This aircraft is a pre production version of Concorde and has the distinction of having flown the fastest of any Concorde during the flight trials in which it was involved.
Delta November first flew on 17th December 1971 at Filton aerodrome near Bristol. It was the third of the six aircraft used in the extensive six and a half year testing programs that preceded Concorde’s entry into airline service. In April 1974, in the course of a test programme conducted from Tangier, 101 reached Mach 2.23 (1450 mph), and in November of the same year it flew from Fairford to Bangor, Maine, in 2 hrs 56 minutes, a record time for a commercial aircraft flying across the Atlantic in a Westerly direction
G-BEVT was built by Britten-Norman, an independent constructor based at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. Its first flight was on 1 July 1977 but due to a lack of orders it was not delivered until 22 July 1983, when it joined the fleet of Aurigny Air Services of Guernsey, one of the major operators of the type – a total of 15 Trislanders were operated by the airline. It spent its entire career with Aurigny, mainly on services between Guernsey, the neighbouring islands of Alderney and Jersey, and Southampton on the south coast of England, and amassed a total of 86,603 flights. With total hours of 28,280, this means an average time per flight of only 19.6 minutes! When Aurigny withdrew the Trislander from service, they donated G-BEVT to the British Airliner Collection for long-term preservation and the aircraft made its last flight from Alderney to Duxford on 22 June 2017.
The Hawker Siddeley Trident was the first aircraft to be designed from the outset to be equipped with Blind Landing equipment as standard to enable it to land in all weather conditions, including fog. It was also designed specifically to meet the needs of British European Airways, but the airline made so many changes to its specification during the design stages that the first model, the Trident 1, was too small and had too limited a passenger-carrying capacity and range to appeal to other European airlines. In an attempt to remedy this, the larger and more powerful Trident 2 series, and then the even bigger Trident 3 series were produced.
The Avro York was a long-range transport that was designed to use the same wings, engines, undercarriage, and tail unit (with a third fin added) as the Lancaster bomber. ‘TK was built at Yeadon and was rolled out in January 1946. It entered RAF service with 242 Squadron as MW 232 that August, being based for a time at Oakington. In May 1947 it moved to 511 Squadron at Lyneham, and was used on trooping and cargo flights, including many to the Far East. In 1948/49 it was used on the Berlin Air Lift operation, and had the distinction of carrying the 100,000th ton of supplies into the city. It suffered an undercarriage collapse during a landing there, in January 1949, but was repaired and put into storage. In 1950/51 it was used by Fairey Aviation for in-flight refuelling trials before being put back into storage awaiting disposal.
Known as the ‘Whispering Giant’ because of its extremely quiet engines, the Britannia was the world’s first turbo-prop-powered large passenger transport aircraft. BOAC was the only customer for the Series 102 version, and it received the first two of its order for 15 aircraft in December 1955. Engine intake icing problems delayed the Britannia 102’s entry into service, but flights to Johannesburg eventually began on 1st December 1957. A stretched version of the Britannia was developed with three possible cabin configurations, (all passenger, mixed passenger and freight, or all-freight) and also long-range models with increased fuel capacity which enabled them to operate non-stop flights in both directions across the Atlantic. BOAC ordered 18 of the long-range aircraft, designated Series 312s, and began services between London and New York on 19th December 1957.
G-AVMU was one of 18 BAC 1-11 type 510EDs ordered by BEA, the launch customer for the stretched Series 500 version of the very successful 1-11 twin jet.airliner
It made its first flight on 19th January 1969, and was delivered to BEA on 19th March of that year. BEA based its 1-11 500s at Birmingham Airport, from where they operated services throughout Europe, including internal German Services to Berlin. During a landing there its undercarriage was damaged, but repairs were carried out, and ‘MU continued to operate on BEA services until the airline became part of the newly-formed British Airways in April 1972.
The Dove was the first British aircraft to be produced after WW2, as a light transport aircraft and a replacement for the pre-war D.H. Rapide biplane. It was use by airlines on shorter routes such as those to the Scilly Isles and the Scottish islands, and on feeder routes to the main airports. Many were also used as company transports, while others were also used by the Services for communications work – the RAF called it the Devon and the Navy named theirs the Sea Devon. The total number of Doves built was 544.
‘FU was built as a Dove 4, later being modified to Dove 6 specification with more powerful engines.
Delta Bravo was built at Hatfield as the second of a batch of 19 Comet 4s ordered by BOAC in 1955. It made its maiden flight on 27th July 1958, and on completion of its production test flying was delivered to Heathrow on 12th September 1958. It was used for crew training before being officially handed over to BOAC with its sister aircraft G-APDC on 30th September. The Comet 4s’ Certificate of Airworthiness had been issued the previous day. After making a positioning flight to New York ‘DB made aviation history on 4th October when it operated the first scheduled service by a jet-powered airliner from New York to London, in the then record time of 6 hours 11 minutes.
This is the sole surviving example of the Hermes.
The Hermes was the first large passenger aircraft to be built in Britain after the end of WW2, and the first to be pressurised. The original Hermes was similar in design to the company’s Hastings military transport, but it was later redesigned with a tricycle undercarriage replacing the original tailwheel. 25 were built for BOAC for use on its West African and South African routes, but in the event only 19 went to BOAC and the others were taken by independent charter-flight operators.
Whiskey Juliet was built at the Handley Page factory at Radlett, Herts, the tenth Herald 201 off the production line. Its first flight took place on 29th May 1963. It had originally been ordered by Transair Ltd., but it was first registered to British United (Channel Island) Airways and was delivered to Jersey Airport on 13th June 1963.
On 1st November 1968 it was re-registered to British United Airways, and on 20th July 1970 it was re-registered again, this time to British Island Airways, who operated it until January 1980, when it was .re-registered to Air UK Ltd.,and based at Norwich.
The VC10 was built in two versions – the Standard VC10 and the larger Super VC10. 18 of the Standards and 22 Supers were built for use by airlines, and 14 C.Mk 1s were supplied to the RAF for use by Transport Command as mixed passenger and freight aircraft, making a total of 54 built. The aircraft was very popular with passengers because of the low noise level due to its rear-mounted engines. A number of VC10s are still in service with the RAF.
G-ASGC was built at Weybridge as the third of 17 Super VC10s ordered by BOAC in addition to its 12 Standard VC10s.
The Viscount was designed as a successor to the piston-engined Vickers Viking. It was the world’s first turbo-prop powered airliner, and the prototype made its maiden flight in July 1948. This aircraft was used for a few passenger flights to Paris to test the market’s reaction to this new, quieter, more comfortable way of flying, long before scheduled flights began.
G-ALWF was the second production aircraft and was slightly larger than the prototype. It made its first flight in December 1952 and was handed over to British European Airways in February 1953, fitted with 40 seats in an all-first class interior. This was later changed to a 63-seat high density layout.
This airframe is the sole survivor of the production run of 23 Ambassadors built specifically for BEA, who flew them under the name of “Elizabethan”. The prototype Ambassador flew for the first time on 10th July 1947, and was one of the earliest British airliners to have cabin pressurisation.
G-ALZO was delivered to BEA on 25th November 1952, who named it “RMA Christopher Marlowe”. It was operated by BEA until June 1958, then it was stored at Cambridge awaiting disposal. In 1960 it was purchased by the Jordanian Air Force for use on VIP and transport flights, based at Amman. In 1963 it was purchased by Dan-Air and was used to carry both passengers and freight, having been fitted with a rear fuselage .cargo door by Marshalls.