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Thread: British Jetliners 1 - TRIDENT and VC-10

  1. #1
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    British Jetliners 1 - TRIDENT and VC-10

    British Jetliners 1 - TRIDENT and VC-10

    The history of post-war British airliner manufacture was one of government interference and bullying and of the two State Airlines having too much say in what was to be built. The two State carriers BEA and BOAC got the best route licences but were only allowed to buy British aircraft. This meant that the independent carriers had an unfair, hard time making money while the two state airlines never did make money (!) until force-merged into BA in 1973. Only when BA was privatised did it go into the black - and it needed new Boeing fleets to do that.

    This meant that British airliner makers had a choice: Go for lucrative contracts to supply BEA and BOAC their planes or make aeroplanes for general airline use across the world (this market was mainly Europe and South America).

    The only successful British airliners were built for this second general category although both types were consequently purchased by BEA (The Vickers Viscount first flew scheduled services with Air France and the BAC 1-11 was originally built for BUA and two American carriers).

    All airliners built specifically for BEA or BOAC were commercially unsuccessful as most other airlines didn't have the same route structure or needs as these two airlines. To be fair, BEA and especially BOAC were tasked to support routes to commonwealth destinations exactly as had the pre-war Imperial Airways. So neither the British state airlines nor the British aircraft makers supporting them had a fair chance at making money.




    HAWKER-SIDDELEY TRIDENT

    The Trident was not a commercial success as it didn't fit the requirements for European carriers - it was specifically designed

    for BEA's lower passenger per flight projections. Sadly once the jet was introduced into service in 1964/65 BEA changed its mind

    and like Europe's airlines it also decided it needed a larger aircraft. Everyone wanted the bigger and more powerful Boeing 727.

    BEA was refused the Boeing jet so the Trident 3b was the cheapest British alternative. The drawing board concept jet - a fat BAC 1-11 - called the BAC 3-11 was turned down as the Trident was already built and a 3b new variant was only a year away whereas the BAC 3-11 was a several year project. The Trident fleet was the mainstay type with BEA taking over from the Viscount from 1965.

    Tridents were mainly sold to the state airline; BEA. Independent British carrier Channel Airways had 2 series 1E jets which went

    to BKS Air Transport when Channel sadly went under.


    BEA Trident tails


    BKS Air Transport Trident 1e at Heathrow 1969


    Iraq Airways Trident 1c leaving Hotel stands Heathrow 1972


    The last Trident 1C in the BA fleet at 'BEA' base.


    The Trident 2 was arguably the nicest looking of the series with its longer wings.


    The Trident 3b with extra forth tail engine in place of GPU unit.


    The end if the Trident jetliner at 'BEA' base where many of the Tridents were scrapped.




    VICKERS VC-10


    The VC-10 was BOAC's British counterpart for the Boeing 707. The tail-mounted jet's cabin was advertised as queter than the 707, and was probably the UK's most glamourous and elegant airliner (Yes Concorde, but we didn't build it by ourselves, the French built the toilets).

    BOAC wanted to buy the Boeing 707 but the government said 'must be British' so the beautiful VC-10 was designed. But it was late
    coming into service due to design delays so BOAC was allowed to purchase a small fleet of early-model Boeing 707s to tide them
    over while awaiting the new jet. The Boeing 707 was so liked, and it fitted so well into BOAC's routes that they purchased more
    later in the 1960s and the type stayed with the airline well into the 1970s (and into 1980 as cargo jets).
    BOAC generally used the Standard VC-10 on the 'Empire' routes with the leased 707s usually flying the trans-Atlantic routes.
    In the meantime the Standard VC-10 was introduced 1965 by BUA, and BOAC and a special variant was ordered for the RAF too. Two

    years later saw the Super VC-10 and this jet was really beautiful with a stretched fuselage and uprated RR Conway jets. BOAC used the Super VC-10 fleet alongside the 707s on trans-Atlantic routes. In 1979 the remaining BOAC Super VC-10s were finally withdrawn from passenger services and sold to the Royal Air Force. The Supers were converted to air refueling tankers and are only now - in 2011 - facing final retirement at RAF Brize Norton.

