Thunderer

    Oh Brian, the 140 bus. I used to go to school on that - but then it turns out you only lived about 200 yards from me at the time.

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  8. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    In the mid 60s I was working at Heathrow on the extension of Runway 9R and some of the stands in the central area. Our offices and batching plant set up were were between the extension and the old sewerage farm in the south west corner of the airport. There was a louvred blast deflector in position across the end of the runway to allow us to work and it was quite frightening to be stood there hearing a 707/DC8 or the like coming towards you, hoping that it would clear the top of the deflector, even when the wind was in the opposite direction, there were periods of anxiety, especially when a VC10 was taking off, as their engines were just above the top of the barrier.

    The main incident that happened whilst we were in operation, was a Czechoslovak aircraft (a converted Soviet bomber?) aquaplaned along the runway in a rainstorm and shot off the end, across the perimeter track and ended up in a field, fortunately, nobody was badly injured and it happened on the other runway - 27R - the aftermath had it happened on 'our' runway 27L would have been an absolute disaster!

    On one occasion, we were just preparing to 'call it a day' just after 18.00, when an airport maintenance crew came into the office and asked if we could lend a hand as some of the bolts holding the louvre panels to the stanchions had shown signs of slackening, so it was all hands to the spanners and torque wrenches, resulting in a very late night!


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  9. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Hi Mike
    The moving magnetic pole means that the runways would have been 28R/10L and 28L/10R in the 60s!
  10. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    I bow to your knowledge Dave, you were using them for the intended purpose! I was only there as a hinderance to you.


  11. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    In 1970 when I started in aviation, the magnetic direction of runway 28L/R was about 279deg. The effect of the moving magnetic pole has been to modify that direction by an average of about 10 minutes/year. So the magnetic direction is now about 270deg and the runways are designated 27L/R (and have been since 2nd July 1987 when the direction was about 275deg)
  12. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Okay, interest piqued.

    Could be a Tu-104 (same wings and plan as a Tu-16) or perhaps a Tu-124 (smaller version of the Tu-104). Not a (gorgeous) Tu-114 as CSA didn't have any; probably the most beautiful propliner to fly. I can't find any records of incidents befalling Tu-104 or Tu-124 of any nationality at Heathrow. The dates for either type at Heathrow is about right, although 124s were pretty rare...

    Any more detail Mike?

  13. steve1

    steve1 Western Thunderer

    Great pics! I was a aircraft spotter at that time and spent many a happy hour in the Queens Building or on the roof with a notebook, pen, Ian Allan number book (Yes they did planes too in those days), aircraft band radio, plastic bottle of squash and cheese and tomato sandwiches (on white bread of course). Had either cycled from Langley (where I lived at the time) or caught the 81 bus* (an RT usually).

    Thanks for the memories :)


    * The 81 was the only red LT bus that came out as far as Slough.
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  14. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Spooky timing as I found this in a boyhood folder of aircraft bits and pieces during the current clear out. My father should have been on the aircraft. It gave me a great interest in accident investigation but I went down the military route where the Very Senior Officers wanted anything but objective investigation.


    The Viscount photos remind me of the delivery of the first 800 series aircraft to Heathrow. Dizzy Addicote was a Vickers test pilot and tasked with the delivery to Heathrow in front of a VIP party, including the BEA chief man and rent a group of MPs. As it was a trip of a couple of miles, Diz elected to do it alone and arrived at Heathrow down the runway in front of the Queens building ( VIPs on the roof) as fast as thing would go at about fifty feet before sticking the thing on it’s wing tip and pulling it around the corner to slow down and land. Cue apoplexy from Chief Man!
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  15. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Steph,

    My 74 year old memory bank might well be in decline, but I can still remember standing on the first floor platform of our batching plant at Heathrow shortly after having be told of this accident and looking across what was then the sewage farm (now Terminal 5 - printable comments only please) so I am certain that it happened. I have Googled 'incidents at Heathrow 1966' and variations there of, there is a mention on one of the links of a CSA accident involving an Il-18L at Heathrow, but when I click on the link and search the result, there is nothing mentioned. Nor is there any mention in any other lists - ???????????????

    Mention of the sewage farm/Terminal 5, prompts another memory - our site office was burgled one night and the safe was stolen, it contained amongst other items, my Edixa SLR and a couple of lenses, needless to say, nothing was ever found - until the sewage farm was being drained in readiness for T5 and there was the safe!


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  16. John57sharp

    John57sharp Active Member

    “...and there was the safe.” Did it still have your camera in it Mike, or had they cracked it?

