View Full Version : Why is the HS 748 known as the Budgie?

5th Feb 2015, 11:45
That's it, really. Wiki didn't have the answer so I thought I'd try the Pprune community.

5th Feb 2015, 11:50
We called these Kentucky Fried, or the Vomit Comet. They operated the coastals, CPT-OUH-GRJ-PLZ.


P6 Driver
5th Feb 2015, 12:03
I've never heard it called any knickname.

5th Feb 2015, 12:37
Short for budgerigar = small noisy bird.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th Feb 2015, 12:49
I've never heard it called any knickname.

Always been a 'Budgie' to me.


Argosy: Whistling Wheelbarrow (RAF ones, Whistling Tit due the nipple on the nose).

Vanguard: Guardsvan. Vickers Vibrator.

1-11: Pocket Rocket

Trident: Gripper

VC10: Iron Duck

Shorts 330: Shed.

Shorts 360: Super Shed.

Vulcan: Tin Triangle or Aluminium Overcast.

Lightning: Frightening

Plenty more.

5th Feb 2015, 12:58
146 = Cockroach

5th Feb 2015, 13:03
The HS748 was known as <the budgie> quite simply because it was built on the cheap.

5th Feb 2015, 13:08
Soddit - you beat me to it.

Over 5000 hrs on it - it was almost unbreakable - I certainly tried (to break it) many times in the Northern and Western Isles (of UK).

Brilliant in strong crosswinds - wide undercarriage and the wheels under the propellors.

The "80p" was nowhere near as good - even cheeper!!!

We called the 757 the "stick insect".

5th Feb 2015, 13:49
We called it the Andover CC Mk2 - but the Royal Air Force always had its head up its arse. ;)

5th Feb 2015, 14:02
Vulcan: Tin Triangle or Aluminium Overcast.

Uh Oh. The C5 Galaxy was the Aloominum Overcast.

5th Feb 2015, 14:41
All this 'nickname' stuff is a bit of a red herring. Often invented by the press or those far removed from operations. E.g. "Flying porcupine" for the Sunderland.

In general R.A.F. parlance among the lineys in my time at least, the "Budgie" was the Harrier.a.k.a. "Bionic Budgie" .
To others, including myself, it was, and always will be the "bona jet".
" Jump jet " was a stupid press appellation that was hated by the operators.
What civilians may have called the 748 is a separate issue.

"Aluminum Overcast" goes back ( at least) to the B-36.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th Feb 2015, 14:48
We called it the Andover CC Mk2 - but the Royal Air Force always had its head up its arse.

Did give rise to my favorite RT call, however:

"London Mil good afternoon, Ascot 31. We're an Andover on hand over, over Dover, over".

5th Feb 2015, 14:56
I always thought that the Short 330 was the Vomit Comet.

5th Feb 2015, 15:03
Thanks for all the replies!

Aluminum Overcast - EAA's B-17 Aluminum Overcast History (http://tour.b17.org/history/aluminum_overcast.asp)

5th Feb 2015, 15:16
Soddit and Finncapt. I heard slightly differently. BA called them budgies because they got them cheap. As an aside, considering that the 748 and the F27 were similarly good aeroplanes (pleads an interest, 6,000 hrs on F27), why was the F50 a success whereas the 80p was....? Answers on a postcard please.

5th Feb 2015, 15:21
I always called them Mice.....

5th Feb 2015, 15:43
A customer was in the travel agency I ran in CPT, booking a ticket up the coast on the Air Cape 748.

He asked the travel clerk what aircraft it was.

"A 748."

"OK, that doesn't mean anything to me. Is it big or small ......"

"Errr .... well, it's like a 747 but bigger."

5th Feb 2015, 16:07

My nephew did an aeronautical engineering degree. His best pal joined BAe and his first job was to join a team redesigning the nosewheel assembly on the 80p because they had just discovered that the props needed to absorb the power of the engines were going to hit the ground if they didn't do something.

Have you ever wondered why it looks like a dog on heat when it is taxiing?

The odd thing is that when I joined the RAF in 1960 as a stupid pilot we were taught that designers should start with the engine and then design the airframe around it.

The Budgie was a great little aeroplane and I'm afraid the 80p was several stretches too far (even for the imagination).

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th Feb 2015, 16:25
I'm not sure why the 80p was so bad, but I do know it was very unreliable. Back when BA operated it Manchester to Glasgow I had to travel up there one day a week. More often than not the 80p would be tech, and we'd travel via Heathrow using the appropriate 757 shuttles.

Anyone know why it was as bad as it was?

5th Feb 2015, 16:33
Anyone know why it was as bad as it was?

Designed by a committee? OK, I'm biased, having flown two of Mr Fokker's finest (F27 and F100). Nothing wrong with the 748 though.

5th Feb 2015, 16:42
Vickers Valletta = Pig

Vickers Varsity = Pregnant Pig

5th Feb 2015, 17:29
The 748 had been flying for the best part of 25 years before Budgie became a commonplace nickname. BA seem to be the culprits but it may have started earlier with Dan Air who got all theirs second hand, each being cheaper than a new one.

The ATP was trying to be all things to all men. The hope was to sell it in the US and Canada at a time when many of the regionals were growing rapidly feeding the hubs of the majors from small town airports, the bulk of their smaller aircraft coming from Shorts and BAe. The thinking was that the ATP could capitalise on the generally good reputation of UK built aircraft and with engines built in North America there would be an added draw and the type also had a reasonable range so the hope was the majors would buy it for thin medium range interstate routes.

Because the hubs often used gates with jetways that could only be drooped by a small amount, the early ATPs all had a long front undercarriage leg to allow the forward door to be within reach of jetways. Later aircraft were built with a shorter leg giving the aircraft a level stance.

The aircraft was a failure for many reasons. There were engine problems, many of the US regionals' passengers were demanding jets so the airlines went for smaller jets, outside North America a 748 update rather than replacement was needed and the ATP was too big and complicated for the 748 customer base.

5th Feb 2015, 17:36
Some other nicknames:

B747SP. Super Piggy
Vanguard. Breadvan
Britannia. Whispering Giant
Bristol Freighter. Biffo

5th Feb 2015, 18:08
:ok:146 = quadrapuff.

5th Feb 2015, 18:24
BAe 146 was dubbed the "whisper jet", mainly it is said because it had nothing to shout about.

I think that the 748 was called the Budgie by BA originally, rather a spotter term, in the latter years of service when the elderly airframes were converted to freighters and received minimal maintenance, they were referred to by engineers in terms that cannot be repeated on this forum.

Herod, the airframe systems on the F27 were simple, easy to maintain, reliable and foolproof, the 748 didn't manage any of the above, the best thing about it was the engine.

Nicknames for aircraft seems to be more of a military thing, I spent many years on a type known as t' Therald by BIA staff up north, and the 'Erald by BAF at Southend.

5th Feb 2015, 18:29
737-100 - Fat Albert (after the Bill Cosby character :E)

5th Feb 2015, 19:11
om15, the 748 can't have been that bad as examples worked for years in harsh environments, often with poor standards of maintenance and were often thrashed on a daily basis.