    The VC-10 was not much used by other airlines although some commonwealth states operated single examples of the jet in the mid
    1960s (i.e. Nigeria Airways, Ghana Airways) and MEA operated a couple too. The Emerates state operated a single example standard VC-10 for a while in the 1970s. The most prolific non-UK user of these aircraft was East African Airways who replaced their Comet 4s with a small fleet of Super VC-10s in the late 1960s. EAA had one of the most lovely liveries for the Super VC-10 and they also had a fifth engine pod under the inboard starboard wing at the root. This allowed them to carry a spare engine to any EAA VC-10 that had an unserviceable engine.

    Super VC-10s at British Airways maintanence base in about 1979 shortly before they were WFU.




    BOAC VC-10 in 1966 livery by Caz. This was the livery that replaced the BOAC-Cunard markings when Cunard went to Eagle Airways.

    This livery was followed by the 'classic' BOAC markings.


    BUA were the first to take delivery of the Standard VC-10 - beautifully pictured here at Gatwick in 1968 by Caz


    East African Airways Super VC-10 closeup on the RR Conway engines with arrow extending from no.2 - Heathrow hotel stands.


    RAF Super VC-10 Tanker on short finals at Brize Norton in 2009 - The RAF VC-10 fleet is shortly due to be retired. These Super

    tens are the former British Airways jets built in about 1966/67 so they are now very old ladies. If you want to photograph the

    last of the British Jets this is the time to get up to Brize before they are gone forever.
    Last edited by VeeOne; 17th May 2011 at 21:18. Reason: amending facts

  2. #2
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    Once again some lovely and nostalgic pics. There's another member here who'll enjoy those Trident shots My favourite livery on the VC10, and it has to be a 'Super' is the 'Speedbird' colours, classy or what. My uncle used to work for BOAC at LHR back in the days of the DC7Cs, Britannias, Strats etc. It was thanks to him, that I caught the aviation 'bug', sadly he's no longer here, but to him I say, "Thanks".
    "Behold! The Wings of Horus"

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    Fantastic
    I think some of the BA Tridents ended up at Cranfield and were scrapped there.
    Y.N.W.A

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interflug62M View Post
    Once again some lovely and nostalgic pics. There's another member here who'll enjoy those Trident shots My favourite livery on the VC10, and it has to be a 'Super' is the 'Speedbird' colours, classy or what. My uncle used to work for BOAC at LHR back in the days of the DC7Cs, Britannias, Strats etc. It was thanks to him, that I caught the aviation 'bug', sadly he's no longer here, but to him I say, "Thanks".
    I agree, the 1968 Speedbird livery was the true classic BOAC one. That gold wasn't paint but real gold flake! Those days of Boeing 377s and DC7 Seven-Seas were probably the true golden era of London Airport and of airline aviation.

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    Some nice Tripod's there btw the Trident 1C was known as the Gripper due to the very low powered Spey 505 engines (not fitted on the 1E,2E and 3B) the 3B also had the additional RB162 booster which added 5,250lb of thrust.

    Also..
    BEA was refused the Boeing jet so the Trident 3b was the cheap alternative
    Incorrect,BEA were refused the 727 as they were told by the goverment to buy british.

    I think some of the BA Tridents ended up at Cranfield and were scrapped there.
    Most BA Trident's were scrapped at LHR and three 2E's were scrapped at Southend,G-AWZN went to Cranfield and was used for evac/smoke drills and was scrapped in September 1995.

    Other operators included Cyprus,Northeast,Kuwait,PIA,Ceylon, CAAC,China United and the Chinese air force.

    In total 117 aircraft were built, not bad really when compared to other British types.

