Vickers Viscount Network
March 2010 Newsletter
Welcome to the second 2010 edition of the Vickers Viscount Network Newsletter -
Isn`t it great to have the newsletters up and running again? We owe a big thank you to
Dave Robinson to step in and take on the all important role of attending to converting
the newsletter from a word document into a website page. Thank you to all those out
there who complimented us for the re-appearance of the newsletter. Some readers also
provided helpful comment, which we have taken on board.
You will see below we have given extensive coverage to Alison Berry. Her father Ray has
just produced a book "AIRPORT-EXCLUSIVE!" which she is marketing. The newsletter
serves as a place where those people out there who have written about Viscounts (or are
still doing so) can broadcast their project to likely interested readers. Worth thinking
about and a good way to broaden our readership base.
USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS
Viscount c/n 335 AP-AJC.
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
From the Main Menu: - About Us >> Contact us >> Website Production.
PHOTOS - A PLEA FROM THE WEB MASTERS
BKS Viscount c/n 12 G-ARER.
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.
If you need help scanning your photos then contact Brian Burrage at
who provides the Vickers Viscount Network quality, secure and FREE scanning service.
HOW TO SEE THE PHOTO GALLERY OF AN AIRCRAFT FEATURED
Aer Lingus Viscount
c/n 225 EI-AJW.
From the Main Menu: - Photos >> Photos by Construction Number or Registration.
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 fashion. The home page has the latest 2 photos that are
automatically updated every time Geoff adds photos. Also there are 3 random photos at the
top of the page that changes every time you visit the home page.
3,000 AND STILL COUNTING
A commendable milestone has been reached. Geoff has now loaded over 3,000 Viscount photos
on the website and no doubt there are many thousands more out there. It is always a good
feeling to see your handywork published and anyone with Viscount related photographs is
encouraged to submit them. Remember rarity take precedence over quality. In the meantime,
well done Geoff.
As we continue to expand new links are being added. From the Main Menu:- Links >>
Aviation Groups >> you will see the current status.
MOVE THE SCROLL BAR
If you drag the scroll bar on the website across to the right you will see another
column of information in orange and yellow. Always worth a look at.
FROM CANADIAN NETLETTER 520
DE-ICING IN THE FIFTIES
TCA Douglas DC-3 CF-TEB.
With these days of "drive thru" de icing systems with reclaimable fluids, some of the
systems used back in earlier years now appear pretty archaic. Although my experience
only goes back to 1953, I suspect the methods used at the time were similar to the
previous 10-15 years. As height wasn't a problem with the DC-3, stations had a good
supply of brooms and mops and the wings and control surfaces would be brushed clean
and if necessary a mopping with cold SDF fluid would complete the job in most cases.
An added hi-tech feature was the use of a "backpack" sprayer which could hold about
2 or 3 gallons of fluid and with the right tailwind, the operator could hand pump a
tiny spray four or five feet. With a head wind, most of it would end up in his face
One snowy day in the mid 50s, we were having a problem keeping ahead of the falling
snow on the wings of a DC-3 at YFC (Fredriction, New Brunswick), so the Captain
suggested we try the "wing covers".
These canvas covers were sometimes used to slip over the wings on an overnight
layover to protect the surfaces from snow/freezing rain accumulations. How this was
going to get the flight airborne was a little vague to us at the time but the
covers were slipped on and tied down, passengers loaded aboard, Capt. requested a
start-up and slowly taxied out for take off, followed by the ground crew.
When we got the nod, the covers were quickly pulled off, takeoff, power was
applied and away it went. I only saw this procedure done once so perhaps it wasn`t
part of the "Standard Operating Procedures".
c/n 41 CF-TGJ.
In the 1960s, while based at YQI (Yarmouth, Nova Scotia), the DC-3 procedure
remained the same but with the arrival of the Viscounts, spraying and mopping from
the ground was a poor option. The use of a forklift and basket made it a little
easier but a spray job always meant that you were pretty wet when it was over.
Eventually, they took pity on us at the smaller stations and sent down some
leftover equipment from larger stations. The "backpack sprayers" were gladly put
aside and in its place an odd looking motorized three-wheeled device was used.
It must have been designed by "Rube Goldberg" as it was complete with a planetary
transmission driven by belts and about a 6 hp motor. It was complete with a
hydraulic boom and basket and it took a brave man to go up in it to spray the
tail of a DC9. The 45 gal barrel of SDF fluid was strapped under the main machine
with a spray nozzle at the basket. It was so unstable that it had to be parked in
position very carefully and then the boom raised. At the time, it was a giant
step forward but the unit was eventually replaced with a more modern type. The
only way the SDF fluid could be re-cycled in those days was to wring out your
clothes after you came in from a spraying session!
FROM CANADIAN NETLETTER 418 - 23 OCTOBER 1999
SENT IN BY J GRIFFITH
c/n 271 CF-THK
The bird strike stories reminded me of an incident that happened to my brother
in Vancouver en-route to Victoria in a Viscount. They realised they'd hit a bird
on landing and asked if they could go out with the DOT truck to retrieve and
identify the corpse. It turned out to be a nice fat pheasant which had flown up
and hit its head on the under side of the wing thus killing itself. The bird,
except for a major head wound, was otherwise in perfect condition. With the
approval of the DOT, the aircraft which had sustained no damage and crew proceeded
to Victoria with the offending carcass and had the chef at the layover hotel
prepare it for their dinner.
