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Mooncrest
10th Jan 2023, 10:16
Did BCAL continue to use these on long haul routes after the DC10s began to arrive or were they relegated to secondary and/or charter flights? I never saw one in the flesh - I expect they flew almost exclusively from Gatwick - but I can imagine a parallel with Aer Lingus, i.e. as a back-up to the widebodies whilst doing ITs to the Canaries and the more distant Greek islands.

Thankyou.

dixi188
10th Jan 2023, 12:09
There were still some passenger routes using the 707 in 1982 despite having 8 DC-10 by then.
I remember turning one round at Gatwick. It had come in from Lusaka and then went to Tripoli and back.
I was a liney mech and only signed for oil, tyre pressures and a basic walkround.
When it arrived from Lusaka one engine needed 10 quarts of oil so I contacted maintrol and they said it was allowed 1 qt. per hour and as the inbound flight was 10+ hours it was OK.
I sent it out to Tripoli and was still on shift when it returned about 7 hours later.
The Flight Engineer was not happy. He had topped up with about 20 qts on the turn round in Tripoli and shut it down at the top of climb due to low level. They re-started it for the approach at Gatwick.
Maintrol's response was that we got the flight flown and it will go in the hangar tonight for an engine change.

Mooncrest
10th Jan 2023, 14:28
As I recall, BCAL owned a number of new-build 707s as well as used examples - two of these came from Britannia after a brief stay there. I think there was also a -100 in the fleet for less than a year.

Asturias56
10th Jan 2023, 14:41
IIRC the BCal 707's were a lot more comfortable than most other airlines.

But once you'd been on a wide body .....................................

Sotonsean
10th Jan 2023, 22:00
British Caledonian Airways received their first McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 in February 1977.

British Caledonian Airways retired their last Boeing 707-320 in March 1984.

With eight DC-10-30 in the fleet by 1982 the Boeing 707s flew between London Gatwick and secondary destinations in Africa.

​​​​​​In the latter years in service with BCAL the remaining Boeing 707s often flew to the following destinations.

Banjul
Casablanca
Freetown
Las Palmas (charter, previously a scheduled destination)
Lusaka
Monrovia
Tenerife (charter, previously a scheduled destination)
Tripoli

There were also a couple of Boeing 707 cargo aircraft in the fleet at the time with flights to Lagos and Accra. There was also a dedicated weekly (Sunday) cargo only flight between London Heathrow and Houston.

British Caledonian Airways, my all-time favourite airline. Even after almost Forty years London Gatwick Airport still doesn't feel the same without the BCAL lions against the pier's. I always imagine what the airline would have become if it had independently survived.

www.british-caledonian.com is a good resource.

WHBM
10th Jan 2023, 22:23
Caledonian Airways built up quite a 707 fleet from the mid-1960s onwards, taking over from their Britannias, and their principal usage was summer Transatlantic IT charters, where they became a market leader. There were just a few Mediterranean IT flights which were beyond the capabilities of their One-Elevens, and off-season they found various tasks, including a substantial programme to Singapore. Come the merger in 1971 with British United and they started to run this non-scheduled side slowly down, and the 707s were progressively transferred to what the BUA VC-10s had once done. The 707 fleet rose (sometimes) and fell, dependent on what work they secured, I don't think they ever quite got it into double figures, and had a long handover period to the DC-10; the first of these came in charter configuration as well for the initial year, but that side of the business was just progressively dropped off.

Sotonsean
10th Jan 2023, 23:28
IIRC the BCal 707's were a lot more comfortable than most other airlines.

But once you'd been on a wide body .....................................

By 1974 the BCAL fleet of Boeing 707-320s we're fitted with the new 'wide-body' look interiors. Plenty of photos online showing the new look cabin interiors at the time which was a huge improvement on the previous.

Mickj3
11th Jan 2023, 01:32
I seem to remember that it was a BCal 707 that was the first comercial airliner to fly non-stop from UK to Singapore. It would be in 1967 or 1970/1

Sotonsean
11th Jan 2023, 02:36
I seem to remember that it was a BCal 707 that was the first comercial airliner to fly non-stop from UK to Singapore. It would be in 1967 or 1970/1

I believe that it was 1970.

In the spring of 1970, Caledonian Airways won a renewable, one year contract from Qantas to carry migrants from Europe to Australia. The initial contract was worth 4.3 million. It was a sub-charter providing for the carriage of up to 40,000 passengers on approximately 220 flights.

The flights went to several Australian destinations such as Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. All went via Singapore and a Middle Eastern fuel stop. In the case of the Caledonian Airways Boeing 707 being the first ever commercial airliner to fly non-stop flight from London Gatwick to Singapore. This is indeed the case but I'm sure it only ever occurred if the conditions allowed it and I'm not sure how many occasions it actually happened.

rog747
11th Jan 2023, 07:31
Just to add to the great posts above -
Caledonian AW in 1967 got 2 new-build 707-399C's G-AVKA Flagship Bonnie Scotland, which was immediately leased to Flying Tigers in a hybrid CALE/Tigers livery.
and G-AVTW.
They soon added 2 more bought from Flying Tigers, 707-349C's G-AWWD and G-AWTK
plus 2 707-355C's built for Exec Jet G-AYEX (ex Airlift and International Air Bahama) and G-AXRS (ex Transavia)

CALE had 7 186/189 seaters flying charters on line by summer 1970, with the addition G-ATZC a 707-365C (was BRITISH EAGLE NTU, ex Airlift and Transavia)

They were all used on Affinity Group charters to the USA and Canada, plus to East Africa, and the Far East HKG and SIN.
FETC Far East Travel Centre charters, plus the 10 POM's contract flights to OZ.
At weekends they flew for Global Holidays, Tartan Arrow, Blue Sky, and Horizon Holidays from LGW MAN and GLA to PMI IBZ ALC RHO and TFS.

At the BUA merger for 1971, it was decided to retain the 707-320C's as the new airlines long haul airliner of choice, and to let the VC10's go.
Scheduled licences saw the BCAL 707's on JFK and LAX as well as Africa and South America.
The 707C fleet was expanded, to include a dedicated cargo freighter G-AYZZ leased from AA,
plus G-AYSI (from Britannia) and G-AZJM (from Lloyd International) were added in 1973.

In 1973 wide look cabins were being installed on the 707's to keep up with BA/PA/TW who by now had new 747's on their Transatlantic and other scheduled routes that the new BCAL were now competing on, albeit from LGW.
Golden Lion Travel was formed to operate the newly allowed ABC charters.

More used examples were sourced such as from Qantas and PIA.

The 2 707-399C's were disposed of early on 1973 sold to TAP, and in 1977 the first 2 707-349C's went to TAAG.

G-BCLZ 707-351B/SCD was a rare ex Northwest hybrid 707 that was leased for a year from China AL in 1974.

One 707-338C was registered G-BCAL Flagship Bonnie Scotland in 1975.(sold 1979 when more DC-10's came)

The 707's were named such as County of Renfrew, Angus, Ayr, Perth, Caithness, Stirling etc

A 707-139B G-TJAA was leased from Tempair/Templewood/TransAsian in 1979 to cover DC10 delays/groundings.

Asturias56
11th Jan 2023, 07:45
By 1974 the BCAL fleet of Boeing 707-320s we're fitted with the new 'wide-body' look interiors. Plenty of photos online showing the new look cabin interiors at the time which was a huge improvement on the previous.

