28 October 2021
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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 412

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 412
British European Airways Corporation (BEA)


England flag England

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

It first flew on Wednesday, 4 June 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) and British Air Ferries (BAF)


Photo of Viscount c/n 412
Brooklands Museum


England flag England

Its final owner/operator was
Brooklands Museum as G-APIM.

Its fate:-
Damaged beyond economic repair while owned by British Air Ferries (BAF) after Fairflight operated Shorts SD3-30 G-BHWT collided with it at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England due to a hydraulic failure 11 January 1988. The pilot was unable to stop the aircraft and the starboard propeller chewed its way into the Viscount cockpit area. Luckily there was no one sitting in the cockpit at the time.

Offered on a 99 year term loan to the Brooklands Museum aviation collection on the 29 June 1989. On 11 February 1990 the fuselage departed from Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England by road on delivery using a National Rescue Group vehicle to the Brooklands Museum at Weybridge, Surrey, England - back to where she was built in 1958. An enforced nightstop was made in a layby on the M25 motorway near Leatherhead, Surrey. Part of the journey was through the Dartford Tunnel, a unique experience for a Viscount! Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the museum closed to the general public 20 March 2020. The museum re-opened 1 August 2020 to the general public from Thursday to Sunday each week but with restricted access to the interior of the display aircraft. The museum fully re-opened 19 May 2021 from Wednesdays to Sundays 10am – 5pm (and every day of half term) but entry tickets must be booked in advance, now without a defined entry time.


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

Country of Registration United Kingdom

June 1958 to November 1971

British European Airways Corporation (BEA)

G-APIM - c/n 412 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

19 November 1957
Registered to British European Airways Corporation (BEA).

It was purchased to replace the crashed Viscount G-AOJA (C/N 150) under BEA sales order 39C.

4 June 1958
First flight from Brooklands Airfield, Weybridge, Surrey, England.

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

20 June 1958
Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) issued.

23 June 1958
Delivered to British European Airways (BEA) named as 'R M A Robert Boyle'.

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

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

26 January 1959
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

18 February 1959
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

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

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.

31 March 1959
BEA annual report quotes a total time of 1,599 hours.

25 November 1959
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England carrying out multiple ILS approaches and overshoots.

18 January 1960
R-R Dart RDa7 Mark 520-3 engine S/N 7173 was installed in the No.4 (starboard outer) position at 3221 hours airframe total time.

5 February 1960
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

13 June 1960
Total time 4,200 total hours.

24 September 1960
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

18 December 1960
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

circa 1961
Used for route proving flights to Budapest, Hungary and Prague, Czechovslovakia.

1 November 1964
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a London Airport (Heathrow) weather diversion.

October 1965
Converted to V.806X standard by Marshall's at Teversham Airport, Cambridge, England.

This involved replacing the Dart RDa7 Mark 520 engines with RDa6 Mark 510 engines and installing a V.802 style cabin.

The RDa7 Mark 520 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.

20 February 1968
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England due to a Heathrow Airport weather diversion.

21 February 1969
Ferried from Heathrow Airport, London, England to Teversham Airport, Cambridge, England and placed in open storage with Marshall's.

3 November 1969
Ferried from Teversham Airport, Cambridge, England to Heathrow Airport, London, England on its return to service.

31 March 1971
British European Airways Corporation (BEA) annual report quotes a total time of 23,218 hours.

2 November 1971
Sold to Cambrian Airways.

FURTHER READING: Books about BEA - British European Airways



Photo of Cambrian Airways Viscount G-APIM

Country of Registration United Kingdom

November 1971 to July 1973

Cambrian Airways

G-APIM - c/n 412 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

2 November 1971
Purchased from British European Airways (BEA).

3 November 1971
Delivered from Heathrow Airport, London, England to Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales.

16 November 1971
Registered to Cambrian Airways.

18 January 1972
Rolled out at Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales in the new Cambrian Airways 'orange' livery.

