View Full Version : LUTON History and Nostalgia

Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

11th Nov 2013, 04:45
This thread has been started as the Luton 7 thread in Airlines, Airports and routes was shut down by the Mod as there were complaints about Luton's history being posted there. Posts here will sometimes be linked to hot topics in Luton 8 over on the Airlines, Airport and Routes forum.

Luton check-in over the years.


http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/resize_zpsd87275ba.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/resize_zpsd87275ba.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/j4cz1_zpsoccsfzre.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/j4cz1_zpsoccsfzre.jpg.html)

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/7805/2fbu.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/268/2fbu.jpg/)


http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/IMG_0015_zpsb39ab628.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/IMG_0015_zpsb39ab628.jpg.html)

Late 1990's

http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/7943/6em4.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/853/6em4.jpg/)

11th Nov 2013, 08:10
LTNman -

Your first photo must have been taken in the early 1960s. However, the second must also be a 1960s shot, as Autair re-branded to Court Line in early 1970 and the Autair desks are clear in the background.

More pics please!

11th Nov 2013, 08:30
The 80s picture looks like check-in for one of the MoD charters. Even casually dressed these chaps clearly aren't off to Benidorm! I can just about read 'Hanover' on the check-in display.

11th Nov 2013, 21:31
I think you are right about the MOD flights. I seem to remember there were 2 or 3 a day to West Germany.

The service people had to queue twice. Here is a photo of the JSATO??? desks.

http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/8468/veph.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/571/veph.jpg/)

12th Nov 2013, 16:39
In the late 1980s and early 90s the MoD had a check in desk next to one of entrances to the terminal with the title of SMITH AIR. It stood out like a proverbial sore thumb with rather clean shaven and short hair style gents lining up. It also had an outside wall on to the concourse - not a very good idea in those days regarding the Irish problem!

Also remember in the late 1960s the Open University using the airport to film exterior scenes for a programme - I think resembling a French airport. Remember the sliding doors at arrivals!

12th Nov 2013, 16:56
Did many a Double Trooper from Luton to Gutersloh,Wildenrath,Gatow, Hanover etc 30 minute turnrounds in B737-200. Always had time to get cheap beer from the NAAFI.

Then a quick drink in Freds:{

Before I got my command did several with Derek Davison ( Chief Pilot ) who would turn up just a few minutes before chock time!

Aero Mad
12th Nov 2013, 18:22
Would anyone be able to tell me which airline operated LTN-GCI and at what stage? I can only find records from the CAA in 1989 (1633 pax), 1990 (2488 pax) and 1991 (2429 pax). It would seem from this that it was a seasonal operation but I can find no details. If anyone could give me the low-down on the route's history I would be very interested.

12th Nov 2013, 19:18
Hi al,l its been put on before but some may not of seen it. Luton airport in 1974. Richard LUTON AIRPORT - British Pathé (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/luton-airport)

12th Nov 2013, 19:31
One more. Some the same some new shots. Sorry no sound on this one. Richard LUTON AIRPORT - British Pathé (http://www.britishpathe.com/video/luton-airport-1)

wet wet wet
12th Nov 2013, 19:31
More pics please! The first picture looks like customs rather than check-in - note the chemist's scales in the background.

12th Nov 2013, 19:34
Pretty sure it would've been British Midland at that stage. They operated seasonal services from Luton both to GCI & JER for many years with a mix of DC9/737/Viscount as I recall. Would imagine the latter was used for most if not all the GCI rotations

almost professional
12th Nov 2013, 19:36
I'm sure the Guernsey flights in the eighties were BMA, probably Viscounts, and were seasonal - mostly weekends, along with Jersey.

12th Nov 2013, 19:42
British Midland definitely operated weekend only seasonal flights to the Channel Islands. Think GCI was probably once on each of Sat & Sun. I do remember in peak summer, JER was several times on both Sat & Sun

almost professional
12th Nov 2013, 19:58
BMA diesel nines back and forth on summer Saturday's !
Possible that Guernsey may have been done with a Dash7 late on - or that may have been at EMA, left Luton in 1989 and memory failing

12th Nov 2013, 20:27
Actually yes, I do seem to remember a Dash 7 being used, perhaps an ATP at times too?

13th Nov 2013, 04:31
Going back to the 1960s and 70s British Midland used Argonauts on the Jersey and Dart Heralds and F27s on the Guernsey as well as to Jersey. I am sure someone can remember Derby Airways - the precursor of BM - operating Miles Marathons and DC-3s to Jersey but that was before my time.

13th Nov 2013, 05:29
http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/1790/qo2v.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/823/qo2v.jpg/)

Luton's wooden terminal gets some much needed expansion
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/10633535193_db7caeec21_o_zpsc4025203.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/10633535193_db7caeec21_o_zpsc4025203.jpg.html)

Luton gets a new terminal, photo taken 1969
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1969postcard3_zps3d2bceec.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1969postcard3_zps3d2bceec.jpg.html)

Around 1984 the terminal got a new entrance with sliding doors! Now coaches can park under cover.

http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/5950/hkhq.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/811/hkhq.jpg/)

Only a few year later the arrivals meeters and greeters area needed to be expanded thus closing the bus lane.

http://img401.imageshack.us/img401/8527/jlt9.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/401/jlt9.jpg/)

13th Nov 2013, 05:55
1985 British Midland Flight number BD 1709 aircraft F27
1986 British Midland Flight numbers BD 1711/ BD 1709 aircraft F27
1987 British Midland Flight numbers BD 1733/ BD 1731 aircraft F27
1988 no information
1989 British Midland Flight numbers BD 1783/ BD 1789 aircraft ATP

One flight each Saturday and Sunday. In 1985 the same flight number was used for both days.

13th Nov 2013, 07:36
Great to see these old photos. My, how times have changed. I well remember the 'LIA' days when the terminal got its new entrance.

Double Hydco
13th Nov 2013, 09:09
When I would regularly use the Britannia trooper to Gutersloh during the late 1980's, I seem to recall that the movers desk in the terminal was marked 'Sunshine Tours' or similar. I think it was a vain attempt to fool the IRA and the soviet bloc, that the kitbag carrying passengers were holiday makers?

Level bust
13th Nov 2013, 09:55
A little later, but in 1998 Jersey European (as they were then) based a Friendship at Luton and did at least 2 rotations a day to Jersey via Guernsey.

Aero Mad
13th Nov 2013, 17:40
Thanks for all your replies - it's this sort of thing which makes PPRuNe quite unique.

Old F86 Aviator
27th Nov 2013, 05:51
Sorry but I am new to posts on PPrune pages.
Luton Airport, I can offer some clear memories at the beginning of the 39-45 war when my father was working for Percivals there. I used to visit with him on Sundays usually, aged about 11-12 and my father early on in the war was running the 'production line' fitting Napier Sabres into the Hawker Typhoons. I well remember one Sunday and people were arriving to see a Land Mine swinging from inside the hangar roof. It did not cause much of a stir and I suppose the Bomb Disposal people turned up to clear it. I had several flights with the Chief Test Pilot in the P Proctor sitting on lots of cushions to see over the front. The net result must have made an impression as I ended up with a most exciting career for over 30 years as a pilot in the RAF all over the world ............ memories are fascinating, regretably no photos of Luton Airport.

30th Nov 2013, 09:27
The airports old approach road with views of Percivals.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/101_zps01c9166e.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/101_zps01c9166e.jpg.html)

In the background of the middle picture is the Italian prisoner of war camp off Eaton Green Road

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1946Luton2_zpse5cebfa2.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1946Luton2_zpse5cebfa2.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Aerialphoto1946_zps8827b927.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Aerialphoto1946_zps8827b927.jpg.html)

22nd Feb 2014, 08:45
The opening of Luton Airport

East Anglian Film Archive: Luton Airport, 1938 (http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/6527)

10th Mar 2014, 22:18
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/October1967_zpsb4992eea.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/October1967_zpsb4992eea.jpg.html)

1967. A rather small airport in those days

16th Mar 2014, 18:44
The 'field' closest to the camera was the public enclosure. I well remember Friday evenings there in 1967 with mates on our bikes!

keepers one
17th Mar 2014, 11:44
First post from me.I reckon I was there as well in 67 on my bike,I was also there in the late 1960's photo (when I worked at LTN)

19th Mar 2014, 06:16
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1272001_412358995577352_1729900755_o_zps652946a1.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1272001_412358995577352_1729900755_o_zps652946a1.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1523726_412360052243913_899674234_o_zps31da5956.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1523726_412360052243913_899674234_o_zps31da5956.jpg.html)

just a guess but I would say maybe 1964?

20th Mar 2014, 17:33
Great pictures LTNman, yes I would go for 1964 when in the August the company changed its name to Britannia Airways. I think I am right in thinking that none of the Connies actually wore Britannia titles. The bottom Connie looks as though it is still in basic Skyways colours.

20th Mar 2014, 19:23
Undated photo. Can someone identity the aircraft and take a guess at the year?

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/858044_350001158473287_1784315827_o_zps5a1f23bb.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/858044_350001158473287_1784315827_o_zps5a1f23bb.jpg.html)

20th Mar 2014, 20:21
Six Miles Magisters on the grass, and two Hawker Furys by the hangar.


