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 101

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 101
Central African Airways Corporation (CAA)


Rhodesia flag Rhodesia

This V.748D series Viscount was built for
Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) as VP-YND

It first flew on Thursday, 14 June 1956 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 510 engines.


During its life this aircraft was also owned and/or operated by
Air Malawi and Zambia Airways


Photo of Viscount c/n 101
Air Rhodesia


Rhodesia flag Rhodesia

Its final owner/operator was
Air Rhodesia as VP-YND.

Its fate:-
Shortly after departing from Kariba Airport, Zimbabwe Rhodesia at 17:06 hours 12 February 1979 while on scheduled flight 827 to Salisbury International Airport, Kentucky, Zimbabwe Rhodesia, the Viscount was hit in the jet pipe of the No.2 Rolls-Royce Dart engine by a heat-seeking SAM-7 (Soviet 9K32 Cтрела (Arrow) Strela-2) surface-to air-missile. The port wing burst into flames and the aircraft crashed out of control into a ravine in the Vuti African Purchase area.

Fighters from Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe Peoples Revolution Army (ZIPRA) were held responsible for shooting down the aircraft.

A memorial dedicated to all those killed on this aircraft and also those who were killed during the earlier attack to VP-WAS (C/N 297) was unveiled in the gardens of the South African Voortrekker Monument at Pretoria, South Africa 2 September 2012.


Operational record
Photo of Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) Viscount VP-YND

Country of Registration Rhodesia

July 1956 to January 1968

Central African Airways Corporation (CAA)

VP-YND - c/n 101 - a V.748D series Viscount
Rhodesia registered

August 1954
An order was placed by Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) for five V.748 Viscounts powered by Rolls-Royce Dart RDa6 Mark 510 engines and a 47 seat high-density cabin.

They were fitted with de Havilland propellers which was the first application to a production Viscount.

Production Aircraft No. 126 - the 126th production V.700 series Viscount built,
was the 83rd Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 87th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F04/748. Sales Order No. F04/67B. Stock Order No. F49/27B.

24 January 1956
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

18 March 1956
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

14 June 1956
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Dorset, England after a record build time of 10 and a half weeks.

23 June 1956
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England during the pre-delivery test flight phase.

29 June 1956
This was the first Viscount to visit the USSR. The aircraft was sent from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England to Vnukovo Airport, Moscow to collect the British Industry delegation who had attended the Soviet Aviation day celebrations and was flown by G R 'Jock' Bryce in 5 hr 50 mins. The trip included a 13 hour stopover at Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, West Germany. In Moscow, officials from Tupolev, Ilyushin and Mikoyan took the opportunity to inspect the aircraft.

Vickers had to get permission from Central African Airways (CAA) to use their aircraft for this visit which delayed the delivery by a few days.

BRITISH PATHE FILM ARCHIVE
Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) VP-YND arrives at Vnukovo, Moscow, USSR.

Click to see film


1 July 1956
After a 50 minute local acceptance flight flown between 12:15 and 13:05 by CAA Captain Glaser the aircraft was handed over to Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) named as 'R M A Mweru' and departed at 13:50 and arrived at London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England at 14:25 flown by CAA Captain Beck.

2 July 1956
Departed from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England at 09:45 and arrived at Rome, Italy at 13:40 (3hr 55 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

Departed from Rome Italy at 15:00 and arrived at Benina, near Benghazi, Libya at 18:05 (3hr 05 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

Departed from Benina, near Benghazi, Libya at 18:50 and arrived at Wadi Halfa, Northern Sudan at 23:00 (4hr 10 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

3 July 1956
Departed from Wadi Halfa, Northern Sudan at 20:35 and arrived at Khartoum, Sudan at 22:30 (1hr 55 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

Departed from Khartoum, Sudan at 23:45 flown by CAA Captain Beck.

4 July 1956
Arrived at Entebbe, Central Uganda at 03:50 (4hr 05 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

Departed from Entebbe, Central Uganda at 04:40 and arrived at Ndola, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland at 08:15 (3hr 35 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

Departed from Ndola, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland at 09:05 and arrived at Salisbury International Airport, Kentucky, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland at 11:10 (2hr 05 minutes sector) flown by CAA Captain Beck.

