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

Vickers Viscount Network

August 2012 Newsletter

Dear Member

Welcome to the August 2012 Vickers Viscount Network newsletter, particularly so if you have joined us recently. Those of you who have been with us for a while may have noticed a lot of streamlining and redesigning taking place to our website. Let's have a look at some of the changes.

The Menu Bar

Vickers Viscount Network menu bar
Vickers Viscount Network menu bar - records

Webmaster Geoff Blampied reports "Brian Burrage and I have now brought the total number of Viscount photographs on our website up to a grand total in excess of 5,100 (you can see the live total in the menu bar of every page).

On the left hand side of the menu bar the Records section has been totally brought up to our new standards. Some of the pages in this section had not been redesigned for many years and were looking very dated.

I hope that you like the new look – I would appreciate your feedback".

Short tour of the menu bar

The 'Contact us' button

At the top right hand side of the menu bar is the Contact us button. On clicking this button you are taken to our contact page where you will find details on how to contact us to send in information and photos. Continuing down the contact us page you will see a list of our core members listed by country together with their contact details.

We are always looking for more core members to help us with our project. If you wish to be considered please read the information on our Membership details page. Core members' input is purely a labour of love. They are all unpaid volunteers and do whatever they can whenever they can.

Vickers Viscount Network menu bar - Contact us

The 'About us' button

Beneath the Contact us button is the About Us button where you will find further buttons. The top one, also called About us, takes you to a page that tells you all about the Vickers Viscount Network and how it works.

The next button down is a repeat of the 'Contact us' button detailed above.

Beneath this is the Join the Vickers Viscount Network for FREE button that will take you to our 'Membership details' page where you will find details about our general and core membership.

When filling in the membership joining form people who live in the United Kingdom will be asked to enter England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. People who live in America are requested to enter United States. We collate this country information to gain a better understanding of where our readers are located.

The Get togethers button takes you to reports about our meetings since 2008.

And finally in this section there are a series of buttons that takes you to our archive news and newsletter pages. The current newsletter is always available on the top section of the menu bar.

The Latest information bar

In case you hadn't noticed, if you scroll to the right hand side of any page you will find the 'Latest information bar'. On this bar you will find the museum search facility. Just enter any word or phrase into the box, then click 'Search' to find any information on our website.

Below this is a Membership details button, buttons to the latest pages created on the website, details of the latest aircraft operational records to be updated, and details about our Virtual Club Room.

One of our recent new pages shows the superb Grant Tigner TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines poster.

Rhodesia Flag

CAA - Central African Airways

Neil Gaunt was recently browsing through the aircraft that he knows best on our website and was surprised to see that two of them, V.782D Viscounts c/n 297 VP-WAS and c/n 298 VP-WAT were previously owned by United Iranian Airlines before being sold to CAA - Central African Airways. Neil explains;

"The reason for the question is that they were the first sanctions-busting acquisitions for Air Rhodesia/CAA - Central African Airways."

United Iranian Airlines Viscount c/n 297 EP-AHA

United Iranian Airlines Viscount c/n 297 EP-AHA

"I remember them arriving at Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) in a very cloak and dagger manner. The Engineering Manager, Ken Greager, was at the end of the runway with a pair of six-foot steps and some aerosols of black paint. He sprayed out the fuselage registrations before they taxied straight from the runway INTO the hangar (the only time I ever knew a Viscount to taxi into the hangar).

I was a draughtsman at the time and the drawing office was attached to the hangar. When I heard Darts in the hangar, I dashed down to find the two aircraft side by side in the hangar and the hangar doors just being closed.

When I went on board, Brian Wall, the security officer was using a penknife to remove all the little enamelled 'Overhauled by MEA' badges from the radio equipment. My father was the painter and was told to strip all the paint off both aircraft, which he did. Unfortunately the Vickers etch primer clearly showed the name of the original owners, United Iranian Airlines, so they painted them quickly!"

Sister Viscount c/n 99 VP-YNB while with CAA - Central African Airways/Air Rhodesia

CAA - Central African Airways/Air Rhodesia sister Viscount c/n 99 VP-YNB

Note: At this time CAA - Central African Airways Viscounts were operating services for Air Rhodesia, Air Malawi and Zambia Airways and removable nameplates were easily fitted to both sides of the rear fuselage. An ingenious quick release system held these nameplates in place as they were regularly changed over to suit the next departure schedule.