21st Mar 2014, 00:12
"Great pictures LTNman, yes I would go for 1964 when in the August the company changed its name to Britannia Airways. I think I am right in thinking that none of the Connies actually wore Britannia titles. The bottom Connie looks as though it is still in basic Skyways colours".

IIRC some Connies were actually painted into Skyways colours form Euravia ones - 'RXE comes to mind. I think this was something to do with a service to Malta.

21st Mar 2014, 05:45
A close look to the left of the top hanger shows the Napier Lancaster( Error should read Napier Lincon) test aircraft.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1941603_10152367554949101_486734213_o_zps7e856977.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1941603_10152367554949101_486734213_o_zps7e856977.jpg.html)

21st Mar 2014, 22:23
"I think I am right in thinking that none of the Connies actually wore Britannia titles." That's right, because Euravia re-named themselves Britannia when they moved on from Connies to Britannias.

Those Magisters: I'd say immediately pre-war rather than 1940, as not camouflaged and biplane in background (Hawker Hart?).

21st Mar 2014, 23:10
Photo at post#31 of the Magisters.....the fourth one from the front. Has anyone got better skills at blowing up photos than me? It looks as though it could be L8255. If it is, it's the Magister in which my late father did his first solo on June 12th 1941 at No 16 EFTS at Burnaston, Derby.

L8255 was destroyed by fire during maintenance in a hangar on 28 October 1942.

21st Mar 2014, 23:15
They are parked in order. The 4th aircraft is L8259, can't read the last two though. If you PM me I can email you the photo if you want it but then I guess you don't as it is the wrong aircraft.

21st Mar 2014, 23:26
Thanks LTNman - I thought that was possibly the case. Thanks for the offer of the photo but I was hoping it was my Dad's aircraft.

22nd Mar 2014, 05:52
Isn't that possibly the Napier Naiad turboprop Lincoln test bed to the top left of the aerial view in #34?

22nd Mar 2014, 07:05
Think you are correct. I did a Google search on "Napier Naiad turboprop Lincoln" and there is a nice piece from Flightglobal about Luton and its Lincoln test aircraft.

22nd Mar 2014, 07:50
FWIW I left Luton in November '63 , just after the prototype BAC 1-11 accident . Certainly the Euravia Connies were well established by then, as were the Autair Vikings.
I remember the Connies doing circuits shortly after their arrival and causing a lot of interference to local TVs and radios with their poorly suppressed engines.

22nd Mar 2014, 08:47
I think this was the prototype making a first visit for the staff to see.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/10633265625_2c968a7741_o_zps321b8e54.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/10633265625_2c968a7741_o_zps321b8e54.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/10633520823_0639970926_o_zps1c0f4bed.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/10633520823_0639970926_o_zps1c0f4bed.jpg.html)

22nd Mar 2014, 08:54
Indeed. Like many mates I came rushing home from school, then cycled like mad out to the Airport.
.To find that it had gone.

As you know the 1-11 was evolved from the Hunting H 107 (IIRC) and tragically there were a number of Hunting employees on the prototype, basically having a free ride with Mike Lithgow when it later went down on that test flight.

22nd Mar 2014, 22:25
Don't think any Constellations ever wore Britannia titles- though I am willing to be corrected.

vintage ATCO
23rd Mar 2014, 07:27
They did not.

23rd Mar 2014, 14:45
I vaguely recall seeing a Connie at Luton in about '65 with 'Britavia' on the sides, or am I mistaken and was it actually 'Euravia?

vintage ATCO
23rd Mar 2014, 17:16
I don't think Britavia (which I vaguely remember) had anything to do with Euravia or Britannia.

23rd Mar 2014, 20:12
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1002282F_zps2c94a942.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1002282F_zps2c94a942.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1009754F_zpsaf7692f6.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1009754F_zpsaf7692f6.jpg.html)

Thanks to TerrySykes/www.abpic.co.uk for allowing me to reproduce his photos here

23rd Mar 2014, 23:20
Thank you LTNMAN for the wonderful shots of the airport and the Euravia Connies. Can you confirm exactly where the Mosquito and Oxford production line was please ?

24th Mar 2014, 05:28
Both aircraft were built by Percivals under licence. If you look at the photo in post 26 the Percivals production line was just to the right and behind the control tower.

If you look at Google maps the hanger line was to the left of Prince Way, Luton

Here is another view of Percivals. As you head down the approach road to the airport towards the white farm house Percivals would be on your left.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/AirView1950_1960CliffMinney_zps683db050.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/AirView1950_1960CliffMinney_zps683db050.jpg.html)

Dr Jekyll
24th Mar 2014, 14:08
So who did the building by the entrance marked 'British Aircraft Corporation' originally belong to? I think it's still there.

24th Mar 2014, 15:28
I think that the "BAC" building was originally Napier/English Electric from memory.

Allan Lupton
24th Mar 2014, 16:52
So who did the building by the entrance marked 'British Aircraft Corporation' originally belong to? I think it's still there.
I think that the "BAC" building was originally Napier/English Electric from memory.

I can't remember but I can say it was post 1946 (when this photo was taken) so well after Oxfords and Mosquitos

24th Mar 2014, 18:54
English Electric took over Napier Aero engines c.1942. I remember being a bit confused at the "English Electric" lettering outside of that building in the mid,late '50's and wondering why there was no evidence of Canberra or P1s about.
However there was the memorable display of the high altitude Canberra over the airfield, as well as also a Skeeter going up like a Paynes "Helicopter" firework , both aircraft using Napier rocket technology.
Not to mention the Eland Convair Liner starting off from the Napier hangar to get that extra bit of take -off distance....

24th Mar 2014, 19:12
Interesting piece here about Luton's Canberra and the world record it set from the airfield. English Electric Canberra G-BVWC, G-CDSX (http://www.classicairforce.com/canberra-info)

25th Mar 2014, 07:32
But there was an 049 marked BRITAIR belonging to another gent.

25th Mar 2014, 07:58
Anybody remember the BKS Bristol Freighters coming in around 1960/1 timescale? IIRC they were flying Vauxhall Cars across to Ireland.

vintage ATCO
25th Mar 2014, 09:54
I only recall one Bristol Freighter used for this, G-AMLJ.

Services commenced on 15 Dec 1959 taking new Vauxhall cars and spares to Belfast. It would return with fresh produce. On 8 Jul 1960 it was the first aircraft to land on Luton's new concrete runway. [source: The Bristol 170 by Air Britain.]

25th Mar 2014, 11:43

vintage ATCO
25th Mar 2014, 13:16
Oh, yes. I remember G-AILW now.

There was a story, no idea if true, that when the Freighter got airborne one morning the Airport Commandant's (H T Rushton) little Scottie dog was on board so it had to return to drop it off!!

I have uploaded some old b&w pics of aeroplanes at Luton here https://picasaweb.google.com/105592096711996086441/LutonPicsEarly60s Hope links like this are permitted here, apols if not.

25th Mar 2014, 14:52
Vintage ATCO What a great selection of photographs so nostalgic. Luton airport has changed so much now. I can remember the old farmhouse in the late sixties as a cafe for the airport workers. It was called "The Greasy Spoon". Do you have a date when the old terminal buildings(ex Brit Ops) and the old tower were demolished as I worked there Britannia Ops 1974-1980. I moved to the new Ops building in 1979-80 next to the Airline Eng hangar and even that has gone now. The only remnant of that era is the old Britannia admin offices near the main road that has been cut off .

25th Mar 2014, 16:56
Many thanks indeed Vintage ATCO for that amazing collection of photos. Many old "friends" in the images as well as some "Wow! Now I remember" moments . Plus a few "Well I never saw THAT!" surprises.
I've bookmarked the site,

vintage ATCO
25th Mar 2014, 18:03
The old farm house was the airport administration building until the 'new' terminal opened in (I think) 1965. It then became the Flying Club Bar. Use to finish shift at 22:00, into the bar for a pint or six and then back in the following morning for a 08:00 start. :-) Closing time was non-existant.

The 'greasy spoon' (aren't they all called that?) was a separate building between the control tower and the farm house.

The old tower and Building 50 (the wooden building) were demolished in the early 2000s.

25th Mar 2014, 18:21
One of the best set of Luton photos I have seen for a long time. Thanks.

25th Mar 2014, 22:20
vintage ATCO photo 55, where is that location at LTN as I can't place it?

26th Mar 2014, 21:28
Looks like off Percival Way behind Monarch engineering

27th Mar 2014, 18:25
Think I have worked it out. It looks like it is at the back of McAlpines looking towards Monarch's old hanger

vintage ATCO
27th Mar 2014, 22:00
Yep, that's it.

28th Mar 2014, 05:34
Luton Airshow

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/10617198384_8e9e6b12da_o_zps6473fa63.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/10617198384_8e9e6b12da_o_zps6473fa63.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/10617207536_94440b0409_o_zps62813164.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/10617207536_94440b0409_o_zps62813164.jpg.html)

7th Apr 2014, 21:50
Just got my 75 year anniversary book- thought it might have stymied my retirement project but although it has some great photos it is a lighter treatment and I think there is still room for a "heavier" history.

I have asked before but will ask again in this new thread if anyone can provide detail (times, destinations) of Sudflug's ops into Luton c.1967?