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

May 1972
Noted with small 'British Air Service' titles on the forward lower fuselage.

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-APIM

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1973 to January 1984

British Airways (BA)

G-APIM - c/n 412 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

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

12 November 1973
Rolled out in British Airways (BA) livery with small 'Cambrian' titles on the forward fuselage.

1 April 1974
Registered to British Airways (BA).

27 November 1974
Total time 27,961:23 hours and 27,411 total landings.

16 April 1975
Total time 28,343:27 hours and 28,027 total landings.

October 1976
Noted in British Airways (BA) livery with small 'Channel' titles on the forward fuselage.

12 September 1977
Total time 31,353:39 hours and 32,054 total landings.

7 December 1977
Ground-looped on landing at Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands, Scotland. After a period of circling the airport due to bad weather the aircraft finally landed at Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands, Scotland from Dyce Airport, Aberdeen, Scotland on flight BZ762. When the crew tried to brake the aircraft aquaplaned, ground-looped and then skidded off the righthand side of the runway into soft ground. The starboard propellers dug into the soft ground and threw debris against the fuselage, which added to the already tense atmosphere amongst the passengers as the aircraft came to a sudden halt.

There was some damage to the aircraft, starboard propellers and engines but no injuries to the passengers or crew, although a lot of them were in a state of shock afterwards.

One of the passengers, Peter Gledhill, who was a field sales executive with Volvo Penta UK assisted the Chief Steward in the evacuation by volunteering to jump down from the starboard rear door in order to assist in holding down the escape shute, so that the passengers and then the cabin crew could safely evacuate the aircraft. The ground conditions were very muddy and windy at the time. Mr J R Ridgeway who was the district Superintendent for British Airways at Kirkwall sent a letter of praise to Volvo Penta UK, which then appeared in their 'house' newspaper in early 1978.

Repaired locally.

Painted in the British Airways (BA) 'British' livery.
British Airways (BA)
'British' livery

11 May 1978
Total time 32,195:51 hours and 33,218 total landings.

18 November 1979
Total time 34,420:54 hours and 36,141 total landings.

14 November 1980
Rolled out at Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales with British Airways (BA) 'British' titles.

24 February 1981
Total time 35,524:16 hours and 37,625 total landings.

16 December 1981
This was the last British Airways (BA) Viscount to be overhauled at the Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales facility.

26 March 1982
Operated the last BA Viscount service to Birmingham International Airport, Elmdon, West Midlands, England from Dyce Airport, Aberdeen, Scotland.

The crew on board were Captain Robert (Bob) Parker, First Officer Brian Norton, Purser Hilary Mitchell and Stewardess Carol Shore.

27 and 28 March 1982
British Airways (BA) operated special flights from Abbotsinch Airport, Glasgow, Scotland to Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands, Scotland with Viscounts G-AOYL, G-AOYM, G-AOYO and G-APIM, to mark the airline's withdrawal of the type twenty-five years after it had first visited Kirkwall and following twenty years of scheduled services. Three hundred passengers, many of whom were British Airways (BA) air crew and ground crew, past and present, took part in the occasion, which included a celebratory dinner and dance at Kirkwall. The instigator and chief organiser of this very popular and fondly remembered event was Jack Ridgway, who was to serve for nearly twenty years as BEA - British European Airways and British Airways (BA) Station Manager at the airport. Hundreds of spectators watched as the four aircraft departed at lunchtime on Sunday 28 March, each making a low flypast of the airport and the town.

28 March 1982
Last service for British Airways (BA) from Kirkwall Airport, Orkney Islands to Abbotsinch Airport, Glasgow, Scotland.

The service was flown by Captain Robert (Bob) Parker with Purser Hilary Mitchell and Stewardess Carol Shore in the cabin. The First Officer's name is not known.

15 April 1982
Ferried to Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales and withdrawn from service and stored.

This aircraft was the last Viscount to be retired from British Airways (BA) service.

