15 August 2020
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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
   

Viscount c/n 263

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 263
British European Airways Corporation (BEA)


England flag England

This V.806 series Viscount was built for
British European Airways Corporation (BEA) as G-AOYN

It first flew on Friday, 7 March 1958 at Weybridge, Surrey, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 520 engines.


During its life this aircraft was also owned and/or operated by
Cambrian Airways, British Airways (BA), British Air Ferries (BAF), Oasis Oil Company, Occidental of Libya Inc, Polar Airways, Panavia Air Cargo Ltd, Capital Airlines, British World Airlines (BWA), Hanningfield Metals and Duxford Aviation Society (DAS)


Photo of Viscount c/n 263
Bournemouth Aviation Museum


England flag England

Its final owner/operator was
Bournemouth Aviation Museum as G-OPAS.

Its fate:-
Withdrawn from service by British World Airlines (BWA) and stored at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England in June 1996.

Broken up for scrap by Hanningfield Metals in February 1997 except for the forward fuselage which was initially stored outside at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, England under the care of the Duxford Aviation Society (DAS).

Loaned to the Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Hurn Airport, Dorset, England and put on display 5 December 2006. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the museum closed to the general public until further notice 19 March 2020.


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

Country of Registration United Kingdom

March 1958 to December 1971

British European Airways Corporation (BEA)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

circa 1955
This was the 9th V.806 and the 32nd V.800 series Viscount ordered by British European Airways Corporation (BEA).

Production Aircraft No. 52 - the 52nd production V.800 series Viscount built,
was the 37th V.800 Viscount fuselage assembled at Hurn, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England,
and the 52nd V.800 Viscount assembled at Weybridge, Surrey, England.

Production Order No. F09/806. Sales Order No. F09/98B. Stock Order No. F32/33B.

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

15 June 1957
Fuselage assembly commenced at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England.

August 1957
Fuselage transported by road from Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England to Weybridge, Surrey, England.

15 August 1957
Fuselage to Erecting Shop 'E' at Weybridge, Surrey, England.

7 March 1958
First flight from Brooklands Airfield, Weybridge, Surrey, England.

It landed at Wisley Airfield, Surrey, England for fitting out and test flying.

The test flights accumulated a total of 13 hours and 25 minutes.

26 March 1958
Delivered to British European Airways (BEA) named as 'R M A Sir Isaac Newton'.

18 November 1958
Total time 1,800:08 hours.

March 1959
A new BEA 'Red Square' livery was adopted and aircraft were repainted during the early 1960s when they next went in for overhaul.

Sadly, after repainting, the aircraft no longer carried a name including the nameplate on the forward cabin bulkhead.

3 March 1959
BEA annual report quotes total time as 2,022 hours.

Painted in the new BEA 'Red Square' livery.
BEA 'Red Square' livery

28 September 1959
Total time 3,584:22 hours.

August 1960
Operated a special flight from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England to Ciampino Airport, Rome, Italy carrying the British Olympic Team to the summer games which were held from 25 August to 11 September.

11 July 1961
Soviet Cosmonaut Major Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, the world's first spaceman, arrived in London, England for a four day official visit. He completed an orbit of the Earth 12 April 1961.

12 July 1961
Yuri travelled from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England to Ringway Airport, Manchester, England as a guest of the Foundry Workers Union on board this aircraft which was still in the original 'Red Stripe' livery. Yuri used to work in a foundry before embarking on a more exciting career. He arrived at 10:00 and during the cruise phase he was invited by Captain Stanley Key to sit in the first officer's position and take the controls. He returned to London on the same aircraft at about 16:30. He finally returned to Moscow on 15th July. Sadly, Yuri died 27 March 1968 whilst flying a MIG 15UTI which crashed during a training sortie.

During his vist to England Yuri Gagarin flew between London and Manchester on G-AOYN.
Yuri Gagarin

circa 1964
Converted to V.806X standard by Marshall's at Teversham Airport, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England. This mainly involved replacing the Dart RDa7 Mark 520 engines with RDa6 Mark 510 engines. The RDa7 engines were returned to Rolls-Royce where some of them were converted to Mark 526 standard for use on the BEA Armstrong Whitworth 650 Argosy.

Painted in the new BEA 'Flying Union Jack' livery.
BEA 'Flying Union Jack' livery

circa 1968
A new BEA ‘Flying Union Jack‘ livery was adopted and most aircraft were repainted when they went in for major overhaul, which took some of them into the early 70s before this was accomplished.

31 March 1971
BEA annual report quotes total time as 23,411 hours.

December 1971
Sold to Cambrian Airways.

FURTHER READING: Books about BEA - British European Airways



Photo of Cambrian Airways Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

December 1971 to July 1973

Cambrian Airways

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

December 1971
Purchased from British European Airways (BEA).

