View Full Version : BOAC Britannias

16th Aug 2002, 22:41
Can anyone enlighten me as to the differences between the 102 and 312 both in their technical detail (ranges etc.)and their differring roles during their BOAC service.For example why was the 102 retired in1964 while the 312 continued until when?
Many thanks in advance.

17th Aug 2002, 05:34
The Britannia 102 carried 90 passengers 2700 miles (max payload), the 312 carried 133 4200 miles.

The original Britannia spec. suffered from the immediate post-war 'small airliner' thinking, originally it was intended to carry only 48.
It was also to be powered by Centaurus engines. Problems with the Proteus delayed regular service until early 1957, BOAC having been forced to buy DC-7Cs to remain competitive on transatlantic service. By the time the larger 312s started arriving the 707s and DC-8s were already taking orders. Neither Britannia model achieved ten years service with BOAC and all were gone by 1966.

Sadly another example of 'too little too late' in indigenous designs :(

19th Aug 2002, 14:03
Am I right in thinking that many found their way to Euravia, which then changed its name to Britannia Airways as a result of the acquisitions?

Spiney Norman
19th Aug 2002, 16:28
Newswatcher..yes you are correct. Some of the 312's found their way to Monarch and boy could those aeroplanes do a wet start! Another story is the number of 1 or 2 aeroplane companies that grew up after buying the ex-RAF Britannia fleet! Lagos direct from Luton at MAUW off 2160m was something to see!


19th Aug 2002, 17:49

In the late 70s used to see AFREK and Redcoat Britannias labouring out (from Luton?) over my school which was a few miles north of the Midhurst VOR (is it a VOR?). Lovely sight and sound...

Also remember watching the IAS machines in and out of Gatwick in the days when Gatwick was just about still interesting... You even saw the odd DC-6 then. Wish I'd beeen there in the 60s... Connies, DC-4s... I also remember going to Biggin Hill witht eh Scouts in 1975 and crawling over the vandalised wreck of an Air Spain machine. Think they blew it up IIRC.

I saw some of the golden oldies fly, wish I could have had a go on them! Had lunch at The Star at Rusper a couple of weeks ago, watching the departures from 26. All these Boeings and Airbuses just aren't the same! Nice and quiet though...

Spiney Norman
19th Aug 2002, 21:07
Hi treadigraph...Yes, they would have been Luton departures on a Drake departure, they were supposed to pass Henton NDB at 5000ft and usually didn't make it! Add to the one's you mention African Safari & Air Faisal. Also the Cubana Britannias that used to ferry in direct from Havana for Airline Engineering, (aka Monarch). When they descended out of cloud it was quite common to see they'd come the whole way on three engines. The fourth having no prop and a jury rig fairing to streamline the intake on the fourth engine!


19th Aug 2002, 23:19
Blimey Spiney! Three engined ferry flights must have required a bit of prayer power! Were the Proteuses fairly reliable? I remember seeing a couple of Cubana AN-26s being ferried eastwards for maintenance on the Red side of the wall - hope they always did the trip on both!

Don't remember seeing any ASA machines, but you're right: an Air Faisal example did pass before my spotty bins in those far off days. We used to live in Kenya around 1970 and my sister (and my Gran) was privileged to fly out from Stansted to Nairobi in an ASA Brit. Not that she thought so; I can still remember her muttering darkly about bits of string and tape holding the crate together! A gross exageration... I expect...

I hope the one down at Kemble can fly again - if they can take pax, I'll stump up a few quid...



Spiney Norman
20th Aug 2002, 21:46
Funny about the trooping flights. The MOD must have had a thing about Britannias because they had a contract with Monarch that used their Brits on flights to Australia. I can't actually remember exactly what they were doing but believe it was something to do with the Woomera test ranges, certainly were operating to the end of Monarch Britannia use which must have been mid '70's. By the way Treadigraph I've just remembered another one you might have seen...Geminair, they had a large sort of 3D 'G' logo on the tail.
Another Britannia 'incident' I well remember was going out first thing in the morning to do the airfield inspection. It had been a foggy night with only one arrival, a Britannia freighter which had landed off a talkdown on 08. As I got down to the touchdown zone I noticed a huge skid mark which entered the runway from the side then with a flourish regained the centreline of the runway! On going over to the grass I could see four three foot deep trenches in the grass from the main undercarriage where the aircraft had landed completely off the tarmac! I went to have a look at the aircraft on the apron and there was no doubt who the culprit was as the bottom of the inner cowlings was covered with mud. Going back to the tower I rang the company concerned to tell them the good news that they'd been found out. The ops officer said, "well I don't think it's anything to do with us, just hang on a minute will you". His hand went over the phone then he came back on to continue our conversation. As I looked out of the tower window two blokes ran out of the hangar with yard brushes and started rapidly removing the evidence! Says alot about the strength of the old Brit as well as some of the dicey carriers that were about in those days!