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

March 2013 Newsletter

Dear Member

Welcome to the first 2013 Vickers Viscount Network newsletter. Let’s start with some really interesting news items.

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Viscount to the air

Many of us followers of aviation around the world would have seen an interesting and welcome news item that two brothers who own an Avro Lancaster, have announced plans to put the aircraft back in the air.

The announcement came relatively soon after it became apparent that Viscount c/n 170 9Q-COD ex G-AOHV in Africa would be a big challenge as a restoration project. However this aircraft was the last Viscount to fly and a recent engineers report has confirmed that it is still complete thus making it a prime candidate for a 'Viscount to the air' project.

History and photos of Viscount c/n 170 G-AOHV / G-BLNB / G-OPFI / 9Q-COD

In January Vickers Viscount Network co-founder Geoff Blampied circulated the membership with the following;-

"Those of us in the UK (and many other places too) may have seen the news item last night about the team in Lincolnshire who own the Avro Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’. They have announced that they are intending to get it back into the air after 41 years on the ground. If they succeed, this will be only the third airworthy Lancaster in the World – two in the UK and one in Canada."

Merlin engine

Avro Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ is due to fly again in 2014

NX611 'Just Jane' BBC news report

"If you believe enough in something you will overcome all obstacles and make it happen. We all say that we would love to see and hear a Viscount fly again, can we make it happen?

Have we got that belief and energy within our ranks to make a Viscount fly again? Who within our ranks has the energy, drive and personality to make it happen? I know that if someone was to drive a ‘Viscount to the air’ project they would have a large team of supporters who could help in many ways. To say that ‘it cannot be done’ is just a cop out, nothing is impossible! Just some food for thought…”

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New Zealand

Not surprisingly this drew considerable comment and no doubt all of us would like to have a Viscount flying again. Many were supportive of the idea and as Geoff says, “nothing is impossible”. In recent times various extinct or rare aircraft types have taken to the skies, particularly so in New Zealand, including a de Havilland Mosquito, an Avro Anson Mark 1, and numerous extinct WWI aircraft now in reproduction form.

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Core member Dave Peters in Victoria, British, Columbia tells us that there is another Mosquito nearing completion. Have a look at:

Victoria Air Maintenance Ltd - Mosquito

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South Africa

Keith Nell in South Africa commented, “During the course of marketing my book ‘Viscount Down” internationally, I have both been contacted by and made contact with numerous Viscount pilots and engineers including those whose job it was to keep Viscounts flying in a country besieged with international sanctions and who planned and designed susceptibility reduction processes to protect the Viscounts against SAM-7 missiles. These gentlemen have the requisite enthusiasm and do not give up.

My sixpence worth of input is to suggest that a Viscount Restoration Team is formed from these highly experienced personnel with Viscount experience who are in their senior years and available in the UK to help, as you say, in many ways.

Should you be interested in this concept, I would be happy to forward your email to the ones I know who have the expertise and are still very much in love with the Viscount.” (This offer of help has been accepted)

Other readers took a more cautionary approach citing that money would be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. Other considerations included availability of parts and a suitable aircraft. Would for instance a museum be prepared to part with their Viscount or remain involved in its operation as an active aircraft? Also considered was whether a flyable aircraft would meet the requirements of the country’s aviation regulations. Would finance be available for on-going upkeep?

All these points too are valid. Again, as Geoff says, "Who within our ranks has the energy, drive and personality to make it happen?" Let us have your thoughts on how we may be able to make the seemingly impossible possible.

MAAM - Mid Atlantic Air Museum Viscount c/n 233 N7471

The future of the MAAM - Mid Atlantic Air Museum Viscount c/n 233 N7471 may be uncertain

History and photos of Viscount c/n 233 N7471 / N6591C / N820BK / N1898T / N98KT / N555SL

Spread the word

Well that caught your attention eh!

To find the people with the energy, drive and personality to make a 'Viscount to the air' project work we need to spread the word. To help us do this please pass on a link to this newsletter to everyone that you know asking them to do the same. Eventually this message will land in the hands of the people who will make a project like this happen.

Thank you for your help.

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'Coventry Viscount Day' 2013

Core members Julian Bourn and Mike Higgins have been busy preparing the 2013 Vickers Viscount Network get-together which will be held at the MAM - Midland Air Museum, Baginton, Coventry, Warwickshire, England CV3 4FR on Saturday 11th May 2013.