18 January 1984
Taken out of storage and operated the service from Heathrow Airport, London, England to Jersey, Channel Islands instead of the BAC One-Eleven due to heavy snow stopping the jet from operating.

This happened on the following day as well, which must have been embarassing for BA as the BAC One-Eleven had replaced the Viscount.

20 January 1984
Ferried back to Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales and finally withdrawn from BA service.

27 January 1984
Sold to British Air Ferries (BAF).

FURTHER READING: Books about British Airways (BA)



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

Country of Registration United Kingdom

January 1984 to June 1989

British Air Ferries (BAF)

G-APIM - c/n 412 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

27 January 1984
Purchased from British Airways (BA).

3 February 1984
Ferried from Rhoose Airport, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales to Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England with the undercarriage locked down.

July 1984
Entered service with British Air Ferries (BAF) with a 76 passenger inerior.

25 August 1984
Named as 'Viscount Stephen Piercey' during a ceremony at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England that was attended by Stephen's family. Stephen Piercey was an accomplished aviation photographer and was the first editor of the popular 'Propliner' magazine and became the chief photographer of Flight magazine. Tragically, Stephen was killed aged 26 during an air-to-air photo sortie at the Hanover Air Show 20 May 1984. His father Ray was an airline pilot and regularly flew 'IM' hence the decision to name the aircraft after his son. Ray later helped to preserve the Viscount after its untimely withdrawal from service. Had it not been damaged it would have probably disappeared to Africa like all the others.

7 August 1986
Total time 39,037:49 hours.

Repainted in the new British Air Ferries (BAF) 'British' livery.
British Air Ferries (BAF)
'British' livery

circa July 1987
Entered the BAF maintenance facility at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England for a major overhaul and a repaint in the new British Air Ferries (BAF) 'British' livery.

Ironically the overhaul of this aircraft also included extensive and expensive modifications to the fuselage internal structure in order to increase its fatigue life.

9 January 1988
Last flight before being damaged beyond economic repair.

Photo of G-APIM shortly after Fairflight operated Shorts SD3-30 G-BHWT taxied into it.
Hit by the Fairflight
Shorts SD3-30 G-BHWT

11 January 1988
Damaged beyond economic repair after a Fairflight Shorts SD3-30 collided with it at Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England.

Shorts SD3-30 G-BHWT had a history of hydraulic problems and was at Southend for repairs but these were not carried out due to a shortage of available spares at Southend.

Fairflight decided to have the aircraft ferried back to Biggin Hill Airport, Kent, England for repairs, without the benefit of a backup hydraulic system.

The aircraft was taxiing to the runway when the nosegear steering suddenly failed.

The aircraft entered an uncommanded left turn and collided with the stationary Viscount, virtually head-on.

The SD3-30 starboard propeller chewed its way through the Viscount fuselage adjacent to the cockpit.

Neither pilot on board the SD3-30 were injured and luckily there was no one sitting in the Viscount cockpit at the time.

For full details of this accident please read Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report 8/88 by going to https://www.gov.uk and searching for G-APIM.

Total time 39,757 hours and 42,210 total landings.

The aircraft was then robbed of all useful parts including the four propellers and the Rolls-Royce Dart engines.

April 1989
The aircraft was noted parked out on the airport awaiting its final fate.

29 June 1989
The aircraft was offered on long term loan to the Brooklands Museum aviation collection.


Photo of Brooklands Museum Viscount G-APIM

Country of Registration United Kingdom

June 1989 to

Brooklands Museum

G-APIM - c/n 412 - a V.806 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

29 June 1989
The aircraft was offered on long term loan by British Air Ferries (BAF).

After an inspection by Julian Temple, Curator of Aviation at the Brooklands Museum and Roger Hargreaves of Proteus Aero Services, the offer was gratefully accepted.

The aircraft was then dismantled by Mick Bates, assisted by Andy Lambert, Managing Director of The National Rescue Group, ably assisted by his AEC Militant Road Crane, named 'Millie'.

