21 June 2024
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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 128

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 128
Capital Airlines (USA)

United States flag United States

This V.745D series Viscount was built for
Capital Airlines (USA) as N7430

It first flew on Wednesday, 27 June 1956 at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 510 engines.

Photo of Viscount c/n 128
United Air Lines

United States flag United States

Its final owner/operator was
United Air Lines as N7430.

Its fate:-
Crashed near Homestead, Ellicott City, Maryland, 16 miles south west of Baltimore, Ohio USA 23 November 1962 after encountering a flock of Whistling Swans with at least two striking the aircraft.

Operational record
Photo of Capital Airlines (USA) Viscount N7430

Country of Registration United States

July 1956 to June 1961

Capital Airlines (USA)

N7430 - c/n 128 - a V.745D series Viscount
United States registered

June 1954
This was the twentysixth of thirty Type 745 ordered by Capital Airlines.

The first nine aircraft (C/N 103 to 111) were built as Type 745 aircraft with Rolls-Royce Dart RDa3 Mark 506 engines.

All subsequent aircraft in the order were built as Type 745D with Rolls-Royce Dart RDa6 Mark 510 engines.

December 1954
An additional order for 20 Type 745D aircraft was placed by Capital Airlines.

Altogether, the total order was worth $67,000,000 US. This was the highest ever US Dollar export order for the UK at the time.

Production Aircraft No. 129 - the 129th production Type 700 series Viscount built,
was the 88th Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 89th Viscount assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

Production Order No. F26/745. Sales Order No. F26/68B. Stock Order No. F26/27B.

24 August 1955
A drawing showing the cabin seating arrangement was approved and issued.by Capital Airlines and showed 11 rows of 2 + 2 seats with two toilets at the front, one on each side and a large galley at the rear.

20 February 1956
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

2 April 1956
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

27 June 1956
First flight from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

2 July 1956
Departed from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England on delivery to Capital Airlines with fleet number ‘349’ fitted with integral front 'airsteps'.

circa 1958
Large registrations on the rear fuselage appeared after the use of small registrations on the tail were banned by the newly formed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Also by this time weather radar had been fitted resulting in a change to the nose cone.

May 1960
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd filed a foreclosure suit on the entire Viscount fleet of Capital Airlines as the overdue payments now totalled $34,000,000.

4 April 1961
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officially gave permission for United Air Lines to acquire Capital Airlines.

At the time this was the biggest merger transaction in US civil aviation history.

1 June 1961
Transferred to United Air Lines due to a corporate merger.

Photo of United Air Lines Viscount N7430

Country of Registration United States

June 1961 to November 1962

United Air Lines

N7430 - c/n 128 - a V.745D series Viscount
United States registered

1 June 1961
Transferred from Capital Airlines due to a corporate merger retaining fleet number '349'.

After repainting in United Air Lines livery during a suitable maintenance period the title ‘Viscount Mainliner’ was applied to the rear fuselage.

The last Capital Viscount N7443 (C/N 199) was repainted in United Air Lines livery in March 1962.

23 November 1962
Crashed in a wooded area six miles west / southwest of Ellicott City, Maryland, USA.

Total time 18,809 hours and 14,756 total landings.

At 12:24 flight 297 was flying at 6,000 feet en route from Newark International Airport, New Jersey, USA to Dulles Airport, Washington, DC, USA when it encountered a flock of Whistling Swans with at least two striking the aircraft. One swan penetrated the leading edge of the left horizontal stabilizer and egressed from the rear surface causing damage to the elevator. This weakened the structure so much that failure occurred which rendered the plane uncontrollable. The Viscount eventually struck the ground in a nose down inverted attitude.

All 13 passengers and 4 crew were sadly killed.

The remains of the aircraft were virtually unrecognisable.

PROBABLE CAUSE: A loss of control following separation of the left horizontal stabilizer which had been weakened by a collision with a Whistling Swan.

The crew were Captain Milton J. Balog, co-pilot Robert J. Lewis, and stewardesses Mary Kay Klein and Kaaren G. Brent.

Captain Balog had been with Capital Airlines prior to the merger with United Air Lines.

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.