    Lets remeber that ACS Zaire bought 5 ex BA aircraft in 1984/85


    Air Ceylon Trident 1E.


    Kuwait Trident 1E.


    PIA Trident 1E.


    CAAC Trident 2E.


    Cyprus Airways sole Trident 1E.


    Northeast Trident 1E.


    Air China Trident 2E.


    Iraqi Airways Trident 1E.


    I have some pics of the ACS aircraft somewhere i will post once i find it.
    Last edited by TRIDENT MAN; 16th May 2011 at 19:34.

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    Thanks for the clarification regarding the trident at Cranfield! I didnt realise it was scrapped as recent as september 2005!! Only 2yrs before I moved to MK and started flying from Cranfield.
    Y.N.W.A

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    Ooops correction it was 1995...i was there robbing it for spares..

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    Ahhh okay! Aw so bits of that one went on ZK?
    Y.N.W.A

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    Yeah some of it,but not all..

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    VeeOne....re your VC-10 section....it may have been quieter inside (than the 707/DC-8), I don't know but I doubt it was quieter outside.... It definitely didn't fly 'further'...it couldn't fly a payload UK-US West Coast which the 707-300B (fan-jets) could do from 1962 which was part of the reason BOAC were 'allowed to purchase some 707-336Bs and Cs (the initial BOAC 707-436 purchase was the larger Intercontinental model but fitted with RR Conways, briefly the most economical engine on the 707, but they were delayed because the ARB insisted on tail mods) ....but the VC-10 was a hit with the American market for BOAC because it was excitingly different. The history of the 707 or VC-10 wrangle at BOAC goes back to the Vickers VC.7 which was stupidly cancelled by the Govt when the prototype was well advanced, but that's part of a bigger sadder story

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    Ref VC-10 gold... it was gold leaf that was used.

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    Neil, I never realised that the Trident was operated in the Air China livery, looks pretty good. Still prefer the old CAAC myself
    "Behold! The Wings of Horus"

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    [QUOTE=TRIDENT MAN;1745454]Some nice Tripod's there btw the Trident 1C was known as the Gripper due to the very low powered Spey 505 engines (not fitted on the 1E,2E and 3B) the 3B also had the additional RB162 booster which added 5,250lb of thrust.

    Also..


    Incorrect,BEA were refused the 727 as they were told by the goverment to buy british.
    QUOTE]
    Sorry, what I meant by being the 'cheaper option' was that the Trident 3b was the cheaper option against the BAC 3-11 proposed replacement. As you say the 727-200 was never an option for them, the airline was never allowed to even lease non-British jets, unlike the senior state carrier, BOAC, which leased and fell in love with the Boeing 707 (probably about the time I did).

    In fact, the only non-British airliner BEA ever used was the Douglas C-47 from Northholt on 'keyline' services to Europe from 1946 and only then for the sort time it took to build a fleet of Vikings to replace them. Oh yes, and they also flew a former Luft Hansa Junkers Ju52M on their Scottish Isles services - the aircraft was reparation for the war and it was greatly loved by those who flew on it but once again BEA quickly replaced it.

    Also apologies for getting the gripper mark wrong. I always thought it was the 3b for reasons that have long dissapeared.

    Love love love your Trident photos! Northeast Airlines is probably my favorite - do you have a BKS photo? I seem to have lost some of my photos including a lot of closeup BEA Trident 2 pics from one of their jets inside BEA base.