Both types were examples of good design and construction. The standard of many 748s returned to the UK for further use, starting with the YPF examples returned to Manchester for Dan Air, was poor to appalling yet they were able to be placed back in service, again in intensive conditions for many years, then going on to third owners.

5th Feb 2015, 19:50
"London Mil good afternoon, Ascot 31. We're an Andover on hand over, over Dover, over".Love it!

My late mate Capt Chris Braund of East-West Airlines (Tamworth/Sydney)
would have loved that one too. Chris became somewhat renowned for his stammer and his idiocyncratic radio calls. . .

"Sydney Tower is our tower, we call you every day. . . this is echo whisky alpha.. over Broken Bay" ( There was jingle on a commercial radio station round that time .. "Sydney Flour is our flour,.. we use it everyday . . ")

Chris also famously said to Sydney Tower when they told him to "..continue approach . . there are two dogs crossing the runway..." . .". . d.d.d. don't you mean t.t.t. two deltas? . ." (the phonetic alphabet had changed the month before)

The 748's front end has a bulgy look faintly resemblent of the head of a budgie.? In the RAAF they often referred to the type as "the 40,000 pound dog whistle".

There is one today parked out on the hard at the Australian Air Museum on the southern outskirts of Bankstown Airport. Recently, a young migrant family of father, mother and seven year old son (all Turkish) were visiting.
Though it was close to closing time, the guide chap escorted them aboard the 748, with father and son soon occupying the drivers seats, the son having a good old haul on the wheel. I was chatting to the mother for ten minutes while this was going on, then to father and son. We did not notice at first that Bruce the attendant was no longer with us. When we walked back down the back, we were surprised to see that the main door was now closed. Hard as it might be to believe, Bruce had forgotten we were still on board.

We got the door open. Then dad lay down on his belly and reaching out, just managed to get a grip on the rim of the steps and pull them in.

When an apologetic Bruce appeared , I said to him . . . "Mate. .. you might at least have called catering.."

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Avro_748_A10-604_RAAF_East_Sale_Lavtn_18.04.71_edited-3.jpg/220px-Avro_748_A10-604_RAAF_East_Sale_Lavtn_18.04.71_edited-3.jpg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Avro_748_A10-604_RAAF_East_Sale_Lavtn_18.04.71_edited-3.jpg)

Royal Australian Air Force HS.748 at RAAF Laverton in 1971

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9f/N15710atYSNW.JPG/220px-N15710atYSNW.JPG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:N15710atYSNW.JPG)

An HS 748 of 723 Squadron Royal Australian Navy

5th Feb 2015, 19:52
Since someone mentioned the 737, at SAA they were called 'Dilberts'. I'm not sure if I ever knew why but it may have been something to do with a cartoon character.

5th Feb 2015, 20:19
Budgie, a corruption from the Urdu of the word Baje, meaning workhorse.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th Feb 2015, 20:20
Wasn't it 'dormouse' for the 737? I recall the following story:

The early Boeing 737s were short and dumpy and somehow gained the nickname of "the Dormouse".

Heathrow Ground :
"Speedbird 345, Taxy via the inner to hold Bravo, and if you can get past the Lufthansa Dormouse already at Bravo, you are number 1 for departure"

"Roger, taxy via the inner to Bravo, number 1 in front of the Lufthansa Dormouse, Speedbird 345".

"Ground this is Lufthansa 800"

"Lufthansa 800 go ahead"

"We wish you to know that Lufthansa 800 is a Boeing 737 200 of Lufthansa, the national airline of Germany - and we do not wish to be referred to as a Dormouse"

"Lufthansa 800..... Roger".

A little while later -
"Lufthansa 800, Ground - after the departing Speedbird line up and wait runway 28 Right. After departure, SQUEAK 2366, your departure frequency will be 119.725 - contact tower now on 118.5"

Silence came the reply .......

5th Feb 2015, 20:24
Philbky, yes you are right, the 748 was a favourite in Canada and New Zealand for example, I once went down to Zambia to bring an ex Zambian Airways 748 back and the airline were really sad to see their Avro go as it had been so reliable.
My comments were only slightly tongue in cheek, the 748 did have some pretty dreadful design faults, resulting in gust locks engaging during take off and occasionally the nose leg coming adrift, admittedly these can be attributed to maintenance actions, but the potential should have been identified by the manufacturer.

The trials at Boscombe Down that shortlisted the Herald and 748 for the RAF came out in favour of the Herald, however the politics of the day overcame the performance results and the 748 was chosen.
IMHO the Herald was the better aircraft if reliability and maintenance costs were considered, but as you say, many airlines swore by the 748 as a good reliable workhorse, and the ones that finally kept going into the 1990s had certainly earned their keep.

5th Feb 2015, 20:42
IIRC, the problem with the gust-locks was due to incorrect modifications carried out on the Argentine aircraft, resulting in one major fatal accident. Have to agree with your comment about the engines. Rolls got it right with the Dart. Noisy as hell, but it would take any amount of misuse.

5th Feb 2015, 21:15
Yes the Dart could take a lot of abuse, like turning the watermeth on with rpm above 14500.
Things it could not take were zero torque that caused skid failures of the roller bearings in the reduction gearbox and mishandling of the flight fine pitch lock that could cause turbine failure.

5th Feb 2015, 21:17
The Herald suffered from the change from piston engines to Darts which delayed the project when Fokker got it right going for Darts from the off. In effect the late coming 748 elbowed the Herald aside at a time when Handley Page were in financial straits and up to their neck with the Victor.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
5th Feb 2015, 21:28
The Herald just didn't look right. The 748 did.

F27 looked right, but it was noisy in the cabin.

Viscount; 4 Darts. Lovely quiet cabin.

F27; 2 Darts. Deafeningly noisy cabin.

748; 2 Darts. Cabin noise somewhere between the two, nearer the Viscount end.

The engines and props on the F27 were at cabin level due the high wing, but even so the difference was amazing!

5th Feb 2015, 22:17
Back to nicknames. At Gatwick in the eighties a certain airline had been operating the Shorts 330 and had just received its first 360. Tower was handling the new arrival and a company 330 at the same time.

The 330 called the tower " XYZ123 a Shed passing the marker"
Tower responded "XYZ123 continue, company Portakabin to roll"
XYZ123. "Why's head office on the runway?"
"XYZ2240 to the 123 WE are the new 360 - and the Chairman is in the cockpit"
After a long silence Tower called "XYZ123 down at 23 and *** are advertising for Shed crews in Flight this week"

5th Feb 2015, 22:31
I flew as SLF on both types and the 748 was much quieter, particularly in the cruise. Had a couple of rides on G-ARAY the second prototype during its time with Dan Air after it had not only been demonstrated around the world but had been leased to a long list of users. Sitting at the back of the cabin in a window seat and observing our progress at lowish level over the Brecon Beacons on a sunny day, we seemed to be crabbing all the time.