8th Apr 2014, 19:20
Vintage ATCO wrote: Closing time was non-existant

ISTR the bar closed promptly at 2230 when the shutters were lowered?

The side hatch opened at 2230:15 promptly and thereafter business resumed as normal.

Happy daze!

8th Apr 2014, 21:20
F-W,thought you would have been too young for being in a bar at that time.....S..

LTNman..what is the date of the airshow..?
The aircraft nearest the camera is `probably` a Mk2 J-P,as it has short oleos ,no ejection seats,P-P type canopy and short pitot head,and handgrip on port intake..Any idea which aircraft it was,as it does appear to have `trainer yellow bands` on the wings..XD694..?
I flew XM354 at Syerston in `63,which would be the one earlier than `355`,next one along....
and yes,I `bunked` in the original Fred`s Flying Club accomodation,and spent my `youth`,(mis-spent) pushing Austers/Tigers,et al to the pumps,and then swinging props, but couldn`t hold a candle to the `swinging lamps` tales of the esteemed bar contingents of ,`Dizzzy`,Don Mayne,Ken(Napier Lincoln),Dave ,etc,etc...indeed ,Happy daze....

9th Apr 2014, 05:56
I would be pretty sure the JP noted by Sycamore is one of the four Mk 2s. Colloquially 3 Mk2's and the Mk "2 1/2" ( in which Jack Overbury died). The lack of tip tanks probably puts it as one of the first ones so XD694 ,which was a converted Mk1, is quite likely.

vintage ATCO
9th Apr 2014, 08:39
I think the airshow would have been 1960, it was a one off. Some of my b&w pics were taken there.

Yes, I remember those reprobates from the Flying Club bar too. ;)

10th Apr 2014, 12:27
Always interested to see Early photos of Luton from when Percivals moved up there from Gravesend - until the war broke out. Especially images depicting construction of the various wooden a/c. Images of 'AFAA especially interesting.

'AFAA was burnt at a PAC social bonfire event after the war. It was lent to DH's for airscrew testing during the war and was damaged at Hatfield. Any stories of this incident or images related to it, or the a/c's subsequent storage would be of interest. Anyone got any morsels of information...?

12th Apr 2014, 05:33
This is from the Percivals Aircraft book by Norman H Ellison regarding AFAA

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/IMG_zps528941a3.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/IMG_zps528941a3.jpg.html)

14th Apr 2014, 11:13
1992 when Luton based AirFoyle brought this beast into Luton

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/AN124_zps3f94705d.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/AN124_zps3f94705d.jpg.html)

India Four Two
14th Apr 2014, 17:58

Great photographs. I had to do a double take when I saw the Colt on its back. I thought it was one I had flown, but then I realized, I had flown KR, not KS in your picture.

The Beechcraft with the Aztazous looks very odd. I had never heard of it before.

15th Apr 2014, 09:41
The Beechcraft with the Aztazous looks very odd. I had never heard of it before.

It is SFERMA Marquis..... Beech-SFERMA PD-146 Marquis (http://www.kamov.net/american-aircraft/beech-sferma-pd-146-marquis/) Beechcraft Baron airframe converted by SFERMA to Aztazou turbine power.


15th Apr 2014, 19:49
@ LTN Man;- Thanks for posting those. G-AFAA was of course the sole example of the E3H. I heard that 'AA was lent to DH's for airscrew testing during the war and that one of their test-pilots tried to flare it out too high and put the oleos through the wings. (When and who I wonder..?).
When the fus' was burnt at Luton, as per your photo, it was actually an old wing off another a/c. I wonder if there are any photos around of it stored at Hatfield or Luton between the accident and when it was destroyed...probably a period of 2 - 7 years...?
All the Mews were built at Gravesend, with the exception of 'AA, which was made later, after the move up to Luton and though looking superficially like the other a/c was, in fact, a totally new design. 'AA would have been almost new when the upper image from the opening of Luton was taken. Evidently, Percivals had been at Luton long enough to produce the E3H, as well as the Q6 in the background of that photo too. At that time, a/c ordered were ready to collect in a mere three months...! hardly seems possible in todays climate. So much for 'progress'....!

16th Apr 2014, 12:58
A quick snapshot of LTN activity in the mid 1970s.


16th Apr 2014, 22:17
Short, Beech's UK Distributor ’59-66, licenced Baron as P.D.52, Marquis as P.D.54, Queen Air as P.D.58/64, but abandoned the biz sector in 1962 when an RAF taxi order went to (ex-Bristol) Sir P.Masefield’s BEAGLE as B.206 Basset. Marquis died not so much due to King Air, but to P&W(C)'s customer-friendly orientation on PT-6A. Astazou was not presented to market in the same way. Piper PA-31/42 Cheyennes and Cessna 425 Corsairs did fine below King Air.

13th Aug 2014, 21:31
Luton in the early 70's with nice views inside the terminal and aerial shots of the airport. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhYU6FR4uaM

Also bad Luton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-HPg5oGlww

Level bust
13th Aug 2014, 21:57
Brings back memories, when men went on package holidays wearing jacket and ties!

15th Aug 2014, 21:44
What foreign carriers operated into Luton in years gone by?

When I was a kid in the late 1980's, my parents went through a phase of going on holiday to the former Yugoslavia and booked all their holidays through Yugotours...

In 1988 we flew to Pula on a JAT DC-9, 1989 on a JAT 737-300 and in 1990 to Split with Adria on an A320.

Back then the A320 was just launched and cutting edge!

Did Aviogenex, Yugotours own in-house charter airline ever operate in to Luton? I remember they use to operate Tupolev TU-134, that would have been a treat to see that operating!

Will try and dig out some photo's, sure I took some on the Apron as we boarded and disembarked. I also remember the hexagonal duty free shop in the departure lounge.

15th Aug 2014, 22:28
"Brings back memories, when men went on package holidays wearing jacket and ties!" As you say, they certainly don't now! I flew into M/C on Sunday pm-lots of T-shirts or vest-type shirts, loads of baseball caps and beer-bellys; what a bunch of scruffs!

And gilesdavies, here's a link to a shot I took forty years ago, of an Aviogenex TU-134A at Manchester: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5277405778/in/photolist-a9jcUy-a9jc25-93m5SN

They were very common visitors to Manchester back then-and presumably Luton too, so lots of people must have been going on holiday to Yugoslavia back in the 1970s.

15th Aug 2014, 22:54
One of my favourites used to be the Tarom IL-18s.
You could see them coming from a mile away, was never really sure what they were burning, probably oil.
Then there was Air Spain with the DC8s, red and yellow.Watched one touch down at the middle intersection when landing on 26 , just managed to stop at the end of the runway.To this day I wondered how the seat belts must have felt digging in when the reverse thrust came on.
Happy days

15th Aug 2014, 23:05
Yes, I remember Tarom's Ilyushin 18s too. Here's a link to the only photo I ever took of one, taxying at Manchester, almost exactly 42 years ago now! https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5065101688/in/photolist-9D91Bf-dLbaWm-8HzYgs/

And yes, Air Spain's DC-8s were noisy, colourful beasts. Here's a link to the only shot I ever took of one of these, again from 42 years ago: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8757201652/in/photolist-ekQWXo-8WxKhD

But the noisiest and smokiest beasts of all, back in those days, were undoubtedly Spantax's Convair 990As. Sadly, I never photographed one, but perhaps someone else here will be able to post a link to a shot of one that they took back in the 1970s or 1980s? I believe one survives at Palma, allegedly for preservation, but it's not in very good condition. I caught a glimpse of it there in 2000.

16th Aug 2014, 04:25
I remember an Italian airline flying Caravelles called Altair and I think there was an Israeli airline called I think MAOF flying Boeing 720's. This must have been in the late 70's.

Level bust
16th Aug 2014, 10:10
Aviogenex did use their TU 134s into Luton before they 'upgraded' to B737s. Prior to the DC8s, Air Spain used Britannias.

In the late 70s there was also SAS operated quite a lot of flights using a mixture of DC10s and DC9s.

Sterling was another frequent visitor with their Caravelles along with Aviaco.

Now all we see are B737s and Airbuses.

16th Aug 2014, 10:29
Transavia Caravelles

16th Aug 2014, 13:56
Balair DC-6s, Condor Flug Viscounts, Sudflug DC-7s, Aviaco Caravelles, Spantax Coronados, CP Air DC8s, Conair 720s, Inex-Adria DC-9s, Hispania Caravelles, Tabso IL-18s, Tarom IL-18s, and that's just pre-1980!

16th Aug 2014, 16:03
LTNman - Noticed you mentioned the above two airlines, both of which I had some dealings with during my time at Luton Airport;

I was with Monarch when MAOF started, leasing two of our B720s and I even spent some time in Tel Aviv working with MAOF.

I was later in Management with Altair when they based a Caravelle in LTN and another in Gatwick.

I was at LTN from 1977 till the mid 80s and during that time was with;
Monarch, Air Bridge, Altair, and Air-Reps.

Great times in those days and plenty of foreign carriers seen there. Eagle Air, Tarom, JAT, Inex Adria, Aviogenex, TAP, Alitalia, Royal Air Maroc, KLM, Sterling, and many more.

