Vickers Viscount Network
January 2010 Newsletter
Welcome to the first 2010 edition of the Vickers Viscount Network Newsletter -
Judging by the exchanges of goodwill passing around the readership in the Festive
Season there are definite signs that the idea to share our views and experiences is
an excellent one and should be continued, or rather, re-instated! Regular readers
will notice we`ve adopted a new magazine style layout to make it easier for you to
find the information that interests you the most. We hope you like it!
NEW NEWSLETTER CO-ORDINATOR - DAVE ROBINSON
In January we broadcast the need for someone to assist with the uploading of the
newsletters on to the website. "The Team" comprising site founders and the research
team members were encouraged by the rapid response that flowed in either offering
help or displaying willingness to help if circumstances permitted. It was appreciated
that many others took the trouble apologising that for some reason or other they
were not able to assist. Overall, this displayed an appreciation for the overall
website and also recognition that the newsletters serve a useful purpose. Thank you
everyone for your patience. The fact that you are reading this newsletter signifies
that we now have someone who has stepped up and accepted the role of putting the
newsletters on the site. On behalf of all of us, thank you Dave.
THE PLUNA VISCOUNT
PLUNA Viscount c/n 400 CX-BJA.
Emails aplenty circulated on this subject during mid January. John Chapman from
Perth, Australia will visit South America in the near future and is going to try
and trace it. He has been given revised co-ordinates of its location. Watch this
ROAMED TO ROME
Viscount c/n 284 I-LIRG.
firstname.lastname@example.org has drawn attention
to a Google sighting of a Viscount V.798D in a Rome backyard. Comparison of the Google
Earth sighting and our latest photo show it to be c/n 284 I-LIRG. Look at: Listings>>
Aircraft Histories>> key in 284 and press the GO button.
Looking at Google Earth, there are many references to Viscounts but not all will produce
a photograph. It would be ideal to have a record of all the Viscounts that could have a
Google photograph. Some of the Google images now show the date the aerial photograph was
WEBSITE MENU PROMPTS
By now most of you will be quite familiar with the layout of the website and already
know how to navigate quickly to the items that interest you. For new readers though we
thought it might be helpful to draw your attention to some of the gems buried a little
deeper in the site. There are a few we think are particularly worthy of mention. These
appear in the newsletter as green text with these symbols >> directing you to menu
sub items from the drop down lists that appear when your mouse hovers over the main item.
- Happy Hunting.
USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Geoff Blampied and Brian Burrage receive requests to "buy, borrow, use" etc photographs
for other publications and media. Because of copyright issues, the site founders have an
explicit policy of not making material on the site available for copying. Although this
may not sound user friendly, it must be remembered that material is kindly donated by
contributors and out of respect, a determined effort is made to protect their copyright.
While on this subject, if you do have any queries as to photo origin references, please
contact Geoff. - From The Main Menu: - About Us >> Contact us >> Website Production.
PHOTOS - A PLEA FROM THE WEB MASTERS
We get many offers to supply photos. Brian has a standard plea to donors, "We need scans
of at least 600 DPI / 500 KB to produce a decent sized image on the website". Sending
them in this format would save Brian and Geoff a lot of work and should see your pictures
on the website that much sooner. Not that they would refuse smaller DPI photos, it`s just
that the correct sizes are easier to prepare for uploading and generally take precedence.
To see the photo gallery of an aircraft featured: From The Main Menu: - Photos>>
YOU CAN SEARCH BY CONSTRUCTION NUMBER - HAVE A GO!
BKS Viscount c/n 225 G-APNF.
Select the Construction Number or Registration that you are interested in, e.g. EI-AJW
or 225, then press GO.
Note that you can scroll to the right of each photograph for a snap shot on what's new
in the photograph department. Note too that the pictures are now presented in thumbnail
WEBSITE PHOTOGRAPH LAYOUT
Geoff has recently altered the way in which photographs are presented on the site
and there are two new pages on the photos menu. These are:
PHOTOS BY CONTRIBUTOR: This page serves to give contributors better recognition
of their assistance and also to make it easier for the contributor to keep tabs on
what they have had uploaded.
LATEST 50: This page serves to show progress on the uploading of new photos.
