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

Vickers Viscount Network

March 2010 Newsletter

Dear Member

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.



Viscount c/n 335 AP-AJC. 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 contact Geoff.

From the Main Menu: - About Us >> Contact us >> Website Production.


BKS Viscount c/n 12 G-ARER. 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 brian.burrage@vickersviscount.net who provides the Vickers Viscount Network quality, secure and FREE scanning service.


Aer Lingus Viscount c/n 225 EI-AJW. 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.


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.


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.




TCA Douglas DC-3 CF-TEB. 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 and clothes.

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".

TCA Viscount c/n 41 CF-TGJ. TCA Viscount
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!


TCA Viscount c/n 271 CF-THK. TCA Viscount
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.


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.


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?"


Ex Air Canada Viscount c/n 219 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.


Duxford Viscount c/n 5 G-ALWF 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.


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 information.


Western Canada Aviation Museum Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS 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.

Go to www.wcam.mb.ca. 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!


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.




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 iankidger2002@yahoo.co.uk and copy to membership@vickersviscount.net.


David Texat Greece@aol.com 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 website.


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 mohawkeastern@yahoo.com.


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.


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 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 www.designers-eye.webs.com/.

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 infodesignerseye@aol.com or via the guestbook at www.designers-eye.webs.com/.


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.


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.


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.



Vickers Viscount G-ALWF by Model Buffs 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 www.modelbuffs.com 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 http://riedherr.com/sg_Modellbausatze_Specials.htm?ID=6237.


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
Mod Numbers
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.


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. peter.layne@vickersviscount.net.
Ed Jones, Manchester, England. ed.jones@vickersviscount.net.
Dave Robinson, Nottinghamshire, England. dave.robinson@vickersviscount.net.

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 Newsletter Editors.

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

Click here for more details about the Vickers Viscount Network

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