The Vickers Viscount Network and the MAM - Midland Air Museum invite everyone with an interest in the Vickers Viscount, together with their family and friends, to 'Coventry Viscount Day', a day where this famous aircraft takes centre stage.

The star of the event will be V.708 Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR that has recently been re-assembled by volunteers at MAM - Midland Air Museum and is now essentially a complete aircraft again.

Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR

V.708 Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR back on her wheels in September 2012

We are all really impressed by the work of the Viscount team at Coventry and I'm sure that we would all like to thank them for their dedication to F-BGNR and the Viscount cause. We are so pleased that we now have three complete airframes in the UK that are being looked after by dedicated teams, that will ensure their long term survival.

'Coventry Viscount Day' is great opportunity to meet fellow Vickers Viscount Network members, the MAM team, and inspect F-BGNR. This is our second get-together at Coventry, our first in 2008 was just after F-BGNR had arrived at Coventry and the Vickers Viscount Network was in it infancy.

Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL

Coventry Viscount Day 2008 - from left to right: Julian Bourn, Michael Blank, Peter Upton,
Adrian Fellingham, Mark Johnson, Brian Burrage, Ed Jones, Chris Jones, Geoff Blampied,
Mark, Martin Garrett, Rob MacSkimming, George Stringer and Alex Burton

Since 2008 ownership of F-BGNR has changed but the hospitality has not and we would like to thank Mike Higgins, his Viscount team, and the MAM management, for this great opportunity.

Book your places

To book your places please send an email to the address below stating the names of all the people in your party. We will send you an email confirmation that will include your unique event ticket.

Coventry Viscount Day booking request -

Event cost

'Coventry Viscount Day' is FREE to everyone attending apart from the normal MAM - Midland Air Museum admission fees and lunch. A voluntary donation to the MAM - Midland Air Museum to help with the up-keep of the Viscount will be much appreciated.

MAM - Midland Air Museum


10:00 Museum opens and 'Coventry Viscount Day' visitors will be directed to the 'Robin' Hangar.
10:50 'Coventry Viscount Day' visitors will be directed to the MAM - Midland Air Museum Education Centre.
11:00 'Coventry Viscount Day' presentations begin.
11:00 - 11:05 Welcome by Vickers Viscount Network core member and events organiser Julian Bourn.
11:05 - 11:25 Barrie James - Chairman of the MAM - Midland Air Museum Board of Trustees will talk about aspects of the MAM collecting policy and how to keep a small museum fresh.
11:25 - 11:40 Julian Bourn presents the history of Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR that started in 1954.
11:40 - 12:00 Malcolm Lambert tells the story of the reconstruction of F-BGNR by members of the MAM - Midland Air Museum.
12:00 - 12:15 Comfort break.
12:15 - 12:35 'We designed an aeroplane...and we called it the Viscount' (George Edwards) - a talk by Romer Adams of the Viscount Preservation Trust.
12:35 - 12:55 Romer Adams will show a Viscount sales film.
12:55 - 13:15 Retired Viscount Captain Ron MacDonald describes flying the Viscount with TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada.
13:15 - 14:00 Lunch - either at the MAM - Midland Air Museum cafe or 'Coventry Viscount Day' visitors bringing their own.
14:00 - 15:00 Guided tours of Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR by MAM - Midland Air Museum volunteers.
15:00 - 17:00 'Coventry Viscount Day' visitors are now free to visit other MAM - Midland Air Museum exhibits.
17:00 Museum closes.

Questions: - The guys from the Vickers Viscount Network and the MAM - Midland Air Museum will be happy to take questions at any time throughout the presentations.

Romer Adams returns for his 3rd get-together

We are delighted that Romer Adams of the Viscount Preservation Trust has kindly agreed to speak on the early years of the Viscount, from the Brabazon Committee days to the sensation that the Viscount caused after the first flight in 1948 and entering service in 1953.

At 'Brooklands Viscount Day' in 2011 we were able to broadcast the event live on the internet. Unfortunately, the bandwidth of the internet connection at Coventry is not sufficient for us to do this at this year's event.

Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR

Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR cockpit, February 2012
Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR

Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR cabin interior, January 2012

History and photos of Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR

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Buying a Viscount

Alan Robert recently contacted us to tell us about some good news about an Australian Viscount;-

“My sister and her husband are in the process of buying V.756D Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL currently located at Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, and moving it to their tourist complex near Miles where they intend to restore it to somewhere near original looking condition but with fake props etc."

Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL

Fuselage of Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL taken at Wildman's Trusses and Frames
timber yard adjacent to Toowoomba Airfield, Queensland, Australia 2004

"In particular, can you assist or advise with respect to the following:-

Drawing of fuselage to enable support points for transport to be identified or suggest where a drawing could be sourced. Suggestions for transport cradle – my thoughts are to make up say 5 'U' shaped cradles and support the fuselage on adjustable slings attached to the tops of the 'U'. The cradles would be bolted/welded to 2 longitudinal stretchers to allow the entire assembly and fuselage to be lifted on to the transport vehicle. Alternatively I wonder if air bags could be used for support.

Also where might they start looking for wings, wheels and engine nacelles?”

If you can help in any way please respond to:-


Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL

Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL taken at Sydney, New South Wales, Australia in January 1964

History and photos of Viscount c/n 197 VH-TVL

Alan's own aviation interest in retirement is in re-commissioning a Rolls-Royce Merlin 25 and a Rolls-Royce Griffon 58 as ground runners. "I now have the props for both engines cut down to 8 foot diameter.”

Merlin engine

Alan Robert's re-commissioned Rolls-Royce Merlin 25 engine

Core member Allan Taylor, also in Australia, commented;-

“I was interested to read Alan Robert's message. All the transport information they need would still be available from any of the transport companies who have moved it before. By memory I think it was only two fuselage slings. The wings and wheels were at Toowoomba originally with Les Arthur. Without them, I’d give up any idea of displaying it as a complete aircraft, or one on wheels.

I work in Air/Sea freight and the cost of importing wings would be prohibitive, assuming you could source them. Just the cost of trucking them from Brisbane to Miles would be in the region of $5,000 as there are no return loads to Brisbane for that sort of rig.

I am however glad that someone has finally saved it. Miles is in Western Queensland with low humidity and heat, much like the USA aircraft graveyards. I hope they put a roof over it though!”

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Modelling perfection by Carmel Attard

Malta resident Carmel Attard has sent us photos and reviews of two very impressive Viscount models in 1:72 scale that he has constructed. The reviews are extensive but unfortunately a bit too long to include in the newsletter. However he has provided us with links to them to provide us with an insight into the construction of these fine aircraft models.

Carmel Attard's Model Viscounts
Carmel Attard's Model Viscounts

Carmel Attard's model of ETPS - Empire Test Pilots School V.744 Viscount c/n 89 XR801

ETPS - Empire Test Pilots School Viscount model kit review
History and photos of Viscount c/n 89 N7403 / G-APKK / YV-C-ANK / XR801

Carmel Attard's Model Viscounts

Carmel Attard's model of BEA - British European Airways V.701 Viscount c/n 7 G-AMOG

BEA - British European Airways Viscount model kit review
History and photos of Viscount c/n 7 G-AMOG

Decals for model Viscounts

Vickers Viscount Network logo

UK core member and graphic artist Nick Webb reminds us that he has a very extensive range of 1:144 scale decals and also some 1:96 decals - namely: Air Rhodesia, Air Zimbabwe- Rhodesia, LAV Aeropostal, Silver City and Pluna. A full list of decals can be viewed on Nicks website.

Recently Nick has designed the new Vickers Viscount Network logo.

The Art of Classic Airlines

Air Inter 1:144 decal

Air Inter 1:144 decal
Lufthansa 1:144 decal

Lufthansa 1:144 decal
NAC - New Zealand National Airways 1:144 decal

NAC - New Zealand National Airways 1:144 decal
SAA - South African Airways 1:144 decal

SAA - South African Airways 1:144 decal

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New Zealand

Dean Thomas has drawn our attention to a very extensive range of decals of numerous New Zealand registered aircraft. If you intend completing a New Zealand Viscount model then you may also like to visit:-

Old Model Decals

Viscount c/n 282 ZK-BRE

NAC - New Zealand National Airways V.807 Viscount c/n 282 ZK-BRE taken at
Christchurch New Zealand in September 1972.

Note the USAF 'Operation Deep Freeze' C-130 Hercules taking off,
almost certainly heading to Scott Base Antarctica.

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United States

Capital Airlines fan

Widmarc Clark remembers, “In August of 1961 I joined the U.S. Navy. At the time I was living in Rockville, Maryland. I flew out of Washington National Airport, in Washington D.C. I was very excited when I discovered I was flying to Chicago to boot camp training on a Capital Airlines Viscount.

