Southend Timeline

Bringing Your Memories Back to Life

1960-1980 From Boom to Bust

1960: East Anglian Flying Services add two Douglas DC3 Dakota’s to the fleet.

1960: ATEL buy DC-4 G-ANYB the aircraft is wheeled into the "Black Shed".

1960: Fred Olsen Line operate their Douglas C46 Commando out of the airport.

1960: Channel Air Bridge & Air Charter merge to become British United Airways.

February 1960: Catalina flying boat G-APZA reported to be owned by TV personality Hewie Green flew in to the airport.

November 1960: Catalina G-APZA scrapped.

Saturday 13th May 1961: The birth of the Carvair.
The first Aviation Traders ATL98 Carvair is rolled out of the "black sheds" in an uncompleted state, the engines, outer wings, flight controls and a few other parts were still to be fitted. The Carvair was designed from the Douglas C54.  The Carvair got its name from what it was designed to do carry cars via air, the only problems that arose from the project was how to get the cars in to the aircraft, this was solved by ATEL designing the HY-LO-LIFT. Regular flight carrying cars and passengers were now set up going to such place's as Basle, Geneva and Strasbourg cargo flight to Africa were also now a possibility.

Tuesday 20th June 1961: Carvair Hops!
Carvair G-ANYB was completed and ready to begin engine and taxiing and flight trials, however a delay in paperwork meant that the Carvair would not be allowed to fly so was restricted to taxiing, during the afternoon, a high speed trial was planned as the Carvair ran up to power on the runway, the breaks were released and the aircraft lurched forward as the speed build the aircraft lifted off the ground the crew quickly returned to the ground and taxied back to its hanger.

Wednesday 21st June 1961: First flight of the Aviation Traders ATL98 Carvair.
The aircraft now had a large bulbous forward fuselage section, a taller tail and a raised cockpit. The flight testing of the aircraft continued with few problems encountered however on one test flight out of Southend necessitated an emergency landing back at the airport, Yankee-Bravo was taking off on a stall test flight, full power, full flaps, undercarriage down full rudder was applied at which point the fin became fully stalled, however unlike previous stall testing a noticeable pre-still buffeting was felt, this pushed the aircraft into a full stall, the stall was recovered by the pilot dropping the nose, raising the gear and flaps, it was at this point that a number of loud bangs were heard from just behind the pilot. Yankee-bravo was immediately bought back in and was taxed back to her hanger, upon inspection it was found that the banging was magazine of a camera set up to take pictures of the observers panel, it had broken free of its rubber bungee and had been snapping from one side of the fuselage to the other. Another snag that was found was that the nose leg would retract beyond the desired up position, Yankie-Bravo was regally seen flying over Southend with the main gear up but the nose leg locked in the down position, the problem was rectified with the fitting of a steel collar to the nose gear screw retractor. Following their work converting DC4's into Carvair's ATEL started converting ex BEA Vanguards into pure fright airliners, which they named Merchantman.

Friday 23rd June 1961: The forth flight of the Carvair and the first publicity flight for the MoD.

Tuesday 27th June 1961: Carvair Yankee-Bravo first flight with landing away from Southend.
The aircraft flew in to Filton for calibration & Pitot position error correction.

July 1961: East Anglian Flying Services increase flights between Southend & Ostend to 70 per week.

Sunday 23rd July 1961: Carvair Accident.
A major set back hits the Carvair programme when whilst sitting out-side its hanger Yankee-Bravo is struck by a fork lift-truck, it had collided with the leading edge of the port tail-plane, further examination of the airframe discovered that the tail section had been partly severed by the force of the impact. This accident saw the aircraft grounded whilst further examination of the aircraft took place, had the aircraft been written-off the entire project would have needed to be re-started, in which case a review would have been carried out to see if the project was feasible, if it was found that the costs of re-launching the project from scratch were too high the Carvair programme would have been abandoned. Fortunately it was found that Yankee-Bravo could be repaired, the engineers immediately set upon getting her back into shape. The work took the rest of July all of August and into September, once the work was complete the aircraft flew back to Filton where she undertook Max weight take off trials returning to Southend on the 23rd October for further work.

Monday 30th October 1961: Carvair Yankee-Bravo returns to Filton.

Thursday 23rd November 1961: Carvair Yankee-Bravo returns to Southend to complete trials.