That explain's why they were so much better than other airlines - thanks!!

brakedwell
11th Jan 2023, 09:15
I seem to remember that it was a BCal 707 that was the first comercial airliner to fly non-stop from UK to Singapore. It would be in 1967 or 1970/1

I was in Singapore with an RAF Britannia when that flight occurred, empty, I beleive, apart from a replacement Pratt and Witney engine for another BCAL 707. I remember it pissing off the RAF because they had just flow a Vulcan from the UK to Singapore nonstop, (with a lot of inflight refuelling)

bean
11th Jan 2023, 15:02
Rog747 and WHBM
Caledonian did not merge with BUA. They took them over

OUAQUKGF Ops
11th Jan 2023, 15:17
This uniform was the best thing about BCAL - streets ahead of any other airline......


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/808x555/screenshot_2023_01_11_at_16_11_46_british_caledonian_airways _uniform_bing_images_d4ee451a934c96956b51c07a9ea04961d5f05dd a.png

dixi188
11th Jan 2023, 16:08
Filming for one of the "Caledonian Girls" adverts was done inside a DC-10 in a hangar. The lighting guys set up flood lights outside the aircraft on tripods to shine through the cabin windows. After they had finished it was found that some of the windows had been damaged by the heat of the lamps. Several had to be changed.

Mooncrest
11th Jan 2023, 17:41
Thankyou all. Nice to know that BCAL clearly valued their Boeings highly, spending some brass on modernised interiors and keeping them going alongside their DC10s, albeit in gradually reducing numbers.

WHBM
11th Jan 2023, 21:30
This uniform ...


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/808x555/screenshot_2023_01_11_at_16_11_46_british_caledonian_airways _uniform_bing_images_d4ee451a934c96956b51c07a9ea04961d5f05dd a.png
That would be an expensive paint job - G-AZPW was only leased for 6 months, in summer 1972 (thus dating the skirt lengths), from Pakistan International, before going back there. I wonder if the airline name was "British Caledonian", or the earlier "Caledonian//BUA"

rog747
12th Jan 2023, 04:27
That would be an expensive paint job - G-AZPW was only leased for 6 months, in summer 1972 (thus dating the skirt lengths), from Pakistan International, before going back there. I wonder if the airline name was "British Caledonian", or the earlier "Caledonian//BUA"

Morning!
In 1971 Caledonian//BUA titles were quickly added to both fleets, and the repainting of BUA 1-11's and VC-10's soon began.
G-ARTA Vickers VC10-1109 was w/o LGW on 28.01.72 and was already in BCAL's new livery and titles.
(she did at first have the lion tail but with Caledonian//BUA titles)

By March 1972 when G-AZPW appeared the new British Caledonian livery was on. and BCAL was now the formal name of the airline.
G-AZRO was leased for just 18 months also from PIA around the same time.

The new BCAL livery was amended on Caledonians' own existing fleets of BAC 1-11 509 (4) and 707-320C (7) which saw livery changes to their tails, and to the 707's cheat lines.

BCAL's G-AZMF, a BAC 111-530FX was delivered brand new (In the new BCAL livery) in March 1972, and was the new airlines sole new build aircraft until the first new DC-10's arrived in 1977, although both G-BEBL and G-BEBM had already been built for a China AL order (NTU) and had been stored as white tails in the desert.
The other new builds for BCAL were the pair of Airbus A-310's in 1984.

G-AZPW sadly, was the PIA 707 lost on the 26-Nov-79 when it crashed near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while en-route to Karachi.
A fire had been reported near the aft cabin passenger door and the crew started an emergency descent from 30,000 feet and were cleared to descend to 4000 feet.
Nothing more was heard from the flight and the aircraft crashed in a level rocky area. The cause of the cabin fire was not determined but it was considered possible that it could have been a leaking gasoline or kerosene cooking stove, such as those often carried aboard by Haj pilgrim passengers. All 156 onboard were killed.

VictorGolf
13th Jan 2023, 09:20
I flew from Nairobi to Gatwick on BCal 707 G-AWTK on 4/7/74. Nothing too unusual there but as it was a daytime departure from Nairobi i.e. hot and high it needed a fuel stop in Benghazi. I seem to remember the captain had a problem getting the engines started so he announced he was going to have us towed to face in to wind to assist the start. Was he pulling our legs or was this SOP?. Whatever it was it worked and we were soon on our way which was some relief as I'd spent 18 months working in Libya and was not impressed.

hautemude
15th Jan 2023, 18:19
The BCAL 707 was my first long haul command, coming from a BAC1-11 with BUA, just after the takeover by Caledonian. My failing memory tells me I only had about 18 months on the a/c before going to the DC10. The 707 certainly had scheduled services at the time, mainly to West Africa. We were known as the Africa corps. But Benghazi certainly featured as did Nairobi. It was a truly wonderful a/c to fly. I will never forget that feeling of raw power at the end of the runway when one applied full power and released the brakes. Basic indeed it was, with the need to have each throttle lever in a different position to achieve balanced power. Thank God for Flt engineers. I went on to fly the DC10, one memorable trip, when I set fire to Freetown airport after a bird ingestion on the roll out. Then the 744 with BA, not the same but still a wonderful a/c. The fun of the Caledonian girls was missing. BCAL was a truly wonderful company to fly for & to work for. I'm now in my 80th year, so forgive hazy memories!

Asturias56
16th Jan 2023, 08:19
Yes I flew them as a pax on London- Kaduna- Lagos and a lot of our guys used them out of Benghastly and Tripoli.

IIRC they had extra booze on board for the London bound flights from Sunny Libya

paulross
16th Jan 2023, 19:34
Yes I flew them as a pax on London- Kaduna- Lagos and a lot of our guys used them out of Benghastly and Tripoli.

IIRC they had extra booze on board for the London bound flights from Sunny Libya

I was on those Tripoli/LGW flights in the 1980s and I am not surprised. I worked in the oil industry there for many years. The LGW/Tripoli sector usually left pretty early, around 07:00. It was usually about 1/3 full but the fare was pretty eye watering, around 300 if I remember. Oil industry prices.

Whilst most people working in Libya had four weeks on/four weeks off where I worked it was something like eight or 12 weeks on two or three weeks off. So we were pretty disoriented what we got on the plane home.

On my first flight back I was just grateful to be on the aircraft home and, as we were taxying out the lovely BCAL CC passed by with a trolly and said "would you like a beer". I admit I was confused as I hadn't seen a beer, or a woman, for three months. 'Er, yes I suppose' I blurted out and she put a six-pack on the empty seat beside me, extras appeared before the top of the climb.

I'll just make a call out to the wonderful BCAL crew, up front and in the cabin. After a long time in the desert, and working very long hours, to collapse in to a BCAL 707 seat at Tripoli was sublime.

25F
18th Jan 2023, 00:53
Yes I flew them as a pax on London- Kaduna- Lagos and a lot of our guys used them out of Benghastly and Tripoli.


Kaduna? I lived there mid-seventies and my memory is that we flew on BCal 707s from Kano.

Tony Mabelis
18th Jan 2023, 11:42
One 707 that was operated by BCAL (G-CDHW) is still flying in the guise of '272' of the Israeli airforce.