  17. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi John,

    the answer is I do not know, it was some 20+ years later when it was found, the story came to me via the earthworks contractor, who was also working for us (R M Douglas) at the time. The real annoying thing was that the 135 telephoto lens that was with the camera was only a few weeks old, being a birthday present from Management and I never saw any photos that I had taken as the film was still in the camera!


  18. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Absolutely correct, Dave. A slip of the typing finger. Also great stuff about the naming of runways - I had no idea!

    Indeed, bus to school as did I, John. Then I had a bike which gave me the excuse to stop at Kenton Rec for a bit of train spotting on the way home.

    I remember that louvred deflector, and the excitement of seeing the occasional Czechoslovak or even Russian plane, although I can't remember what they were. Flights from Poland (Airline was LOT which, I understand, it remains) were quite common, though, even though it was a Communist country at the time.

    Thanks all for your comments. Some wonderful memories and info new to me. As a result of the enthusiasm I'll now impose some more on you, with apologies to all who have no interest in the subject. It won't go on for long as I don't have sufficient material. In view of the boredom factor for those disinterested parties I may read you some of my Vogon poetry later (with apologies to Douglas Adams).

    I've just realised - in that photo of the East African Comet IV above, on the skyline to the left of the picture are two buildings and a chimney. That's Technicolor. When I took the photo it never crossed my mind that in 15 years I'd be working there and watching aircraft every day on my way in and out of work. When Concorde made it's final flights and the remaining aircraft gathered at Heathrow I shut the plant down and everyone went on to the roof to see them land. I did the same for the first A380 landing. Historically there'd always been interest in goings on at the airport (which we always claimed had been put there to make it easy for us to ship movies out to the colonies - say that to the guys in the US and they'd go apoplectic:))) and there were a few there in my time who remembered the Vulcan crash on 1st October 1956. The plant had been on that site since 1936 and before my time actually owned a farm - in searching for some early papers we turned up an invoice for a chicken plucker:)).

    Having successfully diverted my thought processes from the subject in hand, here are the remaining photos. There are more distance shots but, unless you have an interest in the layout of the airport in the '60s they are of little value. The first one, though, shows the entrance to the airport through the tunnel, with an RT on the bus stand bottom right. It's a scene which has changed beyond belief in the subsequent 50 years. This was taken in July 1965, almost certainly from Queens Building.

    Heathrow Airport.  July 1965.   FINAL JPEG.jpg

    This one, in June 1965 shows BEA Tridents, a Vanguard and Viscount on the apron.

    BEA Tridents, Viscount and Vanguard.  Heathrow.  Jun 65.  FINAL JPEG.  Copy.jpg

    On 29th September 1963 BOAC Comet IV G-APED taxis past BEA Viscount G-AOHJ.

    Serial 170
    Line Number
    First Flight 10.07.57
    Model Vickers/BAC Viscount-802
    Status Left Fleet
    Registration History
    Reg Airline Delivered Status
    G-AOHV British European Airways 25.07.57 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV British Airways 31.07.73 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV British Air Ferries 16.01.81 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV Oasis Oil Company 08.02.81 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV British Air Ferries 28.05.81 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV Oasis Oil Company 08.07.81 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV Esso Standard Oil Company 00.09.81 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV Oasis Oil Company 00.10.81 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV British Air Ferries 00.08.82 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV Polar Airways 22.03.83 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV British Air Ferries 05.07.83 Left Fleet
    G-AOHV Euroair Transport 02.08.83 Re-Regd
    G-BLNB Euroair Transport 07.06.84 Left Fleet
    G-BLNB British Air Ferries 01.08.85 Left Fleet
    G-BLNB British World Airlines 01.04.93 Left Fleet
    G-OPFI British World Airlines 01.03.93 Left Fleet
    3D-PFI Airwing 2000 Ltd 25.08.99 Left Fleet
    5V-TTP Transtel 14.10.01 Left Fleet
    TU-VAB Ivory Coast Government s28.01.03 Left Fleet
    3D-PFI Pegasus Aviation 21.07.03 Left Fleet
    3D-PFI Global Airways 15.06.04 Left Fleet
    9Q-COD GTRA Airways 00.01.11 Scrapped

    Serial 6406
    First Flight no info.
    Model Comet-4
    Status Scrapped,
    Registration History
    Reg Airline Delivered Status
    G-APDE British Overseas Airways Corporation 02/05/1957 Left Fleet
    9M-AOE Malaysia-Singapore Airlines 04/10/65 Left Fleet
    9V-BAU Malaysia-Singapore Airlines Unknown Left Fleet
    G-APDE Dan-Air London 11.70 Scrapped
    5Y-ALF East African Airways Corporation Unknown Left Fleet
    G-APDE Dan-Air London 03/03/1971 Scrapped

    I've not worked out yet how it came to be scrapped twice.

