View Full Version : Vickers Viscount series 836

16th Aug 2013, 08:14
British Midland operated one of these - G-BFZL - for many years. I read in a book that it was a bit different to other series 810 Viscounts, the words "modernised" and "stretched" were used. There were at least two other aircraft on the British register that I believe may have been similar, operated by Fields/Dan-Air in he late seventies, registrations G-BGLC and G-BCZR.

Does any one know if these aircraft were significantly different to regular series 810s or were they just customised to a degree by their original owners ?

Thankyou :ok:

16th Aug 2013, 10:38
As far as I'm aware these three were standard 810's with Mk 525 engines.

One version of the 810 I believe had Mk 530 engines of increased power and also incorporated the wider forward door of the 800. I think these were 833's

16th Aug 2013, 13:16
Dont know about these actual aircraft, but after the messy /disorganised cockpit of the 700 series the 800 was a vast leap forward, having a heated/de- frosted windshield also made life much easier. We were told in ground school that United Airlines were behind the improvements, any truth to this?

16th Aug 2013, 14:32
I believe some or all of those BM Viscounts were ex-South African Airways and had a reputation amongst Viscount people as being some of the best maintained Viscounts around.

As previously posted, I think they just had more powerful Darts.

good spark
16th Aug 2013, 15:03
I used to work for fields in the mid seventies on g-bddk umm think that reg is right, that was an 800 something it was originally equipped with water meth iirc its been a long time!

16th Aug 2013, 16:08
I don't think the Series 836 signified any major differences from 810 series.

The only example was built originally as part of a cancelled TAA order for 816 series aircraft and subsequently designated a Series 836 when delivered as N40N to Union Carbide in the USA.

Likewise G-BGLC was part of the same cancelled order, but diverted to the Iranian Government as a Series 839.

Both aircraft had a similar subsequent history with, among other operators, the RAAF, Jet Air Australia, Oman Air Force and Royal Swazi National AW, before ending up with BMA and Air Bridge respectively.

G-BCZR was built as a Series 838 for Ghana Airways before going to Fields and then Dan-air.

16th Aug 2013, 19:25
Thanks everyone. I have done a little research of my own and it appears that ZL and LC are indeed sister ships. I haven't been able to find out anything about ZR so I shall agree with David on the Ghana Airways angle. However I have looked at pictures of all three aircraft today and they all sport an extra cabin window fore of the wing. ZL was pictured next to a BA type 806 so the comparison was easy. So these aircraft have either been modified to allow the extra window or there is a fuselage plug.

All of these Viscounts passed through Leeds Bradford during the late 70s/early 80s. I miss those days. Great aeroplanes.

By the way I Southern International may have had their hands on BBDK at one time. Or CSZB. Both went through Field's/ABC/Dan-Air as well I think.

Most of the BMA fleet was ex-SAA but they also had a few ex-Lufthansa machines, via Nora Air.

16th Aug 2013, 21:15
So these aircraft have either been modified to allow the extra window or there is a fuselage plug.Extra window yes, but definitely not stretched.


Brian Abraham
17th Aug 2013, 06:43
Bit of history on G-BFZL and G-BGLC here.

RAAF Museum: RAAF Aircraft Series 3 A6 Vickers Viscount (http://www.airforce.gov.au/raafmuseum/research/aircraft/series3/A6.htm)


A6-435 Vickers Viscount (http://www.aussieairliners.org/viscount/a6-435/a6435.html)

A6-436 Vickers Viscount (http://www.aussieairliners.org/viscount/a6-436/a6436.html)

17th Aug 2013, 08:41
i worked at LHR with BMA when we acquired ZL
she was one of the last viscounts built and was very low hours when we got her, much of her life was with air forces...

no fuselage stretch but she did have no baggage door at floor level at the rear,
i forget how we loaded bags into the rear hold, through the service door?
someone help me LOL G-BFZL | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7995751388)

G-BAPF | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lrs747/7995616418/in/photostream/lightbox/)

our 7 ex SAA 813 viscounts ZNA/B/C ZLP/R/S/T

ZNA/B/C were first but incorrectly reg'd ZLU/V/W

plus G-BAPF/PG these a/c were often tech...

(PD & PE were also used by BMA but I did not see those 2 much as we did not get them much at LHR)

& G-AYOX was a stalwart

we pranged one of the SAA one's ZLT landing at LBA and re-worked it with bits and pieces and re re-regd her as G-BMAT
yes there were 2 landing incidents at LBA in a short period...
was on jump seat more than once...yikes what a scary place to land

i have partial deafness now after 9 years on the ramp with Dartinitis LOL

nice archive thread here about BMA

it is a nice read with helpful info on BMA viscounts

17th Aug 2013, 09:01
Thankyou again folks. I now accept these Viscounts weren't stretched. Must be a trompe de l'oeil, a combination of the extra cabin window and the different nose cone compared to the 800 series.