"Air Rhodesia then built two new galleys to standardise them with our V.748D Viscount galleys, the aircraft were overhauled, given new interiors, and then went into service in, I believe, Air Rhodesia livery.

If anyone can find photos of the V.782s in CAA - Central African Airways livery, I will be very interested to see them!"

Note: Can anyone recall VP-WAS and VP-WAT being in that livery and better still, being able to back it up with photographs? If you can please contact us.

Air Rhodesia Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS in June 1970

Air Rhodesia Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS in June 1970 at an unknown location
Air Rhodesia Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS in November 1977

Air Rhodesia Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS in November 1977 at Victoria Falls Airport, Rhodesia

"Incidentally I cannot remember if we put radar on those two - I know we did with some. Also, do you have any information on the anti-Strella mod (jet pipe extensions)?"

Thanks Neil – does anyone have the information on the anti-Strella mod? If so please contact us. Similarly, does anyone have recollections of Viscounts taxiing into hangars in the manner described? If you do, again, please contact us.

e-mail us -

Sadly Air Rhodesia Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS named 'Hunyani' was shot down by a surface to air SAM-7 Strella missile fired by anti-government rebels on the 3 September 1978. Five months later sister Viscount c/n 101 VP-YND named 'Umniati' was also shot down by a SAM-7 Strella missile.

Air Rhodesia Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS was shot down by a surface to air SAM-7 Strella missile

Rhodesian SAS at the VP-WAS crash site

Keith Nell has written a book titled 'Viscount Down' in which he tells this hitherto untold and epic account of unrelenting Rhodesian resolve to avenge the 'Hunyani' and 'Umniati' tragedies. The events in this book are described in accurate detail, including a dramatic account from the Pilot's seat of the last minutes in the doomed aircraft.

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'Viscount Down' observance in Auckland, New Zealand

Jack Maddox of the Rhodesia Services Association (RSA) advises;

"The Auckland area RSA members advise that a 'Viscount Down' observance will be held at the Birkenhead Returned Services Association in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday 2nd September starting at 10:30 in the downstairs function room. This event includes a full finger-food sit-down meal with coffee at only $8.00 per person. The bar will open from 11:00. Lunch will be followed by a film on Kariba and Operation Noah, plus Rhodesian songs and music to relax and remember.

This event will remember these horrific events that shook Rhodesia in 1978 and 1979. A film titled 'Viscount Down' also by Keith Nell will be shown which describes the background to this sad part of Rhodesia's history.

All family and relatives of crew and passengers of these two aircraft are particularly welcome to join us, as is anyone who is interested in Rhodesian history.

For more details please contact John Glynn on 09 832 1300 or Jack Maddox on 09 488 9928. You can also make a reservation by e-mailing Alison Hucke by the closing date of 25th August 2012."

e-mail Alison Hucke to confirm a reservation

Jack is also looking (at the time of going to print) for a Viscount model for the occasion. If any Auckland based readers can help, please let him know.

'Viscount Down' a review by Keith Nell
History and photos of Viscount c/n 297 VP-WAS

Aviation tragedies are always terrible but these two are arguably the worst involving Viscounts. Keith Nell must be commended for putting 'Viscount Down' together as it gives a unique insight into what happened on those two occasions and we can only hope it has provided a measure of closure to everyone concerned.

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That other Viscount

In our last newsletter we had a request from Brian Burrage to try and establish the current status of Viscount c/n 371 9G-AAV / XT661. In his request we showed a photo of XT661 with her sister aircraft Viscount c/n 438 OE-LAG / LZ-BEO / XT575 at Hanningfield Metals at Thurleigh, Berkshire, England.

AUA - Austrian Airlines Viscount c/n 438 OE-LAG

AUA - Austrian Airlines Viscount c/n 438 OE-LAG at W A Mozart (Maxglan), Salzburg, Austria in 1962

It seems appropriate to draw a bit of attention to XT575's operational record and photos as she has become the 'other' Viscount to Viscount c/n 412 G-APIM at the Brooklands Museum and consequently received a big share of attention during our 2011 get together. Have a look at information and photos that we have for this former AUA - Austrian Airlines aircraft.