Speaking to the crew they said the aircraft was known to do this even in calm conditions. I thought they were just playing along with a passengers observation but for many years I have known someone who was involved with the 748 sales effort throughout its life and he had flown in G-ARAY hundreds of times. He told me this was a known behaviour after the aircraft returned from a lease in South America. The UK authorities were obviously OK with the situation as the aircraft continued in use for many years.

6th Feb 2015, 01:51
Only ever heard 'em called The Whisperliner on this side of the water. Nice pic of a First Air 748 turning final to R07 at Pangnirtung on Baffin Island.


6th Feb 2015, 01:53
A bit of thread creep here, but my first commercial type after leaving OATS with <200 hrs was the HS748 which certainly wasnít called the budgie then in 1965! I didnít fly the 748 much, just over 300 hrs in the next 2 years interspersed with the Viscount but one of the aircraft was G-ATAM one of the first series 2s. A dozen or more owners later it is still reported in service with Wasaya Airways as a freighter registered C-GMAA. It is therefore celebrating itís 50th birthday this year. As a type, it has hugely outlived the Herald and rivals the longevity of the F27. I retired 4 years ago.

6th Feb 2015, 04:54
hi fantom. i seem to remember that the raaf 748s had a little sign just inside the cabin saying welcome to white knuckle airlines. and just another memory from laverton was a c47 flew in from ARDU and just behind the cockpit door was a builders plate saying built in kansas city 1942 this was about 1990/1 the raaf got their moneys worth out of that aircraft.:ok:

Krystal n chips
6th Feb 2015, 05:37
"his first job was to join a team redesigning the nosewheel assembly on the 80p because they had just discovered that the props needed to absorb the power of the engines were going to hit the ground if they didn't do something.

Ah yes, the wonderful noseleg. I can only hope your nephew can be absolved of blame for locating at least two grease nipples that were inaccessible when the leg was fitted. This minor detail led to a couple of hiccups....so to speak.

As for why the biggest heap of junk was so atrocious....let's have a quick think.

Door shoot bolts that happily froze at about -2C. The door locking mechanism was as complex as you could get and bore a close resemblance to the Isle of Man's flag symbol.
Air stair external operating button conveniently located at the base of the main pax door.
O2 bottle that originally had to be removed for replenishment.
A couple of useful access panels on the left hand side of the nose, that had to be embodied as a mod. rather than at manufacture as they should have been.
Various bits located in the belly panels, non really accessible.
No ovens in the galley.
I/c external jack plug......erm, the outdated British version.
The horizontal stab vibration. if you sat at the rear, you could alternate between watching the stab. vibrate and your meal transit across the tray due to said vibrations.

The engine. About a week to change and inaccessible. The oil cooler was a very special delight you might say. BM engineers dropped a spanner when the heap first arrived...an engine change was required to retrieve said spanner. Loganair hold the record for an IFSD....dep Woodford with both working....arr MAN with one working.

The flaps.....prone to erm, emulating the Grand Canyon in the vicinity of the exhaust and, some thought had clearly gone into this... the flap drive gear box and the replenishment plug.....the item was the same as the Budgie.....alas, the 5/16 Whit plug required a Whit spanner....the rest of the world used A/F or metric.

Product "support". Such was the success of the heap, a "hearts and minds" day out ( free sarnies ) was offered by Woodford to operators various as to how they were "addressing the issues".

A rep arrived one night, said hello, and then legged it to the hotel.

Each heap was lovingly hand crafted at Woodford and Chadderton, thus interchangeability was never actually considered as being useful, for say the big bits like the stab de-icing boots. They all had to be "adjusted" to fit.

Thus, one "happy night", a phone call was made to Chadderton to ask for just such a bit....yes, they had one...hurrah !...however, "Don't come between 01.00 and 02.00 as lads were on brew..ok !" and phone hung up.

We arrived at just before 01.00 and waited....about 20 mins so they would all be ensconced in their tea / reading the Sun etc. There were some very rude words said therefore when we did introduce ourselves.

The MM's gave the impression they had been written as a form of community relations project, by a primary school in Bramhall or Poynton.....as in "How an aircraft works..by Class 1B"

The selling point was it only needed about 23 pax to make a profit, and fuel burn that gave accountants orgasms. The little matter of weight and balance when full was merely an "inconvenience ".

The heap should be mandatory studying for every budding design engineer...."here's how to not to do it "

6th Feb 2015, 06:00
I underwent conversion to the first HS 748 destined for the RAAF VIP Squadron based at Canberra. That was late 1966 and we did our four hour conversion (flying) course on G-ARAY at Woodford in Cheshire. There were no nicknames for the aircraft at the time. The chief test pilot at the time was Jimmy Harrison and with him was Tony Blackman, Bill Else and Eric Franklin.

Jimmy Harrison displayed the first 748 in India where it was to be built under licence. G-ARAY was not equipped with weather radar in those days. Jimmy inadvertently penetrated a severe thunderstorm and frightened himself considerably when the aircraft was caught in a massive updraft with its associated violent turbulence.

I recall Jimmy telling us (RAAF pilots) that he kept muttering to himself as the 748 went up and down in the cloud "this aircraft is built fail-safe, this aircraft is built fail-safe etc etc" because that was one of the main selling points of the 748 design. On return to Woodford after that fright, Jimmy ensured radar was fitted to all future 748's.

6th Feb 2015, 06:35
A little while later -
"Lufthansa 800, Ground - after the departing Speedbird line up and wait runway 28 Right. After departure, SQUEAK 2366, your departure frequency will be 119.725 - contact tower now on 118.5"Nice the way things get changed in passing - I first heard that as being from a PanAm 747 asked to hold to let a 737 pass in front, "observing - " don't know what a 737 looks like, but we have a little clockwork mouse down here "
Lufthansa - as reported, we are not a clockverk mouse, etc.

PanAm - Waal, have it your own way, but you look like a clockwork mouse to me.

London ATC - as reported, Squeak etc.

Budgie ? Looks like one.

6th Feb 2015, 08:34
Friends who worked at Woodford and Chadderton said things started to go down hill when the BAe suits took over. The 748 was designed by people involved in or trained by the designers of the Lancaster, Lincoln and Vulcan. The ATP was designed by a different generation using computers.

The various changes and the final rebranding of the type as a Jetstream were sticking plasters applied by a management determined to eliminate anything that carried passengers from their inventory.

The final BAe stupidity as far as the old AVRO operation was concerned was the axing of the RJX. Now I'm not going to say it would have been a world beater but it was axed in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 on the basis that the market had evaporated in the flames of the WTC. Many of the RJX team went to Canada, the US and even Brazil and, apart from the loss of talent to the UK, Bombardier and Embraer not only proved the market was still there but managed to grow it and became leaders in the regional jet market from a very small base.

Captain Dart
6th Feb 2015, 08:46
The RAAF HS-748 navigation trainers were known as 'Draggies'. Conversely, the two 748s operated by the Royal Australian Navy were known as 'Speedbirds'; probably in comparison with the Grumman Trackers that the squadron, VC851, also operated.

