Vickers Viscount Network
August 2010 Newsletter
Welcome to the sixth Vickers Viscount Network Newsletter for 2010 - Once in a while we get an e-mail which
really spur us to keep the newsletters and the website going. A recent example came from Clive Worboys advising
he will be at Duxford on 31 July. "I'm looking forward to meeting you all, and it's bound to be a great day.
Since joining the Network, it's been a breath of fresh air to learn the extent to which the Viscount is loved!"
Another one is from Matt Long "I have just come across your brilliant website and I'm blown away!" (Refer below).
Although our growing number of readers is spread globally, and come from many walks of life, we do have that common
interest in Viscount aircraft and are enthused to see progress by combining our resources to bring together as much
of its history together as possible. We may never see a Viscount in the air again so let`s take every opportunity
to preserve what aircraft still exist.
The last newsletter prompted some very quick responses to topics which were raised.
'Dart' powered Austin Maestro van
First to respond was Fraser Mckay. Little did we know that the man who built the 'Viscount' van was already one of
Says Fraser, "I have the dubious honour of building the Viscount van.
It was something I did in my late teens/early twenties when we had no computer simulators for any aeroplanes, far
less than for the one closest to my heart. Indeed even details of the cockpit layout were a challenge with no such
thing as the internet. Fortunately a few BAF - British Air Ferries Captains allowed me to spend time in their
offices, and Capt Jack Walters managed to get me some pilots' notes which were my prized possession.
It was all made of junk basically, but the warning lights all did what they were supposed to, and the only real bits
were the flight system input magnetic indicators which BAF Engineering very kindly gave us from V.802 G-AOHT.
BAF gave us a wonderful day out when we took it to Southend. It was photographed in front of its namesake, G-AOHM.
We had a complete tour of the facility and sat in the cockpits of Viscounts G-AOYG, G-APEY and G-BFZL. The highlight
was a detail on the Viscount simulator, which for all its age and the fact that it did not move, did a very good job
of convincing you otherwise.
The van was all stripped out in the early nineties when the MOT required greater visibility. There was no e-bay
then, and one wonders what could be done now with access to the wonderful internet tool. I recently acquired the
entire overhead panel, coincidentally also from 'HT, and have the pedestal and emergency coaming panel from G-AZNC.
I've stuck to designing Viscount cockpits for Flight Simulator since then, which is a lot easier, and causes no
grief when it comes to an MOT."
Great story, Fraser, thank you for providing us with the primary information as to why it was built and what
happened. Not sure that dubious is the right word though!
N J Airways
William Bunney of Aurora, Colorado, U.S.A. comments on Glenn Throwers' photo of Viscount c/n 125 N7427, "Haven't
heard of N J Airways, but I worked for Capital Airlines from February 1959 untill the 'merger' with UAL - United Air
Lines, and the fuselage and vertical stabilizer sure look like the UAL livery after CAP/UAL got together."
If you look carefully at the photo supplied by Glenn, the gap in the tail flash and also behind the N J Airways
title, you will see the name United showing faintly. At this stage that is the only photo we have of this Viscount.
Have a look through your albums and see if you have one (or two) we can upload. Considering it flew for at least
twelve years there must be more pictures in existence.
A right Royal Place
From a source outside the newsletter readership, Peter Layne recently was contacted by Diana Gardiner who was one
of the New Zealand National Airways Corporation hostesses who served on both Royal tour Viscount flights
(Thailand 1962) and (British 1963) in New Zealand aboard Viscount c/n 282 ZK-BRE. Her emails were in response to
one Peter made to Jim Shaw who was a First Officer on both occasions. As discussed in newsletter five, the search
was on to find out where exactly on board the Viscount the Royal Suite was located as it is important for when
the time comes to install it on board Viscount c/n 283 ZK-BRF at Ferrymead, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Along with Diana`s comment, "I enjoyed checking out the Vickers Viscount Network and in return have a lovely photo
for you from Bernie Poole who was another Royal tour hostess, - that you may already have of course."