Painted in the CAA 'White Top' livery.
CAA
'White Top' livery

21 July 1956
Operated the first CAA 'Zambezi Coach' Viscount service from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England to Salisbury International Airport, Kentucky, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and Jan Smuts International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

circa July 1957
Weather radar installed by Marshall's at Teversham Airport, Cambridge, England.

circa 1958
Painted in the CAA 'White Top' livery.

4 January 1959
Operated the first CE843 service from Salisbury International Airport, Kentucky, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to the new Bulawayo Airport, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, landing at 21:00 hours in a rainstorm. This new airport replaced the old Kumalo Airport.

5 January 1959
Operated the first CE840 service from the new Bulawayo Airport, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland to Salisbury International Airport, Kentucky, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland with Captain Nash and crew and 29 passengers.

6 January 1959
Total time 5,325:22 hours.

7 September 1959
Total time 6,983:35 hours.

8 November 1959
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England due to a London Airport weather diversion. The passengers were transferred to London by coach.

22 November 1960
Total time 9,923:44 hours.

1964 - 1 January 1968
Operated for Central African Airways Corporation (CAA), Air Malawi, Air Rhodesia and Zambia Airways as required.

20 January 1965
Arrived at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England.

21 January 1965
Departed from Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England.

18 November 1965
Total time 20,319:08 hours.

1 June 1966
Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) celebrated their 20th anniversary and a special set of four stamps was issued featuring the de Havilland Dragon Rapide, Douglas DC-3, Vickers Viscount and the BAC One-Eleven.

6 September 1966
Total time 22,074:19 hours.

circa June 1967
Noted with the registration repositioned on the rear lower fuselage.

At this time the CAA Viscounts were fitted with removable nameplates that were easily installed to both sides of the rear fuselage. An ingenious quick release system held these nameplates in place as they were regularly changed over to suit the next departure schedule.

1 January 1968
Transferred to Air Rhodesia due to a corporate name change.


Photo of Air Malawi Viscount VP-YND

Country of Registration Rhodesia

March 1964 to January 1968

Air Malawi

VP-YND - c/n 101 - a V.748D series Viscount
Rhodesia registered

1964 - January 1968
Owned by Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) and operated as CAA, Air Malawi, Air Rhodesia and Zambia Airways.

At this time the CAA Viscounts were fitted with removable nameplates that were easily installed to both sides of the rear fuselage. An ingenious quick release system held these nameplates in place as they were regularly changed over to suit the next departure schedule.


Photo of Air Rhodesia Viscount VP-YND

Country of Registration Rhodesia

March 1964 to January 1968

Air Rhodesia

VP-YND - c/n 101 - a V.748D series Viscount
Rhodesia registered

1964 - January 1968
Owned by Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) and operated as CAA, Air Malawi, Air Rhodesia and Zambia Airways.

At this time the CAA Viscounts were fitted with removable nameplates that were easily installed to both sides of the rear fuselage. An ingenious quick release system held these nameplates in place as they were regularly changed over to suit the next departure schedule.


Photo of Zambia Airways Viscount VP-YND

Country of Registration Rhodesia

March 1964 to January 1968

Zambia Airways

VP-YND - c/n 101 - a V.748D series Viscount
Rhodesia registered

1964 - January 1968
Owned by Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) and operated as CAA, Air Malawi, Air Rhodesia and Zambia Airways.

At this time the CAA Viscounts were fitted with removable nameplates that were easily installed to both sides of the rear fuselage. An ingenious quick release system held these nameplates in place as they were regularly changed over to suit the next departure schedule.


Photo of Air Rhodesia Viscount VP-YND

Country of Registration Rhodesia

January 1968 to February 1979

Air Rhodesia

VP-YND - c/n 101 - a V.748D series Viscount
Rhodesia registered

1 January 1968
Transferred from Central African Airways Corporation (CAA) due to a corporate name change.

Painted in the Air Rhodesia 'blue flash' livery.
Air Rhodesia
'Blue Flash' livery

11 January 1973
Total time 33,679:14 hours and 23,054 total landings.

1974
Painted in a later livery (copying the Boeing 720 aircraft acquired from Calair) and now named as 'Umniati', which is a river in Rhodesia.

Painted in the Air Rhodesia 'grey nose' livery.
Air Rhodesia
'grey nose' livery

2 September 1974
Total time 36,235:32 hours.

circa 1976
Painted in the Air Rhodesia 'grey nose' livery.