30 December 1971
Delivered from Heathrow Airport, London, England to Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales still in BEA livery.

1 April 1972
Cambrian Airways came under the control of British Airways (BA).

1 September 1972
Cambrian Airways became part of the Regional Division of British Airways (BA).

31 July 1973
Transferred to British Airways (BA) due to a corporate merger.


Photo of British Airways (BA) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1973 to February 1981

British Airways (BA)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

31 July 1973
Transferred from Cambrian Airways due to a corporate merger.

Continued to operate on the ex Cambrian Airways routes.

July 1974
Noted with 'Cambrian' on the forward lower fuselage.

4 April 1980
Operated its last service for British Airways (BA) from Ringway Airport, Manchester, England to Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales and put into storage.

16 February 1981
Sold to British Air Ferries (BAF).

FURTHER READING: Books about British Airways (BA)



Photo of British Air Ferries (BAF) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

February 1981 to May 1981

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

16 February 1981
Purchased from British Airways (BA) and named as 'Diane'.

16 February 1981
Ferried from Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales to Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England.

April 1981
Rolled out in full BAF livery after a major check.

17 May 1981
Leased to Oasis Oil Company.


Photo of Oasis Oil Company Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

May 1981 to July 1981

Oasis Oil Company

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

17 May 1981
Leased from British Air Ferries (BAF) in a modified BAF livery with Oasis Oil Co titles.

12 July 1981
Returned to British Air Ferries (BAF).


Photo of British Air Ferries (BAF) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1981 to January 1982

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

12 July 1981
Returned from the Oasis Oil Company still named as 'Diane'.

9 January 1982
Leased to Occidental of Libya Inc.


Photo of Occidental of Libya Inc Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

January 1982 to May 1982

Occidental of Libya Inc

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

9 January 1982
Leased from British Air Ferries (BAF) retaining the name 'Diane'.

May 1982
Returned to British Air Ferries (BAF).


Photo of British Air Ferries (BAF) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

May 1982 to March 1983

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

May 1982
Returned from Occidental of Libya Inc lease still named as 'Diane'.

27 March 1983
Leased to Polar Airways while their Viscount G-AOHV was at British Air Ferries (BAF) for maintenance.


Photo of Polar Airways Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

March 1983 to April 1983

Polar Airways

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

27 March 1983
Leased from British Air Ferries (BAF) while Viscount G-AOHV was at British Air Ferries (BAF) for maintenance.

1 April 1983
Returned to British Air Ferries (BAF).


Photo of British Air Ferries (BAF) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

April 1983 to January 1984

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

1 April 1983
Returned from Polar Airways lease.

June 1983
Noted operating with 'Aerolink' titles on the nose for a Pandair cargo contract.

January 1984
Sold to Panavia Air Cargo Ltd.


Photo of Panavia Air Cargo Ltd Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

January 1984 to January 1984

Panavia Air Cargo Ltd

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

January 1984
Purchased from British Air Ferries (BAF).

January 1984
Leased back to British Air Ferries (BAF).


Photo of British Air Ferries (BAF) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

January 1984 to March 1989

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

January 1984
Leased from Panavia Air Cargo Ltd and named as 'Viscount Rotterdam'.

February 1984
Withdrawn from service and stored at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England.

29 March 1985
Returned to service still named as 'Viscount Rotterdam'.

June 1986
Noted renamed as 'Viscount Jersey'.

7 March 1989
Sub-leased to Capital Airlines (UK).


Photo of Capital Airlines (UK) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

March 1989 to August 1989

Capital Airlines (UK)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

7 March 1989
Sub-leased from British Air Ferries (BAF), leased from Panavia Air Cargo Ltd.

7 March 1989
Rolled out in basic British Air Ferries (BAF) livery with Capital Airlines titles and named as 'City of Dublin'.

14 March 1989
Began Capital Airlines services from Luton Airport, Bedfordshire, England to Collinstown Airport, Dublin, Ireland.

19 March 1989
Officially delivered to Capital Airlines (UK).

late August 1989
Returned to British Air Ferries (BAF).


Photo of British Air Ferries (BAF) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

August 1989 to April 1993

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

late August 1989
Returned from Capital Airlines (UK) sub-lease.

Named as 'Viscount Rotterdam'.

Painted in full British Air Ferries (BAF) livery but with unusual titling.
British Air Ferries (BAF) livery
with unusual titling

October 1989
Painted in full British Air Ferries (BAF) livery but with unusual titling and an outlined unicorn on the tail, and re-entered service.

circa April 1990
Titling repainted and the outlined unicorn on the tail made solid.

G-AOYN at Le Bourget.
G-AOYN at Le Bourget

29 July 1990
On the 29 July 1950 the prototype Viscount G-AHRF operated the world's first turbine powered scheduled commercial flight. It was operated by British European Airways (BEA) as BE392X2 and departed at 12:48 from Northolt Airport, Middlesex, England to Le Bourget Airport, Paris, France.

