Vickers Viscount Network
July 2010 Newsletter
Welcome to the fourth/fifth Vickers Viscount Network Newsletter for 2010 - They say
there is no such thing as a free lunch, not that this is a free lunch but just reassuring
readers that these newsletters are supplied free and that there is no actual subscription
required to receive them. Have a read of the Join the Vickers Viscount Network page under
'About Us' on the website. Please bear in mind though that the administrators are doing
this project on a voluntary basis in their spare time.
Viscount enthusiasts get together 31 July Duxford, England
Planning for 'Duxford's Viscount Day' on Saturday 31 July 2010 to look over and learn about the history of the
oldest surviving Viscount c/n 5 G-ALWF is well under way and should be a great day out for those attending.
There are still places available but due to the popularity of this event numbers attending has had to be limited to
70. To avoid disappointment please send an e-mail request for places, together with your name and how many people
will be in your party, to
Requests to attend will now be on a 'first come - first served' basis. This instruction does not affect people who
have already applied.
Click here for details of the event. Please re-visit this page regularly to check for any
'Duxford's Viscount Day' updates.
Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR
Mike Higgins has provided a short but very interesting update on the restoration on Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR at MAM
- Midlands Air Museum, where he works as a volunteer. This aircraft`s exterior has been painted in Air Inter's livery
and the cockpit has been fully re-fitted with only limited restoration. The galley area has been repainted and the
cabin set out with a set of Viscount mixed leather and fabric seats.
The tail feathers have all been painted and connecting bolts etc. prepared ready for mating with the fuselage. The
fuselage/wing fairings have all been de-riveted and prepared ready for the wing re-connection. The museum hopes to
be able to crane the fuselage and join the wings and tail sections later in 2010. - Have a look at F-BGNR's photo
page where you will see the progress made so far.
Thank you Mike, please keep us informed on this aircraft`s progress. It too may be worth a group visit at some
later stage. The Vickers Viscount Network visited the aircraft in 2008 and evidently great progress has since been
Viscount c/n 350 G-AZNA
We have had several reports lately that this aircraft is still on its three steel pillars at 'Club Kokorico' at
Zomergem just off highway N9 in Belgium. Have a look at Viscount c/n 350 G-AZNA's photo page. The Viscount has been
there since the mid-1990s and is apparently still in reasonable condition although it could benefit from a clean.
If you are planning on visiting Belgium then give a visit to G-AZNA some consideration. Sometimes increased
attention spurs those who 'administer' aircraft relics into closer attention to preservation.
Viscount c/n 40 CF-TGI/N22SN
We have heard from James Stemme, via Vickers Viscount Network Canadian researcher Jack Stephens, that the Pima Air
and Space Museum are still planning to paint their Viscount c/n 40 N22SN in its original TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines
Remember Jack's visit to the Museum in 2008 when he made an impassioned appeal to James to take great care of the
Viscount c/n 368 D-ANAM
Graeme Stringer has recently sent some photos in of another well-presented Viscount. This aircraft is at the
Hermeskeil Air Museum in Germany. Have a look at the photo page for Viscount c/n 368 D-ANAM.
Again, give some thought to paying her a visit if you are in the area.
Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS
Also via Jack Stephens, Robert Arnold has drawn attention to a bit of Canadian ingenuity of how to clear Viscount
tails from hangar roofs during manoeuvring Viscounts into the Overhaul and Repair hangar.
Out of that struggle was born the front wheel dolly. The dolly is presently on display beneath Viscount c/n 279
CF-THS at the Western Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg, Canada.
N J Airways
Glenn Thrower has sent in an interesting photo that is now on the photo page of Viscount c/n 125 N7427. N7427 was
registered to Associated Products of America at this time and was originally built for Capital Airlines in 1956.
Has anyone heard of N J Airways or know why this aircraft bore this title? If you know the answer or have an idea
we would be pleased to hear from you. Send your reply to
BEA - British European Airways flight simulator
A recent reference to simulators has sparked off a series of e-mails concerning the BEA - British European Airways
Viscount simulator at Heston, England. Does anyone have a photograph of it which we can put on the website? Someone
recently handed two simulator technical manuals to the archives at Brooklands. Sadly though the simulator was
scrapped many years ago.
TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines flight simulator
Jack Stephens adds.... "Thanks for the TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines simulator story, which is rather special to me
as it reminds me of when a few of us junior mechanics crowded into the Simulator and were taken for a 'spin'".