16th Aug 2014, 16:13
DH 86, Napier Icing Research Lincoln, Eland Convair Liner, "rocket" Skeeter, Hunting Percival President, Euravia Connies, Autair Vikings, Helio Courier, Hunting Harrier (!) Hunting P74 ,& 126,Percival Q6 Saab Safir, Cessna 336, BKS Bristol 170's , Ambassadors, Napier/Benson Autogiro, Prototype BAC 1-11.....
and that's just pre-1964!
Just reminded by your LGS6753, Haraka was LGS6456.
Great days!

16th Aug 2014, 20:53
What was an HP (Hunting Percival, not Handley Page) President? Don't recall that.

17th Aug 2014, 06:58
The President was a civilian VIP version of the Pembroke , only about 3 were built IIIRC.
The Hunting "Harrier" was a small fold-up air droppable vehicle, reminiscent of a Mini-Moke when opened up. Like the Moke its Achilles heel was low ground clearance.
Napier experimented with a modified Bensen Gyrocopter fitted out with spray bars for crop spraying.

17th Aug 2014, 07:04
Two dates which I fondly remember, the first in the late 1960s when Ajax were playing Arsenal in the European Cup, it was a Wednesday morning but cannot remember the exact date, but a mass influx of KLM DC-8-54s and Transavia Caravelles suddenly appeared along with a Fokker F28. I distinctly remember ATC saying that they were expecting a KLM DC-8-63 to appear and it duly did and was a bit concerned about parking it - I think it went on the pond in the end. I know a piece appeared in Flight magazine entitled ´´Netherlands at Luton´´.
The second Netherlands ´´invasion´´ appeared for the 1971 European Cup final at Wembley between Ajax and a Greek side. It was more or less a shuttle service with aircraft of several UK and Dutch airlines going to and fro from Amsterdam over two days with a break in the late afternoon and evening when the match took place. I have a copy of the movements somewhere so must try and dig it out - or maybe get out a bit more!

17th Aug 2014, 09:13
I worked for Autair 1966-71. I can remember many times when the airfield was absolutely stuffed with diversions usually in the evenings from Heathrow. Lutair/Autair Traffic Department were very keen to encourage this aspect of the business. The main apron would rapidly fill up so that aeroplanes would have to be parked adjacent to staff cars between the Autair and Britannia hangars and along the edge of the taxiway leading to the runway. These were last resorts and ATC would then refuse any further diversions.

I remember one summer evening arriving for night shift to find about six BCAL or was it it BUA BAC 1-11s sitting on the ramp having diverted from Gatwick. The weather was clearing at Gatwick and the crews wanted to get away but were somewhat irked by the shortage of Pushback Tugs and tow bars. Company frequency was very busy for about an hour with whingeing pilots.

The airport was very busy when The World Cup was held in the UK. I may be wrong but I think this was the first occasion when a DC8-63 came to Luton.

Of the many aeroplanes I saw during my time there the most unusual was probably the Reid and Sigrist R.S. 4 Desford, which parked outside our hangar - "Now what on earth is that ?" said Pete Dibley, Autair's Chief Pilot, who was clearly fascinated by it.

There were other strange aeroplanes sitting outside Macalpine's hangar,
Riley Doves, A Mustang that belonged to Keegan, I think it had a turbo engine and then the strange looking Piaggio P.166. which Macalpines used for air taxi work. I remember this creature squatting rather than sitting outside our office on the ramp on numerous occasions - Britannia used to deadhead their crews on it. It was an absolute sod to start and I used to think to myself "You won't catch me flying on that aeroplane!"

Happy and in retrospect, fascinating days.

17th Aug 2014, 10:18
Haraka - thanks - another gap in my knowledge plugged. Cheers W

Level bust
17th Aug 2014, 10:32
Even up to the late 80s, diversions was always a case of take as many as we can until we were full.

I can't remember the record, but often there were about 14 a/c parked on the 9 terminal stands, and several parked one behind the other on the left side of the taxiway behind stands 10 -15.

I think it must have been one of the last big diversion days when every piece of concrete had an a/c parked on it, when Monarch said they needed to bring a B757 in for a crew change complete with passengers. It ended up landing on 26, parking in the 08 turning circle for 3 minutes or so before departing with a new crew.

Happy days, all ended when people who new nothing about aviation started running things, and of course CAT 111 capability.

17th Aug 2014, 21:38
I well remember Sterling bringing Caravelle's, 727's and I think 757's to Luton. Also, Maersk with their lovely bright blue 720's, Condor with I think, 727's, JAT with a range of types, Cyprus Airways with A310/320's, Transwede MD87's to name just a few.

The one thing Luton lacks a little today is variety of aircraft types & airlines compared to the old days

18th Aug 2014, 10:09
KLM DC8-63.
I was working in hangar 1/2 at the end of 1979 and came in one morning to find the nose of the KLM aircraft in the hangar. It had diverted in and been parked nose to the doors. Other aircraft were having trouble getting past the tail so it was towed into the hangar to provide clearance.

18th Aug 2014, 12:54
On hangars:The Eland Convair Liner apparently used to start up in its hangar before galloping out to take-off as it was a bit tight all round......


19th Aug 2014, 05:41
Another favoured parking area when the airport was filling up was the engine run up bay. I have seen a few aircraft crammed in there over the years.

19th Aug 2014, 06:35
One of my favourites was Aer Turas. Mixed fleet of Argosy, Bristol Freighter, CL44, Britannia, and my personal favourites two DC7 and a DC4. Oh, and a DC8. Great crews too.

23rd Aug 2014, 15:14
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/departure_zps864ebcbd.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/departure_zps864ebcbd.jpg.html)

Anyone like to guess the year and the airlines shown on the departure board?

23rd Aug 2014, 15:52
EO 003 to Brussels was the BAC111 G-BNIH used it a few times

23rd Aug 2014, 17:53
BY Britannia
OM Monarch
DA Danair
EO London European
KG Orion
SM Altair ( I think)

Gonna go for 1983/4

23rd Aug 2014, 18:10
Close but I think I can see one mistake.

23rd Aug 2014, 19:12
Actually thinking about it, it was 1987 when London European was rebranded as Ryanair Europe and if I remember correctly the BAC1-11 started the Brussels route then.
Stand to be corrected though.
SM is Altair?

23rd Aug 2014, 20:05
I flew GBNIH for London European Airways for about a month (April '88) which then rebranded as Ryanair Europe and continued operating until Jan or Feb '89. The LTN - BRU route operated five days a week returning the following morning, so the answer to your question LTNman is most likely 1988.

23rd Aug 2014, 20:11
The clue is in the date shown on the monitor. Thur 19/04 makes the year 1984 and London European didn't start flying until 1985.

23rd Aug 2014, 20:44
Crikey LTNman that makes it Euroflite with the J41.
That was short lived , wasn't London European forced to buy them out to start up?

23rd Aug 2014, 20:46
EO was Euroflight (owned by McAlpines at the time)


British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 3102, G-BLDO, McAlpine Aviation / Euroflite (http://www.abpic.co.uk/photo/1393010/)

23rd Aug 2014, 21:13
Looks like my reply crossed with Falcon 666's and I mean Euroflite! (its been a long time!)

23rd Aug 2014, 21:14
London European Airways - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_European_Airways).

According to wikipedia the DoT awarded Euroflite and London European the same route license so London European bought them out.

I seem to remember that in the winter of 1983/84 the Euroflite 15:30 service to Brussels was the last Luton departure of the day.

Level bust
24th Aug 2014, 16:53
At some point a Bandeirante was used, but due to failing memory I can't remember what year!

It must have been before the Jetstream as the flight originated from East Midlands.

24th Aug 2014, 22:07
That jogs a few memories. They also served Cardiff and Bristol until taken over by London European

Allan Lupton
25th Aug 2014, 08:24
At some point a Bandeirante was used, but due to failing memory I can't remember what year!

Yes I flew to Brussels and back in the Bandit and, as stated, it had come from (and was returning to) East Midlands. The outbound flight can't have been economic (my bag and I were the whole payload).
Also can't remember which year, but certainly pre-1984.

5th Oct 2014, 08:32
The former Court Line / Autair hangar seen as the left hand hangar in the photo is now being demolished to make way for a new Apron for Signature. A little piece of Luton Airport history will soon just become a memory.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Court1-11s_zpsd1fee410.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Court1-11s_zpsd1fee410.jpg.html)

almost professional
5th Oct 2014, 09:18
Remember the day of the Monarch B757 divert and crew change well - was the tower controller at the time, I think the reason was they needed Cat 3 capable crew to get to Gatwick. Was the busiest diversion day I ever handled, made harder IIRC by having A/C parked on our bolt hole the compass bay.
One other question, in the 10 years I worked there nobody could tell me why stand 16/17 was called the ponder rosa - bet somebody out there knows!

5th Oct 2014, 16:37
Not many people realise just how long there has been an airfield at Luton.
About 10 years ago, not long before I retired, they were digging up part of the apron to rectify some cracking and subsidence. About 15 inches down they hit Roman mosaic. Work had to stop, and the archeologists were called in.
It turned out that almost exactly below the modern stand four there was a T shape of yellow tesserae, together with an IV and, to the left of the head of the T the word STOP in Latin. ( Can't remember the exact Latin )
Makes sense for them to have put an airfield there. Handy for Verulamium ( now St Albans ), Durocobrivis ( Dunstable ), easy access from Watling Street, and from the older Icknield Way.
Also, of course being on top of a hill, easy to defend when the tribes got a bit stroppy.

vintage ATCO
5th Oct 2014, 20:29
One other question, in the 10 years I worked there nobody could tell me why stand 16/17 was called the ponder rosa - bet somebody out there knows!

