22 November 2017
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Viscount history


Discover the history of the Viscount with film, video, contemporary reports from the pages of Flight Magazine, our newsletters, and aircraft operational records and photos from our database.


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Established 2005
Vickers Viscount Network
A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
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BEA - British European Airways

Books about the United Kingdom Viscount owner and operator
BEA - British European Airways


Nick Webb illustration of BEA Viscount G-APIM

BEA - British European Airways Corporation V.806 Viscount c/n 412 G-APIM








The History of British European Airways 1946-1972

by Charles Woodley


For more information and to check availability click the book image

BEA was formed in 1946 and took over most UK domestic and European routes under the British government's nationalisation policy. It began operations with a fleet of outdated and hopelessly uneconomic passenger aircraft that were derivatives of wartime types such as the DC-3, Avro Viking and Rapide.

By the end of 1955 the airline had re-equipped with more modern types such as the jet-prop Viscount and moved into a profit for the first time. From 1960 onwards the airline introduced larger jets such as the Comet, Trident and BAC 1-11.

BEA merged with the British Overseas Airways Corporation in 1974 to form British Airways.

This book looks at BEA's predecessors, its formation and early operation from Croydon and Northolt and the move to the newly-opened London Heathrow. The evolving structure is explained with chapters covering engineering bases, terminals, European and domestic services, cargo services and helicopter operations.

The aircraft flown are all described in detail and the book includes anecdotes from former crew and ground-staff, a full fleet list and is highly illustrated throughout.







Glamour in the Skies:
The Golden Age of the Air Stewardess

by Libbie Escolme-Schmidt


For more information and to check availability click the book image

Glamour in the Skies is the first book to celebrate the stewardesses of British Airways and their predecessors from 1936 to 1980, widely agreed to be the golden age of air travel - a time which personified optimism, excitement and a feeling of boundless opportunity for both passengers and airline crew.

The air hostess, as she was known initially, began her British career in a one-engine propeller plane crossing the English Channel and ended up in Boeing 747 jets and the supersonic Concorde. Ex-hostess Libbie Escolme-Schmidt combines history with hundreds of surveys and interviews from re-tired and current cabin crew, enabling the reader to follow the development of the role of the stewardess through the early years of discrimination to her present-day career equality.

During this period flying evolved from a potentially dangerous adventure to a remarkably safe and comfortable means of international travel and through it all the air hostesses were there.

Their appearance changed over the years, from the 1940s military look to the mini-skirts of the 1960s, and the caring mother figure to the sexy corporate product, as the role was glamorised to almost iconic status, becoming a dream career for millions of young women worldwide.

Glamour in the Skies is packed with many anecdotes, ranging from administering oxygen to passengers flying over the Andes, to serving French champagne on Concorde. Covering training, sexual discrimination, disasters, passengers, glamorous stopovers and other temptations, this illustrated book presents the changing times in air travel through the eyes of the stewardess and offers the perfect tribute to the girls who walked the skies.

This fabulous, richly illustrated history of air travel from the 1940s to the 1980s revels in the glamour, the romance - and the realities of life as a trolley dolly in the Jet Age.







British European Airways Corporation.
Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 1965

by British European Airways


For more information and to check availability click the book image

Charts, diagrams, fold-out financial tables, route maps, black and white and colour photographs and a full textual operations report.








BEA Summer Holidays 1964

by British European Airways


For more information and to check availability click the book image

BEA Summer Holidays is a 130 page booklet from 1964 including trips to destinations like Libya, Lebanon and Israel - very interesting.








1950s British European Airways BEA flights to London poster

by Vintage Poster Shop


For more information and to check availability click the book image





Photo of BEA - British European Airways Viscount G-AOJC

The Vickers Viscount Network is always interested to hear from anyone who has information or photographs to help complete the story of the Viscount. If you can help please contact us at
Information@VickersViscount.net.


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This website has been designed, built and is maintained by Geoff Blampied, Norwich, Norfolk, England.