AND FROM THE MARCH 1969 ISSUE . . . A MERCY MISSION
Captain Owen Moore, whose Viscount was preparing to take off from Timmins, was
asked to help locate a Cessna whose pilot had got lost, was short of fuel and
radioed for help. Captain Moore, once airborne, was able to locate the aircraft
advised the pilot to look for the smoke from the manufacturing plant at Sudbury
and then guided the pilot to a safe landing.
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.
This one comes from Canadian NetLetter number 527 and follows on from the story
earlier in the newsletter about de-icing. By chance it again involves Timmins and
Sudbury which featured in Captain Moore`s mercy flight.
Reading about de-icing capers reminded me of the time we needed to be de-iced
one morning in Timmins, after the layover. It was in late September and Timmins
had had its first frost overnight. The wings of our Viscount were covered with
hoar frost. The captain ordered de-icing, of course, and one YTS ramp guy went to
get the de-icing truck started. This vehicle hadn't run since the previous spring
and wouldn't start. After several tries he got out, put the hood up and started
tinkering. Then he tried again. No joy.
This daily flight went Timmins-Sudbury-North Bay-Toronto and if they couldn't
get the truck started NOW they were going to be charged with a delay. The ramp
guy slammed down the hood of the truck and walked inside. Next, we heard his
voice on the company frequency. "I can't get the truck started; can you get
de-iced at the next station?"
ANOTHER CANADIAN VISCOUNT CF-THB
Ex Air Canada Viscount
c/n 219 CF-THB
Probably the only Viscount ever bought as a wedding present! Well that what
the aircraft's history notes tell us. Anyway Bob Braun of Brandon, Manitoba
advises "This Viscount was to become a restaurant in a tiny town in Manitoba
but the town sort of faded away (mostly) and the aircraft is a weekend get-away
cabin for the owner now." Jack Stephens has been in touch with the current
owner who plans to do preservation work and any restorations as his time permits.
VISCOUNT ENTHUSIASTS GET TOGETHER - DUXFORD, ENGLAND
Duxford Viscount c/n 5 G-ALWF
A couple of years ago about a dozen enthusiasts gathered at Coventry Airport,
England where the centre of attention was the former Air France Viscount F-BGNR
c/n 35. Serious thought has been given to another such gathering, possibly in May,
this time at Duxford, England where G-ALWF is displayed.
Readers may be aware that this aircraft is once more outside on the flight line.
At this stage, nothing specific for a visit has been planned but ideally it would
be good to have a representation from the restoration team to tell their story.
Readers will be informed once the date has been established.
VISCOUNT ENTHUSIASTS GET TOGETHER - SOMEWHERE ELSE . .
Given the geographical spread of our members it may prove quite workable to have
other gatherings elsewhere. Is it possible to arrange something in the United
States or Canada? Give it some thought. Such gatherings serve more than one purpose.
Obviously such occasions should be regarded as fun days but there is also the
opportunity to renew old acquaintances and to make new ones and also to exchange
VIRTUAL TOUR OF VISCOUNT CF-THS
INTRODUCED BY JACK STEPHENS
Western Canada Aviation Museum
Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS
Gentlemen . . . let me invite you to a Virtual Tour of Air Canada, CF-THS, c/n 279, at
the Western Canada Aviation Museum.
Click on Virtual Tours >> Position 9 which will take you across the hangar.
You can actually enter the cabin, and proceed down the aircraft, by dragging and clicking.
Note, behind the nose wheel, the special dolly with the tow bar attached. This was built
to raise the nose wheel, so the tail would clear the door frame. Scan around and see the
Dart sitting on a frame. Find the flight attendant in the uniform of the period, and
the tractor and baggage cart. For some new members, let me repeat that the aircraft
sits on the spot where the No.1 Overhaul Dock was located.
There was a second dock right next to it. Winnipeg was the main overhaul base for the
51 Viscounts TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada flew. They also maintained the
three the Government Department of Transport flew, and many private aircraft, particularly
from the United States.
Off this hangar can be seen the various doors that lead to the shops. Always brings back
fond memories for me in seeing these photos, as I worked in the shop overhauling,
repairing and testing Dart and airframe, hydraulic, fuel, oil and air conditioning units.
Have fun on your Tour!
AUSTRALIAN VISCOUNT WEBSITE
David Eyre of Perth, Western Australia has drawn attention to a very comprehensive
Australian website on Australian Viscount history have a look at
Thank you David. Appreciated.