It was a fun trip. Only a curtain was hanging in the doorway to the cockpit, so you could see the captain and the co-pilot flying the airplane. I was able to see the Rolls-Royce turbo props from the cabin window. The Capital Airlines Viscount has always been my favourite passenger plane. I have flown in a Ford Tri-motor, a Southern DC-3, an Eastern Super Connie and Eastern's Jet Prop Electra. I’ve also travelled in Convair 580, Martin 440, DC-4, DC-6 and DC-7.

I've flown all the various jets of the modern area. Nothing compares to the Vickers Viscount. It is a one of a kind - beautiful airplane, when it was dressed in the Capital livery it had no equal. Capital was bought out by United when they could no longer pay for their Viscounts. Gone was the beautiful paint scheme. Then later all the United Viscounts disappeared forever. Those were the days.

For those who never got to fly in a Viscount, well you missed out on an airplane that was a "True Queen of the Skies”. They made a unique sound that you never forgot when they were started up. I have several models of the Viscount, the original Hawk model, and several Glenco models. All are now discontinued. I have pictures of the Viscount hung in my home, beautiful they are.

America has built some fine looking passenger airplanes. They have not built one as gorgeous as the Vickers Viscount.

Viscount c/n 198 N7442

Viscount V.745D c/n 198 N7442 of Capital Airlines,
taken pre-delivery Hurn, Bournemouth, Dorset, England in September 1956

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United States

Viscount Clock

Captain Rick Aranha of Florida has sent in this picture of a Viscount clock which hangs in his boss’s office, commenting;-

“There are no markings on the back that can ID where and who made it, also note that it only has 3 engines!”

Has anyone seen a clock like this one before and provide any comment to solve Rick’s mystery. Replies please to:


Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR

The Viscount Clock in Rick's boss's office
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United States

Another Viscount comes to light

Although we have the “Organisations with complete Viscount airframes” link on our website, it does not mean that it is by any means complete, in fact, It would be nice if there is always just one more awaiting to be rediscovered?

Organisations with complete Viscount airframes

During 2012 correspondence covered the possibility that V.757 Viscount c/n 144 remains in existence. Originally built for TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines as CF-TGZ it later served with Air Canada. In 1982 it was sold to Grupo Madero S.A. Inc. and registered N3832S. In 1995 it was sold to the Confederate Air Force that later became the Commemorative Air Force in 2002.

Viscount c/n 35 F-BGNR

Commemorative Air Force V.757 Viscount c/n 144 CF-TGZ / N3832S at Brownsville in July 2012

Michael Kerston has provided us this recent photograph of the Viscount, along time resident at Brownsville, Texas.

At least two cabin windows have now been removed, probably to release some of the summer heat. It is also sinking into the soft ground, which would/could be a problem if it ever has to be towed to a new position. It appears that the US registration was never applied to the aircraft but the faded Canadian registration can still be seen.”

Core member Robert Arnold commented "I notice in the photo the poor aircraft appears to be sinking into soft grass. When it comes to moving it, there will be some major damage done to the nose gear and possibly the main gear if it isn't placed on cat-tracks beforehand. I hope that whoever moves it will take this into consideration. Otherwise the nose gear could possibly collapse and cause severe damage to the assembly and maybe even injure someone in the process. Was there ever any interest in saving the aircraft by local folks?”

Vickers Viscount Network co-founder Brian Burrage added;-

“Vickers provided eyelets on the main undercarriage legs to allow an aircraft in this situation to be towed out using strong steel cables. I have never seen this used but it would certainly help in this situation. No doubt the windows are open to let out some of the Texan heat and hopefully will be refitted before winter arrives. Yet another ex TCA aircraft survives against all the odds, but for how much longer?”

History and photos of Viscount c/n 144 CF-TGZ / N3882S

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And there are more . . .

Aad van der Voet notes;-

“I have just read the section in the July 2012 Vickers Viscount Network newsletter about V.816 Viscount c/n 436 Z-WGB and V.838 Viscount c/n 446 Z-WGC in Chegutu, Zimbabwe. I thought you might want to know that both Viscounts still existed at the restaurant as recently as August 2011.

They are both visible in Google Earth imagery of that date at coordinates 18.1375S 30.1416E.”