Maybe it was called the Budgie because of the Darts' whistle??

I flew both the RAN 748s and Ansett F27s, and have fond memories of both.

6th Feb 2015, 09:13
I think that the 748 was called the Budgie by BA originallyOM15 I think that you are correct here.
I think it may have been given the name 'Budgie' by BA folks at GLA soon after its delivery when it would have be seen and compared on the ramp with the existing Viscount fleet. (perhaps also at ABZ & LSI?) The name certainly caught on and was often used by locals in the H &I area when referring their means of transport to the mainland!

6th Feb 2015, 09:18
SSD "London Mil good afternoon, Ascot 31. We're an Andover on hand over, over Dover, over".

You may be right but I made a call once : 'Ascot xxx Andover over Andover on hand over, over'

Also never heard it called a 'budgie'!

As for calling 'The Queen of the Skies' an 'Iron Duck' wash you mouth out and do 200 press ups. :=

6th Feb 2015, 09:44
We referred to the 146 as the 'Limpet': It having reached Terra Firma, it displayed limpet-like qualities ever to leave again.

The 737-200 was known simply as the 'Scud' during the nineties, due to it "Making one hell of a racket getting off the deck, and no-one really knows where it'll come down"
Whilst some of the 200s were 'Hush-kitted' with a quarter of a tonne of useless and unaesthetic aluminium, I used to giggle at a certain eastern Europe operator that merely painted 'Stage 3' on the cowls of it's JT 8s to comply with niose regs.:ok:

6th Feb 2015, 10:01
The first post that is true. The Scottish BA staff called it the Budgie as soon as it arrived at GLA. I seem to remember at that time there was a comedian
on TV who worked his act around budgies and the one about a Gulf airline hostie asking an Arab with his pet Hawk on his shoulder if his budgie would like some seed.
When BEA Scotland received their two Short Skyvans they became Jocks Box.

6th Feb 2015, 10:04
Nothing wrong with the 748 though.

In 1967 I took the first RAAF HS 748 into Papua New Guinea. Previously we used Dakotas. The 748 proved a delightful aircraft to fly in PNG especially if we had to do bad weather low level circuits. We kept clear of cloud of course but the short field performance was first class. Most of the airstrips were short and with some airports being over 5000 ft above sea level with density altitudes being higher still, accurate airspeed over the fence was vital.
Unfortunately one of the pilots stuffed up his landing into a place called Wabag 7000 ft density altitude on the day. Wabag had an undulating strip and after a mis-timed flare plus too early throttle closure the aircraft hit very hard indeed.

The incident was kept quiet but during maintenance back at Canberra a few days later both engines were noticed to have slight droops. Closer investigation revealed significant airframe damage as well as damage to the engine attachments. The pilot was interviewed by the CO. He somehow convinced the CO that it wasn't his fault the landing was heavy but the fault of the undulating runway. The gullible CO took his word as an officer and a gentleman and subsequently we stopped using the 748 in PNG except for sea level sealed surfaces. A real pity as it was a fine aircraft in the Highlands providing a modicum of good airmanship was used.

6th Feb 2015, 10:37
Great post, Krystal n' chips, every word true, obviously a man who spent many happy hours on the Skoda!
Took me straight back to the early 90s Loganair days! And I could add a few you missed!

6th Feb 2015, 10:55
The HS748 I know by two names, one is Budgie for the little budget they obviously spent for the invention of this plane and the other one, told by a long time HS748 captain, is Bufl'Bils - Bu(ilt) f(from) l(itter) b(rought) i(nto) l(aughable) s(hape) ... when it comes to this I still wonder how many HAL748 (the Hindustan licensed version) are still in the air, have only seen a total number of 22 of all variant still in service?

6th Feb 2015, 14:49
There is no truth in the belief held by some that the 748 was built cheaply. At the time of its inception AVRO were deeply committed to building Mk2 Vulcans and a great deal of work with the Shackleton.

The brief was to build a DC3 replacement which would appeal to that type's users with all the ruggedness of the type, low and relatively simple maintenance plus the benefits of speed provided by the Darts and a pressurised cabin.

With no real post war expertise of the civil market after the disaster of the Tudor, working from a plain sheet of paper, having to start a completely different design and production environment and build a marketing and after sales back up operation, there was nothing cheap about getting the type in the air and in service. The long life of many of the airframes in the environments in which they were used is testimony to the fact that the build was not a cheap job either.

6th Feb 2015, 15:11
....as to my source (even though he's retired).

His tales of the users' conference agenda items re the toilet in the ATP were hilarious. (freezing thawing and eventually boiling).

The control runs through the frames with a different harmonic wavelength eating their way through the "grommets" and metal before they sussed it.

I had the opportunity to watch his senior managers in operation and "petty"
is a generous description of their behaviour.

When he moved over to the 146 his descriptions of how they borrowed money at X% to "lend" to customers at X-something to "buy" the a/c, left me slack jawed.

Fitting Textron engines and guaranteeing them for a stupid number of hours when every other operator threw them out at one quarter of that time.

I'm amazed that aerospace actually ever made any money.

The Ancient Mariner

6th Feb 2015, 15:15
I seem to remember the Short Skyvan being called a Budgie.

6th Feb 2015, 15:21
The 737-200 may have been the original SCUD but the name transferred to the MD11 because after take off its destination wasn't always as intended and arrival could cause significant damage.

6th Feb 2015, 16:29
Russian, I agree about Bae, but the textron engines (All operators) were only fitted to the 146, Canadair 601 (?) and the Chinook. In 17 years of the 146 I only had one shut down due a genny overheat.

6th Feb 2015, 16:43
The drill for radio crate fire is the most profound philosophical statement ever contextualized.

6th Feb 2015, 17:06
For all the erudite (and occasionally amusing) explanations for the nickname, most of you Sassenachs seem to be unaware that in Scotland a budgerigar is invariably known as a budgie and so it is no surprise that the name rapidly became popular at Glasgow. As I pointed out at Post No 4 - it's a small noisy bird.

Due to the chequered history of the ATP at introduction, it became known as "the Parrot" - on the grounds that it was bigger than a Budgie and always sick.

To be fair, they settled down in service and even commanded the affection of their crews.

6th Feb 2015, 17:09
Shaggy Sheep Driver The Herald just didn't look right.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, can I persuade you with this?


6th Feb 2015, 17:12

Ah! The HS780. Now that is what we called the Psychedelic Banana in my day.
The above photograph shows XS611 of 21 Squadron landing at Salalah.

6th Feb 2015, 18:13
The Herald just didn't look right.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, can I persuade you with this?

The Herald was much nicer to fly than it looked. It's a pity the large fin and rudder, designed to cope with 4 Alvis Leonodes, wasn't replaced by a more pleasing design when it was re-engined with RR Darts.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
6th Feb 2015, 18:43
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, can I persuade you with this?