YAWS FAITHFULLY - LETTERS AND REQUESTS FROM NEWSLETTER READERS
BUY AND SELL, MYSTERIES SOLVED, AND HELP REQUIRED
VISCOUNT IDENTITY SOUGHT
Ian Kidger is trying to identify a BEA Viscount used by GB Air on the Tangier to Gibraltar
service in the 1973-74 era. He lived in Tangier and flew on it a few times. He reports
that GB Air then got their own Viscount. If you can answer his question please email Ian at
and copy to
PHOTOS (INCLUDING VISCOUNTS) FOR SALE
reports he sells many aircraft photographs on eBay (under the name of Germanyneon) and
quite often has images of Viscounts up for sale. He starts them off at 50p. Keep an eye
open - there might be bargains from the source and some colour schemes needed on the
MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES
Don Curtis advises that he has several hundred copies of back issues of airliners, airways
and captain log magazines. These are for sale at US$5.00 each. If interested please reply
to Don at
VISCOUNT FOR SALE
Remember in the last newsletter we drew attention to a Viscount advertised for sale by
Olivier Manzambi Kavako, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
So far we haven`t heard of any sale be made.
AIRPORT - EXCLUSIVE! NEW BOOK BY RAY BERRY
Ray Berry, "a once-anonymous professional reporter recalls scores of newsworthy events
and tells how many of these international stories were obtained. He reveals the untold
secrets behind the headlines and facts which for various reasons were withheld at the
time. More drama than a Hollywood blockbuster, more stars than a Broadway hit, more human
interest than your favourite soap opera..."
BEA - British European Airways
Viscount c/n 66 G-ANHF
Ray`s daughter Alison has drawn this book to our attention and in particular the successful
one-engined landing of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-ANHF by Captain Eric Watts
at the military airfield at Cazaux near Bordeaux, France on 2 January 1956.
The aircraft was suffering from fuel contamination.
Says Alison . . . "I've attached a couple of pages from my father's new book "Airport
- EXCLUSIVE!" showing one of his Vickers Viscount stories complete with original news
cuttings of the incident. If you can use them on the newsletter (or I can email them to
anyone interested), they would give an idea of the quality of this fascinating book.
You can check out the rest of the book on
This is just one of many exclusives obtained during his career as an airport-based journalist.
The book is packed with photos, cuttings and his unedited version of events (facts were
often 'held back' from the public for one reason or another, by the editors of the
national/international papers at the time).
He's spent many years bringing all his notes together, and 3 years ago he and I decided that
we had to teach ourselves how to use DTP software! Outraged at the limiting contracts he
was being offered, I started my own publishing company to avoid the constraints being
forced on him. Finally we had the books printed in China on traditional book presses, as
our plans to use digital press had to be abandoned when I realised the size and quality I
wanted was not yet possible.
It has been incredibly hard work, but I was proud to do it for my father who brought up my
brother and me, when it was unusual for a man to take on this role. He took us to his
office at Heathrow when he could, taught us about the different planes and airlines, and
his enthusiasm for all things aviator-ish remains with me to this day - I still rush
outside with binoculars whenever an aircraft roars overhead! Luckily I live in a triangle
between Heathrow and Northolt Airports and Denham Airfield so I am blessed with commercial,
RAF and even bi-plane activity - and the yearly 'Queen's birthday' air display flies back
out of London directly over my garden - truly awesome.
Anyone who remembers Ray Berry is welcome to email me, Alison Berry, and I'll forward
messages to my father with pleasure. If any of the Vickers Viscount Network members would
like to order the book, I'll arrange a discount if they quote "VV" in an email to me at
or via the guestbook at
WHERE ON EARTH ARE YOU?
Many interesting e-mails 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 the sender is based. We
would like to know; not to be nosey but to get an idea where the membership is spread
and what areas are active. Sign your e-mail off in the normal way and then just add your
location i.e. Christchurch, New Zealand.
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
Please when you send an email intended for the Viscount folk include a subject line. Many
recipients discard messages un-opened that do not include a subject line. We would hate
to throw away a valuable contribution in these circumstances.
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.
Viscount G-ALWF by Model Buffs
Adrian of Model Buffs, based in the Philippines has alerted us to hand made Viscount
aircraft crafted in Philippine mahogany (commonly known as Lauan or Meranti).
A visit to their site
will reveal a vast range of interesting products they make.
Jeanluc Ganivet has advised us of 1:144 scale models of a V.800 series Eagle Airways
model. These are for sale at EURO 19.90 and an example can be viewed at
Alexander Geis in Germany has two Vickers parts (ailerons or wings or elevators) with type
plates and I would like to know what Airline first flew this amazing aircraft (I hope
those are Viscount parts). Both parts are in relatively good shape, approx. 5-6 meters
long, at the long side approx. 1.50 meters and at the "tip" side approx. 0,8 meters.
There are two type plates:
First: Serial-No. BELVW638 HU1 xxx-No. 74520 SHT Issue C INSPT 19
Second: Type 746 Serial No 638
0188 1 10 D548 3 : 188 29 679 2 : 281 9 1083 7 : 356 1 1218 1 : 408 1 59 : 411 1 1892 2 :
450 1 2043 : 464 1 2013 B1 : 569 1 DI9 49 : 2021
x = not to be identified / not readable.
Your help would be much appreciated - thanks.
CONTACTS & SUBSCRIPTIONS
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