Thumbnail format makes it easier to see at a glance what is new. It is recommended that
you save the LATEST 50 page as a favourite and to visit it regularly so that it
will be easier to determine what has been uploaded since your last visit. The thumbnail
idea drew a favourable response and has therefore been introduced to the individual
aircraft photo files and also the contributors` files. Brian Burrage, who has
extensive file listings on the site, has page numbers. Double click on a page number to
reveal what is loaded. Some were getting too big to wade through one photo at a time.
These changes came from recommendations within the website production team however it
is stressed that there is no reason why anyone with a good idea cannot put an idea
forward for consideration. The site is for the benefit of all aviation enthusiasts and
by pooling expertise we can strive to make the site as efficient as possible.
As we continue to expand new links are being added. From The Main Menu: - Links>>
Aviation Groups>> you will see the current status.
As the site continues to grow, visitors and existing members have come to regard it
as the definite source of correctness and in time they may rely on it in publications
and in the news media.
One of our Canadian correspondents has made an observation that fits exactly into the
growing definitive trend of our website. He has kindly noted the correct presentation
of the name of their Viscount airline. It is Trans-Canada Air Lines. There is a hyphen
in Trans-Canada and there are two words Air Lines rather than Airlines.
Similarly, in Australia, it is Trans-Australia Airlines not Trans Australian Airlines.
Can you spot other airlines which are misrepresented on the site?
Some might look on this as petty and pedantic but it is not. Please don`t be put off by
this call for correctness - the end result is we want website information entries to be
published in their correct format. You would hate to see incorrect decals on an otherwise
THE VIRTUAL MUSEUM
To provide information and photos for inclusion in the Virtual Museum please send them to
- Photos should be scanned as jpgs at 600 dpi or over.
If you need help scanning your photos then contact Brian Burrage at
who provides the Vickers Viscount Network Quality, Secure and FREE scanning service.
LIGHT HEARTED BUT TRUE VISCOUNT MOMENTS:
IF YOU have a light hearted moment to share, please send it direct to both the Newsletter
Editors for consideration. We have one up our sleeves which is associated with a longish
story which we are holding over till the next newsletter. Following serves as an example
of the sort of cameo we are looking for however it did not involve a Viscount.
In the days before New Zealand National Airways Corporation employed hostesses the co-pilot
would check the DC-3 cabin to make sure everyone was strapped in properly and had read the
safety card before take off. One lady on her first ever flight evidently had done the
required reading. There she was complete with life jacket fitted ready to go . . .
PATTING TIGGY`S NOSE by Jack Stephens
"It was 86 degrees (fahrenheit) in the hot Tucson (Arizona) sun, on Nov. 17, (2008) as I
reached up and patted Tiggy`s peeling nose. Anyone who worked for Transair (Canada) back
in the sixties would immediately know who you were talking about. They lovingly gave her
the nick name, as she faithfully took off and landed on many runways in Northern Manitoba
communities. CF-TGI lent itself quite nicely, to ``Tiggy".
C/n 40 CF-TGI "Tiggy"
Towns like Flin Flon and The Pas, got used to seeing this red and gold Viscount coming and
going, even in the depths of a typical cold and snowy Canadian winter. Now she sits at the
huge Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson Arizona, one of some 275 aircraft.
The cactus, and sand blowing around her wheels is a far cry from snow and ice. Tiggy really
belongs in Canada. If they had the room, my choice would be the Western Canada Aviation
Museum in Winnipeg, after all, she rolled in front of the hangar, as our very first
Viscount in 1954. Sporting ``601`` on her tail, Tiggy`s claim to fame is that on April 18
1955 all by herself and with 40 passengers to share in her glory, she introduced the first
turbine powered service in North America. This famous flight was from Toronto to New York.
The Pima Air and Space Museum Viscount c/n 40 N22SN.
The Curator of the museum was to meet me under her wings, so I had an hour to crawl around
her, take photos, and shake my head at the deterioration. But then I am a bit worn since I
worked on some of her accessories, over 55 years ago. I imagined my Dad inspecting her up
on the overhaul dock at Winnipeg and my brother changing Tiggy`s tyres in the Line
Maintenance Hangar. A spare Dart engine on a stand, sits in the shade of her wing. James
the Curator told me she is on the list to be painted in silver metallic, with Trans-Canada
Air Lines lettering. He mentioned that the cockpit and interior is complete. We are
working with him and have provided the Coat of Arms of Canada for the door. Dave Peters
who heads up the restoration team at the British Columbia Aviation Museum in Sidney BC on
CF-THG dug up the drawings.
