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The Robert W. Arnold Interview
This month we are featuring Vickers Viscount Network Canadian researcher Robert W Arnold of Winnipeg, Canada and his work with The Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada V.757 series
Robert gives us a fascinating insight into the restoration of this Viscount that had been operated by TCA – Trans-Canada Air Lines and later Air Canada. Robert is one
of many volunteers at the museum and has dedicated his time to working on the Viscount.
Taken in October 1984 shortly before a visit from Queen Elizabeth II
She spoke to Robert during the tour but not about the Viscount
Very much the ‘Lucky Viscount’ CF-THS has been hangared following her retirement to the museum in 1982 when she was purchased from Beaver Enterprises Ltd. Since then she has received
countless hours of voluntary TLC. When the restoration/refurbishment is complete CF-THS will be a truly immaculate Viscount and the only one in the world in Air Canada livery. CF-THS
is unique and possibly the only preserved Viscount in the world capable of being returned to flight - something we would clearly love to see however we realise that it will probably
Introduction by Clive Worboys
Robert pointing out how the ‘clam-shell’ doors open to expose
the Rolls-Royce Dart RDa3 Mark 506 engine for maintenance
Robert W Arnold
October and November 2015 were very busy. After years of neglect, and with approval from the Chief of Restoration, it was decided that I would take on the task of sprucing up the flight
deck of CF-THS. The entire cockpit area had years of accumulated dust and dirt along with many well-worn surfaces that desperately needed attention. What I thought would be a rather simple
task, turned out to be anything but.
Years of wear and tear on the flight deck of CF-THS taken before work had begun
To accomplish this I started by removing the two sliding seats. This allowed me to reach the many cracks and crevices that would require attention. Cleaning and touching up the many wear
marks on the black instrument panels and the pedestal went quite easily. However cleaning and touching up the paint work around the rest of the cockpit area was going to be a bit of a
challenge. Finding paint of the correct colour to match the special blends that were used by TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines, now Air Canada, was not going to be easy. The floor was also an
issue as it had a unique red colour that I found was next to impossible to match, and was well worn. It was at this point I made the decision to only clean the floor leaving it the way it
was. After a closer inspection, I noticed the grey paint on the walls around the cockpit was still in a fairly good shape, so again, I decided it was best to only clean it and leave it as
Robert reassembles one of the chairs
The chairs however were a different story. After years of constant use and abuse both were found to be in a sad shape and in need of major attention. The only way to do this was to remove
them from the cockpit and completely take them apart. This would take me the better part of the next two months, working on them two days a week, three to five hours a day. Removing the
spring-loaded up and down slider system was the biggest challenge. I documented and photographed all the bits and pieces to ease reassembly. Once apart the removal of the old chipped and
battered paint turned out to be a time consuming job, but once done repainting with a close matching paint went quite easy.
First Officer's chair now reinstalled
For the moment the flight deck is complete apart from finding replacement fabric for the Pilot's and First Officer's chairs. The next project on my list for CF-THS is the galley which
also needs some TLC.
The completed instrument panels and chairs now permanently in place
‘637’ refers to the fleet number used by TCA- Trans-Canada Air Lines and Air Canada
‘Shutting Down History – The last flight of Viscount CF-THS’ by regular Vickers Viscount Network contributor Jim Griffiths is a fascinating story and well worth a read. Click on this link
to go to the ‘Vintage Wings of Canada’ website to read the story.
Shutting Down History – The last flight of Viscount CF-THS’
Robert supplied most of the photos in the story including the sunset cover picture. Robert knows Viscount Captains Gerry Norberg and Jim Griffiths and says they are both characters and
great to hang out with.
This photo taken on the 15 March 2016 shows that the cowlings are now closed as the museum
prepares to paint the hangar floor. Alongside the Viscount are Bristol Freighter
and Junkers JU-52-1M CF-ARM
In his personal Viscount collection Robert has a rare 1:24 scale ‘White Top’ TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines cutaway Viscount model. This model was made for TCA by Westway Models of Great
Britain in early 1957 and reflected the new livery and the updated interior of their Viscount fleet. Previous models of this size and vintage usually reflected the TCA earlier ‘Silver’
all bare-metal finish.
Rare 1:24 scale ‘White Top’ TCA - Trans-Canada Air Lines cutaway Viscount model
Robert W. Arnold, Vickers Viscount Network Canadian Researcher and Historian, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Many thanks to Robert for this insight into the restoration of CF-THS. Congratulations and well done to him on all his hard work so far and we look forward to hearing his next update.