We didn't but we now have!. In fact she sent several photos along with the crew briefing papers which have
explained and solved a few mysteries. From these papers it appears the suite was located between rows one and
five and support staff were located in row six. NAC Viscount row numbers started from the back of the aircraft.
Click here to read the Royal Flight crew briefing sheets.
The Royal Flight crew;- from left to right are Bernie Gardner, F/O Jim Shaw, Natalie Coe (Chief Hostess), Captain
Allan Kenning (Chief Pilot), Diana Brabant and F/O Jim Pavitt.
Fathers' Day in New Zealand - A special deal for those looking for something aeronautical
As a special deal for New Zealand's Fathers' Day, newsletter editor Peter Layne, resident in New Zealand, is making
the book he co-authored 'The Illustrated history of New Zealand National Airways Corporation 1947-1978' (normally
NZ$79.90 plus p & p) available at a special price of NZ$70.00 INCLUDING p & p for delivery to New Zealand addresses.
This deal is for a limited time only.
To take advantage of this special offer, please make out a cheque, drawn on a New Zealand bank account, for NZ$70.00
payable to Peter Layne, attach a clear handwritten address (book recipient's name) and post it to Peter Layne, 110
Taylor Terrace, Tawa, Wellington, 5028, New Zealand.
Do not post the order to the printers. This is an exclusive deal offered only by Peter Layne.
Orders received with payment of NZ$70.00 by 18 September 2010 will be fulfilled with a copy signed by co-author Peter
Layne. New Zealand National Airways Corporation had a fleet of 5 Vickers V.807 Viscounts which served the airline
magnificently between 1958 and 1975. Have a look at
for more details on this 320 page coffee table style book with 500 photographs (many in colour) and illustrations.
WAS - World Aviation Support at Rochford, Southend, Essex, England
Returning to Matt Long, who was mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter with his praise worthy comment, he
then continued to introduced himself.
"I'm only 29 years of age, but have been very keen on anything aviation (even more so, old props and anything
'classic'). When I was 15 years old I found some weekend work with WAS - World Aviation Support, based at Southend
airport. As I'm sure you already know, World Aviation Support were the maintenance side of BWA - British World
I started working there in 1994 and spent almost 3 years on the fleet of Viscounts. My work was just general dogs
body work, but to me it was the best job in the world! I spent a lot of time with G-AOHM, G-OPFI and G-APEY. I was
given the task of helping one man with any duty he wanted me to do whilst converting G-AOHM into a pure freighter.
BWA - British World Airlines
Viscount c/n 162 G-AOHM
Viscount c/n 170 G-OPHI
BWA - British World Airlines
Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY
During my time there I was given many jump seat trips on the aircraft and of course I have lots of photos that I
hope to upload soon! - Anyway, the reason for my long winded e-mail is that I hold a very fond memory of G-APEY!
I was reading your website with great interested when I found that the aircraft was still in an airworthy state in
the Congo (well, I hope she still is anyway as I think the article was from 2008). I'm sorry if my request is in
vain, but do you have any more information on the former G-APEY now 9Q-CON I think? - I would be very very grateful!!
I often talk about winning the lottery and flying out to Africa to rescue EY! One can only dream!!
Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to your reply.
Kind regards - Matthew."
Brian Burrage - Vickers Viscount Network co-founder replied:-
"We like your reaction to the website which helps to keep us all going when times are tough, mainly because of all
the other things we have to do like, work etc. - As a Dart Overhaul Engineer I knew WAS, BAF and BWA very well and
frequently travelled down to Southend during the 80s and 90s to either fix a Dart or just to see how they were doing
as part of my product support duties.
Regarding Viscount c/n 382, the former G-APEY, we are really struggling to get any meaningful information on her
current condition as well as others on the same continent. As I'm sure you know, any active aircraft can be kept in
good shape but an inactive one can deteriorate very quickly especially in the humid climate conditions of the Congo.
The Dart in particular is very sensitive to moisture as the mixture of aluminium, magnesium and steel results in an
electrolytic condition with internal corrosion affecting areas like the Compressor and Reduction Gearbox modules.