AUA - Austrian Airlines Viscount c/n 438 OE-LAG

AUA - Austrian Airlines Viscount c/n 438 OE-LAG at Schwechat, Vienna, Austria in March 1962

History and photos of Viscount c/n 438 OE-LAG

Note: On the operational record page for Viscount c/n 438 there are three buttons at the top right. The first one with the label 'Photos' takes you to c/n 438s photo thumbnails. By clicking on any photo on this thumbnail page you will be taken to a larger version of that photo.

While on the photo thumbnail page for Viscount c/n 438 there are three buttons at the top right. The first one with the label 'Operational record' takes you back to c/n 438s operational record.

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A website for all ages – offering encouragement to future generations

We are always interested to know how our website catches the attention of its first-time visitors. A stand out email of this nature came in recently from Janet Reid, who proudly introduces Eric, one of her pupils. She writes;

"My name is Janet and I am a teacher at a summer program. One of my students, Eric, is very interested in aviation so he has been researching aviation history, etc. He came across your website and found it to provide some very helpful and interesting information. He was particularly interested in the page with links to organisations with complete Viscount airframes.

Organisations with complete Viscount airframes

Thank you for maintaining such a useful resource! Eric also found this very informative article on the Internet about the history of aviation.

History of aviation: Aircraft through time

He learned so much from this article he would like to share it and suggested you add it to your page as an additional resource. He feels that it would be of great interest to your visitors.

Also, it would be very motivating for him to see his suggestion on your page! Please let us know if you do decide to add the article because Eric would like to show his peers and family. Thank you!

Kindest regards, Janet Reid".

Thank you Janet for your contribution and for offering Eric encouragement. Your email has been reproduced here as it clearly illustrates that all of us that are involved in aviation history should offer every encouragement to younger generations to retain and build on all aspects of aviation history.

So much of what we have amassed on our website has been gathered from times when airport security hardly existed by those who worked on, or around, or travelled on, or just watched, the amazing Viscount.

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Restoration project update - South Africa 20 May 2012

Dave Walkley in South Africa has modestly reported;

"Just to update your records - the South African Viscount c/n 256 G-AOYP / G-PFBT I bought two months ago is currently at my show room in Ruimsig, Johannesburg, South Africa. I plan to restore part of her and give back some of that dignity she lost in Kya-Sands."

Most welcome news Dave, please keep us informed on your progress.

Dave Walkley's Viscount c/n 265 G-PFBT

Viscount c/n 265 G-PFBT forward fuselage at its new home at Ruimsig

History and photos of Viscount c/n 265 G-AOYP/G-PFBT

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Southend airport Facebook group

Core member Jamie Popplewell invites readers to have a browse at lots of nice pictures taken at Southend airport over the last few decades, and plenty of Viscounts:

Southend airport Facebook group

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Undercarriage mishap at Birmingham

During the landing at Elmdon, Birmingham, West Midlands, England after a flight from Yeadon, Leeds/Bradford Airport, Yorkshire, England on the 19 January 1973, the port undercarriage of Viscount c/n 347 G-AZLR collapsed.

We are grateful to core members Will Blunt for supplying a photo of the incident and George Stringer for supplying information he found in the book about British Midland Airways written by his good friend Captain Bert Cramp. Although it looks spectacular, none of the three pilots were injured and there were no passengers on board.

BMA - British Midland Airways Viscount c/n 347 G-AZLR

Viscount c/n 347 G-AZLR at Elmdon, Birmingham after the port main undercarriage leg collapsed

According to the book, the mechanical indicator showed the undercarriage to be locked down when in fact it was not. Apparently, the indicator had frozen solid during its overnight stopover and therefore gave a false reading. The aircraft was repaired within a fortnight but the same could not be said for the engines.

Brian Burrage comments;

"Just a quick follow up on the two Dart RDa7 Mark 530 engines (upgraded from Mark 525F) removed from BMA Viscount G-AZLR after her mishap at BHX.

My work records show that these shock loaded engine were sent to Hants & Sussex Aviation Limited for repair in February 1973. I joined H & S in October 1979. The serial numbers were 8246 and 8301. One was returned to BMA on 11 April 1973 and the other was returned on 3 May 1973.

One engine was delayed as during the post-repair test at the Park Royal, West London facility a pigeon was ingested into the engine which meant that it had to be returned to the workshop at Blindley Heath, Surrey (near Gatwick Airport) where it was dismantled to unblock all the air sealing passages and combustion flame tube and discharge nozzle orifices.