Nah. That hides the hideous tail fin, the bulbous cockpit roof, and the ludicrous dihedral. This doesn't. ;)


6th Feb 2015, 19:40
Would one of you old Aden hands remind us (or give us a link) about the first HS748/Andover C2 which I think (it's a long time ago) replaced Johnnie Johnson's DC3
As I recall, the Captain, Bernie D, suffered prop damage 'up country' on the brand new aircraft, and was blamed.
But... I think he subsequently 'redressed' the great man successfully.
Anyone remember this incident?

6th Feb 2015, 20:03
'Ascot xxx Andover over Andover on hand over, over'

Totally irrelevant, sorry ! but ............. we have a stupid TV advert going at the moment, a Mr Stover from Nova visits the Drovers on Clover St who tell their dog Rover to roll over in front of a picture of the white cliffs of Dover.

Guarantees that I will NEVER patronise Nova -an Insurance Co.

6th Feb 2015, 20:34
Shaggy Sheep Driver, that's a nice photo of whiskey echo, I remember it well.

The mod to replace the 4 Leonides with 2 Darts did create aerodynamic problems in the empennage, the inverted slot on the tailplane and a combination of 7 tabs working as spring, trim and gear tabs did produce problems, and it would have been better if a new design could have been developed rather than a hodge podge of fixes.

Below is the HP127 Jet version artists impression,


Shaggy Sheep Driver
6th Feb 2015, 21:00
The Dart Herald suffered from being a compromised conversion from the piston engined original. Neither the 748 or F27 had that disadvantage.

As pax I liked the Budgie. Nice breakfast on the Morning BA Manchester - Aberdeen flight as well!

F27 was noisy. Never flew on the Herald but Mrs SSD used to regularly on Manchester - Norwich services. She went up front on one night flight back to Man and remembers seeing the blue sparks from the electric trains on the West Coast Main Line! Must have been low!

6th Feb 2015, 21:09
One of the Herald quirks was the forward seating plan, the front pair of seats faced aft, and a fold down table was located before the next row of forward facing seats, this was ideal for families.

6th Feb 2015, 21:28
Hanover Hanover this is Red Rover Over Dover over.

Used to terrorise students at the Central School of Air traffic Control RAF Shawbury when learning RT procedures, sorry to anyone claiming it elsewhere

6th Feb 2015, 21:54
On clear nights in winter the sparks from the West Coast Main Line were often visible from the then Congleton hold either on the 24 or 06 approach, on either the Macclesfield or the Wilmslow branches of the line.

Union Jack
6th Feb 2015, 22:21
As I pointed out at Post No 4 - it's a small noisy bird.- Scotbill

Interesting, since I have tracked down the Flight Commander of an 829 NAS Wasp Flight, which was allocated to a Rosyth-based frigate in 1967, and the aircraft was apparently always known as "the Butane Budgie".


7th Feb 2015, 08:48
On clear nights in winter the sparks from the West Coast Main Line were often visible from the then Congleton hold either on the 24 or 06 approach, on either the Macclesfield or the Wilmslow branches of the line.

If it's frosty the pantograph creates some very impressive sparks, almost permanent under acceleration etc. while significant current is being drawn.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th Feb 2015, 11:03
At 25,000 volts it has the oomph to arc over the ice, unlike the few hundred volts DC (but much higher current) on southern 3rd rail electric trains which often grind to a halt on icy mornings.

7th Feb 2015, 11:03
When BA first acquired 737s they were known, at least to people on other fleets, as FLUFs - fat little ugly fellows - or some other word beginning with "F".

7th Feb 2015, 11:54
"Would one of you old Aden hands remind us (or give us a link) about the first HS748/Andover C2 which I think (it's a long time ago) replaced Johnnie Johnson's DC3
As I recall, the Captain, Bernie D, suffered prop damage 'up country' on the brand new aircraft, and was blamed." (Sorry, can't work out how to use the "quotes' thing.)

Ahah, XS793 which, on its return to the UK, was known as "The Thiokol Bomber" because of its propensity to leak fuel which required copious amounts of said substance to cure it - temporarily.


7th Feb 2015, 12:53
The last significant operator of the 748 in the UK purchased the last few remaining ex Dan Air aircraft, these had been parked up for a while, although having received good maintenance with Dan Air they were pretty tired aircraft.
The inventory purchased if I remember was 5 or 6 Series 2 aircraft and a Series 1 aircraft, together with a spares holding including some RDA-6 Darts, the two turbine engine fitted to the early Series 1.
The aircraft were operated on low utilisation and to a fixed (low) maintenance budget, as the engines became due overhaul or repair they were replaced with the spare engines, eventually the stock of RDA -7 531 engines fitted to the Series 2 aircraft ran out.
A simple remedy, we back engineered using maintenance manuals, ( no modification or STC used) and made a Series 1 aircraft from a Series 2 aircraft and fitted the spare RDA 6 engines, we removed the unserviceable RDA7-531 three stage turbines from the Series 2, fitted the RDA6-514 two turbine engines, changed the wiring and gauges ( from ITT to JPT), rigged the controls to give a lower RPM setting and carried out some adjustments to the primary and secondary flying control range of movements.
A new Flight Manual, a new Bakelite rotary computer, revised weight schedule and an adjusted data plate, and that was it.
We had "made" a 748 Series 1, I can't remember the registration, someone on here might.

The RDA 6 two turbine engine fitted to the F27-100 and 748 Series 1 ran at a take off RPM of 14,500 rather than 15,000 and was slightly less ear piercing.

7th Feb 2015, 14:32
The RDA 6 two turbine engine fitted to the F27-100 and 748 Series 1 ran at a take off RPM of 14,500 rather than 15,000 and was slightly less ear piercing.
The worst noise from the Dart came from the compressor section. Rolls had a mod ...1560?? .. that applied an acoustic lining inside the intake and extended it by a couple of inches. It made for a 10 - 12 decibel reduction in that shriek, if I remember right.

7th Feb 2015, 17:00
Mod 1800 was a hush kit designed to comply with stage 3 noise levels, this was quite common on the later F27-500 aircraft, I didn't see this on the Heralds or 748s that I can recall.
There was a mod 1860 with redesigned cans and throttle box which gave an increase in fuel efficiency.

7th Feb 2015, 17:42
Air North still operates a scheduled passenger service with a Hawker Siddeley 748 from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Inuvik, NWT, via Dawson City and Old Crow.

Pictured is C-FCSE, a Series 2A built in 1970:

Link to youtube video of a HS748 startup and departing Old Crow, Yukon:


Follow the same flight southbound, landing at Dawson City, Yukon:


Shaggy Sheep Driver
7th Feb 2015, 18:19
I think I was probably about 6 years old when I first heard a Dart; dad took me to Ringway back in the days of the original 1938 terminal, and a taxying Viscount must have made quite an impression.

When I got home I can remember running round the back lawn with my arms outstretched, 'police' whistle in my mouth making 'Dart-like' sounds!

7th Feb 2015, 18:20
Thanks for that, great link, I enjoyed listening to that with the sound up, glad that there are Darts still going, it must be nearly 70 years since the first one flew.