British Midland managed to prang two Viscounts at LBA within the space of a year. Just preparing the ground for BA TriStars I suppose...:ooh:

17th Aug 2013, 09:23
LBA: British Airtours TriStar GBBAI on 28 May 1985 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/copmanthorpe/4428328869/lightbox/)
Beatours Tristar LBA overrum from Palma?

and i cannot find a pic of ZLT accident at LBA
i am sure one is out there?

the wings for the re-incarnation that became G-BMAT came from PD

17th Aug 2013, 09:29
Regarding the extra window ahead of the wing issue - it was a standard feature that the 800 series (i.e. BEA/BA's 802/806 fleet) only had ONE window ahead of the props but had a wider forward door. The improved 810 series (this includes all 81x, 82x and 83x variants - they're all 810's really) had a narrower door and the extra window.

The exception to the rule was I think (as mentioned above) the 833 which had the wide door/single window of the 800, but with the other improvments of the 810.

Interestingly, with the single window 802/806 BEA/BA fleet, the single window ahead of the props was placed slighly differently between the 802's and 806's - it being slightly further forward on the 806's.

17th Aug 2013, 10:29
Interestingly, with the single window 802/806 BEA/BA fleet, the single window ahead of the props was placed slighly differently between the 802's and 806's - it being slightly further forward on the 806's.Well you learn something new every day.

The same would appear to apply to the two windows ahead of the props on the starboard side:


17th Aug 2013, 11:29
anyone know why G_BFZL had no rear baggage door?

G-BFZL | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lrs747/7995751388/lightbox/)

17th Aug 2013, 13:52

Do you have any more detail of the two Viscount incidents at LBA?

So far as I can tell neither was serious enough to warrant an AAIB report. The only one of those I can find for a Viscount at LBA was the BA takeoff near miss in 78 with the fire crew making RVR assessments.

17th Aug 2013, 14:01
the first one i cannot recall much at all, but both were poor weather, cross winds and hydroplanning...
i was ops d/o at LHR and i may have been on leave...

the 2nd one involving G-AZLT was the last evening flight in from LHR (my colleague and his ticket desk g/f was on board) and as usual very cross-windy, Oct 1980
pouring with rain, a/c aquaplaned and Capt steered it off the side to prevent an overrun, port gear collapsed,
the port engines gear and wing were seriously damaged,
the skippers name will come to me, a youngish chap i recall

i gather they left the runway and the left wing was badly damaged ? torn off...do not know much at all, not sure what the evac was like, my friend had some skin burns on his arm from the armrest... i am surprised you cannot find an aaib report...i am sure one is around?
it was quite hushed at the time and played down afaik, the CAA took the loadsheet away from us...:eek:

Viscount c/n 1 G-AHRF photo 1 of 38 (http://www.vickersviscount.net/Pages_Photos/Photos_CNGalleryLarge.aspx)

i have seen a pic of the accident i think the local paper took one...

17th Aug 2013, 14:02
anyone know why G-BFZL had no rear baggage door?Those two Viscounts that TAA ordered, but didn't take delivery of, were specified with the optional lounge aft of the rear door, which had accommodation for 4 passengers, instead of the baggage hold and complete with a small window on either side, which can be seen in this 1978 photo of G-BFZL taken at EMA just after BMA had bought it.


I can't find any photos of it in BMA livery with the lounge windows, so it looks like they must have been blanked off before it entered service with them.

17th Aug 2013, 14:05
ah that's why

no i do not remember any windows at the back of ZL when we had her,

G-BFZL | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lrs747/7995751388/lightbox/)

we chucked the baggage through the rear galley door

19th Aug 2013, 07:49
BMA Viscount with two windows ahead of propellors:

G-AZLR BMA Viscount at EMA, 16-3-74 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4870634029/in/photolist-8qpgNM-7QqJMg/lightbox/)

BMA Viscount with only one window ahead of propellors:

BMA Viscount G-APNE, Manchester, 26-8-72 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4486159017/in/photolist-7QqJMg/lightbox/)

19th Aug 2013, 08:22
See post #13 - it looks like the Series 831 was another exception (like the 833) to the general rule that 810 series aircraft had the narrow door and two forward windows.

21st Aug 2013, 08:30
I had the pleasure of flying both RAAF Viscounts 435 and 436 while at No. 34 Squadron based at Canberra. Their internal furnishings were luxury personified. 435 was set up in USA with a flight engineer position although it was not used for that purpose in RAAF service. It was sometimes difficult for the pilots to reach the overhead switches that were designed to be operated from the flight engineer position which was between the pilots and set back.

Besides the usual weather radar screen in front of the pilots, there was an additional radar screen set low behind the centre consul and which could retracted into the cockpit floor if not in use. I presume this was for use by the flight engineer. Both Viscounts had the characteristic `soft` undercarriage which was flattering to the pilot and which led to compliments by the passengers. Many a late flare which would cause an almighty thump if in a 737, was turned into a greaser by the Viscount undercarriage design. Loved it!

Midland 331
21st Aug 2013, 19:13
A thread about the Leeds prangs here:-


22nd Aug 2013, 19:28
Never got to fly on a Viscount. A cross I must bear for the rest of my days. I can still hear the distinctive plaintive whine of those four Darts as the aircraft flew round and round the LBA hold waiting for the cloud base to lift ! And the Maria Callas- style operatic whistling as she flew down the approach. Wonderful noise. And to those who say the A320 sound is reminiscent - agreed !