This took the best part of two weeks including the re-test. According to the test bed report the bird had pecked its way through a chicken wire mesh grill which covered the cell intake during the night and went to sleep in a dark corner of the intake splitter vanes. As soon as the Dart was started up the bird became frightened and flew into the cell and was immediately sucked into the intake. This all happened so quickly, before the test crew could shut the engine down.

People entering the test cell during running periods had to empty their pockets of everything. One guy once went in with a handkerchief in his pocket and this was sucked out with the same result. I got to strip down that engine and was amazed at how far the finely shredded pieces of linen had gone."

History and photos of Viscount c/n 347 G-AZLR

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Strike . . . more bird strikes, including one with an eternal effect

Bird strikes are a fact of life for every aviator. Core member Jack Stevens reports;

"My father, who was an Air Engineer (Inspection) for TCA/Air Canada on the DC-3 and the Viscount, was inspecting the leading edge de-icer boot on a DC-3 and noticed the head of bird. It was a small shore bird type and its sharp beak was embedded in the rubber still attached to the head. No reports came in of the strange landing of a headless bird."

TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-3 CF-TDV

TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-3 CF-TDV

"During the Second World War he was training pilots with the Commonwealth Air Training Plan at Fort William, Ontario, Canada. He told the story of flying along beside a large flock of Canada Geese in a Tiger Moth. He said they were very close and all the geese did was glance at them, but never deviated from formation."

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Editor’s note: New Zealand based readers, on reading Jack’s story, will possibly recall the strangled goose story associated with a large aerial topdressing (crop dusting) firm called Fieldair Ltd.

The story goes that in the 1950s, a Fieldair pilot engaged in an aerial dogfight with a goose and decided to try and grab hold of it. A spirited display unfolded but sadly the goose was lost in combat however the aerial antics had not gone unnoticed.

A farmer, who was so impressed, phoned Fieldair wanting one of their talented Tiger Moth pilots to come and top-dress his farm as he thought they were the best. He described how he had been watching this Tiger Moth pilot chasing a goose for ages, killed it and then landed to collect it.

Fieldair logo

I personally cannot vouch for all of that but ever since that time, Fieldair have retained their 'strangled goose' logo.

Fieldair - Engineering for Aviation

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Seating plan in Butler Air Services' Viscounts

Some of our lines of inquiry go a long way to uncover information, thanks to the great network we are building as a result of our increasing readership. The following started with an email from Ian Rae to John Pulford, Head of Collections and Interpretation, Brooklands Museum. In part it reads;

"Would you have any details of the seating arrangement and seating class of the two Viscount aircraft purchased new by Butler Air Services of Australia in September 1955? The two aircraft in question are c/n 97 G-ANXV/VH-BAT and c/n 145 G-ANYH/VH-BUT. They were both designated as V.747 models."

Butler Air Transport Viscount c/n 97 VH-BAT

Butler Air Transport Viscount c/n 97 G-ANXV / VH-BAT

History and photos of Viscount c/n 97 G-ANXV / VH-BAT

The email found its way to Fred Niven in Australia via core members John Woodhouse, Brian Burrage and Julian Bourn. Fred advised;

"My data shows that both BAT Viscount V.747s were delivered in a 40-seat configuration, which was later changed to a 47-seat configuration. Other than the fact that they would almost certainly have been a single class configuration in those days, I have no information on the actual seat-plans.

I came to Australia, from the UK in late 1963, well after the period involved and I have never seen a BAT Viscount seating layout drawing. I shall ask around and let you know if any of the local real Viscount experts have any information."

The query did the rounds and then Julian reported;

"Today, core member Richard Stanton and I 'unearthed' a Vickers document at the Brooklands Museum Technical Archive which has line drawings of all of the seating layouts for all of the Viscount models (as at the end of 1956) and is dated January 1957.

The V.747 drawing for Butler Air Transport appears to show 11 rows of 4 seats (2 x 2). This would be 44. These may have been preliminary drawings, or drawings of the aircraft as at January 1957. Either way, it doesn't appear to fit with the 40/47 as previously stated!"

As it transpired, from further investigation, there were only forty seats but the search trail didn’t end there. Core member Allan Taylor in Australia commented;

"I remember when TAA - Trans-Australia Airlines retired the Viscount V.756 series from service that they were fitted with 45 seats. At TAA's maintenance hangar at Brisbane, both sets from VH-TVJ and VH-TVL were for sale. They were $5 per place making $225 for a full set and $30 each for the cockpit seats.

