09 December 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 426

Operational Record

Photo of Viscount c/n 426
Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd


England flag England

This V.833 series Viscount was built for
Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd as G-APTD

It first flew on Wednesday, 1 July 1959 at Weybridge, Surrey, England powered by Rolls-Royce Dart 530 engines.


During its life this aircraft was also owned and/or operated by
Hunting-Clan Air Transport Ltd (HCA), British Overseas Airways Corporation, British United Airways (BUA), Alia - The Royal Jordanian Airlines, British Midland Airways (BMA) and Arkia - Israel Inland Airlines Ltd


Photo of Viscount c/n 426
Field Aircraft Services Ltd


England flag England

Its final owner/operator was
Field Aircraft Services Ltd as 4X-AVD.

Its fate:-
Withdrawn from service by Arkia - Israel Inland Airlines Ltd and sold to Field Aircraft Services Ltd at East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, England in November 1979. Noted being dismantled for spares outside the Field Aircraft Services Ltd hangar in September 1982. Remains finally broken up for scrap in October 1983.


Operational record
Photo of Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1959 to July 1959

Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

1 July 1959
First flight from Brooklands Airfield, Weybridge, Surrey, England.

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

10 July 1959
Noted at Blackbushe Airport, Hampshire, England.

20 July 1959
Departed from Wisley Airfield, Surrey, England on delivery to the Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd at Wymeswold Airfield, Leicestershire, England.

It was flown by Brian Alexander Powell and took 55 minutes.

21 July 1959
Leased to Hunting-Clan Air Transport Ltd (HCA).


Photo of Hunting-Clan Air Transport Ltd (HCA) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1959 to July 1960

Hunting-Clan Air Transport Ltd (HCA)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

21 July 1959
Leased from Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd.

5 August 1959
Noted at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England carrying out a single ILS approach and overshoot.

22 March 1960
Noted at Ringway Airport, Manchester, England on its first visit.

31 May 1960
Purchased from Northern Aircraft Operating Company Ltd while still on lease.

1 July 1960
Transferred to British United Airways (BUA) due to a corporate merger.


Photo of British United Airways (BUA) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

July 1960 to September 1960

British United Airways (BUA)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

1 July 1960
Transferred from Hunting-Clan Air Transport Ltd (HCA) due to a corporate merger.

circa September 1960
Operated services to West Africa from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England on behalf of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) with BOAC titles applied to the ex Hunting-Clan livery.


Photo of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

September 1960 to September 1961

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

circa September 1960
British United Airways (BUA) operated services to West Africa from London Airport (Heathrow), Middlesex, England on behalf of BOAC with their titles applied to the ex Hunting-Clan livery.

circa September 1961
Returned to British United Airways (BUA) and painted in their livery.


Photo of British United Airways (BUA) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

September 1961 to February 1967

British United Airways (BUA)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

circa September 1961
Returned from British Overseas Airways (BOAC) operations.

Repainted in full BUA livery.

March 1965
The aircraft was operating a scheduled service to West Africa from Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England routing via Portela Airport, Lisbon, Portugal and Las Palmas Airport, Canary Islands as Flight Number BR321. After a night stop at Las Palmas the aircraft continued on to Bathurst Airport in the Gambia. Gambia Airways which at the time was owned by BUA (60%) and the Gambian Government (40%) provided ground support and were the local handling agents for this service.

During a departure from Bathurst Airport, continuing on to Freetown Airport, Sierra Leone and Accra Airport, Ghana all four Dart engines seized during the initial takeoff run and the takeoff was aborted.

The cause of the multiple engine failures was as a result of the handling pilot not setting the fuel control unit fuel flow values to match the high ambient temperatures. During the acceleration up to takeoff speed (15,000 RPM) this resulted in the turbine gas temperatures exceeding the thermal creep strength of the high pressure turbine blades resulting in their instant destruction with catastrophic secondary damage downstream within the turbine nozzle box area. Lumps of molten metal were found on the runway and in the exhaust / jet pipe area.

The aircraft was pulled back to a suitable area using ropes and local manpower. Replacement engines and extra staff were ordered from the UK and arrived a few days later on board a British United Air Ferries (BUAF) Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair along with propeller and engine removal equipment and master instruments to calibrate the replacement engines.

All four Dart engines seized at Bathurst Airport, The Gambia.
All four Dart engines seized at Bathurst Airport, The Gambia

As there was nothing suitable at the airport to remove the old engines or unload and fit the replacements a crane was hired from the local Public Works Department but this took two days to arrive. The temperature at the time was in the high 30 Celsius with hardly any shade when working on the engines. A few large umbrellas were set up with ample supplies of cold water.

The aircraft flew again on a test flight 16 days after the incident with only minor snags to resolve.