History and photos of Viscount c/n 1 G-AHRF



Forty years after the event on 29 July 1990, and knowing that Viscounts would not be flying for much longer, 'The Friends of Viscount Stephen Piercey' and British Air Ferries (BAF) set out to re-fly the route.

Film of the commemorative flight to Le Bourget



19 November 1991
Noted at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England operating an aviation enthusiasts charter. Details please to information@vickersviscount.net

1 April 1993
Transferred to British World Airlines (BWA) due to a corporate name change.


Photo of British World Airlines (BWA) Viscount G-AOYN

Country of Registration United Kingdom

April 1993 to October 1994

British World Airlines (BWA)

G-AOYN - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

1 April 1993
Transferred from British Air Ferries (BAF) due to a corporate name change.

18 April 1993
Operated a special charter flight from Rochford, Southend, Essex, England to Duxford, Cambridgeshire, England with a low flypast at Stansted, Essex, England on the way, flown by BWA Captain Colin Towle.

At Duxford, former BEA Captain Ray Piercey, father of the late Stephen Piercey named the Viscount 'Spirit of Brooklands', with a banner attached to the nose next to the door.

The Viscount at Brooklands, G-APIM (C/N 412) had already been named in memory of Stephen, who was sadly killed in an air-to-air photo sortie accident.

It was still in full BAF livery.

The trip had been organised by the 'Friends of Stephen Piercey' to commemorate the 40th anniversary of BEA Viscount G-AMNY (C/N 6) operating the world’s first regular turboprop passenger service, flying from London - England to Nicosia - Cyprus, via Rome - Italy and Athens - Greece on 18 May 1953.

30 August 1993
Noted at Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, Germany still in full BAF livery.

This was the last visit of a Viscount to this airport.

March 1994
Noted with BWA titles applied to the former BAF livery.

5 October 1994
Re-registered G-OPAS.


Photo of British World Airlines (BWA) Viscount G-OPAS

Country of Registration United Kingdom

October 1994 to February 1997

British World Airlines (BWA)

G-OPAS - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

5 October 1994
Re-registered from G-AOYN. The new registration refers to Go Parcelforce Air Services.

25 October 1994
Rolled out after re-paint in the red Parcel Force International livery.

21 June 1996
Final flight to Southend Airport, Rochford, England and withdrawn from service and stored.

February 1997
Sold to Hanningfield Metals for metal salvage.


Photo of Hanningfield Metals Viscount G-OPAS

Country of Registration United Kingdom

February 1997 to March 1997

Hanningfield Metals

G-OPAS - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

February 1997
Purchased from British World Airlines (BWA) for metal salvage and broken up into sections and transferred to their yard at Templewood Industrial Estate, Stock Road, West Hanningfield, Essex, England.

circa March 1997
Forward fuselage section moved to the Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, England under the care of the Duxford Aviation Society (DAS).

28 July 1997
Registration cancelled as aircraft scrapped.


Photo of Duxford Aviation Society (DAS) Viscount G-OPAS

Country of Registration United Kingdom

March 1997 to December 2006

Duxford Aviation Society (DAS)

G-OPAS - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

circa March 1997
Forward fuselage section transferred from Hanningfield Metals.

Stored outside on a trailer at Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, England at the eastern end of the airfield, near the gliding club, away from public view.

5 December 2006
Loaned to the Bournemouth Aviation Museum at Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Dorset, England.


Photo of Bournemouth Aviation Museum Viscount G-OPAS

Country of Registration United Kingdom

December 2006 to

Bournemouth Aviation Museum

G-OPAS - c/n 263 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

5 December 2006
Forward fuselage section transferred on loan from the Duxford Aviation Society (DAS), Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire, England to Hurn Airport, Bournemouth, Dorset England.

This was a very appropriate exhibit as at least half the total number of Viscounts sold were built here.

Put on public display outside the museum with access to the cockpit.

December 2007
The Bournemouth Aviation Museum closes due to airport expansion plans and a dark cloud hung over the future of the larger aircraft.

The Bournemouth Aviation Museum re-opened on a new site at the airport.
Put back on display

24 October 2008
The Bournemouth Aviation Museum re-opened on a new site at the airport and amongst the exhibits transferred across was the Viscount forward fuselage section still in the smart red Parcel Force livery.

Sadly some of the other aircraft exhibits were scrapped or only the forward fuselages saved, such as the Channel Express Handley Page HPR.7 Dart Herald.

24 February 2014
Christchurch Borough Council have approved the museum's application to remain at their new site at the airport which secures the future for the existing exhibits.

19 March 2020
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the museum closed to the general public until further notice.


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.


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