28 November 2021
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Viscount Survivors


59 of the 444 Viscounts built survive as complete airframes or major components. Some are in very good condition and are looked after by museums while others are just wrecks. They can be found in 24 countries.

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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
   

Viscount c/n 31

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 31
Aer Lingus - Irish Air Lines


Ireland flag Ireland

This V.707 series Viscount was built for
Aer Lingus - Irish Air Lines as EI-AFW

It first flew on Tuesday, 16 February 1954 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 506 engines.


During its life this aircraft was also owned and/or operated by
Sea Products Company, Eagle Airways (Bermuda) Ltd, Cunard Eagle Airways Ltd, British Eagle (Bermuda) Ltd, Bahamas Airways, BOAC Associated Companies Ltd, Bahamas Development Corporation, James Carter and Southern Cross Air Transport


Photo of Viscount c/n 31
Go Group Inc


United States flag United States

Its final owner/operator was
Go Group Inc as N7972.

Its fate:-
Reported stored at California City Municipal Airport, California, USA late 1974.

Robbed of engines and propellers in 1978.

Remains sold to Go Group Inc and moved to a scrap yard on highway 14, 3 miles south of Mojave, California, USA in October 1982 where they were finally scrapped (date unknown).


Operational record
Photo of Aer Lingus - Irish Air Lines Viscount EI-AFW

Country of Registration Ireland

March 1954 to December 1959

Aer Lingus - Irish Air Lines

EI-AFW - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Ireland registered

February 1951
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd announced that Aer Lingus were negotiating the purchase of four V.700 series aircraft.

9 November 1951
An order was placed by Aer Lingus for four V.707 aircraft which would have a two crew cockpit and a 48 seat cabin.

The order for these four aircraft was worth £800,000.

At that time British European Airways Corporation (BEA) held a 30% stake in the airline.

Production Aircraft No. 28 - the 28th production V.700 series Viscount built,
was the 2nd Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 4th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F02/707. Sales Order No. F02/86A. Stock Order No. F10/21B.

Fuselage assembly at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England
Fuselage assembly at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England

26 August 1953
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

8 November 1953
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

6 February 1954
Engine ground running commenced.

16 February 1954
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

7 March 1954
Departed at 10:30 local time on delivery to Aer Lingus named as 'St Brighid' / 'St Brigid' together with Viscount EI-AFV (C/N 30) as their first Viscounts.

The flight to Dublin was flown by Captain W Martin.

It was fitted with Rolls-Royce Dart Mark 506 engines with serial numbers 1170 and 1171 on the port side, and 1172 and 1173 on the starboard side.

2 April 1954
Departed from Dublin on a demonstration flight carrying the Sinn Féin President of Ireland Seán Tomás Ó Ceallaigh (O'Kelly) accompanied by his wife and a group of guests.

The flight lasted for 3 hours 45 minutes and covered about 750 miles over Ireland, mainly at a low level to provide a scenic view through those large windows.

The President took over the controls for a portion of the flight.

The flight was flown by Captains R N White, O McAlinden and J J Gallagher with Anna Greevy, B O'Connor and P Keane attending the cabin serving afternoon tea.

14 December 1954
During a flight from Collinstown Airport, Dublin, Ireland to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands a near-miss was reported with a formation of Royal Netherlands Air Force Hawker Hunters. They were observed by the Viscount flight crew to be flying in and out of clouds and then dived down towards the Viscount before veering away.

1955
The cabin seating capacity was increased from 48 to 53.

18 March 1955
Temporarily withdrawn from service after the crash of BEA V.701 G-ALWE (C/N 4) and replaced by two Douglas DC-3 aircraft on their routes.

22 March 1955
The V.707 fleet returned to service after the completion of flap modification work.

Painted in the Aer Lingus 'green top' livery.
Aer Lingus 'green top' livery

1955/1956
Painted in the Aer Lingus 'green top' livery that had a Winchester green cabin roof and an English green cockpit roof. The rudder was all white.