Asturias56
19th Jan 2023, 07:48
sorry you're right - it was Nigerian A/W F-27's into Kaduna............................

not quite the same ;)

India Four Two
19th Jan 2023, 14:20
After a long time in the desert, and working very long hours, to collapse in to a BCAL 707 seat at Tripoli was sublime.

I know the feeling. Admittedly not BCAL and I had only been in Libya for two weeks at Marsa el Brega, but after an overnight in Tripoli at a terrible hotel (Bab El Mandeb?) and a couple of hours in airside limbo, it was a delight to board an immaculate Swissair MD-80, with charming CC. One of them told me that they stayed on board during the turnaround, to avoid being hassled!

browndhc2
19th Jan 2023, 16:42
Great thread. A couple of Br 707 Flight deck pictures.


https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/909x614/g_bcal_fd_mod_a2fa014fdc299c8fe5eb175a6d0239f07f043c21.jpg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/909x614/b_cal_707_fd_finals__3f588cf36c6cc164db7f30dbab2615bfe0c4e51 7.jpg

Frelon
20th Jan 2023, 14:27
This picture was at a BCAL promotion for the arrival of the first DC10 into the fleet.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1500x2000/phyl_in_bcal_days_f5c190c0d8658b7677cabbd65067ee8849a2fc6a.j pg
First DC10 in the BCAL Fleet.

Oh look, there's my sister in her BCAL uniform (true)

BigBoreFour
20th Jan 2023, 14:39
This picture was at a BCAL promotion for the arrival of the first DC10 into the fleet.

First DC10 in the BCAL Fleet.

Oh look, there's my sister in her BCAL uniform (true)

Nice plane.

That's your sister?
Well...ah...
isn't this awkward...:O

chevvron
20th Jan 2023, 14:47
Nice plane.

That's your sister?
Well...ah...
isn't this awkward...:O
What the one with knobbly knees?

treadigraph
20th Jan 2023, 15:22
ONA DC-8 in the background as well...

TCU
20th Jan 2023, 17:59
First DC10 in the BCAL Fleet

I assume, based on the colour scheme, thats actually the DC-10 prototype?

treadigraph
20th Jan 2023, 18:23
Yep, looks like N10DC, apparently the second airframe; prototype (also N10DC) ended up with American, this one (demonstrator?) with Laker as G-BELO. Freddie got it cheap didn't he?

SWBKCB
20th Jan 2023, 18:36
This picture was at a BCAL promotion for the arrival of the first DC10 into the fleet.

They'd need all the pretty girls to distract from the aircraft behind. Ugliest western jet airliner?

Sotonsean
21st Jan 2023, 05:23
First DC10 in the BCAL Fleet

I assume, based on the colour scheme, thats actually the DC-10 prototype?

It was N10DC, the DC-10 prototype that was on it's world "Friendship Tour". The aircraft visited London Gatwick Airport in July 1972 and was shown off to prospective customers such as British Caledonian Airways and Laker Airways.

I'm sure that everyone is aware of the excellent BCAL site,

BCal British Caledonian (http://www.british-caledonian.com)

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/2000x1389/ebduhvrxoaadbep_e24d51ee797a56b4f2b0a80b85640b27def19c7a.jpe g

WHBM
21st Jan 2023, 09:08
It was N10DC, the DC-10 prototype that was on it's world "Friendship Tour". The aircraft visited London Gatwick Airport in July 1972 and was shown off to prospective customers such as British Caledonian Airways and Laker Airways.


Skirt lengths certainly look more 1972 than 1977, when the first B Cal DC-10 (G-BEBM) came.

It was a huge marketing hype trip. McDD coming from Southern California, there was all the Hollywood "pzazz" with it, to get them exposure in the various national media, including various personalities. Wasn't Sammy Davis Junior brought along in the entourage ?

Infamously, this same trip carried on from London to Istanbul, where there was a huge party for THY management, Turkish politicians ... and the ultimate result was the THY order for the DC-10-10s, which given their route structure and loads of the time looked unlikely. When first delivered THY were not at all ready, and McDD house test pilots were sent over to fly the early flights. And then there was Paris ...

Yep, looks like N10DC, apparently the second airframe; prototype (also N10DC) ended up with American, this one (demonstrator?) with Laker as G-BELO. Freddie got it cheap didn't he?
In a bit of extreme fastidiousness (even more so than looking beyond a bevy of girls and just noticing an ONA DC8 ...), the first two DC-10s were registered the first one as N10DC, and the second one N101AA, intended for American. At the end of 1972, thus after this trip, for some reason these two registrations were exchanged, so this one was then delivered to American, who retired it at the end of the 1990s, and it was the second one, now N10DC for a while, that eventually went to Laker and ended up in recent times with a worldwide health charity.

Flightrider
21st Jan 2023, 16:31
BCal Gatwick 707 operations from the 1979 UK & Ireland Airport Schedules. I've re-checked what's in the book and don't think it can be 100% correct unless there are some routings which took aircraft out and back via some weird and wonderful means that I can't work out - which is quite possible!

Mon BR 358 Arrive 05:35 Freetown

BR 667 Depart 09:45 Rio de Janeiro

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 334 Arrive 18:30 Tripoli

BR 332 Arrive 18:35 Monrovia

BR 212 Arrive 19:15 Lusaka via Tunis

BR 355 Depart 23:15 Abidjan



Tue BR 557F Depart 03:00 Lagos

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 668 Arrive 13:25 Rio de Janeiro

BR 354 Arrive 18:10 Monrovia

BR 356 Arrive 18:15 Abidjan

BR 334 Arrive 18:30 Tripoli

BR 558F Arrive 18:55 Lagos

BR 665 Depart 21:30 Santiago

BR 353 Depart 23:15 Monrovia



Wed BR 366 Arrive 05:40 Lagos

BR 246 Arrive 09:10 Houston

BR 313 Depart 10:00 Benghazi

BR 245 Depart 11:40 Houston

BR 314 Arrive 19:10 Benghazi

BR 213 Depart 22:45 Lusaka

BR 554F Arrive 22:55 Tripoli



Thu BR 561F Depart 08:45 Houston

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 675 Depart 11:00 Lima

BR 666 Arrive 15:35 Santiago

BR 334 Arrive 18:30 Tripoli

BR 375 Depart 23:15 Lagos



Fri BR 216 Arrive 06:40 Lusaka

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 323 Depart 10:45 Accra via Monrovia

BR 562F Arrive 16:45 Houston

BR 376 Arrive 16:45 Lagos

BR 334 Arrive 18:30 Tripoli

BR 215 Depart 20:45 Lusaka via Tunis

BR 351 Depart 23:15 Freetown



Sat BR 557F Depart 03:00 Lagos

BR 324 Arrive 07:00 Accra via Monrovia

BR 676 Arrive 09:00 Lima

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 681 Depart 13:30 Las Palmas

BR 352 Arrive 18:10 Freetown

BR 334 Arrive 18:30 Tripoli

BR 682 Arrive 22:30 Las Palmas

BR 371 Depart 23:15 Kano



Sun BR 216 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 317 Depart 08:50 Benghazi

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 357 Depart 11:00 Freetown

BR 556F Arrive 17:30 Lagos

BR 318 Arrive 18:00 Benghazi

BR 372 Arrive 18:10 Kano

BR 334 Arrive 18:30 Tripoli

BR 211 Depart 19:45 Lusaka

BR 552F Arrive 22:55 Tripoli

BR 321 Depart 23:15 Monrovia
DC10s were operating to Accra, Lagos, Lima, Houston (707 did one day per week, DC10 did the other six days), Santiago, Buenos Aires in that year.

