27 June 2022
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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
   

Viscount c/n 255

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 255
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd


England flag England

This V.806 series Viscount was built for
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd as G-AOYF

It first flew on Friday, 9 August 1957 at Weybridge, Surrey, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 520 engines.


During its life this aircraft was also owned and/or operated by
British European Airways (BEA)


Photo of Viscount c/n 255
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd


England flag England

Its final owner/operator was
Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd as G-AOYF.

Its fate:-
Severely damaged during a heavy landing at Jan Smuts International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa 20 October 1957. Returned by sea to the UK and rebuilt at Weybridge, Surrey, England as G-APOX (C/N 418) which was the last V.806 Viscount built for British European Airways Corporation (BEA).


Operational record
Photo of British European Airways Corporation (BEA) Viscount G-AOYF

Country of Registration United Kingdom

December 1956 to March 1957

British European Airways Corporation (BEA)

G-AOYF - c/n 255 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

20 December 1956
Registered to British European Airways Corporation (BEA).

1957
The proposed sale to British European Airways (BEA) named as 'R M A Michael Faraday' was postponed as Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd needed the aircraft for Viscount V.810 development and certification work.

G-AOYG (C/N 256) therefore became the first British European Airways (BEA) V.806 Viscount.

circa March 1957
Loaned to Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd.

FURTHER READING: Books about BEA - British European Airways



Photo of Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd Viscount G-AOYF

Country of Registration United Kingdom

March 1957 to October 1957

Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd

G-AOYF - c/n 255 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

circa March 1957
Loaned from British European Airways (BEA) for hot and high flight trials.

During this loan period it remained registered to BEA but was designated by Vickers as a V.806A.

June 1957
Noted on the final assembly line fitted with extended range 'slipper' fuel tanks.

9 August 1957
First flight from Brooklands Airfield, Weybridge, Surrey, England painted up as 'Vickers Viscount 806 - 810'.

It initially landed back at Brooklands Airfield.

This aircraft was fitted with an experimental rudder. The rudder included the complete fin cap which acted like a horn balance. During flight trials at 10,000 feet over the Chichester, West Sussex area the rudder was deployed at various speeds starting at 240 knots and as the speed increased in ten knot intervals everything seemed normal until at 290 knots there was a loud bang and the aircraft shook violently. The speed was quickly reduced and the aircraft flown back to base with a neutral rudder, where a normal landing was accomplished. Examination on the ground found a badly deformed rudder and tail and stress creases in the rear fuselage near the tail.

This type of rudder was then fitted to G-AOYV (C/N 316) when owned by Vickers and another flight trial was carried out, but the same overstress situation occurred at a similar speed but luckily without the stress creases to the rear fuselage.

N240V (C/N 353) of Continental Airlines also has this type of rudder temporarily fitted, possibly for US certification purposes, but it is not known if it was ever test flown in this configuration. It reverted to the standard rudder type before delivery. No customer aircraft were delivered with this type of rudder.

15 August 1957
Noted test flying from Wisley Airfield, Surrey, England fitted with a mast now fitted above the cockpit to accurately measure yaw values.

At this point the extended range 'slipper' fuel tanks had been removed.

2 September 1957
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England.

5 September 1957
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England carrying out touch-and-go flights.

11 September 1957
Departed from Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England at 08:02 GMT en-route to Africa for hot and high flight trials.

Total time 22:55 hours.

Arrived at Ciampino Airport, Rome, Italy at 11:08 GMT to refuel and departed at 12:56 GMT arriving at Benina Airport, Benghazi, Libya at 15:35 GMT where they nightstopped.

12 September 1957
Departed from Benina International Airport, Benghazi, Libya at 07:35 GMT and arrived at Wadi Halfa Airfield, Sudan at 11:33 GMT.

Departed from Wadi Halfa Airfield, Sudan at 12:27 GMT after refuelling but returned at 15:01 GMT due to a sandstorm at Khartoum Airport, Sudan and nightstopped.

13 September 1957
Departed from Wadi Halfa Airfield, Sudan at 05:41 GMT and arrived at Khartoum Airport, Sudan at 07:24 GMT where they refuelled before departing at 08:27 and arrived at Entebbe Airport, Uganda at 12:17 GMT where they nightstopped.

14 September 1957
Departed from Entebbe Airport, Uganda at 06:02 GMT and arrived at Kentucky Airport, Salisbury, Rhodesia at 10:21 GMT ready to begin flight trials.

The flight trials continued on a daily basis.

21 September 1957
A heavy landing at Kentucky Airport, Salisbury, Rhodesia resulted in wrinkles to the starboard fuselage skin and structural damage within the starboard wing and the No.3 engine nacelle.

Shortly before the flare the stall warning horn sounded and the starboard main wheels made heavy contact with the runway. The aircraft bounced back into the air and came down on the nose wheels for approximately 15 yards before the main wheels touched down.

Total time 63:19 hours.

22 to 30 September 1957
Fuselage repairs were carried out at Kentucky Airport, Salisbury, Rhodesia after the heavy landing.

This included repair patches to the internal structure of the starboard inner wing fuel tank cavities and skin areas and the No.3 engine nacelle.

The aircraft was repaired inside a hangar belonging to Central African Airways (CAA).