Painted in the Aer Lingus 'green/white top' livery.
Aer Lingus
'green/white top' livery

May 1957
Ferried to Vickers-Armstrongs at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England for flap modifications. At this time the cockpit roof was painted white.

Painted in the Aer Lingus 'green/white top Viscount' livery.
Aer Lingus
'green/white top Viscount' livery

circa 1957
The word 'Viscount' was added to the cabin roof.

24 September 1957
During the takeoff run from runway 08 at Collinstown Airport, Dublin, Ireland on flight EI 158 to London at 13:50 local time the No.3 Rolls-Royce Dart engine failed.

The Captain aborted the takeoff after 2,400 feet of runway had been used and overran the end of the wet runway resulting in the collapse of the nose undercarriage leg.

The aircraft then collided with runway 24 approach lights before ending up with the nose buried in the airport boundary fence. The No.3 and No.4 propellers became detached during this phase of the accident. All four Rolls-Royce Dart engines suffered from shockload damage which required an extensive repair shop visit.

Of the 54 passengers and 4 crew on board only one passenger was slightly injured by scalding from a beverage flask.

The service was operated by Captain Richard N White, First Officer Tom Fenning with Miss A McCarthy and Miss A McKenna in the cabin.

The passengers later continued their journey to London on board two Douglas DC-3, departing at 17:20 and 17:39 local time.

The cause of the loss of the No.3 Rolls-Royce Dart engine was due to the failure of the engine's High Pressure Fuel Pump.

Repaired and returned to service.

February 1958
Ferried to Teversham Airport, Cambridge, England for wing spar replacement work by Mashall's in order to extend the cycle fatigue life.

circa April 1958
Returned to service.

April 1958
Renamed as 'St Iarflaith' ('St Jarlath').

Later renamed as 'St Malachy'.

April 1959
Withdrawn from service at Collinstown Airport, Dublin, Ireland on the North Apron.

circa October 1959
Aer Lingus considered converting this aircraft and EI-AFV (C/N 30) and EI-AGI (C/N 34) to carry freight to replace their Douglas DC-3 freight fleet, but nothing came of it.

Aer Lingus advert selling four V.707 series Viscounts Artwork by Willem M van Velzen


circa November 1959
Ferried from Teversham Airport, Cambridge, England.

1 December 1959
Purchased by Sea Products Company as part exchange for Viscount VR-BAY (C/N 312). The deal also included Viscount EI-AFY (C/N 32).

FURTHER READING: Books about Aer Lingus



Photo of Sea Products Company Viscount EI-AFW

Country of Registration Bermuda

December 1959 to February 1960

Sea Products Company

EI-AFW - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bermuda registered

1 December 1959
Purchased from Aer Lingus together with Viscount EI-AFY (C/N 32) as part exchange for VR-BAY (C/N 312).

5 January 1960
Ferried from Collinstown Airport, Dublin, Ireland to Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England.

Total time 7,751 hours.

4 February 1960
Irish registration cancelled as aircraft sold abroad.

17 February 1960
Rolled out at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England in full Eagle Airways livery marked as VR-BBJ.

22 February 1960
Sold to Eagle Airways (Bermuda) Ltd.


Photo of Eagle Airways (Bermuda) Ltd Viscount VR-BBJ

Country of Registration Bermuda

February 1960 to July 1960

Eagle Airways (Bermuda) Ltd

VR-BBJ - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bermuda registered

22 February 1960
Purchased from Sea Products Company and handed over at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England. It departed the same day on delivery.

28 July 1960
Transferred to Cunard Eagle Airways.


Photo of Cunard Eagle Airways Ltd Viscount G-ARKH

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1960 to July 1962

Cunard Eagle Airways Ltd

G-ARKH - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

28 July 1960
Transferred from Eagle Airways (Bermuda) Ltd.

19 February 1961
Arrived at Ringway Airport, Manchester, England from Bermuda.

20 February 1961
Arrived at London Airport, Middlesex, England from Manchester.

9 March 1961
Re-registered from VR-BBJ.

5 April 1961
First flight after an extensive overhaul, now in full Cunard Eagle Airways livery.

6 April 1961
Certificate of Airworthiness issued.

7 April 1961
Entered scheduled service from Manchester to Hamburg, West Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark.