Flightrider
21st Jan 2023, 16:49
Same for 1981 - again one or two oddities.Mon BR 358 Arrive 06:25 Monrovia

BR 551F Depart 07:00 Tripoli

BR 667 Depart 09:00 Sao Paulo

BR 552F Arrive 15:20 Tripoli

BR 352 Arrive 17:10 Freetown



Tue BR 212 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 668 Arrive 15:25 Sao Paulo

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli



Wed BR 357 Depart 09:15 Monrovia

BR 213 Depart 20:10 Lusaka



Thu BR 358 Arrive 06:40 Monrovia

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 554F Arrive 17:10 Tripoli

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli

BR 355 Depart 22:35 Accra



Fri BR 214 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli

BR 356 Arrive 18:25 Accra

BR 215 Depart 20:10 Lusaka

BR 351 Depart 22:55 Freetown



Sat BR 567F Depart 08:00 Houston

BR 352 Arrive 17:10 Freetown



Sun BR 214 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 681 Depart 09:00 Las Palmas

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 568F Arrive 10:45 Houston

BR 353 Depart 11:15 Monrovia

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli

BR 682 Arrive 19:10 Las Palmas

BR 211 Depart 22:00 Lusaka

BR 351 Depart 22:55 Freetown



1981 DC10 operations were on Lagos, Atlanta, Accra, Hong Kong, St Louis, Houston, Dallas, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires.

treadigraph
21st Jan 2023, 17:00
looking beyond a bevy of girls and just noticing an ONA DC8 ...),

Took me a while ti spot it...! :ok:

Mr Mac
21st Jan 2023, 18:41
Flightrider
That brings back memories, as I used to fly BCAL from and to Santiago, when at boarding school in the UK. It was an evening departure normally for me, and was like a Wells Fargo stagecoach as numerous stops. Long time ago but I remember the tartan short skirts as a teenager. My parents moved back to UK in mid 70;s and my return to school became notably less exotic. My last flight on one was on a charter to JFK, as an exchange student in 1977 from Gatwick. We were delayed a day due to tech problem, and spent a night in Brighton. That flight went via Belfast as well but with only about 20 people coming from Gatwick. Really interesting given the issues there at the time.

Cheers
Mr Mac

Sotonsean
21st Jan 2023, 22:49
Same for 1981 - again one or two oddities.Mon BR 358 Arrive 06:25 Monrovia

BR 551F Depart 07:00 Tripoli

BR 667 Depart 09:00 Sao Paulo

BR 552F Arrive 15:20 Tripoli

BR 352 Arrive 17:10 Freetown



Tue BR 212 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 668 Arrive 15:25 Sao Paulo

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli



Wed BR 357 Depart 09:15 Monrovia

BR 213 Depart 20:10 Lusaka



Thu BR 358 Arrive 06:40 Monrovia

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 554F Arrive 17:10 Tripoli

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli

BR 355 Depart 22:35 Accra



Fri BR 214 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli

BR 356 Arrive 18:25 Accra

BR 215 Depart 20:10 Lusaka

BR 351 Depart 22:55 Freetown



Sat BR 567F Depart 08:00 Houston

BR 352 Arrive 17:10 Freetown



Sun BR 214 Arrive 06:10 Lusaka

BR 681 Depart 09:00 Las Palmas

BR 333 Depart 10:00 Tripoli

BR 568F Arrive 10:45 Houston

BR 353 Depart 11:15 Monrovia

BR 334 Arrive 18:00 Tripoli

BR 682 Arrive 19:10 Las Palmas

BR 211 Depart 22:00 Lusaka

BR 351 Depart 22:55 Freetown



1981 DC10 operations were on Lagos, Atlanta, Accra, Hong Kong, St Louis, Houston, Dallas, Lima, Santiago, Buenos Aires.

Very informative schedule's for 1979 and 1981. I remember during my youthful days on the viewing terrace during this period witnessing the BCAL fleet and in particular their Boeing 707s.

I'm assuming that Banjul was routed via Freetown and Monrovia as BCAL definitely served the Gambia during this period.

Wasn't Bogota and Caracas also served by the DC-10 in 1981?

Also during this period a BCAL Boeing 707F operated a weekly scheduled freighter flight between London Heathrow and Houston international. It operated from London Heathrow to Houston every Sunday afternoon. The BCAL Boeing 707F always seemed a bit of an oddity on a Sunday afternoon at LHR whilst viewing from the Queen's Building terraces. But very welcome all the same.

chevvron
22nd Jan 2023, 04:01
I'm assuming that Banjul was routed via Freetown and Monrovia as BCAL definitely served the Gambia during this period.


I experienced the BCAL flight from Gatwick to Banjul in late 1984 when it was a DC10 but it was just a return to Gatwick, there were no other sectors. A year later, the same carrier and type but it was in a different colour scheme, I think it was called 'Novair' or something but not without a certain amount of confusion.
Knowing the inbound flight was due, I slipped a few 'dalasi' to one of the ground staff and he allowed me up to the tower; quite an impressive tall tower it was.
Banjul Tower had 2 frequencies which could only be selected to either transmit or receive, unusually (in my experience) you couldn't transmit on both simultaneously.
Anyway the inbound BCal flight called and the controller replied but he transmitted on the other frequency, so the controller switched transmitters. The pilot called again but he had already switched to the other frequency too so they were both still on the wrong frequencies. Meantime the other inbound of the day, an RAF Hercules c/s 'Ascot XXX' called. This confused the controller further because he replied to the Ascot using the BCal callsign! Eventually he managed to get both aircraft on the same frequency.
The controller's explanation was it was getting very complicated with as many as 14 flights per week!

dixi188
22nd Jan 2023, 08:46
The Houston service was marketed as "Texacargo" I think.
There was also the Africa Coastal flights using BAC1-11s that fed into the 707/DC-10 long haul routes.

SWBKCB
22nd Jan 2023, 08:59
There was also the Africa Coastal flights using BAC1-11s that fed into the 707/DC-10 long haul routes.

What's does this refer to? Can anybody expand?

WHBM
22nd Jan 2023, 10:47
Also during this period a BCAL Boeing 707F operated a weekly scheduled freighter flight between London Heathrow and Houston international. It operated from London Heathrow to Houston every Sunday afternoon. The BCAL Boeing 707F always seemed a bit of an oddity on a Sunday afternoon at LHR whilst viewing from the Queen's Building terraces. But very welcome all the same.
Must have been a cost to position between Gatwick and Heathrow for each flight.

I believe this freight flight used to do a tech stop at Bangor ME, and was one of the first flights to use that regularly rather than Gander. I presume the crew also slipped there, as Gatwick-Heathrow-Bangor-Houston would be just too much. Bangor later came back as a significant stop when the revitalised Caledonian (which had only a tenuous connection with the original one, but had all their branding) ran both Tristars and 757s to Florida and the Caribbean.

dixi188
22nd Jan 2023, 11:43
What's does this refer to? Can anybody expand?
IIRC, The Africa coastal used to depart Gatwick and stop at around 7 cities on the west coast of Africa and end up in Accra and then the same stops on return.
Something like Casablanca, Dakar, Banjul, Bissau, Freetown, Monrovia, Abidjan, Accra. It may have continued on to Lagos.
Anyone have a timetable for the early 1980s?

