09 December 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 39

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 39
Air France


France flag France

This V.708 series Viscount was built for
Air France as F-BGNV

It first flew on Thursday, 29 July 1954 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 505 engines.


Photo of Viscount c/n 39
Air Inter (Lignes Aériennes Intérieures)


France flag France

Its final owner/operator was
Air Inter (Lignes Aériennes Intérieures) as F-BGNV.

Its fate:-
Crashed during a severe thunder storm 24 kms north of Lyon, France 12 August 1963. All four crew and fifteen of the sixteen passengers on board were killed. One person on the ground was also killed. It was a miracle that one passenger actually survived such a bad crash.


Operational record
Photo of Air France Viscount F-BGNV

Country of Registration France

August 1954 to March 1962

Air France

F-BGNV - c/n 39 - a V.708 series Viscount
France registered

March 1951
An order was placed by Air France for twelve Type 700 aircraft. This was the twelfth V.708 built.

Production Aircraft No. 36 - the 36th production Type V.700 series Viscount built,
was the 7th Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 12th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F12/708. Sales Order No. F12/85A. Stock Order No. F04/21B.

23 February 1954
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

6 April 1954
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

29 July 1954
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

19 August 1954
Delivered to Air France.

25 August 1954
Registered to Air France.

1954 to c1959
The original ‘cutlass’ design propeller blades were gradually replaced by new symmetrical ‘needle’ blade propeller sets. From photographic evidence, both propeller types were fitted to Rolls-Royce Dart RDa3, Mark 505 and Mark 506 engines and many V.708 aircraft flew with an ‘intermix’ of both types of propeller blades.

Capacity later increased from 48 seats to 63 seats.

29 January 1958 - 18 April 1958
To Wisley Airfield, Surrey, England for spar checks and modifications.

25 November 1958
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

26 September 1959
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

18 March 1962
Sold to Air Inter (Lignes Aériennes Intérieures).


Photo of Air Inter (Lignes Aériennes Intérieures) Viscount F-BGNV

Country of Registration France

March 1962 to August 1963

Air Inter (Lignes Aériennes Intérieures)

F-BGNV - c/n 39 - a V.708 series Viscount
France registered

18 March 1962
Purchased from Air France.

12 August 1963
Crashed during a severe thunder storm 24 kms north of Lyon, France.

Total time 12,737 hours and 9,663 total landings.

Flight number 2611 took off from Lille-Lesquin Airport at 11:51 GMT for a standard IFR flight to Lyon-Bron Airport and then on to Côte D'Azur Airport, Nice. The flight started its descent from FL150 at 13:00 GMT and reported being over Tramoyes at FL40 nine minutes later. Lyon Control asked the flight to hold momentarily over Tramoyes at FL30, but a severe thunder storm in the area forced the crew to request permission to descend down to FL25. Lyon then cleared the flight for a direct approach to runway 17. The acknowledgment was the last thing heard from the crew. The Viscount was seen by local eyewitnesses at around 13:20, flying very low in an easterly direction in the heart of the storm. The plane struck trees, the roof of a farmhouse and a telephone pole before crashing into a field at approximately 14:19 GMT. The tail section was the only recognisable part remaining with the remainder scattered over a wide area.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Investigation Board considered that the aircraft would probably have landed safely if it had been able to carry through the approach it had initiated; that the accident resulted from exceptionally bad weather conditions in the area where the aircraft was holding at the request of Lyon Approach. The Board did not rule out the possibility of a flash of lightning dazzling the crew and causing temporary blindness or appreciably incapacitating both crew members."

All four crew and fifteen of the sixteen passengers on board were sadly killed. It was a miracle that one passenger actually survived such a bad crash. One person on the ground was also killed.

5 February 1964
French registration cancelled.


Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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This website has been designed, built and is maintained by Geoff Blampied, Norwich, Norfolk, England.