1961-1962: The longest flight ever to be operated Southend-Adelaide, Australia.
The service was by a Douglas DC6 and was operated by the Ministry of Aviation it was used to ferry personnel and equipment out to the Woomera Rocket Testing Range, the “pit stop” route saw regular landings for refuelling and to give the crew and passengers a break from the flight.

1962: Marathon M.60 HPR 128 G-AMGX (VR-NAO) Scrapped

January 1962: The Carvair completes its test flight trials.

January 1962: British United Airways take over Silver City Airways.

Saturday 10th February 1962: The certification flight of the Carvair by the Air Registration Board


Sunday 11th February 1962: The first two commercial pilots gain type approval both fly for the first company to buy the aircraft Channel Air Bridge.

Monday 12th February 1962: A second check out flight takes off from Southend as the aircraft becomes airborne No3 engine fails the aircraft makes a perfect three engine landing back at the airport.

Tuesday 13th February 1962: Carvair Yankee-Bravo has its engine changed and test flown

Friday 16th February 1962: Carvair Yankee-Bravo enters service with Channel Air Bridge on the Southend-Ostend route, the trip took 45 minutes with special guests including the Swiss Ambassador on board.

Saturday 17th February 1962: The first true revenue flight of the Carvair
A "Deep Penetration" flight from Southend to Malaga, Spain this was a charter by Ford. The aircraft was scheduled to return the same day but a failure of one of the hydraulic pumps saw the aircraft return on the 19th February 1962, the Carvair could quite safely fly with just one pump running, upon return to Southend the aircraft was grounded until a through check could be undertaken the aircraft returned to the air on the 28th February1962. Despite the Carvair is regarded as Southend’s airliner all but three were built at Stansted. This was done as there was more space there for the storage of aircraft awaiting conversion. However the front fuselage sections, ancillary components, door cills and furnishings were all built at Southend. These were ferried to Stansted by specially built road trailer that once loaded with a nose section was 19ft 6 inch high. During the construction of the Stansted airframes it was found that the cockpit windows were needing to be converted further, so Aviation traders began searching for components, a DC4 fuselage was found in Schipol it was owned by KLM, Aviation Traders put an offer in for it but, KLM knowing how important it was kept upping the price until it was far beyond its true worth, but Aviation traders needed the glazing so much they had to buy it, the fuselage was shipped to England. Eventually Aviation traders were able to find a large quantity of C54 spares including the much-needed windscreens and frames. Once the nose section was attached to the fuselage all the Carvairs were flown to Southend for fitting out.

October 1962: Handley Page HP-81 Hermes G-ALDU Scrapped.

Thursday 25th October 1962: East Anglian Flying Services becomes Channel Airways and adds a Vickers Viscount Srs707 to the fleet.

Friday 28th December 1962: Carvair G-ARSF crash.
ATL98 Carvair G-ARSF was the third production aircraft it was on the Southend - Rotterdam route The aircraft was on its final decent on to runway 24 at Zestiehoven Airport at 11:00am there were 14 passengers 4 crew and four cars on board.

The weather was deteriorating with visibility at almost zero in near whiteout conditions to make matters worse there was also a heavy snow falling, the airport turned the runway lighting up to full intensity but the snow covering them was not cleared away.

Sierra-Romeo's approach was too low which resulted in the aircraft hitting an 6ft high perimeter dyke some 800ft short of the runway. The aircraft was thrown back into the air before falling back to earth 200ft further on, the starboard wing was torn off, which resulted in the aircraft rolling on to its right-side, it slew for another 700 feet slowly rolling onto its back before coming to a rest facing the way it was originally going, with the fuel tanks ruptured the Avgas was spilling from the aircraft, luckily for those on board the snow soaked up the fuel.

The flight deck was crushed, and despite his injury's the pilot requested the passengers be rescued first, the stewardess reported that all the passengers were fine, albeit hanging upside down in their seats. The passengers were rescued and given medical checks and they continued their journey.

The flight crew were all taken to hospital & with the exception of the co-pilot who was suffering from shock and the pilot who had died all were released. Once rescue crews reached the cargo hold they found the cars suspended above them, and despite the fuel leaking out from the tanks and batteries, minor damage to the body work and the suspension (the tie down points) all could have been driven off. Sierra-foxtrot was removed from the Air register on the 5th February 1963 just 7 months after first flying as a Carvair.

