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LUTON History and Nostalgia

Old 12th Nov 2014, 20:28
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Caravelle would probably have been the Italian airline Altair as they were using Luton in and around 1984
Were they linked to Air Inter of France or did they acquire the Caravelles from them ? I remember the Orion 737's, didn't they get absorbed into some larger airline at some point ? Loving the old pictures btw.


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Old 12th Nov 2014, 21:38
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Orion was taken over by Britannia.
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Old 13th Nov 2014, 00:50
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Altair

During my time with Altair, they started with 3 Caravelle llls F-BNKG, I-GISA and I-GISE. Luton mainly saw I-GISE and F-BNKG and one was 'based' at Luton and one at Gatwick. The remaining aircraft operated from MXP (Milan Malpensa) with an engineering base at (BLQ) Bologna. They then 'updated' with lease-purchase of 3 Caravelle 10Bs I-GISI, I-GISO, I-GISU from Finnair. Head Office for Altair was in Parma, Italy (midway between Bologna and Milan).
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Old 13th Nov 2014, 07:29
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I still have that postcard Luton Man; oh so tranquil Ambassador and Britannia - A nice day in 1966/67 I guess
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Old 13th Nov 2014, 15:01
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Thanks for the replies chaps, I used to fly a lot with Air Inter and the markings on that Caravelle photo were obvious at first glance. In my mind I'd thought that Orion were swallowed by either BA or their reply to the LoCo's, GO. Shows me that memory isn't always so reliable


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Old 13th Nov 2014, 21:21
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For years BMA used to fly into Luton at weekends for their Channel Islands services.
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 08:47
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For a time Manston based Invicta used to operate services from LTN

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Old 16th Nov 2014, 10:12
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For those LTN types, the cars parked in the background of the above photo, were they part of the Vauxhall factory (finished cars or worker's cars), rather than those of airport workers ? I remember standing where the photo was taken (great spot!) and there being a tea stall nearby and have vague recollections of the layout back then, but only vague



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Old 16th Nov 2014, 11:53
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Photo was taken from the then spectator area, with a buffet type restaurant I imagine. AFAIK the cars are those of passengers and the some of this area remains the mid-term car park today. Can remember that area being turned into parking but when? - sometime between 1969 and 1973 I would guess.

Invicta also operated Boeing 720B G-BCBA out of Luton for a while- the only flight which I can remember both it and the Vanguards operating now with its callisgn was IM 555 which used to go to Rome. They did a lot of pilgrimage flights to Lourdes and picked up some IT work from other holiday firms like Jetway and Wallace Arnold when Court Line collapsed taking Clarksons with them so turbo propos re-appeared on the likes of Alicante which had become largely the preserve of jets by 1974.
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 14:23
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There was a time when Vauxhall used to store HA Viva vans in that car park but it was usually used as a long term car park for the airport.

The spectators building behind the camera is still there but not for long as what is now the former easyjet HQ is about to be knocked down as part of the 100 million redevelopment of the airport.
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 15:00
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Originally Posted by LTNman
For years BMA used to fly into Luton at weekends for their Channel Islands services.
My first flight from Luton was on F-27 G-BAUR to Jersey and back again a week later. Little did I know that I'd end up working there for 17 years!
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 18:58
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I remember there was a cafe and bar in the spectators area also did have a sort of Dj who would give out a running PA system of aircraft comming in they where the days with regards to invicta they transferred all there charter flights from manston to there around 72 until they went out of business did operate a special spectators charter on a vanguard the last flyinging passenger vanguard in the uk
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 21:30
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It's strange, I well remember the BMA weekend flights to Jersey & Guernsey - lots of Viscounts & DC9s and later ATP's & 737's but I dont remember many F27's.
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Old 16th Nov 2014, 21:32
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As for the spectator building, wasn't there plans at one point, well before eadyJet got their hands on it as offices, to convert part of it into a terminal for domestic flights? In fact I think work started on converted it but it was never used?
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 03:36
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And BMA Heralds and Fokkers on the CI routes too. Don't remember 737s on those but of course we had 737-400s operating the Air 2000 First Choice holiday flights from Luton for at least a couple of summers.

Yes part of the spectators building or an add on was kitted out for domestic operations but I'm not sure if it was ever used- it's all a blur now but think it was when Capital Airlines were operating domestic services.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 07:14
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The Invicta Vanguards

LTNman: thanks for posting that great photo of one of these wonderful aircraft, wearing one of the best liveries Vanguards ever wore, imho.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 07:16
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Talking of Vauxhall, wasn't there an incident where quite a number of brand new cars stored outside the plant had their paintwork damaged by a departing aircraft dumping fuel or losing hydraulic fluid or something similar? Probably about twenty years ago.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 08:27
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wearing one of the best liveries Vanguards ever wore, imho
Even better before they overpainted the Maple Leaf.
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 09:22
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It was a Templewood 707 that had a massive hydraulic leak on take-off from 26. The Vauxhall car park was sprayed with Skydrol and something like 100 cars were ruined. There was a story doing the rounds that one Vauxhall employee saw this as a golden opportunity to get a free respray so he covered his car in hydraulic fluid. Unfortunately for him, the insurance company were easily able to prove that it wasn't Skydrol!
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Old 17th Nov 2014, 09:47
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It was one of Invicta's Luton based Vanguard's G-AXOP that flew Luton-Bristol- Basel that crashed killing 108 with 37 survivors on 10th April 1973. Can't tell if it the one in the photo though.
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