There was a western television series called Bonanza which ran from 1959-1973 (in the US I guess, prob a year or two later here) where the Cartwright family lived on a ranch called Ponderosa. The land attached to this (mythical) ranch was enormous and when someone saw stand 16/17 after it had been first laid associated it with that. Bloody stupid name that I always refused to use.

5th Oct 2014, 23:42
I thought it was reference by the McAlpine guys as The Ponderosa ....

almost professional - As far as the busiest diversion day, are you talking about the 3 x Laker DC-10s snowclo day or the big fog day which brought large numbers of LHR traffic as well?

6th Oct 2014, 02:56
Oxenos;- I think you'll find that correct reading of the latin inscription was 'Boudiccastrasse'. Those pesky Icenae....

6th Oct 2014, 07:29
Nice One Eleven picture- with 'BL in the picture 1970 I guess with a BY Britannia being broken up behind the hanger?

Couple of questions- how come so many OU One Elevens not in use (early morning?) and what elevated position was the photo taken from?

6th Oct 2014, 08:07
what elevated position was the photo taken from?

My guess is the corner of the McAlpine hanger or perhaps a de-icer. Its the wrong position for the Ops building.

almost professional
6th Oct 2014, 08:17
The big LL fog day, came into work for the afternoon duty to find we were just about the only airfield open in the South East, aircraft parked everywhere, including nose in to the tower behind stand 9, fairly surreal to see the B757 sat in turning circle with steps and vehicles driving out to change crews.

almost professional
6th Oct 2014, 08:22
Thanks VA, now I know!
As an aside, do you have any pictures of the Cv580 that Ryanair used before the 748/1-11 arrived, I know I do but blowed if I can find them

6th Oct 2014, 11:10
how about these ones https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrischenn76/6478627125/

Convair CV-580 - Large Preview - AirTeamImages.com (http://www.airteamimages.com/convair-cv-580_LN-BWG_ryanair_45516_large.html)

6th Oct 2014, 17:00
The big LL fog day, came into work for the afternoon duty to find we were just about the only airfield open in the South East, aircraft parked everywhere, including nose in to the tower behind stand 9, fairly surreal to see the B757 sat in turning circle with steps and vehicles driving out to change crews.

Can't be the big LL fog day I remember, that was in 70s with Sabena, Lufy, Lingus, Iberia everywhere all day, I think they even abandoned stand numbers with nose in & out everywhere....

almost professional
6th Oct 2014, 18:43
No mid 80s, didn't start at Luton till 79 - VA will no doubt know the exact date!

6th Oct 2014, 18:51
Seem to remember in its later life that the Autair hangar was used to maintain 146's for a short while but the problem was that the T tail of the 146 was slightly too tall to get it into the hanger.

Some cleaver dick designed a small ramp for the nose wheel so as the aircraft's nose wheel went up the ramp the tail dropped by the required inches thus allowing it into the hanger.

Only airline I can think of would be Debonair.

6th Oct 2014, 19:41
Talking of diversions - early 1970 the firemen at Heathrow going on strike/work to rule resulting in not enough cover at certain times of the day especially early evening. British European Airways, Northeast, Sabena, KLM, Aer Lingus etc landed at Luton dropping off passengers and then positioning empty to Heathorw hoping for the fire cover to come up to the required status.
Also in the 1970s firemen at Gatwick went on strike just before Christmas (I think Christmas Eve) and Dan-Air, Laker and BIA aircraft were parked all over the place including the Bravo taxiway! Perhaps Vintage ATCO can verify?

6th Oct 2014, 19:58
22/4 -

Couple of questions- how come so many OU One Elevens not in use (early morning?)....

The photo dates from August 1974, just after Court Line went bust, hence the fleet being parked up.

When I worked for Court Line (1970), they operated four 'waves' a day with the fleet all arriving LTN at around 0200, 0800, 1400 and 2000. In the summer, almost nothing was out of service - especially during the day.

vintage ATCO
6th Oct 2014, 20:02
Sorry, I can remember several days when we took a lot of diversions but not many specifics. They just happened from time to time.

The first I remember is before I validated so pre-1971 when we took 45 diversions from Heathrow on a Saturday morning. We parked them everywhere, inc along the apron centreline from stand 9, 'first in, last out'. We asked McAlpines if they had any movements that day and could we park a couple of aeroplanes on their apron. 'Help yourself' they said so two Viscounts later . . . .

6th Oct 2014, 21:17
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/BAfogDiversions_zps5ad537aa.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/BAfogDiversions_zps5ad537aa.jpg.html)

Level bust
6th Oct 2014, 21:22
The picture was probably 1970/1971 not 1974. GAWBL was a 1-11-400 series and if I remember correctly was the only 400 to be painted in Court Line colours, it was then sold to Cambrian in 1971.

6th Oct 2014, 21:27
The clue is above the hangar as the old Autair markings can still be seen. The hangar was then marked up as CourtLine.

The green 1-11 looks like G-AWBL which was disposed of on 20/01/71

6th Oct 2014, 21:42
So LTN Man I guess you know the date

I first saw 'XML on 9/5/70 ( 'fraid I was a spotter then)- Given how often I got to Luton it would have been under two weeks old at that point.

So most likely May 1970 then - possibly June.

There will be very little of my childhood Luton left soon- the hangar another nail in the coffin.

At least the main apron stand numbers to some extent remain.

7th Oct 2014, 04:51
G-AWBL Obtained 1/5/68 for Autair, to CourtLine 5/12/69. Disposed 20/1/71
G-AXML obtained 30/4/70 Leased to LANICA 22/12/71

So the photo was taken between 30/4/70 and 20/1/71. Seeing that there are 4 1-11's in the maintenance area I would guess the photo was taken before or after the main summer holiday flying programme for 1970.

If I had to pin it down further, looking at the shadows the sun is quite high so I would say first week in May 1970

7th Oct 2014, 21:05
Any way it's a great picture- 'ML looks beautiful.

Pity we can't resolve a registration on either of the Britannias (well I can't) - "Flying to the Sun" has 'NBF being broken up in May and 'NBA in June. The one behind the hangar would be awaiting its fate as I remember. Looks like a BKS Britannia in the hangar?

7th Oct 2014, 21:09
Oh and while I'm here another appeal for detail of the 1967 Sudflug programme - arrival and departure times destinations flight numbers.

One year before my Dad let me cycle to the airport so I can only remember them clattering over the house on Sunday afternoons - as a 12 year old.

8th Oct 2014, 08:09
Re. the One-Eleven picture.

IIRC Dan Air got there first One Eleven G-AZED at the end of 1971 after we re-built it from D-ANDY at Hurn. (me apprentice ).
So if this is 1970, is the Dan Air aircraft leased?

8th Oct 2014, 11:41
I think the legendary really busy diversion day when everything came in from LHR was 06 Jan, just struggling to remember whether it was '87 or '88.

8th Oct 2014, 11:55
"Is this a leased aircraft?"

Nope, the two ex American Airlines One Elevens came to Luton in 1969; G-AXCK, G-AXCP. Then there were two ex Eagle ones; G-ATPL, G-ATPJ. Your G-AZED might have been next.

8th Oct 2014, 17:09
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/G-AXCKAXCP4xAutairLuton1969BAeSystems_zps13757d93.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/G-AXCKAXCP4xAutairLuton1969BAeSystems_zps13757d93.jpg.html)

This photo is dated 1969. No idea where is came from but the title is G-AXCK G-AXCP 4xAutair

8th Oct 2014, 18:38
A wonderful photograph. Oh, what happy memories!

9th Oct 2014, 13:03
Yes- a typical day in 1969, maybe I was in the old enclosure beside the terminal- was there most Saturdays. Where has the time gone?

9th Oct 2014, 20:53
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/5001508342_128323d712_b_zps9458e554.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/5001508342_128323d712_b_zps9458e554.jpg.html)

10th Oct 2014, 06:30
Nice photo of the Britannia.
Wow suits and ties ............ how things have changed, you don't even get to see that in First Class now!

10th Oct 2014, 16:56
Wow suits and ties ............ how things have changed, you don't even get to see that in First Class now!

And loading through both main cabin doors, forward and aft.

What a concept, wonder what happened to it. :rolleyes:

10th Oct 2014, 17:32
If one is not on a pier then quite frequently one uses both doors

10th Oct 2014, 17:33

10th Oct 2014, 20:22
Everything in that photo has gone. Aircraft, wooden buildings, control tower and I guess many of the people in this photo are no more!

11th Oct 2014, 09:05
Thanks for editing your 'fattie post' LTNman - I'm sure Joan, middle right, would not have been amused! Joan was/is a particularly forthright Geordie and would have given you an earful. She was the Ops Office Telex Operator, (remember those Telex machines?) Next to her is Jackie who had/has a fine figure and was the Ops Manager's Secretary. I can't remember the names of the rest them apart from Lance Secretan and that includes myself!