I had a friend who owned a coach company and he was interested in buying both sets to install in coaches. However the laws here dictate a minimum 18 inch aisle width and the Viscount seats were an inch or so too wide."

TAA - Trans-Australia Airlines Viscount c/n 48 VH-TVE

TAA - Trans-Australia Airlines Viscount c/n 48 VH-TVE

History and photos of Viscount c/n 48 VH-TVE

"Another little bit of trivia is that each TAA V.700 series aircraft had alternate (alphabetically) coloured seats, either gold or pastel green. So, VH-TVJ's were gold and VH-TVL's were gold. Therefore VH-TVI, VH-TVK, and VH-TVM would have had pastel green, and so on.

I do remember seeing some Viscounts with the first row of seats reversed so that they faced the second row. I can't recall what airline or what series Viscount it was. Sadly, hardly anyone ever photographs the interiors.

I'd love to know where my photo collection from those days is now as I religiously photographed every aircraft in the Ansett and TAA fleet from every external angle plus full cockpit and cabin photos".

Editor's Note: We no doubt all agree, it be wonderful if Allan’s airline photos can be found. Does anyone have any relevant interior photos to share?

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Viscount decals for the modellers among us

Mike Vykukal trading as Vintage Flyer Decals has announced that he has released five Viscount decals. All sheets are available in 1/144, 1/72 and 1/96 for the Hawk / Glencoe Viscount kit.

Vintage Flyer Decals example

Continental Viscount final 'Golden Jet' livery 1/96 scale decal

The liveries are: Aloha Viscount (delivery), Capital Viscount (final), Continental Viscount (delivery), Continental Viscount (final 'Golden Jet') and Hawaiian Airlines Viscount (delivery). Images and prices are on his website.

Thanks to core member Richard Stanton for drawing this to our attention.

Vintage Flyer Decals

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A request concerning Aer Lingus Viscount EI-AOM

On 24 March 1968 Aer Lingus Viscount c/n 178 EI-AOM crashed into the Irish Sea near Tuskar Rock, 5 miles off the coast of County Wexford, Ireland. Next year will be the 45th anniversary of that accident.

Photos of this aircraft while in service with Aer Lingus appear to be very rare as so far we have only been able to locate one. If you can help us with photos of this well document aircraft please contact us at;

Viscount c/n 178 EI-AOM

The only photo we have of Aer Lingus Viscount c/n 178 EI-AOM.

History and photos of Viscount c/n 178 PH-VIG / EI-AOM

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On a roll in Canada

Core member Robert Arnold has been very busy sorting his massive collection of Viscount blue prints and continues his report started in the last newsletter;

"I have finally completed sorting through the blueprints from the CAE part of my TCA collection. I now know I have 678 folders with about 11-12 blueprints per folder. These blueprints cover everything right down to the toilet paper roller (the spring loaded part that goes through the centre of the roll). I even have a blueprint on the style of logbook.

During the sorting, I was able to set aside many interesting drawings. I even sent a couple blueprints away to get autographed. There are several that cover work done on the government Viscounts (CF-TGP, CF-GXK and CF-DTA) along with several on CF-RBC."

TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines Viscount c/n 385 CF-TIE

TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines Viscount c/n 385 CF-TIE from the Robert Arnold collection

History and photos of Viscount c/n 385 CF-TIE

"I also have blueprints that cover changes to CF-TGI for TransAir. Most of the changes to CF-TGI were done in the galley as it appears that they added extra hot mug holders and Timmons Aviation had made drawings for a fold-away serving trolley.

Now to start on the Wiklund part of my collection. Fortunately there is already an inventory list made up for this collection. In this collection there are Vickers, BEA, Air France, Cubana and other airline blueprints that cover many seating proposals and changes to the flight deck. There is way too much to mention here."

Beaver Enterprises Viscount c/n 310 C-FTIB

Beaver Enterprises Viscount c/n 310 C-FTIB taken at Toronto in June 1982

History and photos of Viscount c/n 310 CF-TIB / C-FTIB

"On a side note, I thought I would send you the last of the photos that were sent to me and taken by Robert S. Grant. This photo of C-FTIB was taken in Toronto, June 1982 after the aircraft was returned to Beaver Enterprises by Air Cardinal. I hope this will add to the photo history of this particular Viscount. I will be sending a few more from Keith Olson when time permits."