Monday 31st December 1962: Channel Airways take over Southend based Tradair.

Tuesday 1st January 1963: British United Air Ferries launched from the merger of Silver City and British United Airways.

Monday 20th May 1963: BKS bought Ambassador G-ALZR for all cargo operation.
The conversion of the Ambassador saw the cutting of a double door with an opening of 7' 11" wide by 6' 6" high, with a mean sill height of 3' 6". To complicate things the aircraft had been in use by Rolls Royce as a test bed aircraft, it had been converted from its traditional Bristol Centaurus engines to the Dart Turboprop's, BKS had to revert back to its original power plants before the work on the door could begin. The cargo conversion was altered so that the aircraft could carry horses, this was done so that the current Bristol B170 Freighter in use could be retired, the first flight of the horse carrying ambassador took place on the 26th November 1964 18 months after arriving.

1964: Southend Municipal Flying School closed. In the 17 years the Municipal Flying School operated 400 pilots graduated from it.

1964: Channel Airways buy the BEA fleet of Vickers Viscounts.

1964:  A Secret Agent Arrives...
James Bonds third outing saw a sequence filmed at Southend Airport, James Bond played by Sean Connery sat in his Aston Martin DB5 whilst his rival Goldfingers’ car a 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom 320 is loaded on to a ATL98 carvair

1964: The Rochford Hundred Flying Group set up with Auster 5D G-ANHX

1964:  Douglas C-47B-5-DK Dakota G-ALXN (G-37-1, KJ934, 43-48845) scrapped
X-Ray November had been fitted with Rolls Royce Darts in 1951 but the scheme failed and the original R-1830’s were refitted. The aircraft had been withdrawn from use at Southend on 18th June 1963

May 1964: Bristol B170 Superfreighter G-AIME scrapped.

October 1964: Bristol B170 Freighter G-AIFM Scrapped.

1965: Bristol B170 Superfreighter Mk21E G-AICT scrapped.

1965: ATEL started work converting the Bristol Britannia to all fright configuration this included cutting a large freight door in the forward fuselage.

Monday 4th January 1965: Last Channel Airways passenger flight of the Vickers Viking Basle-Southend.

Sunday 18th July 1965: Pedal Power!
The Southend man powered flight group rolled out their man-powered aircraft from its hanger, it was towed on to the runway and the two-man crew got in and started to pedal. The aircraft travelled 600 yards along the runway at an average speed of 15mph when a pin broke and the aircraft became impossible to control and the attempt was abandoned.

Tuesday 28th September 1965: Bristol Britannia 102 G-ANBH (BOAC) Withdrawn from use

Thursday 7th October 1965: Bristol B170 Superfreighter Mk21E G-AICT made its last flight.

November 1965: Bristol B170 Freighter G-AHJI Scrapped.

1966: The first visit to the airport by a BAC1-11

1966: British United Air Ferries separate From British United Airways they change name to British Air Ferries.


1966: Channel Airways add Vickers Viscount Srs 812 and a Hawker Siddeley HS 748 to the fleet.

1966: British Air Ferries who at the time were based in London with just a small operating base at Southend decided to move all operations to Southend. it's entire fleet of ATL 98 Carvairs were based at Southend with the Bristol Freighters operating out of Lydd.

1966: The last BAF/BUAF Bristol 170 Frieighter flights leave the airport.

February 1966: De Havilland Dove 1b G-ANVC (VR-NIT/AP-AGT/XY-ADI) Scrapped

Sunday 8th March 1966: Southend Airshow
Centenary of the Royal Aeronautical Society (formed 12th January 1866). To mark the occasion the Southend branch of the R.A.e.S planed an exhibition it was to be the biggest exhibition & air-display ever seen in the area, sadly the weather prevented much of the flying display from taking place. Total of 10,000 people came to the event, the hangers of ATEL were used for the exhibition, once the weather cleared joy-flights over the town and seafront were arranged, during the day an R.A.F Vulcan made a touch and go and an R.A.F Phantom made a low level fly past.

Wednesday 23rd March 1966: British United Air Ferries launched a new circular route Southend - Rotterdam - Manchester - Rotterdam - Southend.

Sunday 8th May 1966: Aeronautical Exhibition held in the Aviation Traders hangers.

1967: Sheila Scott round the world pilot flew her Pipper Commanche N8893P into the airport.

