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Vickers Viscount-Aviation's Aristocracy

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Vickers Viscount-Aviation's Aristocracy

Old 7th Jun 2011, 13:08
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I'm in the no doubt enviable position of seeing this little darlin' (D-ANAF) every time I go in to 'verk' here and if you like original smells, then this one has them time-warped into the original seating! She's had her inboards removed (no doubt to prevent escape attempts...) but is still used for basic mechanic training (no longer cabin staff, they have their own sims across the road).

It was a British Eagle Viscount that brought me here in 1965 (G-ATDU), and a memorable trip to Berlin that December took FOUR of B.E.A.'s fleet to get there, due to two fog diversions at destination, first back to Frankfurt and the following day to Hannover (G-AOHI, W, L and M)! Of course we missed our planned meeting, and a phone call to East Berlin in those days could take forever, or they charged treble. It worked out in the end, but we were still able to enjoy 'Those Magnificent Men...' at the Zoo Palast (with Gerd Froebe the only actor who wasn't dubbed!).

Happy Cold War days....we were happy to come in from it......

cheers
ATB



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Old 7th Jun 2011, 14:37
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Opssys thank you for posting that. Very poignant to me as I lived in Rhodesia when those two aircraft were shot down. It's unfortunate that the world considers them 'disasters' because they were acts of cowardly terrorism of the worst kind, not disasters.
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Old 7th Jun 2011, 15:30
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I first saw D-ANAF on 30th May 1962 on its way out of London Airport (I think they call it something else now!). Nice to know the old girl is still standing...
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Old 8th Jun 2011, 00:10
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This is a view out of one of those lovely large windows on my first trip to Frankfurt from LHR on 25 June 1965, aircraft was EG's G-ANRS.
Apologies for the poor quality, the print I scanned is as old as that memory!

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Old 8th Jun 2011, 13:32
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By way of qualification...

the Viscount cockpit showed very little in the way of ergonomics.

Cramped,poor visibility,controls scattered and not grouped made for a high workload and the lighting was woeful.

It certainly was successful from a passenger point of view but the airconditioning was totally inadequate in warmer climates.

From a working enviornement (?) point of view the DC4/6 was far better.

Thats my view after 4 years on 720,747 and 816/832 types often all types in one duty period.

720...switches up for on. 747...switches down for on ! Go figure
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 11:28
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Try switches towards the horizon for on (DC9). Worked ok for me. Perhaps you have underlined why current multi-type rating wasn`t such a good idea.

The Viscount had two distinct types of cockpit on both 700s and 800s. Whilst the "American" type on the 814 was a distinct improvement over the older type cockpit which still struggled through on the BEA 800s and even the 832 if I remember correctly, I have to agree with you generally and in particular about the aircon which was non-existent until after take off.
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 13:46
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"That last shot was a magnificent picture, with a group of superb aircraft I remember well - and both the Viscount and the VC-10 in what I still think of as their 'proper' colours. When & where was it taken do you know?"

I haven't seen an answer to that so will opine that its Manchester Ringway and in the late 60s / early 70s.
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 14:39
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Vrp jodrell bank

I agree - Manchester Ringway - I believe that you can see Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope through the mist - centre skyline.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 11:38
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The first Viscount I got up close to was at Heathrow in October 1953 at the start of the London to Christchurch (NZ) air race.

G-AMAV in BEA colours took part with race number 23 as seen here in my photo taken at the time.

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Old 11th Jun 2011, 15:41
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My first ever flight was in a Channel Airways Viscount (a 700 series I think) in about 1966, from Southend to Rotterdam. I was hooked on flying from then on.

The last one I went on was with London European from Luton to Amsterdam in 1985, it was a pleasure to look out those large windows again. What a wonderful sound those dart engines made.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 16:50
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I was lucky enough to be seconded to BEA in 1964 flying the Viscount 802/806 (my day job was flying Argosys). I remember it as being a pleasant aircraft to fly and, with roughly the same engines but having a MTOW of about 65% the weight of the Argosy, we thought it went like a bit of a greyhound.

If I remember rightly, the 802 engines were measured in JPT and the 806 in TGT. The toilets were also in a different place but apart from that, the two versions were very similar.

One thing that I remember was the layout of the centre pedestal. The four throttles were on the left and the four HP cocks were on the right. Behind them were four "fire channels" evenly spaced containing the LP cocks, the fire buttons and the feathering buttons (I think).

So it was that the No.3 fire channel was immediately behind the No.2 HP cock so it was quite easy when shutting down No.2 engine to shut down No.3engine at the same time! This I managed to do one day - fortunately in the simulator.

That particular arrangement was not very ergonomic!
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 19:49
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Those windows. One BD stewardess shared with me that when she served the window seat across the row of three, she felt that she could easily fall out. The lovely Kim Lerner, who left us far too early.

I loved the way the whole airframe resonated with a deep groan when the first engine spooled up. It didn't happen with the others for some reason.

Growing up close to Castle Don., Viscounts were part of my everyday life. Then, studying at Leeds, I lived under the 32 centreline, and felt like saluting the BD418 every tea time.