WHBM
22nd Jan 2023, 12:24
The weekly West African One-Eleven flight was longstanding, from back with BUA's predecessors Airwork and Hunting-Clan in the early 1950s, when it had been allowed as a low fare competitor to BOAC with Vickers Viking aircraft, which had a range of about 800nm, if that. Working up through Viscounts to One-Elevens, it varied the route in B Cal times, but the classic was Gatwick-Lisbon-Las Palmas, where there was a nightstop, then next day Las Palmas-Bathurst-Freetown-Accra-Lagos. Overnight turnround, back the same. Later variants included Casablanca instead of Lisbon, and the night stop moved further down into Africa.

It was a four day round trip, and a real blast for otherwise European-based One-Eleven crews. The same crew handled the trip throughout. Cabin was always one steward and one stewardess, plus they carried a flight engineer who signed the aircraft off each morning and handled as many snags as they could. A significant spares pack was loaded in the hold. Following some "issues" the crew hotel at the both-ways Las Palmas nightstop was made different to the pax one !

SWBKCB
22nd Jan 2023, 12:40
Thanks - all new to me, everyday's a school day!

Flightrider
22nd Jan 2023, 14:51
Different source this time - the British Airports Authority 1980 Airport Timetable (and this was back in the day when Stansted had only two flights a day - Air UK F27s doing Stansted-Norwich-Leeds-Edinburgh-Aberdeen and back, plus the occasional Jersey European Herald on Stansted-Jersey). With a full timetable, you can ascertain the routes more readily, so the BCal timetable for Gatwick on the 707s and DC10s for July to October 1980 is listed as follows.

By the looks of it, it must omit tech-stop points as the 707 must have had one (something in mind says Sharjah, but could well be wrong) to fly Gatwick-Hong Kong. This was the first summer of BCal's Hong Kong operation, and by 1981, Hong Kong is listed as flying on a DC10. The flightdeck crewing must have been a total riot - one trip a week to South America and a multiple-drop service at that!

In case anyone is wondering, I reckon the programme below requires a minimum of six 707s and five DC10s.

Boeing 707 schedules

Mon BR 322 BJL 0740 – DKR 0905 - 1540 LGW

Mon BR 667 LGW 0945 – 1510 REC – 1845 GIG – 2050 GRU

Mon BR 331 LGW 1030 – 1450 TIP / BR 334 TIP 1600 – 1830 LGW

Mon BR 382 LGW 1930 – 1800 HKG (from 1 August 1980)

Mon BR 381 HKG 2050 – 0605 LGW (from 1 August 1980)

Mon BR 212 LUN 2115 – 0610 LGW

Mon BR 668 GRU 2220 – GIG 0015 – 1525 LGW

Mon BR 355 LGW 2235 – 0430 ROB - 0640 ABJ

Mon BR 375 LGW 2300 – 0705 LOS

Tue BR 356 ABJ 0800 – ROB 1010 - 1745 LGW

Tue BR 333 LGW 1000 – 1420 TIP / BR 334 TIP 1600 – 1830 LGW

Tue BR 267 LGW 1300 – 1615 STL / BR 268 STL 1800 – 0835 LGW

Tue BR 381 HKG 2050 – 0605 LGW (from 1 August 1980)

Wed BR 313 LGW 1000 – 1440 BEN / BR 314 BEN 1620 – 1910 LGW

Wed BR 357 LGW 1030 – 1530 BJL – 1730 FNA / BR 358 FNA 2145 - BJL 2345 – 0640 LGW

Wed BR 267 LGW 1300 – 1615 STL / BR 267 STL 1800 – 0835 LGW

Wed BR 382 LGW 1930 – 1800 HKG (from 1 August 1980)

Wed BR 213 LGW 2245 – 0930 LUN

Thu BR 333 LGW 1000 – 1420 TIP / BR 334 TIP 1600 – 1830 LGW

Thu BR 381 HKG 2050 – 0605 LGW (from 1 August 1980)

Thu BR 214 LUN 2115 – 0610 LGW

Thu BR 323 LGW 2235 – 0430 ROB - 0710 ACC

Thu BR 373 LGW 2300 – 0525 LOS

Fri BR 324 ACC 0900 – ROB 1140 - 1915 LGW

Fri BR 333 LGW 1000 – 1420 TIP / BR 334 TIP 1600 – 1830 LGW

Fri BR 376 LOS 1015 – 1645 LGW

Fri BR 382 LGW 1930 – 1800 HKG (from 1 August 1980)

Fri BR 215 LGW 2040 – 0725 LUN

Fri BR 351 LGW 2300 – 0400 BJL – 0600 FNA

Sat BR 333 LGW 1000 – 1420 TIP / BR 334 TIP 1600 – 1830 LGW

Sat BR 352 FNA 0940 - BJL 1140 – 1835 LGW

Sat BR 267 LGW 1300 – 1615 STL / BR 268 STL 1800 – 0835 LGW

Sat BR 381 HKG 2050 – 0605 LGW (from 1 August 1980)

Sat BR 216 LUN 2115 – 0610 LGW

Sat BR 371 LGW 2300 – 0445 KAN

Sun BR 333 LGW 1000 – 1420 TIP / BR 334 TIP 1600 – 1830 LGW

Sun BR 372 KAN 1135 – 1725 LGW

Sun BR 353 LGW 1230 – 1800 FNA – 1940 ROB / BR 354 ROB 2130 - FNA 2310 – 0635 LGW

Sun BR 267 LGW 1300 – 1615 STL / BR 268 STL 1800 – 0835 LGW

Sun BR 382 LGW 1930 – 1800 HKG (from 1 August 1980)

Sun BR 211 LGW 2130 – 0815 LUN

Sun BR 321 LGW 2300 – 0340 DKR - 0505 BJL


DC10 schedules

Mon BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Mon BR 361 LGW 1200 – 1810 LOS / BR 362 LOS 2255 – 0515 LGW

Mon BR 375 LGW 2300 – 0420 ACC – 0705 LOS

Tue BR 231 LGW 1100 – 1505 ATL / BR 232 ATL 1745 – 0635 LGW

Tue BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Tue BR 374 LOS 0915 - KAN 1130 – 1720 LGW

Tue BR 363 LGW 1200 – 1740 KAN – 1955 LOS / BR 362 LOS 2255 – 0515 LGW

Tue BR 665 LGW 2100 – 0205 REC – 0540 GIG – 0745 GRU - 1145 SCL

Wed BR 231 LGW 1100 – 1505 ATL / BR 232 ATL 1745 – 0635 LGW

Wed BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Wed BR 365 LGW 1200 – 1810 LOS - 1905 ACC / BR 364 ACC 2045 – LOS 2355 – 0615 LGW

Wed BR 666 SCL 1355 – GRU 1935 - GIG 2130 - REC 0100 - LIS 1250 – 1510 LGW

Thu BR 231 LGW 1100 – 1505 ATL / BR 232 ATL 1745 – 0635 LGW

Thu BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Thu BR 361 LGW 1200 – 1810 LOS / BR 366 LOS 2130 - KAN 2350 – 0535 LGW