Google Earth view of V.816 Viscount c/n 436 Z-WGB and V.838 Viscount c/n 446 Z-WGC at Chegutu, Zimbabwe

Google Earth view of V.816 Viscount c/n 436 Z-WGB
and V.838 Viscount c/n 446 Z-WGC at Chegutu, Zimbabwe

History and photos of Viscount c/n 436 EP-MRS / A6-436 / VH-EQQ / G-BGLC / VP-WGB / Z-WGB
History and photos of Viscount c/n 446 9G-AAU / G-BCZR / PK-RVN / VP-WGC / Z-WGC

Aad also maintains an interesting website. Have a look at:

Old Wings

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BMA - British Midland Airways

Core member Alan Beardmore has drawn the following Flickr page to our attention. It contains extensive coverage of BMA - British Midland Airways Viscounts from the 1960s to the 1980s. It is known as the British Midland Airways Classics collection and was brought to Alan’s attention by Rob Govier. Have a look at:

British Midland Airways Classics collection

BMA - British Midland Airways V.831 Viscount c/n 402 G-APND

BMA - British Midland Airways V.831 Viscount c/n 402 G-APND

Canada Flag


When was the ferry flight of CF-TGI?

Core member Ron Rhodes enquires;-

“I am having problems discovering the exact date of departure of the ferry flight of V.724 Viscount c/n 40 CF-TGI from Wisley, Surrey, England to Dorval, Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada for TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines in December 1954.

George Lothian in his book states it was December 6 which agrees with Peter Pigott's National Treasure.

However in the 'Between Ourselves' edition of January 1955, Gary Parker states it was December 8th, as does the 'Flight' article dated 17 December, 1954. Stephen Anderson in the 'Between Ourselves' edition of 1 February 1955 gives no exact date in his report (and he was on board too). Also the number on board the ferry flight varies between 10 and 12 in various publications.

I have been trying to work through the delays and stop-overs, and 8 December seems to make the best sense. Does anyone have the correct dates?”

Viscount c/n 40 CF-TGI

TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines V.724 Viscount c/n 40 CF-TGI taken at Wisley, Surrey, England
just before departing on its delivery flight to Dorval, Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada

History and photos of Viscount c/n 40 CF-TGI / N22SN

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Viscount flight simulator under construction

Bill Everitt tells us of an exciting project he has underway. He is building a Viscount simulator. He takes up the story, “I am currently in the process of building a flight simulator based on Microsoft's FSX around salvaged parts from an original Viscount flight simulator.

I have no information about the parts as all the data plate details have been erased, much the pity, however I believe that the throttle quadrant is from a V.810 Viscount and most of the main flight instrumentation i.e. the ADI and HSI is of the ‘Sperry family’.

The cockpit of the BAF Viscount simulator

The BAF - British Air Ferries Viscount simulator
that was based at Rochford, Southend, Essex, England

My intention is to interface the various parts mainly instrumentation, throttles and various switching etc., using standard servos, stepper motors and dc motors via 'OpenCockpits' hardware and interfacing software.

The reason I am contacting you is that I require some information and hope that somebody within the Viscount community may be able to help. I am seeking some dimensions of the interior of the Viscount cockpit mainly width’s side wall to side wall from cockpit bulkhead to instrument panel and heights again from bulkhead to instrument panel, these do not need to extremely accurate but enough so that I can build a reasonable representation of the Flight deck.

Also I'm looking for some close up pictures of the Captain's and First Officer's seats as I will have to build them as best I can. I also seek close up pictures of the control yoke with some dimensions, as again, I will have to build something to fit. I'm trying to build as authentic as possible. Should anybody have old parts from Viscount cockpits that they no longer need and may wish to sell or trade I will be very interested in knowing what is available.

Thanks in advance for any help.”

If you can help please email Bill at the address below.


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Another Kennedy association with Viscounts

In the August 2012 newsletter we featured Robert and Ethel Kennedys’ arrival in Cape Town aboard V.818 Viscount c/n 317 ZS-CVA. Dave Howe from Val-des-Monts, Quebec, Canada, adds several comments;-

“Another interesting Kennedy fact is that when Jacqueline Kennedy was First Lady, she made a tour of India and Pakistan. The President of Pakistan was so impressed that just before she left India for the Pakistan part of the trip he offered her personal use of his Vickers Viscount to tour the country."