We are collecting such stories to be added to the Museum when time permits. Any more interesting stories? The next
story is about New Zealand National Airways Corporation.
A Right Royal Place
New Zealand rarely has Royal visits but it had two (Thai and British) in the space of six months in August 1962 and
February 1963. On both occasions Viscount c/n 282 ZK-BRE was fitted with a purpose built 'Royal Suite' installed in
the rear of the aircraft.
For the Royal visit of the Queen and Prince Philip the aircraft had been fitted out with prefabricated furnishings.
Plastic panels for the walls in off-white, the ceiling covered in a doeskin type of fabric and carpeting of a rich
gold colour. After the visit the fittings were stored for future use.
Largely forgotten and presumed disposed of, the 'Royal Suite' is currently stored at Ferrymead awaiting repairs
following which it will be installed on Viscount c/n 283 ZK-BRF. Although never used on this aircraft what better
place to put it could there possibly be?
'Dart' powered Austin Maestro van!
We have a plea looking for anyone who may recall seeing, what must have been in the early 1990s, a guy from the
Midlands who 'kitted out' an Austin Maestro van with a virtually complete Viscount Instrument Panel! Apparently it
was featured in the local press as he drove down to Rochford, Southend, Essex, England to show staff at either BAF
- British Air Ferries or BWA - British World Airlines, as he had obtained some instruments from them. Better still,
has anyone seen photographs of this vehicle's interior? Can any of our BAF or BWA people add to this comment?
S & M Models
Peter Upton draws attention to any scale modellers out there. S & M Models are now producing a 1/144 scale model
of the Tay Viscount. Basically it's a V.800 fuselage which has to be shortened, plus new wings and engines, wheels
and undercarriage doors. Plus appropriate decals.
Letter from BEA - British European Airways to the first Viscount passengers
Steve Evans send us this letter and asked;-
"My uncle gave me this letter many years ago, and just wondering if you would know more information about one of
the very first flights and if the letter is actually worth anything to anyone? I think it was from London to Paris."
Brian Burrage, Vickers Viscount Network co-founder and Historian, replied;-
"Thanks very much for attaching a very interesting letter from your Uncle. The flight mentioned was one of a series
carried out using the prototype Viscount G-AHRF from London Airport to Paris Le Bourget and return between 29 July
and 13/14 August 1950.
This letter therefore forms a very important part of the commercial development of the Viscount from the very
Do you think that your Uncle was the passenger on this flight? The hand written data shows it was written for the
Paris to London sector in August 1950. It is amazing what turns up after all this time."
More Viscount pictures
Roland Harrison notes another site which has a great selection of Viscount photographs.
Certainly worth a visit or two. Thanks Roland.
Go to www.bsl-mlh-planes.net.
Terry Baker has sent in through Jack Stephens a pencil sketch by Mike Machat drawn at Idlewild (J F K) in the early
1960s. It was sourced from the March 1999 issue of 'Horizons'.
What is it?
This photo from Jack Stephens provoked quite a bit of interest as there is an identical image in the Photographic
Library at Brooklands in England. Richard Stanton says the 10 x 8 photo has no caption whereas what we see below
says it all and solves a longstanding mystery.
The photo of TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines first Viscount c/n 40 CF-TGI was taken at Weybridge, Surrey, England May
1954 while being prepared for pressurisation tests.
CAA - Central African Airways Slipper Tanks
Kelvin Osborne was interested to read about CAA - Central African Airways. He reports, 'I
was an apprentice at Saunders Roe who built all the Viscount wing sets, and during my time
in the Planning Office, under instruction from a Harry Harvey, planned the manufacture of
the 'overload tank pickups'. In other words the four brackets for the slipper tanks
They were Inner and Outer, Port and Starboard, all very similar in size and shape, and to
keep the tooling costs down I was instructed to have them made with a lot of common jigs etc.
In the course of this I got the number of tools and jigs down from about sixty to under
forty, and saved 17% in expensive Duralumin in the bargain.
As I said above, I was under instruction, but on writing to Vickers to tell them of the
saving, Harry Harvey credited me with the idea. Giving me the Kudos left a lasting
impression on me.'
Thank you Kelvin.
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. We would love to make contact with more of our American
and Australian based readers.
Editorial and Production Team
Peter Layne - Chief Editor, Wellington, New Zealand.
Ed Jones - Editor, Manchester, England.
Dave Robinson - Production, Nottinghamshire, England.