Thu BR 661 LGW 2100 – 0550 GIG – 0755 GRU - 1130 EZE

Thu BR 675 LGW 2345 – 0410 CCS – 0700 GYE – 0940 LIM

Fri BR 231 LGW 1100 – 1505 ATL / BR 232 ATL 1745 – 0635 LGW

Fri BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Fri BR 363 LGW 1200 – 1740 KAN – 1955 LOS / BR 362 LOS 2255 – 0515 LGW

Fri BR 676 LIM 1150 - BOG 1520 – CCS 1900 - 0850 LGW

Fri BR 662 EZE 1725 – GRU 2050 - GIG 2245 - 1505 LGW

Sat BR 231 LGW 1100 – 1505 ATL / BR 232 ATL 1745 – 0635 LGW

Sat BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Sat BR 361 LGW 1200 – 1810 LOS / BR 366 LOS 2130 - KAN 2350 – 0535 LGW

Sat BR 663 LGW 2100 – 2320 LIS – 0540 GIG – 0745 GRU - 1120 EZE – 1320 SCL

Sat BR 671 LGW 2345 – 0410 CCS - 0555 BOG – 0920 LIM

Sun BR 231 LGW 1100 – 1505 ATL / BR 232 ATL 1745 – 0635 LGW

Sun BR 245 LGW 1140 – 1600 IAH / BR 246 IAH 1800 – 0900 LGW

Sun BR 363 LGW 1200 – 1740 KAN – 1955 LOS / BR 368 LOS 2145 - ACC 2330 – 0600 LGW

Sun BR 664 SCL 1520 - EZE 1900 – GIG 2245 - 1335 LGW

Sun BR 672 LIM 1130 – UIO 1430 - CCS 1900 – 0850 LGW

The 1-11 operated to Lisbon and Las Palmas on Mondays and Fridays with return flights also operating from LPA on the same days.

Bizarre that the DC10 routed south through Guayaquil to Lima and came north through Quito, with no obvious service returning from Guayaquil or outbound to Quito in the schedule. Does anyone know how this worked, or more to the point, why it was that way?

WHBM
22nd Jan 2023, 21:24
Bizarre that the DC10 routed south through Guayaquil to Lima and came north through Quito, with no obvious service returning from Guayaquil or outbound to Quito in the schedule. Does anyone know how this worked, or more to the point, why it was that way?
That is indeed how it was, back to 707 days in 1979

br793-03.jpg (15821704) (timetableimages.com) (http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/br2/br7903/br793-03.jpg)

One thing not apparent is the extent to which the B Cal 707s were used on charter flights. Obviously at the start of the merger from the Caledonian side that was all the 707s did, with schedules meanwhile coming from BUA VC-10s. Progressively the 707s moved across to the scheduled operation, presumably with a completely different cabin fit, and ran down charter work, but past schedules of charters are very difficult to come across.

I believe that in the first B Cal year there were even charters on the VC-10, which came forward from BUA contracts; there was a weekly operation from Gatwick to JFK, and work they still did for the military.

Sotonsean
23rd Jan 2023, 03:57
Flightrider

​​​​London Gatwick to Hong Kong was always via Dubai. Although Dubai was in affect a technical stop BCAL had full passenger rights on the routing. Dubai was very much part of the schedule for BCAL.

London Gatwick-Dubai-Hong Kong was originally flown by a DC10-30 when it inaugurated on the 01 August 1980. The route was upgraded to a Boeing 747-200 in April 1982. LGW-DBX-HKG was BCAL's first route to be operated by their recently purchased Boeing 747-230B G-BJXN.

Having previously been owned by Lufthansa as D-ABYG, this was the first ever Boeing 747-200 to enter the BCAL fleet. Although BCAL had previously leased a Boeing 747-100 G-BDPZ in 1978 to cover the grounding of the DC10s.

Regarding Jersey European at London Stansted.

Jersey European Airways never operated the Dart Herald in it's entire history.

Jersey European Airways operated seasonal between Jersey and London Stansted along with a service to Belfast City. Jersey European Airways initially used the DHC Twin Otter when they started operations at London Stansted in 1979. Flights would soon be upgraded to be operated by the Shorts 330/360.

Sotonsean
23rd Jan 2023, 04:27
Must have been a cost to position between Gatwick and Heathrow for each flight.

I believe this freight flight used to do a tech stop at Bangor ME, and was one of the first flights to use that regularly rather than Gander. I presume the crew also slipped there, as Gatwick-Heathrow-Bangor-Houston would be just too much. Bangor later came back as a significant stop when the revitalised Caledonian (which had only a tenuous connection with the original one, but had all their branding) ran both Tristars and 757s to Florida and the Caribbean.

I had inadvertently omitted the tech stop at Bangor. I thought, shall I add it or not? I decided not to, wish I had now 😂

Can't recall it being a position flight from London Gatwick. I can't confirm but I should imagine that it operated LGW-IAH-LHR-IAH-LGW. Departure time from LHR if I can remember correctly was around 15.00 GMT. The dedicated BCAL Boeing 707F cargo flight operated on a weekly basis, scheduled every Sunday.

WHBM
23rd Jan 2023, 06:57
London Gatwick-Dubai-Hong Kong was originally flown by a DC10-30 when it inaugurated on the 01 August 1980. The route was upgraded to a Boeing 747-200 in April 1982. LGW-DBX-HKG was BCAL's first route to be operated by their recently purchased Boeing 747-230B G-BJXN.
I'm reminded that a customer of mine at the time provided 2 tons of freight each day for B Cal Gatwick to Dubai, and it must have been around 1981 they started.

They were a dairy in Sussex, and they sent out 2 tons of fresh milk, in pint cartons. It was synchronised in with the morning milking at farms, taken to their base, processed and packed, trucked over to Gatwick, and off to the Middle East, where a local distributor took it pre-ordered to the various oil and construction companies. All refrigerated up to loading into the aircraft and after collection, but I don't think the hold had reefer capability. It cost a bomb over there, of course.

Asturias56
23rd Jan 2023, 09:04
The weekly West African One-Eleven flight was longstanding, from back with BUA's predecessors Airwork and Hunting-Clan in the early 1950s, when it had been allowed as a low fare competitor to BOAC with Vickers Viking aircraft, which had a range of about 800nm, if that. Working up through Viscounts to One-Elevens, it varied the route in B Cal times, but the classic was Gatwick-Lisbon-Las Palmas, where there was a nightstop, then next day Las Palmas-Bathurst-Freetown-Accra-Lagos. Overnight turnround, back the same. Later variants included Casablanca instead of Lisbon, and the night stop moved further down into Africa.

It was a four day round trip, and a real blast for otherwise European-based One-Eleven crews. The same crew handled the trip throughout. Cabin was always one steward and one stewardess, plus they carried a flight engineer who signed the aircraft off each morning and handled as many snags as they could. A significant spares pack was loaded in the hold. Following some "issues" the crew hotel at the both-ways Las Palmas nightstop was made different to the pax one !