1 October 1957
After engine ground running checks by Rolls-Royce the test flight programme continued on a daily basis.

6 October 1957
After the conclusion of today's test flying a halt was called as the supply of main tyres had been consumed due to flat-spot damage during heavy braking.

There were more tyres held at Johannesburg which were sent to Salisbury. The cost of a main tyre was £30.00 and a nose tyre £11.00.

The poor weather forecast at Johannesburg prevented them from travelling there for the continuation of trials at this particular time.

7 October 1957
After fitment of new main tyres and also Water Methanol Control Units by Rolls-Royce a test flight was carried out with a takeoff weight of 68,000 lbs and lasted for 3 hours and 20 minutes.

8 October 1957
Two test flights were carried out with a takeoff weight of 68,000 lbs and lasted a total of 5 hours and 25 minutes.

9 October 1957
After the fitment of a new set of main wheel tyres six more test flights were planned to be carried out to assess the anti-skid brake system with a takeoff weight of 63,000 lbs.

The tests only lasted for 1 hour and 30 minutes due to an unacceptable increase in wind speed at Salisbury.

10 October 1957
A Check 1A was carried out by Vickers engineers with no serious defects found.

11 October 1957
A local air test was carried out after the maintenance was completed.

12 October 1957
Rolls-Royce engineers carried out ground running checks on all four R-R Dart engines followed by three test flights at 63,000 lbs for more anti-skid brake tests.

13 October 1957
After replacing the starboard main brake units three more test flights at 63,000 lbs were carried out to test the anti-skid brake system. During the final landing a port main tyre burst.

On completion of the test flights at Kentucky Airport, Salisbury, Rhodesia the aircraft travelled on to Jan Smuts International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

20 October 1957
During flight trials at Jan Smuts International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa it was severely damaged during a heavy landing, causing the starboard main undercarriage leg to collapse resulting in starboard propeller and engine damage. The accident occurred at 11:17 local time.

Captain T S Harris and Co-Pilot E McNamara and others on board were unhurt.

The Vickers assessment of the accident was as follows: -

After a normal takeoff a circuit was carried out prior to making a measured landing. A normal approach was made down to 400 feet with 40 degrees of flap and a speed of 125 knots. At this height the engines were throttled back and the speed was slowly reduced so as to pass through 50 feet at the required speed of 120 knots. Owing to an error of judgement by the pilot the round-out was commenced too late and with the starboard wing low. The aircraft struck the ground heavily on the starboard wheels, bounced and came down again on the starboard wheels resulting in the collapse of the starboard main undercarriage leg. The aircraft was held straight for as long as possible by coarse use of the rudder, aileron and nosewheel steering, but finally slewed to the right and left the runway causing severe damage to the starboard side of the aircraft, including curled starboard propeller blades and subsequent damage to the two R-R Dart engines. The No.4 propeller was severely curled with damage to the No.3 propeller as well, resulting in severe shockload damage to both R-R Dart engines.

The recovery of the aircraft after the accident and the subsequent dismantling and shipping were all controlled by representatives from Vickers-Armstrongs South Africa (Pty.) Limited assisted by South African Airways.

Both the starboard Rolls-Royce Dart RDa7 Mark 520 engines S/N 104 and 108 were returned to R-R at Derby for shockload repairs as well as the other two S/N 102 and 106 as they were all to be converted to Mark 525 standard.

28 October 1957
Vickers Engineer J A P Nidd flew out from London Airport to Johannesburg, South Africa via Kano, Nigeria and Salisbury, Rhodesia to assess the condition of the aircraft after partial dismantling had been carried out in a South African Airways hangar.

At this stage the inner wings were still attached.

Skin wrinkling was observed on the starboard side of the fuselage and the starboard inner wing with severe damage to the starboard flaps.

Mr Nidd was advised that the South African Authorities would not be investigating the cause of the crash.

3 December 1957
The dismantled and cocooned airframe and packing cases of other components departed from Johannesburg by road to Lourenco Marques, Mozambique.

Field Aircraft Services (South Africa) Limited carried out the cocooning process of the fuselage and other major airframe sections.

10 or 11 December 1957
The SS Umvoti, a British registered cargo steamship departed from Lourenco Marques, Mozambique, travelling to The Port of London via the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea.

The fuselage was carried on the deck, hence the need to cocoon it to protect it from the elements.

23 January 1958
Registration for BEA cancelled.

Aircraft total time 110:00 hours.

7 February 1958
Registered to Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd.

14 February 1958
The SS Umvoti arrived at the Royal Albert Docks, Port of London and the dismantled Viscount and additional packing cases were unloaded.

23 February 1958
The dismantled airframe was transferred from the Royal Albert Docks. Port of London to Weybridge, Surrey by Pickfords Ltd on various low loader and 'Queen Mary' vehicles under a police escort. A Sunday was requested by the Metropolitan Police to avoid heavy traffic.

4 September 1958
Registration cancelled as aircraft permanently withdrawn from use.

An insurance settlement of £175,471 was paid out by the British Aviation Insurance Company less an excess charge of £1,200.

The airframe was subsequently rebuilt at Weybridge, Surrey, England as G-APOX (C/N 418) and was the last V.806 Viscount built for British European Airways Corporation (BEA).


Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

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