7th Feb 2015, 19:54
om15 thanks, that's the mod I was thinking of. I seem to remember a 748 that had it incorporated.

I'm pretty sure CF-CSE was the first 748 in Canada, imported by an oil company ..Shell?.. It had an APU in the tail compartment. Air North also operates CF-AGI, the first commercial 748 in Canada, originally owned by Air Gaspe Inc. hence the registration. This would have been about 1972 or 1973.

7th Feb 2015, 20:17
Could you select reverse pitch in flight ? - for short landing, obviously. I recall that you could in the RAF's C1 version (the one with the bending undercarriage) but could you do it in the HS 748 ?

7th Feb 2015, 21:24
No reverse pitch on the civil Dart powered aircraft, the ground fine pitch was zero degrees on the ground, in the air the flight fine pitch stop held the prop at about 16 degrees.

In theory it was possible to remove the flight fine pitch stop in flight, but only by engaging the gust lock or selecting the flight fine lock lever, depending on aircraft type, on the F27 it was selected by lifting the throttles up and back over a detent.

7th Feb 2015, 22:20
IIRC there was a Dan-Air 748 at LBA which abandoned the takeoff very early in the roll, and just selected idle power. The flight fine locks had engaged, with the result that both engines got a "little warm"

7th Feb 2015, 23:26
The F and J model Fairchild F-27's and the FH-227's - RDa 529's and 532's respectively - had a two stop propeller. In addition to the flight fine pitch lock there was a cruise pitch lock that engaged automatically in cruise when the propeller went past 30 or 32 degrees - I forget which and am too lazy to go look up. The lock would remove itself automatically as the aircraft slowed from cruise, but it case it didn't the lock could be removed manually by selecting the HP cock to the full forward Lock Out position. This worked well but if for whatever reason a prop somehow became jammed on the cruise pitch stop it would hang there. A way around that was to punch a feathering button momentarily to drive the prop forward off the lock. I could never figure out why the F-27's had that, another nickname for them being The Flying Blimp, but apparently the two stop prop came about at the request of corporate operators who were leery of a prop fining off toward flight fine at cruise speed. The G159 had them, so it seems to have been a me-too addition by Fairchild. The G1 I can see, it was after all a 290kt airplane.

8th Feb 2015, 09:19
If I remember, Fokkers produced an AFM amendment to operate with the HP cocks at lock out at all times, they felt that there was no need for the cruise stop. However the CAA had the view that the aircraft had not been certified to operate with the cruise lock disengaged, and UK operators continued to use the system as designed.
I think it was 32 degrees, with the hub switches operating at 34 degrees, I have it noted somewhere.

Herod, I was involved on two separate occasions to carry out double engine changes on Heralds in cases where the flight fine lever went forward on taxi, the aircraft stopped on the runway with the props hanging on the locks, when opened up for take off both engines burnt out, in one case severely damaging the jet pipe.

midnight retired
8th Feb 2015, 09:44
The HS 748 S2 that became a HS 748 S1 which you referred to might have become G-DAAL which in my logbook is down as a Series 1A.

8th Feb 2015, 12:00
Sorry for the thread drift, but this is worth watching


Midland 331
8th Feb 2015, 14:14
Yikes. Quite scary to see one thrown around like that. I suspect that the PF had decent upper body strength..

8th Feb 2015, 14:43
Midnight retired, yes that does ring a bell, was G-DAAL an ex Dan Air aircraft do you remember?

8th Feb 2015, 17:23
According to g-info DAAL was c/n1557 previously BEKG, and also spent time a VAJK.

Built as series 105 for Aerolineas and sold to Dan Air c1977. Was it possible for Dan Air to convert it to Series 2 spec?

8th Feb 2015, 17:59
Dan-Air bought a 'job lot' of Darts from the MoD from recently retired Argosies. These were fitted to the Dan-Air sirs 2s to become 2As. The engines from the srs 2s were then fitted to the srs 1s, and the aircraft given the unofficial designation srs 1A.
(If my ageing memory serves me well!)

jn14:6, ex- DA 748s & Comets

8th Feb 2015, 18:49
Jn 14:6 that sounds right. Kept DA Manchester busy.

8th Feb 2015, 19:02
I left Woodford before the ATP emerged.
Yes,it was termed the Skoda in some circles but in others (line engineering) it was the Yugo!
BEA crews referred to the 737 as a fluf,I think,before they became part of the fleet.

8th Feb 2015, 19:15
I flew the Argosy for 10 years in the RAF. We had a mechanical lever near the throttles which had to be selected by the PNF during the landing run. This allowed the props to fine off from the FFPS (Flight Fine Pitch Stop) which was around 12 degrees or so blade angle to the GFPS (Ground Fine Pitch Stop) which was around 0 degrees.

If you opened the throttles on the ground with the props still in Flight Fine, an instant melt down happened pretty quickly (too much fuel for too high a blade angle).

During my time there were at least two total meltdowns on the Argosy fleet. I think one event took place on the conversion unit at Thorney Island (242 OCU) and certainly, the other event happened at Luqa when ATC asked the crew to expedite clearing the runway after landing. On both occasions, all four engines were wrecked.

During my time on the Argosy, I was attached to BEA to fly the Viscount 802/806. Pretty much the same engines and props but their ground fine pitch stop was controlled by a squat switch on the nose gear (brought on an orange light if I remember to show that it was working correctly). I don't recall BEA having any meltdowns but I am prepared to be educated!

midnight retired
8th Feb 2015, 20:01
om15 G-DAAL.

Your excellent article has certainly created some deep thinking on the part of quite a few of us and also added to the knowledge on the venerable Avro 748 aircraft, so well done for blowing the cobwebs away.

I first flew G-DAAL in 1995 when I joined Emerald Airways at Liverpool , I would need to find my old logbooks , somewhere in the loft , to perhaps add something of value to the discussion . I recall it was eventually withdrawn from service as more Series 2A's and 2B's were added to the fleet.

Despite the decision to standardise the Series 1's carried on for many a year, the final flight of a UK based Series 1 was G-BEJD which I took to Blackpool for disposal , last heard of it returned to Liverpool by road !

8th Feb 2015, 20:31
G-BEJD is familiar, one of the original batch of 748s in the fleet, I have found this in my notes, a cutting from the Royal Aeronautical Society magazine in January 1993, John Case was an ex BA 748 engineer who was instrumental in introducing the type to what was then called Janes, when he passed away G-BEJD had his name on the side of the cockpit.
There were very interesting and innovating times, keeping elderly airframes going on a budget, I wish I had kept more notes of the various aircraft,


midnight retired
8th Feb 2015, 21:06
Thank you for the information on the naming of John Case on JD , another interesting fragment of the 748 jigsaw.