11 February 1990
The fuselage departed from Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England by road on delivery using a National Rescue Group Ford low-loader vehicle and assisted by Proteus Aero Services to the Brooklands Museum at Weybridge, Surrey, England - back to where she was built in 1958. A Surry Police enforced nightstop was made in a layby on the M25 motorway near Leatherhead, Surrey, due to the approach of darkness.

Part of her delivery journey took her through the Dartford Tunnel under the River Thames, a unique experience for a Viscount!

Arrived at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, England.
Arrived at Brooklands
Museum by road

12 February 1990
Arrived at Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, England on a 99 year loan to the aviation collection from British Air Ferries (BAF) in their livery and parked outside.

The fuselage was unloaded in the presence of Stephen Piercey's family, the local Mayor, Sir Peter Masefield and Sir George Edwards. It was then placed inside the Bellman hangar, still located on the trailer that it was moved on from Southend.

17 February 1990
Wings moved from Southend Airport, Rochford, Essex, England to Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, England.

May 1990
A group known as the 'Friends of Viscount Stephen Piercey' was formed to raise funds to keep the restoration project going.

Since then with the aid of British Air Ferries (BAF) the 'Friends' have flown fund raising Viscounts trips, usually in G-AOYN (C/N 263) with BAF Captain Colin Towle, to all kinds of places including:- France, Jersey and Duxford, plus several local tours including one that involved beating up Heathrow's runway at a few hundred feet.

August 1990
Damage to the nose section was repaired by Mick Bates of Proteus Aero Services with funds from the museum.

21 September 1990
The fuselage was moved out from the Bellman hangar and the inner wing sections were attached.

1 March 1991
Registration cancelled as aircraft permanently withdrawn from use.

circa May 1993
Interior re-furbished with seats and finally opened to the public. Does anyone know the actual date? Details please to information@vickersviscount.net

April 2004
Outer wing sections removed in preparation of a move to a new museum location.

1 May 2004
Aircraft moved to a new location on the Brooklands site to make room for the assembly of BAC Concorde G-BBDG.

Vickers Viscount Network members join Brooklands Museum members to rearrange the engines.
Vickers Viscount Network
members help change an engine

7 and 8 May 2010
Vickers Viscount Network Co-founder Brian R Burrage assisted Brooklands Museum members in swapping over the No.1 and No.4 Rolls-Royce Dart RDa6 Mark 510 engines and to add a turbine module that came off of a spare Rolls-Royce Dart RDa6 Mark 514-7 (F27) engine that the museum had acquired for this purpose. The turbine modules are identical on both aircraft types. This added some more weight to the forward end of the aircraft to make it sit correctly on the ground. The new No.1 engine was then restored by museum volunteers, again assisted by Brian, who sourced a lot of the missing parts through his Dart overhaul business contacts. This will allow it to go on public view during the summer months.

May 2012
A full external repaint including the application of more accurate BAF titles was completed after a year of hard work by a large volunteer team.

8 April 2014
The No.1 engine petal cowlings were replaced, as the original set were suffering from corrosion, especially the hinges, and these cowlings need to be opened regularly to allow the public to view the fully restored Rolls-Royce RDa6 Mark 510 engine.

See the G-APIM photo gallery for the complete story.

5 August 2014
Peter Gledhill visited Brooklands Museum to go onboard the aircraft, which he was travelling in when it had a landing incident at Kirkwall, Orkney, Islands, Scotland 7 December 1977 (see the British Airways operational history section for full details).

29 September 2015
Noted with the forward cabin display area being revamped by members of the Viscount volunteer team.

10 May 2016
Noted with the forward cabin display area now revamped by members of the Viscount volunteer team.

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

1 August 2020
The museum re-opened to the general public from Thursday to Sunday each week but with restricted access to the interior of the display aircraft.

19 May 2021
The museum re-opened from Wednesdays to Sundays 10am – 5pm (and every day of half term) but timed entry tickets must be booked in advance. Inside access is now available.


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.