11th Oct 2014, 09:25
Ah yes I can spot you O........Ops!

But what's that thing on your head?

As aye


11th Oct 2014, 09:25
Love the long gloves. Were they air hostess issue?


11th Oct 2014, 10:18
FW - I believe it was called 'Hair' - a very distant memory but a bald fact!

Best Tom.

Buster the Bear
13th Oct 2014, 14:55
This was probably taken in 1970 by the late Eddie Papps and I have full authority to publish it here.


13th Oct 2014, 16:12
G-AVRL was one of Britannia's first 737's. There are other photos on the web ( I'm not going to attempt to post them after all the recent furore over copyright and attribution) showing her in the same colour scheme but with the Britannia emblem on the tail. Long before my time in B., but I suspect she was leased out to Argentina for a winter when there was not enough work for her in the U.K.

vintage ATCO
13th Oct 2014, 17:18
G-AVRL's delivery to Luton in 1968 (my photo). Broken up at Mojave in May 1994.


14th Oct 2014, 04:39
Was the photo actually taken at Luton as I don't recognize the background or even the bushes?

vintage ATCO
14th Oct 2014, 09:16
Yep, from the then spectators enclosure next to what we use to call the central taxiway. That is Switch House 1 under the tail.

14th Oct 2014, 15:10
"I don't recognize the background or even the bushes."

Plane spotters, Reg. spotters, and now we have bush spotters?

14th Oct 2014, 20:41
Yep that's me. Where is the car park? I can't ever remember the airport without what is is now the midterm car park.

14th Oct 2014, 22:07
I'm sure you can LTN Man- don't you remember the bushes that hid the damaged Autair Ambassador ('LZS I think). Vintage ATCO will remember when that was removed.

15th Oct 2014, 18:04
I am really enjoying this thread, as in the past I used to fly a Falcon 900EX, a Falcon 50 and 50EX into Luton from the US until the boss made us switch to Farnborough because he thought it was closer, driving time, to his London homes in Chelsea.

So keep it up guys, especially the old photos. :ok:

Oh, his daughter told me time wise it was about the same, but her dad would never admit he was wrong, so we kept going to Farnborough.

15th Oct 2014, 19:33
Photo by me (not taken at Luton) in 1974, showing the second iteration of this. I do remember the first livery, but never got a photo of one in it-something I don't now regret (see my caption to the photo):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15141526295/in/photolist-91n2Ub-9DkSjg-oMAQvm-p51hfc-a9gpZx-a9gpC2-p346um-ia4egi-9CKe1i-91EgxW-8qpVdB-8ZrQwr

15th Oct 2014, 20:04
In the days when every summer BMA used to fly weekends to Jersey and sometimes Guernsey with Viscounts and F27's and maybe DC9's?

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Photo0013_zps90b090f1.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Photo0013_zps90b090f1.jpg.html)

15th Oct 2014, 20:17
1946. Two aircraft are parked just to the right of the north west corner just about where the entrance to the security gate is. The Gulfstream hangar is to the left and Signature to the right.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1946Luton_zpsf0060511.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1946Luton_zpsf0060511.jpg.html)

16th Oct 2014, 08:32
Super photos LTNman. Have you any pictures of the Channel Airways Flyer ? HS 748 bus-stop service which used to transit keeping one engine turnin' and burnin' ?

16th Oct 2014, 14:09
I remember seeing the odd BAC 1-11 and a number of Vickers Viscounts on the service as well. plusBritish Midland Viscounts going to Palma, Barcelona on Friday nights from Luton in the late 1960s.

16th Oct 2014, 14:52
Ah... The Scottish Flyer , an attempt at a "bus stop " service. If memory serves me right starting at Southend routing , Stansted, Luton , East Midlands, Leeds and other stops to Aberdeen? Then back again all outside Controlled Airspace using Mil Radar. Mainly Viscounts , did one have "Scottish Flyer" on the fuselage? Also at least one trip with a 1-11. It couldn't have made money and didn't last long. I remember a Viscount making at least two attempts to land at Luton in poor weather to pick up one piece of 20kg freight. All load info passed through ATC :-)

16th Oct 2014, 21:52
Never seen a photo of a Channel Airways aircraft at Luton.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/1969postcard1_zps62b70691.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/1969postcard1_zps62b70691.jpg.html)

16th Oct 2014, 21:53
Great shot-just look at those wonderful Britannias; "proper" airliners.

17th Oct 2014, 08:42

17th Oct 2014, 12:52
Not at Luton but found this on the Vickers Viscount Network


photo no 9 G-AVHK under photos

keepers one
17th Oct 2014, 17:41
I worked for Channel at LTN in 1969,the route north was from SEN,ZSD,LTN,CDD,LBA,MME,NCL,EDI then ABZ.and the same a/p's south.
The flights ceased in the Autumn of 69 when CW were operating Viscounts on the route.

17th Oct 2014, 18:47
The Autair Herald and the Britannia Brits: another cracking shot-thanks for posting. Wish I'd been around to see airliners like these, but I wasn't old enough to start spotting till April 1971, by which time the Britannia Brits had been gone for nearly 1.5 years-I read somewhere that last flight of one was 30th December 1970?

17th Oct 2014, 18:47

Level bust
17th Oct 2014, 21:33
Stansted and Castle Donington.

If I remember correctly, they were the original 1960s IATA codes.

18th Oct 2014, 00:10
Percivals held a garden party for their staff in July 1945. There were some amusing histrionics organised with some wrecked a/c sections being painted-up black with white crosses as 'German', and the 'German' pilot being rescued from the burning wreckage/bonfire.

A long-shot, but does anyone happen to know where on the Luton site this event took place? All I know is that there was a mention in a local rag with a really naff photo.
I'm looking for any photos of this event too.


18th Oct 2014, 06:21
After a comment here about me being a bush spotter I think I am going to re-enforce those views with the following post.:eek:

As you know, but for the benefit of others, post 76 on page 4 of this thread contains the photo in question. Looking at my collection of photos and aerial views I would hazard a guess that the photo was taken to the side of Percivals complex by Eaton Green Road as hedgerows were in short supply around the airport even in 1946. In fact the second and third photo in post 24 on page 2 were taken just after the war and shows a nice hedgerow by Percivals. I can't find any other hedgerows that could have been used as a backdrop in the photo in post 76 as everywhere else just had scrub land on the airport border and no hedgerows.

The photo shown here is Eaton Green Road taken in the early 70's with the airport boundary to the right and Wigmore Hall Farm in the distance. This was taken just past what was once Percivals and is the remains of that hedgerow seen in the photos in post 24.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/IMG_zpsace78379.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/IMG_zpsace78379.jpg.html)

18th Oct 2014, 08:26
aahhhh yes, I remember that road being the way to that nice little pub at Tea Green.

18th Oct 2014, 08:49

18th Oct 2014, 09:14
Is that a Jet Provost I can see in the middle distance by the curve of the centre line?

18th Oct 2014, 09:22
Is that a Jet Provost I can see in the middle distance by the curve of the centre line?


Looks like a Twin Pin behind it, and a Connie in the background.

18th Oct 2014, 12:21
Love the old photos! What are those Varsity-like aircraft on the right ? Why would an RAF trainer be there considering the over-supply of bases back then ? Whose Connie might that have been and…..:8 would I be correct to say that the taxiway to the runway would be to the left of the Connie ?


Liffy 1M
18th Oct 2014, 12:43
SHJ, those are Vickers Vikings of Autair, as in this image: http://www.airpixbycaz.co.uk/cazsite/aviation/airlines/balp/balp18.html

18th Oct 2014, 12:58
Whose Connie might that have been ........

Euravia.........predecessor to Britannia Airways.


18th Oct 2014, 13:39
Why would an RAF trainer be there considering the over-supply of bases back then ?

It was probably built there!

18th Oct 2014, 13:49
would I be correct to say that the taxiway to the runway would be to the left of the Connie ?

The centre line as seen in the photo bends to the left then out of shot to the right and then left again to what was then the end of the runway.

18th Oct 2014, 13:58
Thanks for all the answers chaps!

It was probably built there!

You live and learn….my knowledge of LTN doesn't go much further back than the late 60's, so that there was a factory producing military aircraft came as a surprise. On checking they (Percival) left in early 1960's, so the above photo must have captured one of the last examples.


18th Oct 2014, 14:00
The Vickers Viking was never in production at Luton. Autair bought in those examples.

18th Oct 2014, 14:57
The Vickers Viking was never in production at Luton

I think the reference to being built there was about the JP. :O

18th Oct 2014, 16:06
Think you are right:O

I assume this Cliff Minney Luton photo is a prototype Jet Provost?

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/JetProvostNo1CliffMinney_zps9f101cfc.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/JetProvostNo1CliffMinney_zps9f101cfc.jpg.html)

18th Oct 2014, 17:46
I assume this Cliff Minney Luton photo is a prototype Jet Provost?

It's certainly a T.1, but not (I suspect) the prototype XD674.

18th Oct 2014, 17:54
The Vickers Viking was never in production at Luton.

Built at Weybridge.........


19th Oct 2014, 04:29
@staircase. The pub at Tea Green would be the White Horse. Used to be my local!

almost professional
19th Oct 2014, 08:27
Ah, watch drinking after the afternoon duty - happy days!