It was really useful as almost all W African Countries ran flights only back to Europe - and normally to their old "colonial" Capital. A friend of mine worked for Medicine sans Frontiers. He was based in the main hospital in Kinshasa but also operated in the Brazzaville General Hospital across the river - he could see it from his Kinshasa Office. When thing turned sticky between the 2 countries he had to fly to Brussels, then to Paris and pick up a flight to Brazzaville- 4 days rather than an hour................... People in Ouagadougou had the same problems - no direct flights to Lagos for example - faster via Paris.

dixi188
23rd Jan 2023, 09:31
Sotonsean.
Not sure about the first route for G-BJXN.
My memory is that it started on the Lagos route.
I remember changing all 16 mainwheels the night before it went into service after it had spent a week at Shannon doing circuits.
Over 40 years ago now.:)
Happy days.
Dixi.

Flightrider
23rd Jan 2023, 10:00
The BCal website (a trove of good stuff) notes that larger aircraft were needed for services to Africa and G-BJXN joined in May 1982 flying to Lagos. If that's what the BCal site says, I'd take it as given otherwise dozens of people would have been in touch to correct it long before now.

And on the off-topic subject of the Jersey European Herald - that's what the BAA 1980 timetable says for Stansted - airline code JY and aircraft type HPH. Whether that's what actually happened and they borrowed one from Air UK or BAF or something, or what they published as a timetable didn't actually materialise, who knows - but that is what is listed.

rog747
24th Jan 2023, 12:54
That is indeed how it was, back to 707 days in 1979

br793-03.jpg (15821704) (timetableimages.com) (http://www.timetableimages.com/ttimages/br2/br7903/br793-03.jpg)

One thing not apparent is the extent to which the B Cal 707s were used on charter flights. Obviously at the start of the merger from the Caledonian side that was all the 707s did, with schedules meanwhile coming from BUA VC-10s. Progressively the 707s moved across to the scheduled operation, presumably with a completely different cabin fit, and ran down charter work, but past schedules of charters are very difficult to come across.

I believe that in the first B Cal year there were even charters on the VC-10, which came forward from BUA contracts; there was a weekly operation from Gatwick to JFK, and work they still did for the military.

From 1972 BCAL 707's still had a large Transatlantic ABC charter flight programme flying for the likes of Golden Lion/Jetsave etc, and yes the VC-10's still flew charters, mostly long haul but Tenerife was flown. I think East Africa and SIN/HKG was still flown too for FETC.
In summer 1976 my parents flew LGW-YYZ-LGW on a BCAL 707 ABC charter and on the flight home BCAL subbed it out to a Dan Air 707 instead of their own 707.
They had so many charters still they leased in Dan Air frequently.

The short haul IT 707 Med flying was not as busy as in Caledonian AW days but TCI were still served for some years.
I think the MAN and GLA Med IT's on 707's had ended.

Even the new DC-10's carried on the ABC charter flights when they were introduced and had a all Y charter config fitted for a few summers IIRC.

Sotonsean
25th Jan 2023, 04:42
Sotonsean.
Not sure about the first route for G-BJXN.
My memory is that it started on the Lagos route.
I remember changing all 16 mainwheels the night before it went into service after it had spent a week at Shannon doing circuits.
Over 40 years ago now.:)
Happy days.
Dixi.

My apologies 😊

Lagos was indeed the first destination served by G-BJXN.

I was always under the impression that LGW-DBX-HKG was served by Boeing 747 from July no 1982 replacing the DC-10-30 on the route.

I can remember seeing a BCAL Boeing 747 at Hong Kong Kai Tak airport from the viewing terrace in February 1984.

Yes I know that it's over 40 year's ago now but I thought I could remember correctly regarding the up gauge in aircraft on the route.

G-BJXN Boeing 747-200 delivered April 1982
G-CITB Boeing 747-200 delivered September 1987
G-GLYN Boeing 747-200 delivered October 1986
G-HUGE Boeing 747-200M delivered March 1985
G-NIGB Boeing 747-200 March 1987.

I know that this a thread regarding BCAL Boeing 707s and I hate to go off topic but whilst we are discussing the Boeing 747, I have a question.

Out of curiosity without making assumptions on my part but which Boeing 747 intially resumed LGW to New York JFK operations in 1985. I have a feeling "if I can remember correctly" that it was G-HUGE.

BCAL Boeing 747 routes as you are aware we're, Hong Kong, Houston, Lagos, New York JFK and Tokyo Narita.

If only and I'll type it again, if only 'in my dreams', BCAL had survived a couple of more years we could have more than likely seen some Australian destinations added to that 747 list. BCAL was finally given the authority to fly to Australia in late 1987, in collaboration with Ansett Australia. Both airlines at the time were considering ordering the Boeing 747-300 to fly their newly awarded Australian routes with flights expected to commence in 1988/89.

I can remember vividly when I first heard the announcement that British Airways were going ahead with their take over of BCAL. I was in the USA at the time and I was absolutely gob smacked and devestated by the news.

I 💓 BCAL

India Four Two
25th Jan 2023, 13:36
I can remember vividly when I first heard the announcement that British Airways were going ahead with their take over of BCAL. I was in the USA at the time and I was absolutely gob smacked and devestated by the news.


I'm reminded of the apocryphal PR statement* from BA, saying that it wasn't a takeover, it was a merger of equals - "We've even merged the names - British from BCAL and Airways from BA."

* Was it Roger Bacon in Straight and Level?

treadigraph
25th Jan 2023, 14:06
Pretty safe bet that it was! Got the splendid Mike Ramsden written all over it! :ok:

phantom menace
26th Jan 2023, 01:53
Great thread. A couple of Br 707 Flight deck pictures.



https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/909x614/b_cal_707_fd_finals__3f588cf36c6cc164db7f30dbab2615bfe0c4e51 7.jpg
Great old days - No GPS or FMS. Note the CRP 5 by the F/O's DV window and an INS ..

Gordomac
26th Jan 2023, 09:32
Absolutely stunning. No,. not the 70 but the cally birds.!

I started my career as a Cally Trainee Crewing Assistant. Yep, made loadsa tea, but, the upside was that these stunners would waft into crewing and beg for favours. You know, week-end off, best trips etc. I just could not, ever, say "no" !

dixi188
26th Jan 2023, 15:45
Was there a story about the 747s being sent on the wrong routes the day BA took over? Something about a Combi on Tokyo.
After my time there, I left in 83.

flapsin
26th Jan 2023, 16:59
Ah, that would be a CRP-5
Bob

Akrotiri bad boy
26th Jan 2023, 18:00
This thread has been twanging a memory chord and led me to search through my aviation stash looking for a publication I came across back in the '70's. "A Lion Over The Atlantic" appears to have been published in conjunction with Esso Air World and contains a fleet list dated 1st November 1974. The fleet at that time included nine 707-320C's:

G-AWWD Flagship Bonnie Scotland
G-AWTK County of Angus
G-AXRS County of Caithness
G-ATZC County of Stirling
G-AYEX County of Argyll
G-AYSI County of Sutherland
G-AZJM County of Ayr
G-BAWP County of Inverness
G-BCLZ County of Lanark

The "Lion" continues; "Following the success of a major two-month US coast-to-coast sales drive BCAL decided to launch services on the London-Manchester-New York and London-Glasgow (Prestwick)- New York routes in June 1973. Known as the Golden Lion services, they will operate a total of 42 flights a week on the four scheduled North Atlantic routes next summer, using Boeing 707-320's refurbished to give them the new wide-look interior."

The "Lion" shows a route map covering such diverse destinations as: the Seychelles, Ndola, Monrovia, Bathurst, Sao Paulo, Santiago, and Los Angeles. However it's the domestic route London-Edinburgh-Glenrothes-Dundee that piques my interest. Which aircraft served the latter two airfields in particular Glenrothes as it only has a 700m runway?