Just before I said goodbye to James, I asked him if there was any interest in the aircraft.
He said I was the only one he can recall enquiring, and he has been there 12 years.
``People, just don`t know about the Viscounts, and the present generation is more
interested in war planes and the space age.`` - Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary
of powered flight in 2009, let`s not forget Tiggy, and her proud place in North American
and particularly Canadian commercial aviation.
Viscount c/n 40, a V.724, was built for TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines as CF-TGI
From Louis Dightmaker concerning TRADAIR VISCOUNT G-APZC - sometime around 1962/3
During PDI on the pan at Rochford/Southend, one of the engine gauges was reported U/S & an
instrument fitter was called out of bed to change the gauge. Departure time was scheduled
for 02:00, positioning empty to (I think) Berlin Templehof. The fitter drew one from the
somewhat meagre parts store and was left to do the swap whilst the Captain, Co-pilot and
myself, 22 yr old ``flight engineer``(actually FLYING engineer would be a better job title
as there wasn`t much to do until arriving - then everything would be left to me on one of
our two ex-Aer Lingus V707s) - anyway we went to search out some hot coffee whilst the
fitter did his bit.
Tradair Viscount c/n 34 G-APZC.
An engine instrument change is simple on the Viscount - remove the two thumb nuts at the
top of the central panel ahead of the centre console holding the ``throttle`` and then
hinge the panel rearwards and down, (it`s hinged at the bottom), until it hangs on its
two restraining wires. Disconnect, remove, replace, reconnect, test then reposition and
secure the panel. Test, sign off, call the aircrew, get a signature from the captain -
job done - and go back home to bed. Easy. No problem with a ``slot`` - Ted in the tower
seemed glad to see us taxi away, to hold for checks, clearance given and rolling.
As usual for take-off I stood in the cockpit between and rear of the pilots holding onto
the seat backs. Always a special moment as we gathered speed before arrowing into a gentle
climb-out into the smooth night air. But not this time! At around 85kts the entire centre
panel with its gauges, wires and sundry bracketry just fell out and smashed itself onto
the throttle quadrant, trapping the co-pilot`s hand whilst he held the levers in the
Several gauge glasses broke and his hand was trapped between the levers and the wrecked
panel. The levers had been retarded virtually to idle by this and in the ensuing
pandemonium, the Captain applied full wheel braking and we came to an eventual stop not
too many yards from the runway end with smoking red-hot brakes. I managed to lift the
panel and gauges away so that the co-pilot could free his lacerated hand. There followed
a remarkably calm two-way with the tower and we taxied back to the pan, shut down and just
sat quietly for a couple of minutes with pulses gradually slowing and imagining what might
have been the outcome. Examination of the panel revealed that the instrument fitter had
not refitted the two thumb nuts.
Viscount c/n 34, a V.707, was built for Aer Lingus as EI-AGI.
Remember: "ALWAYS CHECK YOUR NUTS."
MYSTERIES SOLVED AND HELP REQUIRED
ARE THERE ANY VISCOUNTS FLYING!
Solving or resolving this inquiry is one of the primary objectives of the site.
Viscount for sale in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Every reader of this site would love to know if there are any Viscounts still flying or
flyable. We have received various inquiries about this possibility. There is one advertised
for sale by Olivier Manzambi Kavako, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who has been in
touch with our website. The aircraft is advertised on the website
Currently this seems to be the most likely candidate to return to air. Wouldn`t it be great
to have a Viscount in the air show circuit? Let`s keep our eyes and ears open for the
possibility of finding other candidates which might be capable of reactivation. Watch this
RRE - Radar Research Establishment Viscount
c/n 371 XT661.
Colin Bryan has written in mentioning his experiences in flying in Viscount XT661 in use at
the RRE - Radar Research Establishment, Pershore. XT661 was last heard of at Bruntingthorpe
in Leicestershire but there have been no recent reports about it.