    Sarah

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    Quote Originally Posted by longshot View Post
    VeeOne....re your VC-10 section....it may have been quieter inside (than the 707/DC-8), I don't know but I doubt it was quieter outside.... It definitely didn't fly 'further'...it couldn't fly a payload UK-US West Coast which the 707-300B (fan-jets) could do from 1962 which was part of the reason BOAC were 'allowed to purchase some 707-336Bs and Cs (the initial BOAC 707-436 purchase was the larger Intercontinental model but fitted with RR Conways, briefly the most economical engine on the 707, but they were delayed because the ARB insisted on tail mods) ....but the VC-10 was a hit with the American market for BOAC because it was excitingly different. The history of the 707 or VC-10 wrangle at BOAC goes back to the Vickers VC.7 which was stupidly cancelled by the Govt when the prototype was well advanced, but that's part of a bigger sadder story
    The whole concept of a state airline getting the pick of the best routes leaving the independents in the cold is a sad and stupid story. But forcing the state airlines to always purchase British fleets was clearly a political and not a commercial decision. The British government interfered in these dumb ways right from the start of initial independent airline operations within the UK in about 1920-21. The British government of the day refused to give the fledgling airlines operating from London to Paris financial help even though the French operators were getting massive help to fly the opposite way. It took them a while to realise the prestige that was at stake in letting the French have the best service between the two cities.

    And then in 1923 the British government went too far the other way and forced the independents to merge to become one state airline to serve the commonwealth (as we now call it), Imperial Airways was formed and just before ww2 it bacame BOAC. At that time they also forced an amalgamation of the many domestic airlines so we lost many possibilities for greatness in the domestic arena. Only in the mid 1970s when it was privatised did British independents have a fair chance at commercial success. And all this lost us some of our most valuable airlines, BUA, Dan-Air London, British Eagle...

    Stupid political people making the wrong decisions has blighted the British airline industry as it has blighted everything else in this country.

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    The prototype Super VC-10 lifting off at Vickers' works Wisley Airfield. It has the fifth-engine pod that was used by East African Airways' fleet of SVC-10 jets.


    Public release photo copyright Vickers Ltd

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    Hi Sarah...no problem re Trident's as you can tell im a bit of a fan..lol

    Love love love your Trident photos! Northeast Airlines is probably my favorite - do you have a BKS photo? I seem to have lost some of my photos including a lot of closeup BEA Trident 2 pics from one of their jets inside BEA base.
    I do happen to have a couple of very nice BKS shot's ..

    Trident 1E G-AVYD at Hatfield prior to delivery.


    Trident 1E G-AVYC on air test.


    Trident 1E G-AVYC in hybrid Northeast/BA 1977..
    Last edited by TRIDENT MAN; 17th May 2011 at 16:39.

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    Nice one, British engineering at it's best!
    Keep em coming BAC 1-11, HS748 and AVRO 146 next please!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRIDENT MAN View Post
    Hi Sarah...no problem re Trident's as you can tell im a bit of a fan..lol
    The Hatfield BKS trident shows the tail markings well! Must be the snow changing the white colour balance.
    Your website for the Trident is worthy of the aeroplane. I recall seeing a Trident 2 in new half-flag livery (1968) fly over my home as a child. It looked so futuristic. The Trident had more wing sweepback than other jet types of the time, I think. It looked really something back then with the red wings and union flag on the tail.

    I particularly liked the way the undercarraige worked with the offset nose wheel and the main gear twisting as it came in. British over engineering maybe but one of those things that makes an aeroplane likeable and memorable. When an early model Boeing 737 flew over you could see the tyres in the bays when the gear was up! No main gear doors. Quite a step down from the Trident's design.

    In fact, the red-wing BEA Tridents were so common overhead that when one flew over with silver wings it was surprising (and probably Iraqi Airways). It is only now, looking back from 45 years on, that the Trident looks more old fashioned. But I vividly recall how it looked back in the mid to late 1960s and it was a very elegant, raked-wing shape from underneath with the gear up.

    Have you looked closely at the tail of the Trident at Duxford? I think the wording TRIDENT on engine no.2 is the wrong font. It isn't quite right to my eyes.

    Here are a few images I acquired from my Airline History Website days...