This can quickly result in low power and bearing failures. The airframe fuel system can also be affected by a
bacterial build up within the tanks and pipe work which would be expensive to repair.
Like you, if I win the big one on the lottery I would jump at the chance to rescue her but probably only to bring
her home for display, as the costs of keeping one flying would be enormous and the UK CAA are not keen, based on my
previous discussions with them on the subject.
I, and other Vickers Viscount Network team members, are involved in the maintenance of Viscount c/n 412 G-APIM at
Brooklands and it is quite shocking to see how much corrosion has taken hold in some of the hidden areas. I had a
lot of time for the maintenance guys at BAF and WAS who were always so enthusiastic in keeping the Viscount fleet
Your jump seat rides must have been very interesting. We would be interested in using some of your photos when time
permits. I used to travel a lot as part of my job and could have perhaps wangled a trip to N'djili to see what was
happening down in darkest Africa but these days I hardly travel at all.
Sorry we can't give you anything more positive at the moment regarding Viscount c/n 382 but you never know what
might suddenly appear in an e-mail. If we do, you will be the first to know about it!"
G-AOHL where are you?
What happened to the cockpit of Viscount c/n 161 G-AOHL
Less encouraging we recieved this message from Jamie Popplewell on the 1st July:-
"The cockpit of the ex BAF - British Air Ferries 'cabin trainer' G-AOHL use to reside at Hanningfield Metals at
Stock, Essex, England. I had photographed it there a couple of years ago. I visited the site yesterday, and was not
able to gain access as it was evening. I could not see G-AOHL anywhere so I would presume its either been sold or
more likely scrapped.
The only cockpit I could see was possibly the Andover that has also been there for some years."
Air Canada Viscount c/n 301 CF-THJ
Captain David Robinson (retired) offered to the Network this photo of Air Canada Viscount c/n 301 CF-THJ.
For the benefit of all our readers, we are always happy to consider any photograph you may have available. Many keen
aviation photographers will tell you they are always on the look out for something better or for something a little
bit different. In the latter case, consider the uniqueness, as with any aircraft, Viscounts did turn up in out of
the way locations.
If you have a photo of a Viscount taken at an airport away from its usual network then we would give it due
consideration. Although not essential the date of the occurrence would be particularly helpful and as always, please
endeavour to name the photographer.
NetLetter - the Air Canada retirees newsletter
Terry Baker, one of our avid followers has kindly let us extract material from the above publication published
weekly currently to 5,429 subscribers. The NetLetter, which is free, is open to anyone that wishes to subscribe but
is targeted to retired employees of Air Canada, Canadian Airlines and all the other companies that were part of
what Air Canada is today.
Thank you Terry. If you would like to subscribe, send an e-mail to
Extracts from recent issues of NetLetter:-
1955 - September 12th - TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines fourteenth Viscount c/n 59 CF-TGV, arrived fresh at the
S.B.A.C. flying display and exhibition, at Farnborough, Hampshire, England from the Hurn production line to
conclude Monday's flying programme, and was expected to demonstrate daily.
Recently, Wally Hasker who is part of the team involved with the refurbishing of the Viscount at the museum, located
on the grounds of Victoria International Airport (YYJ), contacted Terry Baker seeking help with locating information
regarding the interior of the Viscount as delivered originally.
Several contacts were suggested, and, it seems, the ball is rolling. Here is an e-mail received -
Thanks to you Terry, significant progress has been made by locating the gent who has access to company photo files
going back to 1933.
Thanks also to John Roger and Fraser Muir for being so thoughtful in their responses that we now have the master
restorer in touch with Brian (Losito).
We have Jim Strang an ex Captain in Ottawa (YOW) who is willing to go to the museum and have a look for anything
Also the National Executive of Maple Wings are working on our request for the 40 seat Viscount interior.
Again thank you to the good folks who give of their time to keep the family together and do not stint when asked
The Victoria TCA Viscount circa '59 will be better for your willing efforts.
Sincerely, Wallace 'Wally' Hasker - Victoria.