Can anyone out there supply us with an update, which can in due course be loaded on the
Viscount c/n 371, a V.838, was built for Ghana Airways as 9G-AAV.
CAPITAL AIRLINES ADVERTISING POSTERS
Ken Lonewolf of Charlotte, North Carolina enquires, "Are there reproductions of advertising
posters available for purchase, showing Vickers Viscount aircraft in the old Capital Airlines
markings? I would love to have one or two, if available. Sad that these wonderful airplanes
are not still being built, as they would serve well on domestic runs here in America, as
well as on international runs in Europe." Geoff Blampied says There are reproduction posters
of adverts made by Vickers for the Viscount available in the UK but I do not know of any
for Capital Airlines. In response, Editor Ed Jones has supplied two Capital Airlines poster
WHERE ON EARTH ARE YOU?
Many interesting emails come in from around the world. Often these are just signed off with
only a name but it may not be readily apparent as to where you are based. We would like to
know; not to be nosey but to get an idea where the membership is spread and what areas are
You can load details such as location, associated websites into the email "signature" option
which is linked with the email Insert function. (Country or Region is sufficient).
"LAST VISCOUNT AT HEATHROW DAY". Request from Malcolm Ginsberg.
BWA - British World Airlines Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY.
Having been involved with the Viscount for many years, actually flown by both George Edwards
and Jock Lowe, and organised "the last Viscount at Heathrow day" I am anxious to try and
find some photographs taken on that occasion. If you can help Malcolm please contact him at
PO Box 1315, Potters Bar, Herts, EN6 1PU or
Tel: 01707 665454 - Mobile & Text: 07973 210631
WANTED - HURN APPRENTICES
Vickers Viscount c/n 456 G-ASDV taken at Hurn April 1964.
Tom Byrne is inquiring after fellow apprentices from his days at Hurn. He started working
there in the mid 1950s as a 15 year old apprentice. In November 1959 he transferred to
English Electric in Stevenage. English Electric soon joined up with Vickers, Bristol, and
Hunting Clan to form BAC. He recalls Ray Breakingbury, who has supplied photographs on the
net of CF-TGL and G-ASDV. If you were at Hurn in the latter 1950s, please make contact
Tom would be very pleased to hear from you.
Are you a problem solver? Would you like to test your skills at research?
Then look no further than our Mystery Page Help us identify these Viscounts by selecting:
From the main menu: Home>> Help us Identify These Viscounts>>.
Eric Melrose is trying to establish what Viscounts he flew in way back in 1974. Eric is not
alone in trying to complete that personal logbook, and sometimes these mysteries do get
solved. ``I found your website some time ago when I was trying to find photographs of a
couple of Viscounts I flew in, in 1965. I also have been trying to find out which aircraft
I flew on, on 24th May 1974 when I went from Aberdeen to Birmingham via Glasgow. That day
I flew on BE8117 ABZ to GLA on a Viscount then on from GLA to BHX BE872 on a BAC 1-11. On
the return flight because the BAC 1-11 had developed a technical fault in Paris I was
re-routed on BE7814 BHX to EDI then on BE8119 EDI to GLA and then on BE8126 GLA to ABZ all
on Viscounts; in total four flights on Viscounts that day.`` I have tried everything to
trace which Viscounts these were with no luck. I have consulted the local library and
gained access to the old Aberdeen Airport Traffic Control Log Books but unfortunately
they do not record the registrations of aircraft used on scheduled flights, using the
Flight Codes instead. I have also been in touch with the British Airways Museum at
Heathrow in the hope they would have the aircraft logs but was told they were just too
numerous and bulky to retain. Apart from that day I also flew on another trip to Glasgow
on 10th July 1974 on BE8117 returning on the following day 11th July 1974 to Aberdeen on
BE8126 again both flights on unknown Viscounts. - Any information which might help me
determine the identity of these Viscounts would be gratefully received.? - An after
thought, does anyone know where the aircraft logs are located?
Eric mentions he has an extensive photographic collection and has offered to check through
the Viscount photographs to see if he can fill any gaps on the website photo archive.
THREE MONTH SALES TOUR OF AFRICA
Viscount c/n 3 G-AMAV.