9th Feb 2015, 01:06
Great demo by the F-27. I was shooting the breeze with one of the F/O's on that demo one day. He told me the PNF would switch #2 VHF to an unused freq and begin a 10 count. The #2 antenna was on the belly below the cargo door and when they began to get feedback on the freq they knew they were within 2 feet of the runway. I asked what happened if they lost the feedback and he replied " It means the Captain has gotten too low and scraped the antenna off." I think he was serious. :D

India Four Two
9th Feb 2015, 04:30

A very nice picture of the only 748 I ever flew in. Here is a sadder picture of her, being parted out at Whitehorse in 2006:



CSE was not owned by Shell. She was part of Chevron Standard's air force in the 70s, hence the registration. The others were a Turbo Beaver (CSA) and two Series 100 Twin Otters (CSC and CSD istr).

I was working for Chevron in Calgary and flew in all of them. I flew in the jump-seat of CSE from Calgary to an ice-strip on the Mackenzie River northwest of Inuvik, via Edmonton, High Level and Norman Wells.

The flight was to deliver equipment to an exploration well and I saw first-hand one of the short comings of the 748 as a freighter. The port-side freight door was positioned such that it would have been very easy for a fork-lift driver to back into the propellor. Hence the loadmaster kept an eagle eye on the proceedings.

On the way home, after dark, I saw the northern lights to the south of us. That was unexpected.

Last March, I was in Chiang Mai in Thailand, where besides doing the usual tourist stuff, I had flown a DA-20. Waiting at the airport to fly back to Bangkok, I was very surprised to see a 748 doing circuits. It turned out to be a RTAF aircraft. Are there any others still flying, besides this one and Air North's fleet of five?

9th Feb 2015, 13:23
A friend pointed out to me this morning that my photograph of XS611 at Salalah had disappeared into the ether. I have re-posted it on to Post #62 for those who are interested.

9th Feb 2015, 13:30
Chevron! That's the one. I42 the only other operator in Canada I can think of is/was Wasaya, but here again I'm not sure if they still do. They lost a 748 freighter at some strip in Northern Ontario a couple of years ago, they were hauling fuel and it caught fire an burned during the transfer from the airplane to the ground tanks.

Cornish Jack
9th Feb 2015, 16:34
Jimmy Harrison took a 748 on a world (ish) demo tour in the early 60s which included Bangkok. His demo was at Don Muang, as it then was, for the Thai brass. Quite startling! On his first rotation, he failed the starboard engine and immediately rolled into a 'dead engine' turn coming back low level along the civilian aircraft parking area ... low, in this case requiring that he lift to clear the line of 707 and DC8 tail fins lined up in front of the terminal. The remainder of the display continued in similar vein and his arrival back on the stand was greeted by rapturous applause - well earned. Can't be sure, (I left before it happened) but I have a feeling that the intended customers (Thai Airways) bought the Herald!! :(
Many years later I was 'fingered' to learn the 80p to eventually ground instruct (didn't happen:ok:) One (among many) oddities was the inclusion of a 'steering bar' for the radio compass indication:eek: Trying to follow that would have taxed the most ardent Space Invaders fan!

9th Feb 2015, 18:05
Thai Airways bought nine 748s. Three in 1964, three in 1968, one in 1970 and two in 1972.
All were out of service by 1987. Two were written off in 1980, four went to the Royal Thai Air Force in 1983 and two were written off in 1987.

The 1983 departures were replaced by Sheds (Shorts 330s -oh the ignominy!!).

It was the Royal Malay Air Force that bought the Herald.

9th Feb 2015, 18:38
The Malaysian Air Force had the purpose built HP7 400 series, on retirement from military duties some of the aircraft returned to UK and were operated by BAF at Southend.
The last Herald operating in UK was G-BEYF, a former Malasian aircraft that retired in 1999.
On converting one of the 400 series to a freighter a weight reduction process was carried out, there was a very substantial wiring loom found running along the front spar, one theory was that the aircraft had loud speakers fitted under the wings to broadcast to the terrorists in the jungle.
The Herald was also pressed into military service during the six day war by the Israeli Air Force, the aircraft being operated by Arkia flying tourists to the dead sea at the time.

9th Feb 2015, 23:04
Mt. Cook Airlines operated a fleet of 748s in NZ from 1968 to 1996. They had a customised missed approach procedure at Queenstown for OEI contingency ops - the procedure 'depended' on a net climb gradient of 0.75% istr :eek:

Lon More
10th Feb 2015, 12:26
Re the F27 low pass; I was told that they descended until the HF signal through the belly antenna just started to hetrodyne.

" 'andover, Andover", Dover, over" was the version I heard between London Mil and Airways, back in the late 60s.

10th Feb 2015, 19:03
Dan Air wet leased an example in the late 1970's.It was used on the ABZ-LSI
route.The Mount Cook Lilly was seen resplendent on its fin in Aberdeen and
Sumburgh.Though,for "lilly"read "buttercup"-actually the world's largest!

chimbu warrior
10th Feb 2015, 22:39
We called it the Andover CC Mk2

The Royal New Zealand Air Force obtained some Andovers second-hand, which earned them the nickname "leftovers'.

10th Feb 2015, 22:50
The Mount Cook 748 leased by Dan Air was G-AYYG. it operated for them during the following periods, returning to New Zealand at the end of each lease:

17/06/78-18/10/78; 02/04/79-17/09/79; 09/04/80-22/10/81

During the leases it retained its Mount Cook blue colours with matching blue titles and the floral tail emblem was retained.

The aircraft itself was interesting. It was built as a demonstration aircraft and first flew in Hawker Siddeley house colours. In 1973 Howard Hughes entered into a lease purchase arrangement for the aircraft and travelled to Woodford to see it. He then decided he wanted to learn to fly the 748, but not his own aircraft. He arranged to charter a Rousseau Aviation 748 which he flew in and out of Stansted. He only saw YYG the one time, never flew in it and after his death it was sold to Mount Cook, having spent years in the Woodford flight shed.

After service with Mount Cook it went on to Canada then back to the UK where it was eventually retired in 2011

11th Feb 2015, 19:09
In the early 70's, I went to the Woodford airshow and we decided to visit the factory - climbed in through the canteen window and saw some Mount Cook 748's in various stages of completion on the line, Then climbed out again, unchallenged, having left no evidence of our visit.

13th Feb 2015, 20:31
Guys ,
Daarn Sarf we heard that the BEA Skyliners [ Skyvans ] were 2 tonne budgies .
Thus the 748 became a 4 tonne Budgie ...
25 years later ...80p is new to me , wuz in the day Parrot [Budgies Big Bruffer ! ] , Advanced Technical Problem , Wigwam [ A TePee ! ] , BAT [ as entered on ATC flight plans ] Skoda [ on Berlin IGS services with a lot of Trabants around ].
Reckoned if built East of the Pennines or with £1 gizmos [ instead of 50p gizmos ] they would have been more reliable .
Memories ... conversion course with BAe trainers '' Just like the Budgie '' .......'' BUT we've never been on the Budgie '' , seeing the North Sea from FL180 through the gaps around the doors . Needing hair dryers to unfreeze doors after landing in German winters . 1 in 1 descents ....FL180 to ground in 18 miles . Reversing around various airfields /runways . Smooth as silk in huge Hebs cross winds . Feet on the dash board to help rotate , trimming [ electric ] to help with the flare .
1st 20 pax went in the back , if less than 20 ; then 25kg bags of shingle went in the boot as ballast . 2 a/c each having an engine change in a Kirkwall winter . Tent sided artics which had deliverd the engines , parked around each offending one so the engineers could have a semblance of shelter [ Glasgow engineers are exceedingly tough ] .
The Budgie 'tho had much better freight hold ... trying to get a coffin in the boot was challenging [ would not fit in the bonnet ].. good job traveling rellees could not see our struggles or solution .

