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LHR nostalgia

Old 2nd Aug 2017, 16:19
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many happy hours on the Poyle Trading Estate at Colnbrook, outside the mattress factory of the firm Dad worked for - whilst he was at Saturday morning sales meetings I was outside absorbing the reverberations of the many aircraft landing, virtually all with four large radial engines. Still makes me grin 65 odd years later
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Old 4th Aug 2017, 19:19
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Excerpts from my 1972 BEA diary:

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Old 24th Oct 2017, 18:04
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Some more pix from days of yore, dating from 1957 to 1968. Apologies for variable quality - some of the earlier photos were taken on a Box Brownie 120.
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 18:33
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What’s the fat, ugly Frenchie?
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 18:36
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Originally Posted by vctenderness View Post
What’s the fat, ugly Frenchie?


It's a Breguet Deux Pont.
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Old 24th Oct 2017, 23:17
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Very nice photos. I particularly enjoyed those DC-7s.
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Old 25th Oct 2017, 05:54
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Originally Posted by RedhillPhil View Post
It's a Breguet Deux Pont.
The original forerunner of the Airbus A380 :-)
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Old 25th Oct 2017, 07:51
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Strictly speaking, it's a Breguet Br.763 Universel, popularly known as the Deux Ponts (plural) - French for "double-decker" (literally, "two bridges").

Converted from the passenger Br.763 Provence, which must have been fun to fly on:

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Old 25th Oct 2017, 07:58
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The Deux Ponts was the most abomination of an aeroplane known to man! But it provided a classic RT exchange at Heathrow shen it taxiied past a cul-de-sac in which a TWA 707 had pushed back:

TWA: Say what's that that just passed us?
ATC: It's a Deux Ponts
TWA: I don't care what you call it, it looks like a cow
DP: It may look like a cow but it flies like a bird!
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Old 25th Oct 2017, 09:05
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Originally Posted by canberra97 View Post
The original forerunner of the Airbus A380 :-)
Closer than you'd think!
Early European collaborative work on wide-bodied aeroplanes led to the HBN 100, the partners being Hawker Siddeley, Breguet and Nord. When that came to nothing, we changed to Sud Aviation as our French partner and so the route to Airbus started.
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Old 25th Oct 2017, 10:55
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The Deux Pont was highlight in my spotting days, sometimes a mundane DC4 was used . Even among piston props the DP seemed to have spectacularly poor performance . Using a lot of runway, relatively speaking ,and then seeming to not get above about 100 feet before disappearing into the distance. Other slightly scary performers from those days were Yorks, Carvairs C46s and the early C124 -single deck version that used LHR in the 60s . Of course when the early jets came along-comets excepted they were pretty good runway eaters too

Of course it looked pretty big then but as one is seldom able to compare planes from those days with today it was probably no more than a fat ATR72

PB
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Old 25th Oct 2017, 16:49
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Some memorabilia rescued from my deceased sister's travel bag - she was an avid traveller in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s.











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Old 25th Oct 2017, 19:49
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Strictly speaking, it's a Breguet Br.763 Universel, popularly known as the Deux Ponts (plural) - French for "double-decker" (literally, "two bridges").

Converted from the passenger Br.763 Provence, which must have been fun to fly on:

Well do I remember the challenge of boarding the Deux Ponts in the old days. I think they operated freighting services so when the aircraft arrived on stand and they wheeled the steps up to the little door at the back (or was it hinged upwards, or even downwards with the stairs inset?) and up I scuttled to clear the crew - I was in Customs, you see - then up the back stairs to the upper deck, trundle through the empty cabin past the galley, down the front stairs past the F/E and finally through a little door into the cosy compact cockpit to deal with Jean and Jacques. Yes, the old Bregeut was certainly a very interesting aircraft to me but what it was like to fly I have no idea.

Last edited by Mr Oleo Strut; 25th Oct 2017 at 19:59.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 08:57
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The Deux Ponts, alias the "Duck's Pants" to 1960s spotters, rather fell between stools, as did so many French propeller designs. Just 12 built in the mid-1950s for Air France, were used on flights down to North Africa. After the Caravelle displaced it, a few converted to freighters, though still with a small passenger cabin, the rest to the French Air Force (always the reluctant recipient of Air France premature cast-offs).

It appeared through the 1960s on an overnight freight flight that left Heathrow at about 2am. By this stage it was one of the few 4-engined pistons left there. Relative lived in Chertsey, described how what was obviously this aircraft used to hammer overhead at full chat in the middle of the night in a decidedly low level climbing (sort of) turn.

I never saw one there, but Air France did have an odd, non-daily, service into Bristol Lulsgate some evenings, on which this aircraft eked out its last days into the late 1960s. I recall seeing it one evening, from the A38 road, sat at the terminal. I think it could only take about 20 pax in the remaining passenger compartment, it was mostly for freight, in particular between BAC at Filton and Sud at Toulouse in the early days of Concorde development.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 09:35
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I see from my notes that I spotted two Breguet Universel in April and May 1967, approaching LHR. I rather like their looks.

Laurence

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Old 26th Oct 2017, 10:26
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Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
I see from my notes that I spotted two Bréguet Universels in April and May 1967, approaching LHR. I rather like their looks.

Laurence
The front end looks quite nice but it looks like someone ran out of ideas at the back. Bit like the Comet which I thought looked like the jet age at the nose and the propeller age at the tail.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 10:52
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Never seen one - I assumed I must have as there would be one at the Musee de l'Air at Le Bourget wouldn't there - but there isn't! The three survivors are elsewhere in France...

Mind you, I've been darn close to the one at Fontenay-Trésigny!
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Old 28th Oct 2017, 13:47
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I've 'enjoyed' a beer sitting underneath the one at Fontenay-Trésigny! I seem to remember that after 'beer onload' under the wings, a 'beer offload/re-cycle' was accomplished using the facilities inside the aircraft.

(I've also sampled beers whilst sitting under a TU-104 in the Czech Republic, and also a Viscount in Germany).
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Old 28th Oct 2017, 15:44
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Originally Posted by RedhillPhil View Post
The front end looks quite nice but it looks like someone ran out of ideas at the back. Bit like the Comet which I thought looked like the jet age at the nose and the propeller age at the tail.
You're thinkng of the Caravelle by Sud Aviation; they did copy the Comet design for the front end of that(and by the way, did you know they originally tested the design on a Horsa glider to see if it worked?)
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Old 28th Oct 2017, 16:54
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
You're thinkng of the Caravelle by Sud Aviation; they did copy the Comet design for the front end of that(and by the way, did you know they originally tested the design on a Horsa glider to see if it worked?)
A voice from the (Hatfield) back row says "They didn't - but we did!"
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