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Airline Call Signs

Old 18th Jan 2018, 19:33
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Those on the UK Beverley Squadron in the UK in the 60’s will recall that the call signs for use only in the UK were allocated by the ‘Siggies’
The Wg Cdr in charge of the Air Transport Development Unit (ATDU) had a very slight speech impediment and his allocated callsign was always ABC or whatever followed by 66 which the said Wg Cdr Shandy S pronounced as schlix schlix
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 19:42
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Originally Posted by Cole Burner View Post
I have heard the callsign "Vicars" a few times - Church of England Air Services maybe?
Sadly, the explanation is more earthly - VSEL (Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd, latterly part of BAE Systems Marine) to whom the prefix (VSB) and callsign (Vickers) is still allocated.

They had (may still have) a couple of King Air 200s based at Walney Island.
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 20:55
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Sadly, the explanation is more earthly - VSEL (Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd, latterly part of BAE Systems Marine) to whom the prefix (VSB) and callsign (Vickers) is still allocated.

They had (may still have) a couple of King Air 200s based at Walney Island.
I thought it probably was but the image of a couple of pilots in dog collars still makes me smile!
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 22:42
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
'Clipper One' was Pan Am's flagship flight; it was a 'round the world' service eastbound(I think) from the USA; 'Clipper Two' was the opposite direction equivalent.
Clipper 1 was the westbound service, in line with Pan Am's system, which had odd numbers for all westbound flights. On a slightly related point, I recall being in the USA and hearing Pan Am Express Dash 7s and ATR-42s using "Pan Am" as their callsign.
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 23:08
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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“Giant” USAF MAC.
Incorrect, "Giant" is Atlas Air I believe. They do fly charters for MAC though.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 01:04
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'round the world'

Clipper 1 & 2 were not true round the world services as Pan Am had no internal US rights. So Clipper 1 turned round in 'Frisco becoming Clipper 2 and returned New York West bound.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 03:45
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Originally Posted by 22/04 View Post
Yep RAE used Nugget- Dove shuttles between Bedford and Farnborough etc.
Not just the Bedford Ferry operated by Transport Flight (Devons - not Doves - and occasionally the Dakota and latterly Navajo Chieftains); all RAE Farnborough pilots in Experimental Flying Department (comprising Experimental Flying Squadron [A, B and C Flights], Transport Flight and IAM Flight) had a personal number preceded by 'Nugget' whilst Met Research Flight at Farnborough initially used Nugget but in the late 80s became 'Metman'(MRF).
When the Farnborough Experimental Flying Wing (as it became in the '90s) moved to Boscombe in '94 they became 'Gauntlet' followed by the pilot's personal number.
Dunsfold test pilots used 'Hawker' followed either by a letter (Hawker Delta - Duncan Simpson) or a number (Hawker 97 - John Farley).
One that always puzzled me was 'Bluebell One', usually a Varsity operating out of West Malling; what did it do?

Last edited by chevvron; 19th Jan 2018 at 03:56.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 03:51
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Originally Posted by G-ARZG View Post
Early 70's 'Raffles One', always sounded like 'Airforce 1', but was
Baron G-AYID, frequent LHR visitor
I only remember Raffles One as being a Dove (c1969 - 1971)
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 04:03
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Originally Posted by spekesoftly View Post
My thanks to Plane Speaker and Simtech for your replies.

Another question if I may, and it's a real long shot. Does anyone know what callsign was used by the De Havilland Sea Vixen test pilots at Christchurch and Hurn back in the 1950s?
When they converted some Sea Vixens to drones at Farnborough, the test pilot used a 'Rushton' callsign, flying up from Tarrant Rushton to either test fly them or ferry them to Llanbedr.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 04:10
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Originally Posted by jensdad View Post
I never knew that Northeast had two callsigns, Mooncrest. Thanks for that info! About 10 or 15 years ago I was listening to my airband (don't tell the feds) and about the time the last Heathrow-Toon Shuttle (Shuttle 12T) was due in I heard an old fella calling up as 'Northeast 12T' . Turns out it was an ex-Northeast captain's last flight before retirement. A nice touch, but did they get the callsign wrong?!
Northeast was the amalgamation of 'BKS' and 'Channel'. I can remember 'BKS Yankee Delta' becoming 'Northeast Yankee Delta', the 'Yankee Delta' being the aircraft's (Trident 2E) 'last two'.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 07:10
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Northeast was the amalgamation of 'BKS' and 'Channel'. I can remember 'BKS Yankee Delta' becoming 'Northeast Yankee Delta', the 'Yankee Delta' being the aircraft's (Trident 2E) 'last two'.
BKS became BAS with Cambrian (BAS british air services) then Northeast