Colin Crossley recently submitted photos of G-AMAV which went on a three month sales
tour in Africa, commencing on 15 August 1955.
Does someone know the route that was taken? Ideally we would like to report the
day by day port of call log?
Does anyone know where logbooks may be located that will reveal this information?
Viscount Promo/Cine Film Wanted for DVD Project:
Henry Tenby, of Vancouver Canada, produces a range of classic airline DVD`s and would like
to get the word out that he is looking for Viscount promo films (from Vickers or airlines),
as well as video and/or cine film of the Viscount. He already has a lead on some TCA
Viscount newsreels including a colour TV news report from 1974 on the retirement of the
fleet from Air Canada.
The idea is to compile enough footage to release 1-2 hour DVD titled "Vickers Viscount
Memories" to complement his existing "Coventry Viscount and Vanguard" DVD:
Be sure to view the online video clip for some very nice footage! - Henry can be contacted at
David Russell has also alerted us to this one about the Air Rhodesia Viscounts, RH825 and
RH827, shot down by terrorists. -
Vickers Viscount - 104 page book by Robin Macrae Dunn (Airliner Tech Series Vol. 11).
The Vickers Viscount - 480 page book produced by Rayner G C Kittle.
A TIP FOR USING LETRASET
Mike Barlow, of the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society in Christchurch, New Zealand reports that
he has used Letraset successfully for many years. ``Treat the Letraset as usual and press
it down on some good quality decal sheet of the required colour before over coating it
with varnish. I use a good quality modelling varnish; Microgloss or Floquil work well.
Brush lightly or the Letraset will smudge, airbrushing is a better bet. Once dry, cut out
the serial number or whatever and use like a normal decal. I have had good success with
inkjet printing my own markings as well. On a larger model computer cut vinyl lettering
will also give a good result.``
Carvair ZK-NWA model.
I have done it successfully for a Kiwi Carvair, ZK-NWA, converted from a Mach 2 DC-4 model.
Mike supplied photographs of his fine Fokker F-27 and Carvair models to illustrate the
excellent results he is achieving with Letraset.
Mike continues, "The Friendship was built around 20 years ago using Letraset and the Carvair
more recently using computer cut vinyl. For the Carvair model I was lucky enough to have
some letterhead from Nationwide Air. I scanned it and played around until it was the
correct size for the model and printed it out, then took the printout to a computer cut
sign place. For NZ$15.00 I came away with the logos for the model. There are commercial
systems available for printing your own decals. The one I purchased contained several
sheets of clear decal sheet and a spray can of sealer to use after the sheet has been
through the printer. Images can be scanned and printed. I had a bit of trial and error but
if it`s the only way to acquire the required markings, what do you have to lose?"
AND FROM RICHARD STANTON
Channel Airways Viscount
c/n 366 G-ATVE.
Richard mentions, "Nick Webb, who produces the colour artwork for the Viscount on the
website, has progressed into producing Laser Printed Decals."
I thought I would mention it as I met him at the Aviation Enthusiast`s Fair at Kempton
Park, and I purchased a nice sheet of 1/144 scale decals for the Viscount V.812 G-ATVE of
He intends to produce these decals suitable for use with the S & M Models Viscount 800 kit,
but may be persuaded to produce decals in other scales as well.
His e-mail address is:
SOME MORE ON AIR CANADA
Bruce Trewin has alerted us to some nice pictures. Have a look at
CONTACTS & SUBSCRIPTIONS
If you missed any of our Newsletters you can catch up on our website. Look at: News>> Vickers Viscount
To add a friend or colleague to the Vickers Viscount Network membership go to Home>> Join
the Vickers Viscount Network for free>> Click here to join the Vickers Viscount Network..
To cancel your membership to the Vickers Viscount Network send an e-mail to
Peter Layne, Wellington, New Zealand.
Ed Jones, Manchester, England.
Dave Robinson, Nottinghamshire, England.
Although every endeavour is made to find an answer to questions, either from the website
production team or by asking around, please appreciate that the team are all unpaid volunteers
who fit this work in with their daytime jobs and chores around home. Any opinions expressed
in this publication are not necessarily those of the Vickers Viscount Network or the