View Full Version : Trident at Renfrew 1963

14th Jul 2013, 09:43
In "First and Foremost, in celebration of fifty years of Manchester Airport" on p70 is the following:

"on the 18th December (1963) BEA introduced the first Trident to Manchester, with a demonstration flight to Glasgow's Renfrew airport"

If this is correct it would be a De Havilland owned aircraft in BEA colours, as BEAs first delivery (G-ARPG) was Feb 1964. However could anyone please confirm that a flight to Renfrew actually took place as the general belief is that no Trident ever visited Renfrew?

Many Thanks

14th Jul 2013, 18:48
Having researched Manchester Airport movements for over twenty years, and now in possession of extensive ATC logs for the period, the book is incorrect.
The first visit to Manchester of a BEA Trident was G-ARPE, landing on a training flight from Prestwick at 1633 on 18th December 1963.


14th Jul 2013, 19:16
I think that answers my question - thank you very much as I had a feeling that if there was a Scottish airport involved it would have been Prestwick rather than Renfrew.
Many Thanks again

14th Jul 2013, 19:34
No problem...


19th Jul 2013, 12:34
If this is correct it would be a De Havilland owned aircraft in BEA colours, as BEAs first delivery (G-ARPG) was Feb 1964.
Indeed, the fact that the first aircraft delivered to BEA was the 7th off the production line (and the 7th to fly) is a bit of a pointer to a large number of aircraft going round on various trials. If I am correct all the Tridents had BEA livery, none were done in a Hawker Siddeley livery.

The Trident didn't appear on the domestic trunk services for quite some years, Belfast and Glasgow remained Vanguard-operated until towards the end of the 1960s at least (well, BEA had nothing else to use them on), and for Edinburgh until the mid-1970s. Manchester went straight from Vanguards to One-Elevens at the end of the 1960s. The first domestic jets were a twice daily rotation to Glasgow in 1966, as a response to British Eagle changing over from Britannias to One-Elevens, and these used Comets. There was one Trident based at Manchester from about 1966 onwards (our expert, above, will have the details) for the low-frequency services direct to the Continent, which was later replaced by the One-Elevens as well.

19th Jul 2013, 16:28
I was at Glasgow (Abbotsinch not Renfrew) for much of 1972. If I recall correctly, (and I admit I may be wrong) 3 Tridents would leave for Heathrow on weekdays 0800, 0815, 0830. There would also be 2 BUA/BCal One Elevens departing in this same period for Gatwick.
A large hare was observed every morning sitting on the grass at the edge of the apron. As a Trident taxiied past, it would run across the grass to the runway and watch it take off. Then it would return to the apron to wait for the next one. It only did it with the Tridents, not the One Elevens.
In those days, the remnants of Renfrew were visible from the motorway out of the city to the airport, there was the old terminal and control tower plus a hangar.
I believe the BEA Trident fleet was maintained at Glasgow in this period, which saw Trident 3s introduced. When departing from runway 24 (now 23) they would attempt to light the booster as they passed the control tower. First a plume of fuel vapour would appear, then a jet of flame as the engine lit. Although the Fire Station was also adjacent, it wasn't needed in my time there.