Viscounts in the attic? A plea by Jack Stephens
"As the Canadian researcher for the Vickers Viscount Network I am part of a small international team of Viscount
researchers. As volunteers, we are gathering photos, history and personal testimonies on the 444 Viscounts
manufactured by Vickers-Armstrongs.
My focus is on the 51 that TCA - Trans-Canada Airlines/Air Canada flew, plus the 3 Transport Canada, and various
others, such as the Royal Bank of Canada's aircraft. For the past four years many retired Air Canada individuals
from air and ground crews, station managers and ordinary Canadians that love the Viscount, have sent me their
photos and stories.
These were sent to the Vickers Viscount Network, and added to the appropriate aircraft's history. Personal stories
and testimonies are in the process of being added to the website. Our aim is to have an image of every single
aircraft, together with images showing significant moments in each Viscount's history.
We need photos of our Viscounts, so I ask, 'Are there any Viscounts in your attic'. If so could you dig them out
and send them to me? You will receive full caption credit for each photo used, and they cannot be downloaded off
the website, so they are secure. Any photo, even a poor quality one, is better than not having one at all. Our
graphic systems can restore all but the worst image. It may be a photo on the ramp, or an interior shot, all are
necessary for a complete history. Some photos just show the tail or the nose, but we can then trace their numbers.
Please include place and date, for historical purposes.
Please scan them and send them to me at
Our 'Newsletter Archive' page on the website has scanning details. Perhaps, snail mail would be better for you. If
so I promise to make copies and send them back to you as soon as possible. My address is:-
198 Arbour Meadows Close, NW
Calgary, AB, T3G 5J3.
Phone: (403) 239-6078
Time marches on and us Viscount veterans are slipping away, so let's preserve the history of this great aircraft. I
invite you to see photos of the TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada Viscounts on our website."
Vanguards in the attic? Another plea by Jack Stephens
"My friend and fellow Viscount researcher in the UK, Peter Upton has created the new and only exclusive Vickers
Vanguard website. TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada flew 23 'Mudguards' as they were affectionately called.
Like the Viscount website, Peter is looking for photos, stories and personal testimonies to complete the history on
each aircraft. In Peter's own words and I quote: 'This website is maintained by an aircraft enthusiast on a purely
non-commercial basis, and the principal aim is to compile a complete pictorial record of all the liveries worn by
each individual aircraft, together with any incidents / accidents that happened to them. I would then donate the
entire collection to any interested museum / archive. I should stress that I am not technically minded and have
specifically avoided such matters on the website. Thank you'.
All those, who took photos of the aircraft, are asked to see if they have any 'Vanguards In The Attic'. If you do,
please go to Peter's home page, at
and he will guide you through sending your images.
While you are there have a look at the Air Canada aircraft and read the very interesting 'Remembering The Vanguard'
by Captain Murray Wallace. This story along with many photos was contributed by Terry Baker."
Jack Stephens for Peter Upton
British Caledonian website
We have also heard from Dave Thaxter who is webmaster for the British Caledonian website pitched for its former
staff but no doubt of interest to general aviation followers. The site is
which has now been linked to the Vickers Viscount website.
We are keen to encourage Viscount operators websites to our site with the reasons being two-fold. One being to
promote the Viscount aircraft and secondly providing opportunities for staff of various airlines to keep in touch
with former work colleagues. Dave mentions that their regular e-mail goes out to about 1,500 former BCaler's
If you are a former staff member and would like to receive their newsletter then send him an e-mail to
V.843 Viscount c/n 453 50258 in the China National Aviation Museum
From China we learn from Jonathon Coleman that there is a Viscount V.843 on display at the China National Aviation
Museum, about 40km North of Beijing. It is in a sky blue and white livery. He thinks it might have been one of the
last Viscounts manufactured.
The aircraft appears to be in nice overall condition, but with some discolouration to the windows. He has taken
some photographs and when he goes back to Beijing in a couple of months he could send a picture for the site.
We would look forward to seeing pictures and obtaining any history of the Viscounts operated in China.
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.