The above information was provided by Brian Robbins who was on secondment from BUA to Gambia Airways at the time as Acting General Manager. The West African service had only been in place for a few weeks when this incident happened and was set up as a goodwill gesture from BUA to the newly independent Gambia. Brian has fond memories of his time in the Gambia and will never forget this incident, which has happened elsewhere. Pre-flight check-lists are supposed to prevent such incidents from happening but there is always the human factor.

Bathurst Airport was renamed Banjul Airport in 1973.

28 January 1967
Arrived at Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England from Jersey Airport, Channel Islands.

It then entered the hangar to be prepared for its lease.

15 February 1967
Leased to Alia - The Royal Jordanian Airlines.


Photo of Alia - The Royal Jordanian Airlines Viscount JY-ADC

Country of Registration Jordan

February 1967 to March 1967

Alia - The Royal Jordanian Airlines

JY-ADC - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
Jordan registered

15 February 1967
Leased from British United Airways (BUA).

18 February 1967
Departed from Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England to Rome, Italy on delivery to Jordan.

29 March 1967
Returned to British United Airways (BUA).


Photo of British United Airways (BUA) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

March 1967 to April 1969

British United Airways (BUA)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

29 March 1967
Returned from Alia - The Royal Jordanian Airlines lease to Gatwick Airport, Surrey England, via Rome, Italy.

4 April 1967
Departed from Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England on its first service after maintenance.

June 1967
Noted repainted in the new BUA 'sand and turquoise' livery.

4 July 1968
The nose undercarriage leg collapsed during a flapless hard landing at Jersey Airport, Channel Islands after an air test as part of the renewal of its Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA).

This resulted in lower fuselage skin damage, curling of all four propellers and shockload damage to the Rolls-Royce Dart engines.

An investigation found that the nose undercarriage leg down-lock was only just engaged, which was the main reason the nose leg collapsed.

There were no reported injuries to the 5 crew on board.

Repaired and returned to service.

20 April 1969
Leased to British Midland Airways (BMA).


Photo of British Midland Airways (BMA) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

April 1969 to November 1969

British Midland Airways (BMA)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

20 April 1969
Leased from British United Airways (BUA) in a hybrid livery.

It was ferried from Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England to East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, England.

This aircraft was used as a replacement for G-AVJA (C/N 336) which had crashed 20 March 1969.

November 1969
Returned to British United Airways (BUA).


Photo of British United Airways (BUA) Viscount G-APTD

Country of Registration United Kingdom

November 1969 to February 1970

British United Airways (BUA)

G-APTD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
United Kingdom registered

November 1969
Returned from lease to British Midland Airways (BMA).

10 November 1969
Ferried from Gatwick Airport, Surrey, England to Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland for a repaint in Arkia livery by Scottish Aviation Ltd.

It was flown by Captain Brian Alexander Powell and took 1 hour 40 minutes.

17 February 1970
Air test carried out from Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland after the repaint.

It was flown by Captain Brian Alexander Powell and took 2 hour 20 minutes.

18 February 1970
Air test carried out from Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland after the repaint.

It was flown by Captain Brian Alexander Powell and took 1 hour.

19 February 1970
Ferried from Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, Scotland to Abbotsinch Airport, Glasgow, Scotland after the repaint.

It was flown by Captain Brian Alexander Powell and took 55 minutes which must have included some test flying.

21 February 1970
Sold to Arkia - Israel Inland Airlines.


Photo of Arkia - Israel Inland Airlines Ltd Viscount 4X-AVD

Country of Registration Israel

February 1970 to November 1979

Arkia - Israel Inland Airlines Ltd

4X-AVD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
Israel registered

21 February 1970
Purchased from British United Airways (BUA).

24 February 1970
Departed from Abbotsinch Airport, Glasgow, Scotland at 05:50 on delivery to Arkia at Tel Aviv, Israel arriving at Brindisi Airport, Apulia, Italy at 10:30.

It departed from Brindisi Airport, Apulia, Italy at 11:35 and arrived at Lod Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel at 15:10.

The delivery flights were flown by Captain Brian Alexander Powell.

27 February 1970
Captain Brian Alexander Powell then spent over a month training Arkia pilots out of Lod Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel in this aircraft and 4X-AVB (C/N 424).

12 December 1977
Total time 31,304:21 hours.

15 March 1978
Total time 31,627:43 hours.

7 November 1979
Sold to Field Aircraft Services Ltd.


Photo of Field Aircraft Services Ltd Viscount 4X-AVD

Country of Registration Israel

November 1979 to October 1983

Field Aircraft Services Ltd

4X-AVD - c/n 426 - a V.833 series Viscount
Israel registered

7 November 1979
Purchased from Arkia - Israel Inland Airlines Ltd and ferried to East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, England.

8 November 1979
Arkia titles were removed.

27 February 1981
Placed in open store at East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, England.

September 1982
Noted outside the Field Aircraft Services Ltd hangar, having now been robbed of all useful spares.

The US Go Group were reported as the purchaser of some of the apares.

October 1983
Remains finally broken up for scrap and taken away for final processing by Don Simpson of Newcastle.


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.