1967: British Historic Aircraft Museum
The British Historic Aircraft Museum moved from Biggin Hill. Once the museum's aircraft were on the airport the first public meeting was held for the proposed Historic Aircraft Museum, Director General A.J Tony Osborne announced there would be at least 26 aircraft on the four-acre site. Tony Osborne bought Miles Hawk Six G-ADGP (now in New Zealand) for racing and for the proposed museum. A number of other aircraft were purchased for the museum including: North American Mitchell HD368 & DH Drover VH-FDT/G-APXX.

1967: Last Scheduled Bristol 170 Freighter flight takes place.

Tuesday 14th March 1967: Avro Anson TX211 flew in for the proposed museum from Shawbury as it landed one of the engines failed.

Saturday 18th March 1967: Percival Proctor G-AOBW arrived by road at the museum compound.

April 1967: Bristol B170 Freighter G-AMWD Scrapped.

May 1967:  Hawker Sea Fury WJ288 arrived by road at the museum compound on the Eastern side of the airport.

Wednesday 3rd May 1967: Vickers Viscount 812 G-AVJZ crash.
Vickers Viscount G-AVJZ had just completed a major service and was undertaking a re-citification flight the aircraft was on take off when it uncontrollably swung off runway 24 the starboard wing tip connected the ground the aircraft crashed into a fenced off compound immediately catching fire, destroying the port wing & most of the front fuselage down to floor level, port tail-plane torn off, three engines torn off, outer part of starboard wing torn off, undercarriage forced back into the wing.

Tuesday 9th May 1967:   Avro Lincoln RF343/G-APRJ of Napier's made her last flight after being donated to the proposed museum.

Saturday 20th May 1967: Hawker Sea Hawk XE489 arrived by road at the museum compound.

Monday 26th June 1967: Channel Airways enter the jet age with their first BAC 111—400 operating a Southend-Palma service, other services also operated to Ibiza, Malaga & Tangier.

Sunday 1st October 1967: British United Air Ferries becomes British Air Ferries it is part of Air Holdings Limited.

1968: Vickers Vanguard 951 G-APEM flew in for Aviation traders to convert to Merchantman via added a large cargo door at the front of the fuselage.

1968: CASA 2.111 & G-AWHA & Spitfire G-AVDJ flew into the airport whilst filming the Battle of Britain film.

1968: Miles Monarch G-AFLW, Aeronca G-AVDJ, Pussmoth, 2 Hornet Moths, Luton Minor, Messenger, Tipsy Belfair fly into the airport for historical exhibition.

Sunday 24th March 1968: Open day & Airshow.
The airport held an open-day the event was to commemorate two anniversary's, one being the golden jubilee of the R.A.F and the other being the 21st anniversary of the post war airport. The event was a tremendous success it was opened at 2:00pm by a Wittering based 100sqn R.A.F Victor bomber making a touch and go. Other aircraft included the Spitfires & Hurricanes of the BBMF, Air Sea Rescue demonstration, Lightning, Shackleton, Dominie (HS125), R.A.F Falcons, The unique Reid & Sigrist Desford G-AGOS and a number of other historic aircraft flew in to the airport and gave displays throughout the day the event drew a crowed of over 50,000. The organisers of the proposed museum also put on display their aircraft, but as time went on the project was beginning to lose momentum until it collapsed completely.

Monday 25th March 1968: German Luftwaffe Nord Nortlas GB+102 visits the airport.

Saturday 4th May 1968: Vickers Viscount 812 G-APPU crash landing.
Vickers Viscount 812 (c/n364) G-APPU went off the end of runway 06 due to lack of breaking and too greater speed on a wet runway it hit the bank and rode up over this and down the other side, damage to the aircraft displaced landing gear, the ruptured port wing deflected up with the starboard extended over the up line, all the propellers were damaged with Nos 2 & 4 torn from their engines, both the starboard engines were torn from the aircraft, No4 engine and propeller ended up on the down line, the nose and fuselage sustained heavy blow on the starboard side, the nose-wheel bay structure and nose fuselage were displaced and torn from the front of the cockpit floor was crushed, pushed upwards and buckled, fuselage skin & supporting structure had buckled in compression on the port side at the forward end of the passenger cabin.