12 February 1979
Shortly after departing from Kariba Airport, Zimbabwe Rhodesia at 17:06 hours on scheduled flight RH827 to Salisbury International Airport, Kentucky, Zimbabwe Rhodesia, the Viscount was hit in the jet pipe of the No.2 Rolls-Royce Dart engine by a heat-seeking SAM-7 (Soviet 9K32 Cтрела (Arrow) Strela-2) surface-to air-missile. The port wing burst into flames and the aircraft crashed out of control into a ravine in the Vuti African Purchase area.

Sadly, all 5 crew and 54 passengers died in this terrible incident.

Fighters from Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe People's Revolution Army (ZIPRA) were held responsible for shooting down the aircraft.

Total time 42,050 hours.

Those on board were: - Captain Jan (Andre) du Plessis (50), First Officer Michael Moolman (37), Air Hostesses Kathryn (Kathy) Creigh-Smith (29), Caroline du Chemin (21) and Regina Chigwada (23).

Passengers - Lynette Ballantyne (25), Arthur (Ben) Bensusan (66), Brenda Betts (36), Mark Betts (11), Russell Betts (9), Annette Billington (35), Martha Blignaut (37), Desmond Boyd (53), Gladys Boyd (49), Noel Boyd (26), Ian Boyd (25), Andrea Boyd (16), Leonie Boyd (14), George Dardagan (44), Ursula Dardagan (47), Margaret (Margo) Davies (35), Francis Delaplanque (50), Pauline Delport (26), Ian Dempsey (34), Bertrand de Rham (27), Jules Descampe (67), Adele Descampe(66), Derek Ebben (59), Alec Failie (76), Nancy Failie (66), Rouche Francois (30), John Gobey (52), Donald Goldin (46), Peter Gray (67), Andrew Hardinge (14), Michael Harraghy (37), Patricia Ings (36), Ron Isitt (55), Stephanie Maere (56), Ide Maere (54), Andrea (Andy) Mason (32), Susan Morgan (25), Beauty Muzondo (25), Robert Plouvier (55), Neville (Spike) Powell (45), Denise Quinese (32), Lynn (Mitzi) Rees (21), Gillian Tabor (22), Paul Tasker (19), John (Leo) Teede (54), Sheila Teede (54), Linda Thomson (22), Henry van der Merwe (33), Joanna Viljoen (53), Denise Viljoen (17), Robert Virgette (30), Deidre Wakefield (41), Edward (Ted) Wigg (37) and Loris Zucchini (58).

2 September 2012
A memorial dedicated to all those that were killed on this aircraft and also those who were killed during the earlier attack to VP-WAS (C/N 297) was unveiled in the gardens of the South African Voortrekker Monument at Pretoria, South Africa and then consecrated. A number of family members laid wreaths around the base of the two granite plaques which has rolls of honour listing all the names of those who sadly lost their lives.

There are still strong feelings amongst the Rhodesian communities relating to these atrocities and a general consensus of opinion that the then free-world did little to acknowledge or condemn the actions taken by the rebels. At long last there is a fitting tribute to the innocent victims of these events that occurred over thirty years ago. Long may we remember them.

Here is a poem written by Alf Hutchison after the unveiling ceremony: -

THE VISCOUNTS MEMORIAL

Piper’s mournful lament drifts on heat and rising haze, ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Abide with me’; unto God we gave the praise, The ‘Green and White’ flew at half mast; host Angels bid it blow, Their gentle breath on our dear flag, caused many tears to flow.

Today the Highveld lay silent, a vacuum void of sound, Monument Hill so quiet; baked red parched barren ground, African Camel-thorn Acacia, indigenous to this land, Stand as silent witnesses to Viscounts Memorial grand.

Two Granite stones bear the names of loved ones now passed on, We have promised to remember them in the morn and setting sun, Those who survived Hunyani; troubled families seeking rest, Come to honour the dead; civilians, and Rhodesia’s fighting best.

It stands now to remind the world of the depths that men can sink, Showing man’s inhumanity to man; and just how the evil think. This memorial stands not only to recall Rhodesia’s hurt, or pain, But to remind a once proud nation …we would do it all again.

FURTHER READING

'Viscount Down' - The Complete Story of the Rhodesian Viscount Disasters - by Keith Nell



Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

The Vickers Viscount Network is always interested to hear from anyone who has information or photographs to help complete the story of the Viscount. If you can help please contact us at
Information@VickersViscount.net.


Click here for more details about the Vickers Viscount Network

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