Well done Robert for not only acquiring this valuable resource but for also getting it sorted and catalogued.

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Viscount features in the film 'The Rose'

Ray Woodford in Australia follows aircraft in the movies. He says;

"I have a fascination with, and enjoy researching, big prop and big jet aircraft that have starred in the movies. I am trying to confirm the identity of a V.700 Viscount that appeared in the movie 'The Rose' produced and released in 1979."

Go Transportation Inc. Viscount c/n 392 N6598C / N200RC taken at the time that the film 'The Rose' was made

Go Transportation Inc. Viscount c/n 392 N6598C / N200RC
taken at the time that the film 'The Rose' was made

History and photos of Viscount c/n 392 N6598C / N200RC

"In the movie, the aircraft is the personal transport of a touring rock star, and prominently appears in the opening scene as well as cameos throughout. My research seems to anecdotally suggest that the aircraft may be V.798D Viscount c/n 392 N200RC operated by the Go Group, (as the paint scheme uniquely and closely matches that of N200RC at the time), however as the registration is never actually seen in the movie this is speculative.

As part of her movie 'makeup' the aircraft carries large 'Rose' titles and motifs on both sides of the lower forward fuselage. I would really appreciate any information you might have on this mystery 'movie star' Viscount. If by chance you have a photo of the aircraft in her movie 'makeup' that would also be most helpful.

I would also be most interested in any information relating to any Viscounts that have starred in other movies."

Vickers Viscount Network co-founder Brian Burrage commented;

"The only movie Viscount we knew about is c/n 19 G-AMOF of BEA - British European Airways which appears in the 1956 film 'The man who knew too much' starring Jimmy Stewart."

BEA - British European Airways Viscount c/n 19 G-AMOF taken during the filming of 'The man who knew too much'

BEA - British European Airways Viscount c/n 19 G-AMOF
taken during the filming of 'The man who knew too much'

History and photos of Viscount c/n 19 G-AMOF

Brian later added "A Go Group aircraft certainly seems likely as they were prepared to do anything to earn a few bucks as the aircraft often sat around at Tucson International waiting for the next music tour etc.

Viscount c/n 412 G-APIM at the Brooklands Museum has done some film and TV work over the years, which needs to be investigated further. Another DVD to look out for at the car boot sale!"

Ray Woodford, after displaying more tenacity reported;

"I am now firmly convinced that the aircraft that starred in this movie was in actual fact V.798D Viscount c/n 392 N6598C operated by the Go Group. There is a photo of this aircraft in the exact colour scheme as seen in the movie, (right down to the black-tipped prop spinners, green cheat line with orange outlines, overall natural metal finish, but alas minus the 'Rose' motif and titles), in the October 2010 issue of Airways Magazine, which features a great 5-page article on Go Group Viscount operations.

Some really interesting photos of several different Go Group Viscounts are featured, and it is a great general read for anyone with an interest in Viscounts. The aircraft is definitely a V.700 as in the opening scene of the movie, a rather hung-over and under-the-weather rock star is seen staggering out of the forward door and hitting her head on the famous round shape."

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BEA - British European Airways V.700 Viscount film

As an aside, if you want to see more of the 'the famous round shape', or rather, how hitting it can be avoided, have a look at this film spotted by core member Julian Bourn who says;

"The title says 1954, but the ops board has V.806 registrations on it, making the date of the film at least 1958. Sadly, the quality is not good enough to spot which V.701 features and they are using the 'pseudo' registration of 'BY'."

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The Nicholas Cage film 'Con Air'

Core member Clive Worboys adds;

"Well now, on the subject of Viscounts in films, some of you may have seen the Nicholas Cage film 'Con Air' made in 1997, and spotted this - the sad remains of a V.800 series Viscount in an Arizona scrap yard. A sickening sight, I think all of us who love this very special aeroplane, will agree."

Jadepoint USA Viscount c/n 397 N480RC-F as seen in the film 'Con Air'

Jadepoint USA Viscount c/n 397 N480RC-F as seen in the film 'Con Air'

"It does, however, pose the obvious question, which Viscount was it? Filmed some 5 years after the collapse of the Go Group, I'm assuming it is the remains of one of that company's Viscounts. Any ideas?"