they did not merge with Channel AW - who went bust

Northeast did then obtain the 2 ex Channel Tridents which were YB and YE to join their own YC/YD
YA having gone to air ceylon as Channel did not NTU all 5

YD was w/off in Spain

all the a/c were Trident OneE's not 2e's

Cambrian had a jet fleet of ex channel and autair 1-11 400's
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 08:07
  #52 (permalink)  
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One that always puzzled me was 'Bluebell One', usually a Varsity operating out of West Malling; what did it do?
That puzzled me because I have a very vague recollection of it, not sure why: however Google and PPRuNe are your friends, as lo and behold, from this very boutique, namely the Varsity thread...

WL 681 was indeed a Shorts operated aircraft. My father Peter Harrison was Chief TP for Shorts Flying Services Division and operated WL 681 on equipment trials from Rochester 1953 to 1964 and from West Malling 1964 until he retired in 1977. Bluebell 1 was his call sign taken from the small village near Rochester airfield, Bluebell Hill where we lived. He is still with us today and at 92 remains an avid reader of Flight each week.

While at West Malling they also operated two other Varsitys. When I can get to his log books I will post the serial numbers.

Nick Harrison
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 11:25
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Here are a few obsolete UK callsigns for the list;Intra Airways "Chanisle", SouthWest Aviation "Skyavia",AB Airlines "Aztec",and finally Air Southwest "Swallow".
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 18:45
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What were the two Air Wales' (2000s ATR42s and 1980s Bandeirantes) callsigns? I seem to recall the ATRs using 'Red Dragon' but it might be my imagination!
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 19:26
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Airtours used tourjet for a while. Can anyone remember Astraeus's callsign- was something like starjet. Have I mentioned Chalgrove for Martin Baker?
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 19:38
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Originally Posted by 22/04 View Post
Airtours used tourjet for a while. Can anyone remember Astraeus's callsign- was something like starjet. Have I mentioned Chalgrove for Martin Baker?
"Flystar" for Astraeus. And "Red Dragon" is correct for Air Wales. "Starjet" was used by Novair, I'm pretty sure. They succeeded Cal-Air which used "Caljet".
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 19:47
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“EuroFlite”. Hope it counts as an ‘airline’. Early to mid 1980’s. Scheduled service originally from / to Luton LTN EGGW & Brussels BRU EBBR. Starting with Cessna 404 Titan and graduating to a E110 Bandeirante Eventually also serving East Midlands EMA EGNX
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 19:59
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Middle east Airlines used to use 'Cedarjet' do they still? The flight numbers 202 LHR-Beirut are unchanged from the 1960s when it was a B720.

BWIA were Bee Wee or West Indian

i also remember LHR ATC shortening some call signs as well Scandi and Lufty being the ones that stick in my mind.

Defunct because they are no longer around would include
TWA -Transworld
Seaboard and Western -Seaboard
Flying Tiger line-Tiger- very cool
National Airlines (National One being the daily LHR-MIA DC8 later 10 always with a pilot with a southern accent and the WW2 style girls name under the flight deck windows to fit in with their entirely non PC advertising)

Happy days back then with a great variety of aircraft types and unusual airlines operating funny schedules like Iraqi Airways Viscounts only on Sundays (about 6 stops from Baghdad) and Aerolinas Argentinas Comets who I think were also Sunday visitors.

Very different to the endless parade of A320 series and T7s which seem to take up about 75% of movements today
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 20:09
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
Middle east Airlines used to use 'Cedarjet' do they still?
They do indeed.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 20:45
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TNT's 'Nitro' callsign always made me smile.
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