Pakistan Air Force V.734 Viscount c/n 83 J751

Pakistan Air Force V.734 Viscount c/n 83 J751 taken at an unknown location circa 1964

History and photos of Viscount c/n 83 J751 / B-414 / B-5114

"This must have been V.734 Viscount c/n 83 J751 which was registered as a VIP transport with the Pakistan Air Force from 1956 to 1970. This aircraft was sold to CAAC - Civil Aviation Administration of China, I hadn’t realized that CAAC ever operated the V.700 series. Details of this can be read in the biography of Clint Hill, one of Jacqueline Kennedy’s security guards."

Editor's note: Looking at the photo page for c/n 83, we do not appear to have any photos of this aircraft in Chinese livery when registered B-414 and later B-5114. Can anyone help?

"As for Viscounts in the movies, perhaps the biggest Viscount bonanza occurred in the Norman Wisdom film 'What’s Good for the Goose.' This was a popular British comedy at the time, though probably didn’t get much attention outside of the UK."

British Eagle International Airlines V.739 Viscount c/n 87 G-ATDU

British Eagle International Airlines V.739 Viscount c/n 87 G-ATDU
taken at Speke, Liverpool, England in October 1968

"A significant scene was filmed from the wonderful balcony of the old Liverpool Airport, featuring British Eagle and Cambrian V.700s. The film was released in 1969, but judging by the Eagle planes and the Cambrian colours I would say it was filmed at Liverpool the summer before, as British Eagle went under in November 1968.

Reference has been made previously to the old Air Canada Viscount stuck into the wall of an old building used as a shopping centre in Old Montreal. I recently took a trip here, and sadly no trace of this Viscount remains.”

Ex TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada V.757 Viscount c/n 308 CF-THZ

Ex TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines/Air Canada V.757 Viscount c/n 308 CF-THZ
taken at Marche Bonsecours, Montreal, Canada in October 1995

History and photos of Viscount c/n 308 CF-THZ / C-FTHZ

New Zealand Flag

New Zealand

Viscount ground fine pitch question

Retired New Zealand National Airways Corporation captain Jim Pavitt enquires;-

“Mention recently (between myself and newsletter editor Peter Layne) of the NAC - New Zealand National Airways accident to V.807A Viscount c/n 428 ZK-BWO when it over-ran the runway at Rongotai, Wellington, New Zealand, reminded me of something I wanted to ask the Viscount preservation technical people about."

Viscount c/n 428 ZK-BWO

NAC - New Zealand National Airways V.807A Viscount c/n 428 ZK-BWO taken at Rongotai,
Wellington, New Zealand 17 February 1963 after it had slid down an embankment

"Our version, the V.807 (Dart 6) was fitted with automatic 'ground-fine' pitch mechanism. i.e. for the props to go into GFP after landing, the throttles had to be closed, and the landing gear squat switches closed (4 amber indicating lights).

It was basically this feature that contributed to the above accident, as the conditions and location, prevented this configuration from being achieved initially. Whereas, other versions of the Viscount, I believe may have/or were fitted with selectable GFP, as was the F-27 with almost the same engines and propellers.

That is the question: Was GFP, manual or automatic an option when ordering the aeroplane? The reason I ask is that I spent some-time flying in Japan in 1970-71 on the F-27. An All Nippon captain told me their Viscounts had selectable GFP. Having experienced both systems I couldn't understand why anyone would want the automatic feature!

To add a bit more detail to the accident, it was an almost calm day at Wellington, the runway sloped down toward the South for most of its length. The Viscount would settle into ground effect very easily, and sometimes take forever to actually touch down, especially if there was a knot or two above the TTS.

The slope didn't help at all; the aeroplane would float along forever, with the wheels just kissing the ground, great for impressing tarts but eating runway like no tomorrow! That's what happened here, and it was not recognised until too late!

The F-27 in the same situation, by simply selecting ground fine stopped all the flying nonsense! I'll look forward to the Vickers Viscount Network members input.”

Anyone who can answer Jim's question please do so through the usual email.


Although spectacular, the damage to ZK-BWO was relatively minor and the Viscount was flown to Christchurch three days later for permanent repairs.

Footnote: Jim Pavitt was First Officer on V.807 Viscount c/n 282 ZK-BRE which had carried Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on 16 February 1963 from Dunedin to Christchurch during her tour of New Zealand. He was also First Officer when ZK-BRE carried King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit on their August 1962 visit to New Zealand.

Royal Visit To New Zealand, 1963
History and photos of Viscount c/n 282 ZK-BRE / VP-LKA / VP-LAU / G-CSZA / N140RA
History and photos of Viscount c/n 428 ZK-BWO

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