Fred Barnes has posted this photo of British Eagle International Airlines V.755D series Viscount G-AOCC taken at Heathrow Airport, London, England on the 19 June 1967. Fred walked across
from the BEA maintenance area during his lunch break to take the photo.
British Eagle International Airlines Viscount G-AOCC
G-AOCC was transferred to British Eagle International Airlines from Starways Ltd. in May 1964. On the 21 August 1964 it was noted at Benina Airport, near Benghazi, Libya operating a
trooping charter flight from RAF El Adem, near Tobruk, Libya with the next stop at Luqa Airport, Malta on its way back to the UK. On the 12 January 1968 British Eagle International Airlines
sold G-AOCC to Invicta Airways Ltd.
History and photos of Viscount c/n 93 G-AOCC
BAF - British Air Ferries Viscount G-AOHM
Colin S Carr has posted this photo of BAF - British Air Ferries V.802 series Viscount G-AOHM taken at Dyce Airport, Aberdeen, Scotland on the 1 February 1993. G-AOHM had been returned
from a Manx Airlines lease on the 11 April 1990 still named 'Viscount Sir George Edwards'. On the 1 April 1993 it was transferred to BWA - British World Airlines due to a corporate
History and photos of Viscount c/n 162 G-AOHM
The 2016 Vickers Viscount Network Event
As confirmed in the February newsletter, the next Vickers Viscount Network Event will take place at the Midland Air Museum, (MAM), next to Coventry Airport on Sunday, 25th September 2016.
Some of you may remember or even attended the most recent Vickers Viscount Network event which took place at MAM in 2013. If you are interested in attending, helping on the day or even
giving a presentation, please email the Network by clicking on the button below.
Email the Vickers Viscount Network - Information@VickersViscount.net
There is limited capacity, so we do need to get as accurate number of attendees as soon as possible. There is no charge for the event, only the museums general admission entry fee will be
needed to be paid. The event is open to both members and none members, and their friends and families.
The 2013 event was a great success so we hope to build on that. MAM is home to many notable aircraft, and of course of most interest to members of the Vickers Viscount Network is the ex
Air France and Air Inter V.708 series Viscount F-BGNR. For more information about the museum visit theit website by clicking on the button below.
Midland Air Museum website
Look out for more details about the event in forthcoming newsletters, on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and of course on our main website.
MAM - Midland Air Museum V.708 series Viscount F-BGNR - Malcolm Lambert
The Vickers Viscount Network is always on the lookout for more photos and information to help complete the histories of every Viscount built. If you can help please contact us by Facebook,
Twitter or email. Your help will be really appreciated with this important historical project.
Also please contact us if you have any interesting Viscount stories or photos that you would like to share with our world-wide Viscount community. Send them in and we will post them for
all to enjoy.
Click on the first buton below to see our 'Live Magazine', and the second button to see our Facebook page.
Vickers Viscount Network Facebook
Our Twitter address is @ViscountNet
On each page of our website in the menu bar at the top is a button called 'Slide show'. Click on this button to enjoy a random slide show made up of the 7,602 Viscount photos currently on
New photos are regularly being indexed, captioned, and uploaded to the main Vickers Viscount Network website. Plan to visit our latest 60 photos page weekly to see the latest 60 Viscount
latest 60 Viscount photos
All of the photos on our website have been catalogued by aircraft construction number, by registration, by owner/operator, and by photo contributor. If you search by construction number or
registration you will see every photo we have for the selected aircraft during its complete life in date order. If you search by owner/operator you will see all the photos of Viscounts owned
or operated by your selection in date order, and if you search by contributor you will see all the photo that we have from that person also in date order.
We hope that you still enjoy looking at Viscount photos and reading Viscount related stories, and we are keen to hear any feedback that you may have, please send us comments by email or post
them on our Facebook page.
Email the Vickers Viscount Network - Information@VickersViscount.net
We thank you for your continued support and look forward to hearing from you with your Viscount stories and photos in 2016. All the best
Newsletter editorial and production team
Claire Worboys - Marketing and PR Manager, England.
Clive Worboys - Reporter, England.
Geoff Blampied - Website and Newsletter Production, Norwich, England
Although every endeavour is made to find an answer to questions, please appreciate that the team here at the Vickers Viscount
Network are all unpaid volunteers who fit this work in with their daytime jobs and chores around home. Any opinions expressed
in this publication are not necessarily those of the Vickers Viscount Network or the newsletter editors and production team.