19th Oct 2014, 12:07
Never seen a photo of a Channel Airways aircraft at Luton.
They did of course principally operate their prop aircraft from Southend and their jets from down the road at Stansted. However they were renowned for not getting decent holiday flight series for their fleet (apart from at West Berlin), so should Britannia, Autair or Monarch be an aircraft down they could be the sub-charter to fall back on, anywhere round the country.

The Scottish Flyer hopping service used both Viscounts and 748s; Channel still had one of these (G-ATEI) from their original fleet of four when the service was running, and it was used on the third day of schedule - it didn't take long to realise they were never going to fill a Viscount. The en-route airports were indeed request stops, bookings and loads were advised to ops for each point, with last-minute variances through ATC as described above, and if there was nothing the stop was missed, in fact if every point was called the service ended up well behind time. In the first week journalists turned up at the lesser points like Teesside to see if they could get the flight to drop in just for them.

keepers one
19th Oct 2014, 12:45
Re Channel at Luton-my boss there was Mike Kay....any idea of his whereabouts?After Channel at Luton he went to LIAT for a while and then BAF.
(gave me my first job in aviation).
Ps Excellent pics !!

21st Oct 2014, 21:30
I only remember the ex Continental Viscounts on the Scottish Flyer. One was G-AVHK- with dedicated titles and I think there was one other. Doomed to failure but airlines still do this- Virgin Little Red an example today.

More fun to watch was the Saturday Palma in (I think) 1969. Can remember thrust reverser deployed before touchdown and long take off runs outbound Palma on hot days. We got two of each as the aircraft positioned in (I assume from STN) to do the flights and back afterwards.

Anyone got any pics- I've only got the one from the airport brochure of the time (BY steps) and I am not sure I can post that!

vintage ATCO
23rd Oct 2014, 18:51
I assume you are talking about the Trident 1E Channel use to operate? The only aeroplane I have seen to kick dust up from the upwind end of the runway.

The CAA Stats Dept rang one day to say we had made a mistake with the pax figure for this flight "as it is impossible to get <whatever the figure was> on a Trident 1". Channel could by taking two sets of toilets out!

23rd Oct 2014, 19:15
I only remember the ex Continental Viscounts on the Scottish Flyer.
The Channel livery came from these Viscounts bought from Continental, not only the gold and black scheme which was left untouched, but the font for the titling and even the logo of the eagle in the oval. Their later new aircraft like the Trident and the One-Elevens were then painted in the same scheme, even borrowing Continental's strapline "Continental Golden Jet". Incidentally that high seat count (140) in the Trident 1 was achieved by 4+3 seating in the cabin (honestly, and at 28" pitch to boot), which they initially got past the CAA but later some issue arose (possibly charterers got complaints) and they were changed to normal.

Anything to save a repaint, or paying a designer. Did you ever get Channel's later Comets into Luton ? They too were left in their original livery from Olympic Airways, just all the titling and logo were painted over in almost-but-not-quite matching paint, which then partly peeled off :ooh:

I'm surprised whoever got them over to do a Luton to Palma (presumably a subcharter) didn't coach the pax over to Stansted instead, which would have been a bit cheaper.

24th Oct 2014, 18:29
I remember family flying to Palma on a comet of channels they said when they arrived at stanstead they had to all stand in line outside the terminal to check in and when they arrived at Palma they where parked next to a wreck belive a old transeurpoa dc6 this looked more in a better state then the comet?

24th Oct 2014, 21:38
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Photo0015_zpsc73a43ae.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Photo0015_zpsc73a43ae.jpg.html)

I used to wait in the spectators area for the Courtline Tristars. If memory serves me correctly the wing tips almost past over the then 4ft fence.

In the distance can be seen the Courtline 1-11 hangar which today is now 80% knocked down and soon to disappear forever.

Mr Oleo Strut
24th Oct 2014, 22:00
How pleasant to see your print of Dart Herald G-APWC in Autair colours. I remember it in BEA regalia when I worked on it at Woodley as a Handley Page apprentice, particularly the fun and games getting it into the hanger due to the high tail configuration and low hanger doors. Pleasant to know that WC is preserved at the Berkshire Museum of Aviation - I wish it were inside - and if I ever visit Woodley again I'll go and see the old girl for a final time. They were happy days, full of hope, no money, long hours of study and no inkling of what was about to overwhelm us and HP. Probably best not to have known all that. Its all history now but nice to see a reminder of those far off days. Wish I was still fit enough to cycle to and from Woodley, and to the Bull at Sonning for a couple of lunch-time pints with the lads, before dollying up for a few hours of afternoon riveting or drilling and reaming. The smell of thinners, hydraulic and degreasing fluids, paint, grease and cellulose, all magically combined with dollops of sweat and pleasure. Happy days, indeed. Many thanks!

Mr Oleo Strut
24th Oct 2014, 22:11
Yes, we used to take our young son down to watch the Court Line Tristars (wasn't one called Halycon Days?) from that spot and listen to the eerie wail as they taxied by with their wing tips just overhead. I used to be fascinated to listen-in to some of the regular spotter's airband receivers as I couldn't afford one myself. Now I can track air movements from my armchair and view aviation videos and films whenever I want. That's progress!

25th Oct 2014, 07:35
Aircraft is actually G-APWA, rather than G-APWC: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8483015050/in/photolist-fw7APc-8tQM1X-9D6uS2-8Zf7Sq-dVBEQb-8vxFMM-8egbhS-8EEtxz-9D6siV-93MeFa-8ZrKQT

25th Oct 2014, 15:06
Dear Oleo Strut,

All is not lost.

G-APWA can just be seen in the background behind the Twin Pin in the 1963 panoramic of Luton which I posted. She was leased from Handley Page by Autair for the summer pending the arrival of the three Ambassadors from Globe Air of Switzerland.

G-APWB/C/D were purchased from the Ministry of Aviation in November 1966 and arrived at Luton in BEA colours having previously worked the Highlands and Islands network. As a whole they were initially in very poor condition and were not cleared for public transport or pressurised flight. They spent most of the winter parked outside Autair's Hangar (The latter alas R.I.P.) until undergoing extensive refurbishment and repair. Even so they occasionally flew in this fallow period. I can recall the coldest flight of my life. On a winter's evening one of our 748s with Pete Hogg at the helm burst a tyre at Glasgow. Len Prudence flew one of these Heralds with a gaggle of engineers, a spare wheel, hydraulic jack and me (Ops Teaboy) from Luton to Glasgow. There were no seats, no pressurisation and naturally enough no heating. I think we were back to Luton before the 748!

These three Heralds were sold to an outfit in Colombia South America in 1970.

Mr Oleo Strut
26th Oct 2014, 01:26
Many thanks for your comments. They reminded me that WA was the Herald that took the Duke of Edinburgh down to South America in 62 on a big sales tour, and I think WC was earmarked as back-up. I worked on them both at Woodley in preparation for the tour and well remember the luxurious fittings we had to fit to WA and how smart the old bus looked on departure. We hoped then that HP would get a contract for a military Herald, but despite very good results at the Martlesham Heath trials against the 748 politics decreed that the contract went to Avro and civil sales did not 'take-off', as it were.

Mr Oleo Strut
26th Oct 2014, 02:11
Yes, sadly the Herald was not a commercial success. At grass roots level at Woodley in my apprentice days we were all very optimistic. Sales prospects were said to be good for both civil and military versions, there was much international interest and positive results from the many sales tours. In retrospect I think we were deceiving ourselves. HP were not master salesmen, post-war UK governments were not on our side, the redesign to accommodate two turboprops and the sad loss of the prototype just before Farnborough all added up, and of course the manufacture of the the F27 under licence in the USA by Fairchild just overwhelmed HP. Old Sir Fred was a dear old chap, but he wouldn't agree to amalgamate and we all paid the price. Of course we did many other things at Woodley, including making many Victor bits, and refurbishing Hasting wings, but that early enthusiasm had gone. Strangely, at the very end of my time there we were clearing out old stores and burning documents and drawings, some from Miles days. One day we were told to take a load of old wooden wind-tunnel models out the back and burn them. Amongst them was a beautiful streamlined jet-fighter which much later I recognised as being the ill-fated Miles wartime supersonic jet, the MX52, the plans for which were given to the Americans by the government and resulted in the BellX1. Wish I'd kept that old model!

26th Oct 2014, 19:55
One day we were told to take a load of old wooden wind-tunnel models out the back and burn them. Amongst them was a beautiful streamlined jet-fighter which much later I recognised as being the ill-fated Miles wartime supersonic jet, the MX52, the plans for which were given to the Americans by the government and resulted in the BellX1. Wish I'd kept that old model!Happily an M.52 wind tunnel model survives at the Museum of Berkshire Aviation:


Mr Oleo Strut
27th Oct 2014, 22:47
Thats it, it was a much smaller wooden model of which we apprentice lads burnt. What an amazing craft that was, though I wouldn't have wanted to be the pilot. After the war my father-in-law to be worked as an electrician at Miles but they knew nothing about it such was secrecy in those days. Many thanks.

