25 February 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

Historic Letter

HRH Prince Philip's message to BWA - British World Airlines

HRH Prince Philip's message to BWA - British World Airways

Mike Sessions treasured letter from HRH Prince Philip.

BWA - British World Airlines Viscount G-APEY
BWA - British World Airlines
Viscount G-APEY

Mike Sessions of BWA - British World Airlines received this letter from HRH Prince Philip in February 1996 to acknowledge the forthcoming special retirement celebration at Heathrow, London, England that was to mark the withdrawal of the Viscount from passenger use in the United Kingdom.

On the 18 April 1996 BWA - British World Airlines Viscount G-APEY participated in this special retirement celebration at Heathrow. In attendance was Sir George Edwards, Sir Peter Masefield, Lord King, Ralph Robins (Rolls-Royce), Captain Jock Bryce (Viscount test pilot), the chairman of Vickers-Armstrongs, plus lots of invited guests. The MC for the event was Raymond Baxter. The guests were taken for a flight from Heathrow on board G-APEY.

BWA - British World Airlines Viscount G-AOHM
BWA - British World Airlines
Viscount G-AOHM

It had been originally planned to use Viscount G-AOHM for the celebration but one of the engineers preparing the aircraft for departure at Stansted, Essex, England taxied the aircraft into a wire fence and cut the outer wing. G-APEY was brought down from Aberdeen, Scotland at short notice to participate in the celebrations.


Viscounts finally retired from service in the United Kingdom in January 1998.

Chris Hatton wrote in a UK newspaper

BWA - British World Airlines Viscount G-AOHM
BWA - British World Airlines
Viscount G-AOHM

It was the end of an era. One of Britain's most successful airliners made its final touch down at Southend Airport as tearful staff said their final goodbyes. The British World Airlines plane G-AOHM - the last one in operation in the UK - made a low pass over the airport to celebrate its last flight from Belfast.

The Captain of the landmark flight was Ray Hill who has flown Viscounts for 29 years, with Paul Henty as his co-pilot. This was Ray last flight as he will be taking retirement with his aircraft.

Malcolm Ginsberg, spokesman for British World Airlines, which owned the Viscount, said: "Over the years, the Viscount fleet has reduced as each aircraft has reached the end of its airframe life. The last three remaining in the UK have been operating twice nightly from Belfast and Edinburgh to Coventry moving the nation's parcels."


History and photos of Viscount c/n 162 G-AOHM
History and photos of Viscount c/n 382 G-APEY




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.


Click here for more details about the Vickers Viscount Network

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