Akro

SWBKCB
26th Jan 2023, 18:17
However it's the domestic route London-Edinburgh-Glenrothes-Dundee that piques my interest. Which aircraft served the latter two airfields in particular Glenrothes as it only has a 700m runway?

Some sort of coach service?

WHBM
26th Jan 2023, 18:53
The "Lion" shows a route map covering such diverse destinations as: the Seychelles, Ndola, Monrovia, Bathurst, Sao Paulo, Santiago, and Los Angeles. However it's the domestic route London-Edinburgh-Glenrothes-Dundee that piques my interest. Which aircraft served the latter two airfields in particular Glenrothes as it only has a 700m runway?

Akro
I remember that one as I was in Edinburgh at the time. They used a Bedford VAS 29-seater coach hired from the Northern Scottish bus company at Dundee. Glenrothes is along the route. Such vehicles were already several years old, and out of production, at the time. I think I recall it had B Cal decals and branding, but not complete livery. It used to sit outside the old Edinburgh terminal in the evening looking rather dilapidated, with dim lights inside and out, waiting for the evening One-Eleven to arrive. I don't know how many round trips a day it made or what the loads were.

Quietplease
1st Feb 2023, 14:53
https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/2000x1399/04b656f3_8fba_447e_ac82_53c35942bc6e_596553ee86dbf42564fd9fc f0e6171cad6d3c982.jpeg
https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/2000x1504/50d1d5b3_2ad8_4a54_a47c_0b12387a5696_0558a69a87ed73c4500d0a0 d14a97fc99591d65a.jpeg
https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/2000x1504/83ad3c59_7747_4175_93f4_9b4ea4d19065_c579945081a5fc9873c3bf5 63795b02bd9e0078c.jpeg
How to fly a 707 in 69 pages

Flightrider
1st Feb 2023, 17:10
The answers to a lot of points earlier up the thread can be found in a slightly unusual source, but a comprehensive one - the collection of scanned commemorative Flight Covers (First Day Covers of the type) which BCal looked to issue pretty religiously for all events. There are five pages of them and you can scroll through in gallery format to see route inaugurals, aircraft deliveries and generally who flew it - I certainly saw a lot of familiar names in there.

BCal Flight Covers 3 (http://www.british-caledonian.com/BCal_FFC_3.html)

First 707 to Houston 23 October 1977

First 747 scheduled flight Gatwick-Kano-Lagos on G-BJXN was 16 May 1982

The last BAC 1-11 West African Coastal service was flown by G-AYOP on 25 October 1978 - Gatwick-Casablanca-Las Palmas-Banjul-Freetown.

First 747 to Hong Kong 21 November 1986

The introduction of the A310s is covered extensively (including a Gatwick-Jersey in G-BKWT!) but I can't seem to see one for the final 707 service. Interesting the Captain on the PA31 on the first scheduled Gatwick-Birmingham flight later appears as one of the A310 Captains.

It's one heck of a resource - well worth a look and plenty of the 707 history in there as well.

Sotonsean
2nd Feb 2023, 07:12
Flightrider

Thanks for the update especially the information regarding the first Boeing 747 flight to Hong Kong as I could have been certain that it was before 1986.

I can remember feeling deeply upset at the time when BCAL announced there plans to withdraw the A310. At the time I thought it was a perfect fit for the airline. I was looking forward to a modern BCAL fleet of A310 and A320s. If only the A310 was still in the fleet when the BCAL liveried A320 visited LGW, that would have been a great photo.

With an incoming fleet of A310 and A320s, BCAL also had the order for MD11s to replace the DC10s, and possible future orders for the Boeing 747-300 or even Boeing 747-400. If all went to plan the BCAL fleet would have been completely changed within a few years but we all know what happened.

The BCAL website is indeed a treasure trove of information and thoroughly recommended.

I came across the site what must be twenty years ago or at least in it's infancy. But it really surprises me by how many people are totally unaware of it, especially those interested in the former and great BCAL. The same thing applies to the Dan-Air remembered website.

bean
7th Feb 2023, 08:14
Flightrider

​​​​London Gatwick to Hong Kong was always via Dubai. Although Dubai was in affect a technical stop BCAL had full passenger rights on the routing. Dubai was very much part of the schedule for BCAL.

London Gatwick-Dubai-Hong Kong was originally flown by a DC10-30 when it inaugurated on the 01 August 1980. The route was upgraded to a Boeing 747-200 in April 1982. LGW-DBX-HKG was BCAL's first route to be operated by their recently purchased Boeing 747-230B G-BJXN.

Having previously been owned by Lufthansa as D-ABYG, this was the first ever Boeing 747-200 to enter the BCAL fleet. Although BCAL had previously leased a Boeing 747-100 G-BDPZ in 1978 to cover the grounding of the DC10s.

Regarding Jersey European at London Stansted.

Jersey European Airways never operated the Dart Herald in it's entire history.

Jersey European Airways operated seasonal between Jersey and London Stansted along with a service to Belfast City. Jersey European Airways initially used the DHC Twin Otter when they started operations at London Stansted in 1979. Flights would soon be upgraded to be operated by the Shorts 330/360.
Wrong. For summer 1980 Express Air Services operated a STN-JER service. with a JEA flight number with a Herald. This along, with some other routes was part of an EAS/JEA tie up for summer 1980 only

bean
7th Feb 2023, 08:16
The BCal website (a trove of good stuff) notes that larger aircraft were needed for services to Africa and G-BJXN joined in May 1982 flying to Lagos. If that's what the BCal site says, I'd take it as given otherwise dozens of people would have been in touch to correct it long before now.

And on the off-topic subject of the Jersey European Herald - that's what the BAA 1980 timetable says for Stansted - airline code JY and aircraft type HPH. Whether that's what actually happened and they borrowed one from Air UK or BAF or something, or what they published as a timetable didn't actually materialise, who knows - but that is what is listed.
Express Air Services

Sotonsean
7th Feb 2023, 10:57
Express Air Services

Wrong was a rather forthright response.

I was aware of the Express Air Services Herald STN-JEY flights during 1980 but I was under the impression that they were cargo flights operated by EAS themselves.

I stand corrected by the fact they operated on behalf and in cooperation with Jersey European Airways.

dixi188
7th Feb 2023, 19:24
For those not aware, Express Air Services became Channel Express via Express Air Freight and now trades as Jet2. The flight numbers are still EXS but also LS.
Sorry, this is a bit far away from BCAL 707s.

bean
8th Feb 2023, 06:42
Wrong was a rather forthright response.

I was aware of the Express Air Services Herald STN-JEY flights during 1980 but I was under the impression that they were cargo flights operated by EAS themselves.

I stand corrected by the fact they operated on behalf and in cooperation with Jersey European Airways.
So much confusion over this. The EAS flights were not operated on behalf of JEA. They were Intra route licences resulting from the takeover of Intra assets by EAS/Fields Aviation. The only connection between JEA and EAS was the marketing agreement for 1980 only. The EAS flights were listed as JY in the timetable but operated under EAS callsigns. In Jersey JEA flights operated by JEA were handled by Servisair. JEA flights operated by EAS were handled by British Midland. EAS/Fields allocated two Heralds and one ex Intra Viscount to the routes