All that said ; they are a tough a/c , low wing , wide u/c , easy to de-ice , built like brick Karzee ,... handled all that the Hebs , Northern Isles , and N Germany
[ before the wall came down ] could throw at them .. and 25 + years later can be seen on Flight radar 24 ; still nightly trucking on as freighters from the Channel Isles throughout UK and around Scandinavia .

Rgds condor .

PS DC10 ... Def Cruiser
MD11 ... More Def 2

21st Feb 2015, 08:58
BAe146...Quadrapuff, also Hush Puppy

21st Feb 2015, 16:45
Jumbolino was the brand (for want of a better word) devised by Crossair to market their 146/RJ services, so slightly more provenance than some of the other nicknames being discussed:


24th Feb 2015, 18:13
G-BMFT, Manchester, 1988:

24th Feb 2015, 20:11
G-BMFT, owned by Euroair, left BA and did the rounds, went on to Jersey European Airways, Business Air and then Emerald, ended up as G-OPFW and withdrawn from use 2009.

24th Feb 2015, 22:28
G-BMFT now has its nose section preserved at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum at Doncaster.

India Four Two
25th Feb 2015, 19:16
Your picture of G-BFMT clearly shows the issue I raised about the proximity of the freight-door to the port prop.

25th Feb 2015, 20:13
The main advantage of the Herald as a cargo aircraft over the 748 and the F27 was the very large double doors with the low sill located aft.
The forward freight doors were tricky due to prop damage caused by the forklifts.
One snippet of useless information, the Herald had the two rear doors, the forward one as a passenger door, with the rear one opening to give access for cargo loading. Additionally there was a forward crew door, left hand side behind the cockpit, one of the original customers was an Australian airline who specified that the forward door opening should be designed to permit the loading of a standard bale of wool, this was incorporated into the design, the airline did not then buy the aircraft.
The pressurisation was pretty poor on the Herald, max diff 2.2 psi if you were very lucky, the large rear doors used to leak very badly, one regular load was a consignment of day old chicks that we used to fly down to Valencia, in order to prevent the chicks from expiring the flying spanner had to take a bin bag of wet rags on the trip and caulk the gaps around the doors to reduce the leaks. On the return trip we often brought back exhaust pipes for the Ford plants at Cologne and Speke.

25th Feb 2015, 22:21
I once worked for a company that had taken over part of the old Handley Page factory at Reading. The company was involved in light engineering. Some ex Handley Page staff worked for the company including a draughtsman who told me the idea for the Herald's rear door arrangement came directly from the C47/DC3.

26th Feb 2015, 12:37
There were half a dozen HAL 748s happily buzzing around at Yelahanka AB last week.
The Indian Air Force seem to be getting good use out if theirs.

Still a useful aircraft.

Mind you, out here it's known as an 'Avro'. They've never heard of Budgie.

26th Feb 2015, 13:12
Mind you, out here it's known as an 'Avro'. They've never heard of Budgie.The 748 was usually branded as the Avro for export sales campaigns.


26th Feb 2015, 16:48
Dave, when HAL received their licence to build the 748 the manufacturer was still AVRO, but only just!

27th Feb 2015, 05:31
Circa 1961.

28th Feb 2015, 19:13
om15 another operator of the Dart Herald was Eastern Provincial Airways. They had a total of four, one was lost on March 17th 1965. The airplane came apart in the air because of corrosion in the forward lav area. Here's a prťcis of the accident. The full report is out there somewhere, it makes for chilling reading.

Accident CF-NAF (http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19650317-2)

1st Mar 2015, 09:29
The early Heralds had a serious design flaw, the preformed belly skins below the chines had longitudinal top hat stringers fitted, Handley Page had used a form of spot welding to attach the stringers, this process removed the protective surface of the materials and resulted in the rapid process of corrosion in the structure.
Following the fatal crash of CF-NAF, HP reduced the max diff to either 3 psi for aircraft less than six months old, to 2 psi for aircraft between six months and one year old, and zero for aircraft over a year old.
The aircraft were recalled and modified skins were fitted, the new structure was of conventional design, with the top hat stringers attached with three thirty two mush head solid rivets, the skins and stringers being treated with heat cured epoxy resign prior to assembly, and faying surfaces sealed with prc sealant.
To prevent corrosion in service, a system of fibre wicks was fitted, running laterally from chine to chine, with small pellets of strontium chromate fitted, the idea being that moisture would cause the chromate to leach out to protect the structure.

A further problem arose later, with the last dozen or so aircraft converted to cargo aircraft, the requirement for a class E freight compartment meant that all ventilating air had to be ducted to the cockpit and not into the cabin, together with the removal of all sound proofing/insulation caused condensation, this on low utilisation aircraft that were parked up for long periods each day.
The strontium chromate pellets and wicks were eventually removed due to heath and safety and lack of spares, in the final few years corrosion was kept at bay by use of dewatering fluids, a regime of through cleaning and boroscope inspections of the internal structures in the top hat stringers and replacement of skins and structure that showed signs of corrosion.

1st Mar 2015, 17:48
This is how I first met this aircraft in 1965


From the BKS tribute website at http://website.lineone.net/~biggles200/

and how it looks today (with kind permission of photographer)


1st Mar 2015, 22:00
ICAO are firmly in the Avro camp - their designator for the type is A748.

5th Mar 2015, 09:21
Ahah, XS793


23rd Mar 2015, 17:44

Bernie was one of my instructors on the Varsity at Valley. He was not only a fine instructor but a first class human being.

Anyway, I unearthed this photograph of XS611 on the ramp at Khormaksar when I was looking for something else.

28th Mar 2015, 21:57

29th Mar 2015, 14:46
Puzzled of Redhill here.
I can understand the upper camouflage colours for the desert, and I've been given to understand the gloss white cockpit roof was to reflect the sun for cooling purposes, but what was the thinking behind the gloss black undersides?

29th Mar 2015, 17:50
Re the Valetta being called the pig, as a student navigator in those, could never enderstand why the ride was aleays more uncomfortable in the Valetta than the Varsity.

30th Mar 2015, 05:19
No one (I think) has mentioned Skyways 748s. My memory is that they were one of the first operators. I used to see them dot in and out of Renfrew in the early 60s. I only heard them called Budgies, usually Paraffin Budgies when BA used them in Scotland, much later on.