Craig continues in the discussion with;

"I reckon these are the sad remains of ex-Pluna V.827 Viscount c/n 397 that was purchased by Go and registered N480RC-F for its ferry flight, which proved to be its last. Thought it may have been the ex-Arkia Viscount c/n 419 4X-AVG which had a similar fate; it also had a blue stripe (the old Arkia colour scheme) but the cheat line was straight and colour covered the nose.

If I remember correctly, there were bits of Viscounts all over the place in that film."

Brian Burrage adds;

"I agree with your identification of the Viscount front section in the 'Con Air' movie that Clive spotted and I have prepared some photos of N480RC-F for the website. Have a look at c/n 397’s photo page and you will see the recent additions."

History and photos of Viscount c/n 397 N480RC-F

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Another star – at the West Canada Aviation Museum

Core member Dave Peters writes;

"Actually there is another movie star in the Viscount group. Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS is featured in the Oscar winning 2005 movie 'Capote'."

Western Canada Aviation Museum Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS taken in September 2004

Western Canada Aviation Museum Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS taken in September 2004

"Scenes which show Trueman Copote travelling by air to cover the 'In Cold Blood' trial were filmed at the West Canada Aviation Museum in Winnipeg aboard CF-THS. Core member Jack Stevens may also recognise some other scenes from the Winnipeg and Stoney Mountain area."

History and photos of Viscount c/n 279 CF-THS

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Robert and Ethel Kennedy

Bob Roodt has kindly sent us this photo taken on 6 June 1966 of Robert and Ethel Kennedy arriving in Cape Town, South Africa on the SAA - South African Airways Viscount c/n 317 ZS-CVA.

SAA - South African Airways Viscount c/n 317 ZS-CVA

Robert and Ethel Kennedy arriving in Cape Town on Viscount c/n 317 ZS-CVA

Bob explains;

"The photo is of the ill-fated Viscount ZS-CVA named 'Rietbok' of SAA - South African Airways, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa on the 6th June 1966 carrying the equally ill-fated Robert and Ethel Kennedy.

Probably one of the last pictures taken of this particular Viscount, which crashed into the Indian Ocean off Kayser's Beach, 35 kilometres from East London, South Africa on 13 March 1967. Strangely enough, Robert Kennedy was assassinated on 6th June 1968."

Have a look at ZS-CVA's history page, it is very interesting.

History and photos of Viscount c/n 317 ZS-CVA

Jean-Luc Ganivet, our French core member and researcher added;

"Really strange . . . you might know 6 is the devil number . . . 06/06/1966 and 06/06/1968. The hearse of President F. Miterrand was registered (on his request) 6661. Not Viscount related, but also strange".

United States Flag

Vintage V.700 Viscount model for sale

United States core member Will Blunt announces;

"For anyone that would be interested, I have just found a solid form model of a V.700 Viscount at an aviation show in Dallas, Texas, United States, which I am offering for sale at US$ 125.00, plus delivery from Texas."

Will Blunt's Northeast V.700 Viscount model

Will Blunt's Northeast V.700 Viscount model

"It is in Northeast Airlines USA livery, and is 1/72nd scale. Under the wings it has 'VISCOUNT BRITISH TRANSPORT DEC.56 & SCALE: 1/72nd embossed into the form. The markings look old, and is in good condition. It does not show any indication that it was ever mounted on stand, or ever had landing gear. There is no manufacturer's name on the model."

If you are interested in this model please contact Will in Texas, United States on 817-424-5730 or e-mail him at

United Kingdom Flag

Last Viscount passenger flight
in the United Kingdom

BWA - British World Airways Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY

BWA - British World Airways Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY

Core member Mike Sessions writes;

"I Thought you might like to see the film of the special retirement celebration flight that marked the withdrawal of the Viscount from passenger service in the United Kingdom that departed from Heathrow, London, England on 18 April 1996. I was on-board Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY that day and the list of Viscount 'royalty' was immense!"

History and photos of Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY

How to send us feedback, information and photos

We hope that you have enjoyed this issue of our newsletter and would like to hear your view and comments on it. To provide feedback, or information and photos for inclusion in the virtual museum or our newsletters, please send them to:

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Don't worry about the condition of your photos as we can work wonders with most images that have strange colours or dust marks, blemishes etc.

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Peter Layne - Chief Editor, Wellington, New Zealand.
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