    BOAC Comet G-APDE.  BEA Viscount G-AOHJ.  LAP. See Properties.  29 Sep 63.  FINAL JPEG-Copy.jpg

    In July 1965 I photographed this Boeing 707 romantically flying away in to the sunset, Pratt and Whitney engines smoking like a Deltic.:). I was wishing I was aboard and thinking that I'd never have a job where I'd be doing that. Less than 20 years later I was doing just that (but in wide bodied jets) and already the whole process was becoming a bore. It's only in retrospect that I realise how lucky I was to have such an interesting job.

    Boeing 707. Heathrow.  July 1965.  FINAL JPEG.  Alternative Framing.jpg

    Moving on to the visit to the BEA hangers in November 1968, here's an Air France Viscount. Sorry, no registration details.

    Air France Viscount.  Nov 68.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    Then, in the maintenance bays this collection of spares including engines and props.

    Engines and Props in Store.  Nov 68.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    And another of the Argosy 222, G-ASXO. Details in the previous posting.

    BEA Argosy 222 G-ASXO.  Heathrow.  Nov 1968.  See Properties for details.  FINAL JPEG (2).jpg

    An unidentified Trident in the Maintenance Shed.

    BEA Trident.  Nov 68.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    And BEA Vanguard G-APEI.

    Serial 712
    First Flight no details
    Model Vickers/BAC Vanguard-953C
    Status Left Fleet
    Registration History
    Reg Airline Delivered Status
    G-APEI British European Airways 20.07.61 Left Fleet
    G-APEI British Airways 01.04.74 Left Fleet
    PK-MVD Merpati Nusantara Airlines 22.03.75 Scrapped

    BEA Vanguard.  G-APEI.  Heathrow.  Nov 1968.  See Properties for details.  FINAL.jpg

    Here's of BEA Viscount G-APOX.

    Serial 418
    First Flight 24.03.59
    Model Vickers/BAC Viscount-806
    Status Left Fleet
    Comments built from the remains of G-AOYF (C/N 255)
    Registration History
    Reg G-APOX British European Airways 11.04.59 Left Fleet
    PK-RVL Mandala Airlines 00.06.70 Scrapped

    BEA Viscount G-APOX.  Nov 68.  See Properties.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG (2).jpg
    And another Viscount, G-AOHW.

    Serial Number 253

    First Flight 18.07.57
    Model Vickers/BAC Viscount-802
    Status Scrapped
    Comments wfu 11.75 Newcastle dona to Airport Fire service 18.05.76 used for fire practice brup 08.83 (tapl94/not tapl98?!) not Surv97,
    Registration History
    Reg Airline Delivered Status
    G-AOHW British European Airways 00.07.57 01.04.74 Scrapped

    BEA Viscount.  G-AOHW.  Nov 68.  LAP.  See Properties for details.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    An unidentified Viscount in Maintenance.

    BEA Viscount.  Nov 68.  LAP.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    Finally, back to Trident G-AVFB, details in the previous post. First a shot of Comet IV G-APMD from the Trident.

    Serial 6435
    First Flight no details
    Model Comet-4B
    Status Left Fleet
    Registration History
    Reg Airline Delivered Status
    G-APMD British European Airways 1960 Left Fleet
    G-APMD BEA Airtours 1970 Left Fleet
    G-APMD Dan-Air London 09/10/1972 Scrapped

    BEA Comet IV G-APMD.  From BEA Trident 2E G-AVFB.  LAP.  Nov 68.  See Properties.  FINAL JPEG.jpg

    And a final couple of photos of G-AVFB itself.

    BEA Trident 2E G-AVFB.  Nov 68.  LAP.    See Properties.  FINAL JPEG.jpg BEA Trident 2E G-AVFB.  Nov 68.  LAP.    See Properties.  FINAL JPEG (2).jpg

    That's it! No more to come. However.......... I have a fewer number of even earlier photos of shipping on the Solent. I'll consider those when I've had a chance to put them through Photoshop and discovered how good - or bad - they may be.

  19. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Seems fair to ask...

    Where was Peggy Bedford?
    Last edited: 16 October 2018
  20. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Graham,

    'The Peggy Bedford' was the pub which stands at the junction of where the A30 diverges from the A4 at Hounslow, known locally as 'Henly's Roundabout - due to the garage located there.

    If you were coming into Heathrow landing on runway 27R it would be below you, just off of the port wing tip - in an A380, further out if you were in a Viscount:)):)):))


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