    Sarah

    PR photo by BEA for Trident 3b (1971 I think)


    PR Poster by BEA for introduction of new Trident 1c (1965) - (the other side of the poster showed a Trident in flight)


    Advert for BEA Trident equipped with Decca Navigator area nav system in BEA in-flight magazine (circa 1966 I believe)
    Last edited by VeeOne; 17th May 2011 at 21:57.

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    Trident's

    Hi

    For my first post, Here are some of my Trident Shots : -


    G-AWZJ Trident 3B Noe perserved @ Dumfries


    G-ARPH Trident 1C


    G-ARPW Trident 1C

    I will post some more images when I locate them

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    I was wondering if any of the ACS Tridents were used post 1985 and if so for how long? Do any of them still exist? I have scoured the net looking for details or pictures but they seem to have vanished without trace!

    Paul

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    Keep 'em comin. Lovely.

    Offset nose gear. There was a valid and logical reason for the offset, it wasn't over engineered. But I can't remember the reason!
    Higher than Gods, in Concorde or a Mozzy.

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    Here are some quite unique photo's of the ACS aircraft,ACS bought five aircraft from BA from 1984-1986 at the cost of £1M they operated up to 1988 then scrapped...basically the aircraft were too technical and not really designed to complete freight work.The last aircraft delivered was 9Q-CTZ (ex G-AWZV) and left LHR on 17th May 1986.

    Here we have 9Q-CT? at Kinshasha ....strange that the last letter is missing?.



    9Q-CT?



    9Q-CTZ at Heathrow being prepped for delivery.



    9Q-CTM at Ostend.



    9Q-CTI at Coventry.



    I have some more photo's but i will have to find them....
    Last edited by TRIDENT MAN; 21st May 2011 at 08:07.

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    An interesting article on the Il62 here, illustrating the parallels, and differences between it and the British copy, the VC10


    http://www.vc10.net/History/Comp_il62.html

    Back in the 60s and 70s, my great aunt lived in Hatfield directly next to the HS complex. It was possible to sit in her back garden and watch the comings and goings there. I can well remember seeing my first, and as it turned out, only, CAAC Trident. It was a Trident 3, in fact at one point I think there may have been two of them present.

    Sorry Neil, but I think that the Tu154 knocks spots off the Trident for looks
    "Behold! The Wings of Horus"

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    Sorry Neil, but I think that the Tu154 knocks spots off the Trident for looks
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but the Trident was far more technically advanced safer and faster..

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    Quote Originally Posted by TRIDENT MAN View Post
    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...but the Trident was far more technically advanced safer and faster..
    Indeed it is, and I'm not even going to get into numbers

    Sarah, having had an afternoon turn out in my 'den' I've actually got that Trident poster, as well as a similar one for a BEA Comet 4B. I hadn't looked at them for ages. They are definitely products of their time.
    "Behold! The Wings of Horus"

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    incidentally, it wasnt just early model 737s that have exposed main gears- the most recent NG 737's still have them exposed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interflug62M View Post
    Indeed it is, and I'm not even going to get into numbers

    Sarah, having had an afternoon turn out in my 'den' I've actually got that Trident poster, as well as a similar one for a BEA Comet 4B. I hadn't looked at them for ages. They are definitely products of their time.
    I saw that poster on eBay a couple of months ago. It sold for a reasonable price. I have only seen the photo of the poster but it looks pretty detailed. The BEA Comet poster I had never heard of before. I wonder if they did one for the Vanguard?

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    Yes Sarah, there is indeed a version for the Vanguard, and I've actually held one, but it was very, very expensive!. I have genuine BEA 'travel agent' type display models from the 60s, namely a 1/72 Trident 1, a 1/72 Vanguard, a 1/50 Comet 4B and a 1/50 Argosy. I would very much like a Vanguard poster to complete the set. I doubt that one was ever done for the Argosy, being purely cargo with BEA.
    "Behold! The Wings of Horus"

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    Wasnt the offset nosewheel to do with the volume of CAT III landing electronics equipment that was required in the forward nose ?

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