August 1968: De Havilland Dove G-AKJR (AP-AGJ) Scrapped

Tuesday 3rd September 1968: Airspeed Ambassador G-AMAC of BKS (ex-BEA) flew into the airport for storage.

Friday 16th September 1968: RAF Sycamore XG544 make one of the types last visits to Southend.

1969: Channel Airways begin operating two De Havilland Trident 1e/140s

Monday 20th January 1969: Channel Airways launch the “Scottish Flyer” service calling at Portsmouth-Southend-Luton-EastkMidlands-Leeds-Bradford-Teeside-Newcastle-Edinborough-Aberdeen.

 The Viscounts operating the cross country service were fitted with extra batteries so that more starts could be preformed without the need of relying on ground equipment.

March 1969: Airspeed Ambassador G-AMAC Broken up

June 1969:  Vickers Viscount 806 G-AOYR (BEA) Scrapped.

July 1969: The Rochford Hundred Flying Group sell Auster G-ANHX.
They acquire Auster J/5b Autocar G-AMFP, for eighteen years out of the previous twenty FP had been based on the airport, both with Aviation Traders and the Southend Corporation, who employed the aircraft as a joy flights aircraft on trips along the sea front, sadly the aircraft was destroyed in a non-fatal crash in the Jura mountains on 10th August 1972, whilst on a transit flight between Geneva & Macon. Druine D.26b Condor G-AWSR was leased as a replacement.

September 1969: Bristol 175 Britannia G-ANBH BKS Air Transport scrapped.

Friday 28th November 1969: Channel Airways scrap the “Scottish Flyer” service.

1970: First visit to the airport by a Boeing 737 (Britannia Airways G-AXNA) on a freight flight.

January 1970: Vickers Viscount 707 (c/n34) G-APZL (EI-AGI) of Channel Airways scrapped

March 1970: Vickers Viscount 707 (c/n30) G-APLB (EI-AFV) of Channel Airways scrapped.

March 1970: Vickers Viscount 720 (c/n47) VH-TVD of Flight Spares scrapped.

March 1970: Vickers Viscount 720 (c/n49) VH-TVF of Flight Spares scrapped.

March 1970: Vickers Viscount 720 (c/n71) G-APTA (VP-BBW, VP-TDK) of Channel Airways scrapped.

April 1970: De Havilland Dove 1b G-AJBI  (XY-ACE/AP-AFT/AP-AHC/XY-ACE) Scrapped.

April 1970: De Havilland Dove G-AOBZ (VR-NIL) Scrapped.

Sunday 26th April 1970: Southend Airshow 1970.
The event was held in aid of RAF Benevolent Fund and selected local charities the display included; Aerobatic display by RAF Lightning, RAF Support command, RAF Falcons, RAF Red Arrows, Gliding Display, Banner snatch by Percival Prentice, Tiger Moth, Neville Brownings Flying Circus, The Vintage Aircraft Flying Club, Aerobatic Spitfire G-AIDN
 
May 1970: Bristol Britannia 102 (c/n12905) G-AWBD BKS Air Transport scrapped.

Saturday 31st October 1970: The name BKS passed into history as it became wholly owned by BEA, the name of the new airline was Northeast. By this time the airline only had an engineering facility at Southend and moved out, Northeast & BEA were to become the global British Airways.

1970-71: The Saunders ST27
Aviation Traders co-designed the Saunders ST27, Converted from the De Havilland Heron 2, a major re-working of the airframe saw the removal of the four Gipsy Queen engines and replaced by two Pratt & Whitney PT 6A-27 turbo-prop's, wing strengthening fuselage extended by 8ft 6in. These conversions saw the speed of the aircraft increase to 230mph with an increased passenger load of 23. In total thirteen aircraft were converted all but the prototype were converted by Saunders of Canada with technical assistance being sent by Aviation Traders, the project failed after the Saunders company failed commercially.

1971: The first visit to the airport by a Boeing 707 (N11RV)

1971: Seawing Flying Club opens.

June 1971:  Bristol Britannia G-AOVA scrapped.


Thursday 8th October 1971: Blackburn Beverly XB261
The Blackburn Beverley flew into the airport after it was donated to the museum. This aircraft had last been with the A&AEE at Boscombe Down it was used for para-drop trials with the clam doors removed this was the only Beverley to fly across the Atlantic this was on a flight to Canada for clod weather trials this flight is commemorated by the Maple Leaf flag on the aircraft's nose, the first flight of the aircraft took place on the 5th July 1955 and its last flight was from it's base at Boscome Down in to Southend.