We tend to think some transport machines will be around forever. However, I'm not so sure that we'll be as nostalgic about the 737-800.

Concerning ergonomics, there were at least two incidents during training related to engine failure drill, so I understand, both resulting in loss of the aircraft. I wonder if cockpit layout was a contributory factor?
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 20:02
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I'm probably being a bit lazy asking this question on here, but is anyone aware of any dvds featuring the viscount.....preferably UK operators?
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 09:53
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viscount flights

first time i flew on a viscount was a sports charter to holland on a euroair viscount fantastic noise huge windows but what made me laugh was the size of the seat belt what fantastic memorys.
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 11:37
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A Viscount landed wheels up at Aldergrove one night by mistake on a training flight. Apparently it was the only aircraft on the fleet that didn't have an undercarriage horn.

Anyway, the trainee captain and his instructor got out OK and the story was that the first thing the trainee captain did was to call his wife and tell her not to spend any more money!
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 14:35
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Can anyone explain (I've been wondering for years) the distinctive whine on the RT whenever a Viscount pilot (no jokes please) asked me for start clearance....this disappeared after start up.
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 15:44
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Thumbs up

Helen49, if your after a DVD with plenty of Viscount, including UK examples, you need to get your hands on "Vickers Props FAREWELL" produced by Airside with AVION.
PM if you can't find it on the web and I'll send you contact details - [I]don't want to upset the moderators in case its classed as advertising.
Hope that's helpful

and....
atb1943"Fantastic"Remember it being their in 1994 when I was a Tech Rep for Airbus based at Frankfurt.
Any more pics?
Can't remember how functional from a systems perspective it was. Remember the Lufthansa apprentices working it in the hangar - also it being towed around, including towbarless tugs getting practice (which were a new and shiny idea then). If you have any influence over Lufthers please make sure it gets a good home when the time comes - it must surely be one of the most original, unmollested examples left - and if there was to be a flyer....well
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 16:59
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Have to say if you want a good surf re Viscount past & present have a look here: Vickers Viscount Network - A Virtual Museum dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrongs VC2 Viscount
and the book of all books:
The Vickers Viscount by Rayner GC Kittle, publisher Air Britain.
(ISBN 978-0-85130-401-4)
PFR
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 11:13
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Thanks for the great photos. Like Capetonian and Opssys, I've mixed memories of the Viscount, which I only flew in as SLF. These date back to 1956, when the first of five CAA dash-748Ds (with slipper tanks) arrived at Salisbury. Considering the fatal main-spar failures that had grounded their Vikings, CAA may have had some misgivings about their second Vickers type. They soon became a regular sight and sound over our house, flying domestic and international schedules, including London.
In 1957, after the long flight SAY-LBG in a UAT DC6B, we completed the trip to LHR on a BEA 700-series: my first flight on a turbine-powered aeroplane.

An early tragedy involving the CAA-purchased Viscounts was the 1958 accident at Benina (Benghazi). VP-YNE was operating the "Zambesi" service from SAY to LHR, and hit a hill on a night-time, visual, straight-in approach to the north-westerly runway. There were some survivors, but we lost a family friend, who was returning to the UK to attend his father's funeral.

In the early 'Sixties, returning to school from the UK, I managed to include the trip from NBO to SAY via Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam. Those massive windows on the 700-series every one of which was an emergency exit I think provided magnificent views of Kilimanjaro and the East-African coast.

My next flight in one, which could hardly have been a more different experience, was in 1970, when I was a copilot on Dart Heralds. Despite sharing similar engines, the Viscount was a hot ship compared with the Herald, and a lot prettier. Jack Jones (Channel Airways) had several 800s at Southend, and my crew had to position JER-SEN in one. Being a charter operator, Channel had fitted an astonishing number of seats, so leg-room was minimal. It was shortly after, I think, that one of them over-ran a very wet Rwy 06 at Southend, ending up on the railway line. For weeks after that, the wreckage remained in close view of departing aircraft approaching the Rwy 24 holding point.

In later years, on holiday from the UK, I took my wife to Vic Falls and Kariba on Viscounts, by which time they were in Air Rhodesia colours. A few years later, I awoke to hear Mr Nkomo laughing on the BBC Today programme when called to account for the actions of his ZIPRA forces in shooting one down (by SAM) on a scheduled flight from Kariba, and the massacre of survivors. Prior to "9/11", I cannot remember being as sickened by any atrocity involving aviation.

Chris
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 12:34
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Loki

I have no knowledge of the Viscount electrical system, but in general any regulator supplying something like the radio would regulate better when a generator rather than the battery is supplying the bus in question. So you might get a fair ripple voltage at the inverter frequency when running off battery, but as the regulator's input voltage increases when the generator is running the line regulation (output voltage change for a given input voltage change) improves enormously once the input is above the drop out voltage limit. I'm assuming here 28V DC on generators as opposed to 24V from the battery, or similar if running of different supplies.

Anyone who really knows can contradict me if I'm wrong, 1940s electronics is a bit before my time but the same general principles apply.
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