28th Oct 2014, 19:09
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/RyanairHS748_zps0934c535.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/RyanairHS748_zps0934c535.jpg.html)

Early days for Ryanair

28th Oct 2014, 20:13
Another luverly photo from LTNman. In the Summer mornings at about 5a.m. we used to play football there on that very stand waiting for our Autair BAC1-11s to return from Alicante. Our Movement Control Office was just beyond the starboard wing-tip in what was the old terminal.

Mr Oleo Strut
28th Oct 2014, 21:10
Yes, indeed, it was all about politics, as this extract from Hansard in 1962 reveals:
MILITARY TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT (Hansard, 4 April 1962) (http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1962/apr/04/military-transport-aircraft)
I remember the Martlesham Heath Herald/748 rough field trials and the high-altitude paratrooper trials, and worked on the Heralds involved. All successful for HP but of no avail. The politicians had made their minds up.

28th Oct 2014, 23:57
Great picture of the TriStar LTN man!

So does my memory serve me right - the current TOM hangar site was at that time used by Court Line, with some funny docking doors for the TriStar tail.

So were Britannia totally in Hangar 89 ( hope I've got that right!) then.

So at some stage BY/TOM must have re-taken possession of that far side hangar. And my TOM friends tell it has been re-built on the same site.

And is/was it a Corporation hanger available for lease or something else

I'm sure you know - if not Buster or Vintage ATCO.

29th Oct 2014, 05:57
I think Britannia started off in a hangar built by Luton Corporation who built it to attract an airline to the airport. Around 1970 they moved into their newly built hangar 89 next to the terminal. Court Line then moved into their old hangar to maintain the Tristar's.

At some point while keeping hangar 89, which was too small for the 757 and 767, they moved back into hangar 65 which was rebuilt.

Years later Easyjet moved into hangar 89 leaving leaving Britannia with just hangar 65.

Nice photo here taken by RA Scholefield which appears on airliners.net outside the then Courtline hangar.

Photos: Bristol 175 Britannia 308F Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/African-Cargo-Airways/Bristol-175-Britannia/2477429/&sid=13ab1a56f0ffced0b56bb8ee298fbc42)

1st Nov 2014, 22:22
I do have vague memories of the odd Britannia 757 using hanger89 though of course they didn't fully fit inside. Didn't Britannis exit Hanger 89 completely when the last of the old 737 fleet left, leaving a 757/767 fleet which was catered for using hanger 65 which Thomson still retain?

2nd Nov 2014, 05:53
So what aircraft is this seen at Luton? The aircraft is located at was is taxiway delta today.

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Unknown2_zps9fe77e4d.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Unknown2_zps9fe77e4d.jpg.html)

2nd Nov 2014, 07:10
Pilatus P.2

4th Nov 2014, 16:22
It looks like T-21 is right- any more detail e.g. date - registration- is it a film star?

Intrigued that the hangar in photo of 5Y-AZP is still labelled Court Line apparently over two years after their demise.

4th Nov 2014, 18:25
It looks like T-21 is right- any more detail e.g. date - registration- is it a film star?It's appropriately-registered G-PTWO in the scheme that it wore in the late 1980s, just before it was repainted in its original Swiss marks.

I don't know what film (if any) the mock Luftwaffe marks were for.

4th Nov 2014, 20:26
Anyone like to guess the aircraft and the event. No cheating by looking up the reg!

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/AVIONSMAXHOLSTEMH1521_zps47233e32.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/AVIONSMAXHOLSTEMH1521_zps47233e32.jpg.html)

4th Nov 2014, 20:35
No prizes for "it's a Broussard"; The event? I recall there was an auction at Luton in the 1980s... One of the Hanover Street Mitchells was a lot, as were a number of other vintage aircraft...

Level bust
4th Nov 2014, 20:35

Wasn't it the aircraft auction they held. If I had cheated I could probably tell you the date.

Level bust
4th Nov 2014, 20:37
I was close!

5th Nov 2014, 20:23
Photos taken by what is now just outside Harrods FBO. I don't think the former London Aviation building actually ever had an aircraft parked inside its hangar before it was knocked down. I don't see any high viz jackets!

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Unknown_zps1d77ff32.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Unknown_zps1d77ff32.jpg.html)

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/Photo0030_zps83451f45.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/Photo0030_zps83451f45.jpg.html)

7th Nov 2014, 04:00

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/BristolfreighterDC3_zpseab0d984.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/BristolfreighterDC3_zpseab0d984.jpg.html)

Level bust
7th Nov 2014, 10:30
Certainly early 80s, the Monarch 1-11s went in 1985 if I remember correctly.

10th Nov 2014, 21:34
What a wonderful photo, it really takes me back.

Is that a Sterling Caravelle I can just see in the background behind the two 1-11's?

11th Nov 2014, 01:36
Yes and Monarch's One Elevens were not in the scheme shown until just before the 757s arrived IIRC - so between winter 82/83 and 1985.

11th Nov 2014, 05:09
Is that a Sterling Caravelle I can just see in the background behind the two 1-11's?

Caravelle would probably have been the Italian airline Altair as they were using Luton in and around 1984 (see posts from 106)


11th Nov 2014, 16:03
And the fin of an Orion 737 poking out above the One Eleven?

11th Nov 2014, 17:31
I was thinking the same.

12th Nov 2014, 04:45
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/10683573_470805993059469_7487483505869270696_o_zps1f13c0d2.j pg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/10683573_470805993059469_7487483505869270696_o_zps1f13c0d2.j pg.html)

12th Nov 2014, 19:17
Great pictures Luton was the first airport I flew out of as a child family holiday to ibiza it was the year courtline folded flew out on Britannia 737 and remember seeing courtlines pink Tristar marooned there later years I was lucky to visit meal pines facility's this was around 1978 myself and brother was shown around hangers they had John travoltas Learjet in hanger for a service also tucked away in the background was marconis p166 in dusty state on the ramp was redcoats Brit and airturas Brit monarch 720s and 111 later on in the day a sterling caravelle landed. With regards to the Altair caravelles always remember thr reg was I gisa I do have a number of pictures to did out and remember the in stone Bristol 170 and a safari herc visiting on the same day keep the good pictures comming

12th Nov 2014, 20:28
Caravelle would probably have been the Italian airline Altair as they were using Luton in and around 1984

Were they linked to Air Inter of France or did they acquire the Caravelles from them ? I remember the Orion 737's, didn't they get absorbed into some larger airline at some point ? Loving the old pictures btw.


Level bust
12th Nov 2014, 21:38
Orion was taken over by Britannia.

13th Nov 2014, 00:50
During my time with Altair, they started with 3 Caravelle llls F-BNKG, I-GISA and I-GISE. Luton mainly saw I-GISE and F-BNKG and one was 'based' at Luton and one at Gatwick. The remaining aircraft operated from MXP (Milan Malpensa) with an engineering base at (BLQ) Bologna. They then 'updated' with lease-purchase of 3 Caravelle 10Bs I-GISI, I-GISO, I-GISU from Finnair. Head Office for Altair was in Parma, Italy (midway between Bologna and Milan).

13th Nov 2014, 07:29
I still have that postcard Luton Man; oh so tranquil Ambassador and Britannia - A nice day in 1966/67 I guess

13th Nov 2014, 15:01
Thanks for the replies chaps, I used to fly a lot with Air Inter and the markings on that Caravelle photo were obvious at first glance. In my mind I'd thought that Orion were swallowed by either BA or their reply to the LoCo's, GO. Shows me that memory isn't always so reliable :hmm:


13th Nov 2014, 21:21
For years BMA used to fly into Luton at weekends for their Channel Islands services. http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/BMAF27_zpsa6f77b91.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/BMAF27_zpsa6f77b91.jpg.html)

16th Nov 2014, 08:47
For a time Manston based Invicta used to operate services from LTN

http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c275/ksmithltn/6667064965_e53edd2a55_o_zps2b03278a.jpg (http://s29.photobucket.com/user/ksmithltn/media/6667064965_e53edd2a55_o_zps2b03278a.jpg.html)

16th Nov 2014, 10:12
For those LTN types, the cars parked in the background of the above photo, were they part of the Vauxhall factory (finished cars or worker's cars), rather than those of airport workers ? I remember standing where the photo was taken (great spot!) and there being a tea stall nearby and have vague recollections of the layout back then, but only vague :8


16th Nov 2014, 11:53
Photo was taken from the then spectator area, with a buffet type restaurant I imagine. AFAIK the cars are those of passengers and the some of this area remains the mid-term car park today. Can remember that area being turned into parking but when? - sometime between 1969 and 1973 I would guess.

Invicta also operated Boeing 720B G-BCBA out of Luton for a while- the only flight which I can remember both it and the Vanguards operating now with its callisgn was IM 555 which used to go to Rome. They did a lot of pilgrimage flights to Lourdes and picked up some IT work from other holiday firms like Jetway and Wallace Arnold when Court Line collapsed taking Clarksons with them so turbo propos re-appeared on the likes of Alicante which had become largely the preserve of jets by 1974.

16th Nov 2014, 14:23
There was a time when Vauxhall used to store HA Viva vans in that car park but it was usually used as a long term car park for the airport.

The spectators building behind the camera is still there but not for long as what is now the former easyjet HQ is about to be knocked down as part of the £100 million redevelopment of the airport.