Wednesday 27th October 1971: British Air Ferries sold to T D Keegan owner of Transmeridian Air Cargo.

1972: A number of new airlines started to operate out of Southend, one of these being Braathins & Martinair. A CL 44 Guppy flew on a direct route from New York J,F,K Airport to Southend. It was operated by Transmeridian Air Cargo. The airport was use by many aircraft as a stop off point to clear customs, this resulted in many rare & vintage aircraft flying in to the airport.

1972: Vintage Aircraft Group flew-in with Miles Monarch G-AFLW, Aeronca G-AEXD, a Pussmoth, two Hornet Moth's, a Luton Minor, a Miles Messenger and a Tipsy Belfair.

1972: A Spitfire returns.
Away from the airport there was an unexpected arrival in Prittlewell in the shape of Supermarine Spitfire Mk9 G-CDAN ex RF863/FB Y The owner originally intended to restore the aircraft to ground running condition in his garage and then taxi it round the airport at special events and open-days. Upon the opening of the museum the aircraft was taken there to display whilst its restoration was carried out, upon the closure of the museum the aircraft was moved to Duxford where it was put back in to the air, the aircraft moved to more warmer sky's down in New Zealand as part of the Tim Wallis Alpine Fighter Collection.   With the closure of the collection the aircraft was sold to an Australian collector.

Tuesday 1st February 1972: Channel Airways call in the receivers.

Tuesday 15th February 1972: Channel Airways cease jet operations.

Tuesday 29th February 1972: Channel Airways cease all operations, the last passenger flight arrived at Southend in the shape of De Havilland Heron G-APKW carrying just six passengers.

Tuesday 28th March 1972: Canadair CL44 G-AZIN transferred from Transmeridian Air Cargo to British Air Ferries as a 170 seat passenger aircraft
on the Southend-Ostend route, a second aircraft was to join it but operating problems with the aircraft saw it returned to Transmeridian for cargo work.

June 1972: De Haviland Comet 4b (c/n06447) G-ARDI (SX-DAO) Dan Air scrapped.

May 1972: Saab J29f Barrel 29640 flew in just for preservation at the museum.

Friday 26th May 1972: The opening of the Southend Historic Aircraft Museum.
The original museum plans was for just that an aircraft museum but theses plans were on a much grander scale for now the museum had been joined by a conference centre, car park, petrol station and a hotel. The museum was opened by Air Marshal Sir Harry Burton KCB, CBE, DSO, RAF who at the time was Air Officer Commander-In-Chief Air Support Command.

June 1972: Vickers Viscount 812 (c/n359) G-AVHK (N246V) Channel Airways scrapped.

June 1972: Vickers Viscount 812 (c/n361) G-AVNJ (N249V) Channel Airways scrapped.

June 1972: Vickers Viscount 812 (c/n362) G-APPC (N250V) Channel Airways scrapped.

June 1972: Vickers Viscount 812 (c/n363) G-AVHE (N251V)) Channel Airways scrapped.

June 1972: Vickers Viscount 812 (c/n366) G-ATVE (N254V) Channel Airways scrapped.

July 1972: De Havilland Heron G-AMUK/VH-AHB Scrapped.

July 1972: De Havilland Heron G-ANCI/G-5-13/4X-ARL/OO-BIA Scrapped.

July 1972: De Havilland Heron G-APKV/CX-AOU Scrapped.

September 1972: Vickers Viscount 814 (c/n338) G-BAPF (SE-FOY, D-ANVN) BAF scrapped.

1973: The Rochford Hundred Flying Group acquire Beagle A61 Terrier 2 G-ASAK.

1973: Delta Air became regular visitors to the airport flying orange coloured Douglas DC6’s & Convair 440’s.

Thursday 17th May 1973:  Royal Air Force Red Arrows based at Southend.
The RAF Red Arrows land at Southend with nine Folland Gnats, (XP514, XP531, XR540, XR991, XR955, XR987, XS101, XS107, XS111 they are based at the airport for the duration of that years Biggin Hill Airshow.

Monday 21st May 1973: Red Arrows depart.

July 1973: Vickers Vanguard 951 G-APEF Scrapped
This was the aircraft that operated the world’s first commercial Vanguard service.