24 June 1961
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

16 July 1962
Registration cancelled as aircraft returned to British Eagle (Bermuda) Ltd and exported as VR-BBJ.


Photo of British Eagle (Bermuda) Ltd Viscount VR-BBJ

Country of Registration Bermuda

July 1962 to September 1962

British Eagle (Bermuda) Ltd

VR-BBJ - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bermuda registered

16 July 1962
Returned from Cunard Eagle Airways.

September 1962
Sold to Bahamas Airways.


Photo of Bahamas Airways Viscount VR-BBJ

Country of Registration Bermuda

September 1962 to July 1963

Bahamas Airways

VR-BBJ - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bermuda registered

September 1962
Purchased from British Eagle (Bermuda) Ltd.

19 July 1963
Sold to BOAC Associated Companies Ltd.


Photo of BOAC Associated Companies Ltd Viscount G-ARKH

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1963 to January 1964

BOAC Associated Companies Ltd

G-ARKH - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

19 July 1963
Purchased from Bahamas Airways.

It was then ferried to the Scottish Aviation Ltd facility at Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland.

20 January 1964
Sold back to Bahamas Airways.


Photo of Bahamas Airways Viscount VP-BCF

Country of Registration Bahamas

January 1964 to December 1968

Bahamas Airways

VP-BCF - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bahamas registered

20 January 1964
Purchased from BOAC Associated Companies Ltd.

17 February 1964
UK registration cancelled as aircraft exported.

27 February 1964
Departed from Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland on delivery in a modified BOAC livery.

The modified livery and other maintenance work had been carried out by Scottish Aviation Ltd (SAL).

29 September 1966
Noted at Wymeswold, Leicestershire, England on maintenance with Field Aircraft Services Ltd in a later livery.

December 1967
Noted at Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland undergoing maintenance with Scottish Aviation Ltd (SAL).

October 1968
Withdrawn from service and stored at Nassau Airport, Bahamas.

Total time 21,268 hours.

December 1968
Sold to Bahamas Development Corporation.


Photo of Bahamas Development Corporation Viscount VP-BCF

Country of Registration Bahamas

December 1968 to July 1973

Bahamas Development Corporation

VP-BCF - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bahamas registered

December 1968
Purchased from Bahamas Airways.

October 1972
Withdrawn from service and stored at Nassau Airport, Bahamas (was it ever used by the Bahamas Development Corporation?).

July 1973
Sold to James Carter of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.


Photo of James Carter Viscount VP-BCF

Country of Registration Bahamas

July 1973 to August 1973

James Carter

VP-BCF - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
Bahamas registered

July 1973
Purchased from Bahamas Development Corporation.

August 1973
Reregistered N7972 and ferried to California City Municipal Airport, California, USA.


Photo of James Carter Viscount N7972

Country of Registration United States

August 1973 to December 1977

James Carter

N7972 - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
United States registered

August 1973
Re-registered from VP-BCF.

30 May 1974
Noted stored at Little Rock Airport, Arkansas, United States still carrying the registration VP-BCF.

Late 1974
Noted stored at California City Municipal Airport, California, USA carrying the registration N7972.

December 1977
Sold to Southern Cross Air Transport.


Photo of Southern Cross Air Transport Viscount N7972

Country of Registration United States

December 1977 to October 1982

Southern Cross Air Transport

N7972 - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
United States registered

December 1977
Purchased from James Carter but the aircraft remained stored at California City Municipal Airport, California, USA.

June 1978
Noted with the engines and propellers removed.

Total time 21,268 hours and 21532 total landings.

October 1982
Remains sold to Go Group Inc.


Photo of Go Group Inc Viscount N7972

Country of Registration United States

October 1982 to

Go Group Inc

N7972 - c/n 31 - a V.707 series Viscount
United States registered

October 1982
Remains purchased from Southern Cross Air Transport and moved to a scrap yard on highway 14, 3 miles south of Mojave, California, USA.

Remains finally scrapped.


Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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