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Old Airliners

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  • nordjet415
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Oct 2005
    • 133

    Old Airliners

    Why is it that the U.K. never seems to manage to keep and example of an old type of aircraft flying ? ( commercial airliner )

    There is an almost airworthy Bristol Britannia which occasionally does engine and taxi runs but it never flies. What price to get this magnificent airliner in the air again ? Why could we not keep the Vanguard at Weybridge in flying condition. It would be so good to see these types at airshows.

    There must also be an example of a Vickers Viscount laying idle somewhere in the world, its a great pity that one could not be bought back here and restored into flying condition.

    Trident, Herald, BAC1-11 etc would be great to see.

    I know its always a case of money but the Americans seem to be able to do it, there are constellations flying, DC4s and DC6s, it seems these great airliners will only be memories.


  • Whiskey Delta
    Vote for Pedro
    • May 2003
    • 2581

    Cost. Unless it's a prop I would be suprised to see any classic airliner flying after it's last retirement.


    • Skymonster
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jul 2004
      • 1986

      Operating to carry fare-paying passengers (which is the only way to offset costs) is prohibitively complex - they have to be brought up to modern airworthiness standards, particularly safety standards, and neither the design work nor certification has been done for these types. This issue was a MAJOR challenge for the new owners of the Constellation based in Switzerland. When an a/c design has to be upgraded for safety reasons (e.g. lighting to emergency exits), typically the manufacturer does the work and takes the cost on the basis of recovering the cost from job sheets and parts sales from airlines as each airline mods its own aircraft. If only one of a type is flying, it isn't worth the manufacturer's efforts and the operating organisation can't afford to pay on their own.

      If operating just for pleasure / air shows, latest airworthiness directives don't necessarily apply but then all the cost of operating has to be shouldered by the organisation that owns the a/c. Experience has shown that very few airliner types draw crowds at airshows - very few of the general public will pay to see a Trident or a 1-11 or even a Viscount fly (most won't even be aware of the types or their history). Only a few commercial a/c would draw a crowd - Concorde comes to mind as an exception - and most that would draw a crowd are not British made.
      "Light travels faster than sound-that's why some people seem bright until they speak"
      - the best aviation photography


      • Stieglitz
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Feb 2004
        • 2364

        Well, there are a few smaller british airliners airworthy such as several DH Dragon Rapides (and even sometimes in civil colourshemes). But as said before, maintaining and flying BIG vintage airliners requires a BIG buget.



        • zoot horn rollo
          Lady Gaga is my queen
          • Sep 2005
          • 1504

          A very big budget ... plus support from the original manufacturer or some other design authority and a benevolent civil aviation administration type authority
          I don't want to die, because I don't want to end up like Anita Dobson - Frank Sidebottom, actually.
          Thank you


          • wysiwyg
            Retard :)
            • Jan 2000
            • 3749

            Agree with above. The UK CAA does not make it easy (and not financially easy) to keep old metal flying. The American FAA are much better in this respect.


            • Hugh Jarse
              Senior Member
              • Feb 2005
              • 193

              Apparently the CAA does not permit any jet aircraft to fly if the engines are older than 10 years old. It seems several accidents have occurred involving older aircraft and this seems to be their way of fixing it despite aging engines not being the cause.


              • TobyV
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Sep 2005
                • 138

                Apparently the CAA does not permit any jet aircraft to fly if the engines are older than 10 years old
                Sorry, but that just cannot be right. Many airlienrs exist with engines built before 1995. The Avons on teh Sea Vixen, G-CVIX must be 1950s!
                Webmaster, Trident Preservation Society


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