Saturday 24th November 1973: Hawker Sea Fury CF-CHB flew into the airport.
The aircraft had become the first Canadian registered aircraft to take part in the “unlimited” class air races at Reno in Nevada USA, owned and operated by Ormond Haydon-Baillie.

Thursday 6th December 1973: Lockheed T33 CF-EHB flew into the airport.
The aircraft was part of the Ormond Haydon-Baillie Collection the aircraft retained its all over silver scheme from its time with the Royal Canadian Air Force days.  Currently G-WGHB at Wycombe Air Park.

1974: Aviation Traders leave Southend.

1974: Helicopter Hire move in from Elstree.

September 1974: De Havilland Dove G-5-1 G-ALBM Scrapped.

Friday 4th October 1974: Douglas DC6b OO-VGB crash.
During take off the gear was accidentally retracted by the Flight engineer the nose leg retracted as the nose was up but the weight of the aircraft was still on its main gear the aircraft failed to get off the ground and came to rest nose down 30 ft from the end of runway 24, damage to the aircraft, both left tyres deflated, with the inboard having a 15in gash across the crown of the tread, there was damage to the aircrafts nose, wing, fin, rudder which had been penetrated by flying debris, there was a large gash in the right wing outboard No4 which was leaking fuel, all four engines were shock loaded and the propellers all sustained damage No4 had lost one whole blade, all has sheared from their engines.

Thursday 14th November 1974: Two Belgian Air Force Lockheed C130 Hercules aircraft land transporting the Republic F86f Thunderstreak for the museum.

1975: BAF buy the Handley Page HPR7 Herald quickly becoming the Worlds largest operator of the type with 14 aircraft.

1975: Vickers Vanguard 952 CF-TKI in use by ATEL as a structural test aircraft was scrapped.

1975: Avro Anson C16 G-AVHU (TX211) frame only, scrapped.

March 1975: Douglas DC6b OO-VGB scrapped. This aircraft had crashed on 4th October 1974, it had been towed and parked behind the BAF hangers until sold to Frankfurt Aviation Services for spares reclamation.

Saturday 14th June 1975:  Stample V82 flew into the airport to recreate the 1941 escape of General Baron Mike Donnet & Commandant Leon Divoy

1976: The Russian airline Aeroflot demonstrated the Yakovlev Yak 40 Feedliner to BAF and in a unique deal a Russian Kamov Ka26 Helicopter took up residence with Helicopter Hire,

1976: Last flights of the Car Ferrying Carvair's in the United Kingdom.
The popularity of the cheaper car ferry’s from Dover and the boom in the package tour holiday saw the need of such a service as flying your own car on holiday decline rapidly.
 
1976: De Havilland Dove 5 (c/n04462) G-AZPG scrapped.

Wednesday 24th November 1976: De Havilland Dove G-AZPG (HB-LAS) Withdrawn from use.

1977: Prototype Carvair nose section scrapped.

1977: The West German Air Force.
The West German Air Force were regular visitors to the airport it their C-160 Transall freighters, the flights were to pick-up Super HY-LO loading equipment built at the airport by Avialift.

1977: Heavy Lift & the Shorts Belfast.
By this time Aviation Traders had moved to Stansted, moving in to the vacated hangers was Heavy Lift, the company took delivery of it's first Shorts Belfast soon after and registered it as G-ASKE, the aircraft had just left R.A.F service where it had been XR362. The aircraft only came on to the civil market after the Labour government's massive defence cuts forced the cancellation of the project, (the Belfast first flew on 5th January 1964 and only 10 were built).

Sunday 11th September 1977: Proposed museum flying day.

1978: Douglas DC4 G-BBVN (HS-VGZ) Eagle Air Cargo scrapped after airline failed.

1979: TAC/Heavy Lift take over the ex ATEL hangers and begin civilianising the ex RAF Shorts SC5 Belfast Freighter.

1979: The Carvair is retired from service G-AOFW "Big John" is retired out side the BAF Engineering hanger.

1979: British Air Ferries leave the scheduled passenger serves market to concentrate on the charter sector, British Island Airways take over the operating licences of the schedules routes and taken over by AirUK.

March 1979: Vickers Viscount G-AMON (c/n27) owned by Cecil Jones Comprehensive High School scrapped 

 

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