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Air Bridge Carriers

Old 30th Mar 2018, 17:16
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Hearing one of the Merchantmen rumble up Amber One above Castle Don. around midnight on the Luton-Glasgow papers, is an abiding memory.
Canít say I particularly enjoyed flying it but I really loved standing next to one as it fired up the sixteen foot diameter props and the RR Tyneís. Awesome!
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 17:54
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stan Woolley View Post
Canít say I particularly enjoyed flying it but I really loved standing next to one as it fired up the sixteen foot diameter props and the RR Tyneís. Awesome!
I thought the props were bigger than that but this article in 'Flight' gives the prop diameter as 14'6".

On the ground (prop pitch in beta-range), advancing the throttles from ground idle resulted initially in an RPM reduction - a weird sensation until you got used to it.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 18:41
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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[quote=Mooncrest;10102241]
Originally Posted by happybiker View Post

Thankyou happybiker. I knew there was some connection. I believe Fields was something of a Viscount maintenance centre.
Yes Fields carried out maintenance on Viscounts for BMA, Alidair, GB Airways and the Ministry of Aviation, I think that they were one of a small number of MROs that were able to carry out the re-sparring of the Viscount wings. The other main types that came through the hangar in the 1970s include the Argosy, Herald, Merchantman as well as the occasional DC-3, DC-4 and many HS 125 types from Series 1 through -600. Fields also completed 6 Shorts Skyvans for the Singapore Govt, 3 configured for search and rescue and 3 for general transport.

Fields EMA included a comprehensive design office which carried out design services for aircraft being maintained in house and for third parties including Airline Engineering (Monarch), Britannia and Short Brothers.

Fields were also selected as the completion centre for the BAe Jetstream 31 & 41 in the 1980s delivering several hundred of the type. From this you can see that Fields were more than just an MRO but sadly that expertise and service is no more at EMA.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 18:58
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[quote=happybiker;10102399]
Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post

Yes Fields carried out maintenance on Viscounts for BMA, Alidair, GB Airways and the Ministry of Aviation, I think that they were one of a small number of MROs that were able to carry out the re-sparring of the Viscount wings. The other main types that came through the hangar in the 1970s include the Argosy, Herald, Merchantman as well as the occasional DC-3, DC-4 and many HS 125 types from Series 1 through -600. Fields also completed 6 Shorts Skyvans for the Singapore Govt, 3 configured for search and rescue and 3 for general transport.

Fields EMA included a comprehensive design office which carried out design services for aircraft being maintained in house and for third parties including Airline Engineering (Monarch), Britannia and Short Brothers.

Fields were also selected as the completion centre for the BAe Jetstream 31 & 41 in the 1980s delivering several hundred of the type. From this you can see that Fields were more than just an MRO but sadly that expertise and service is no more at EMA.
Makes good reading. Shame it's history now. I assume Fields did the Viscount stuff that was beyond BMA.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 19:24
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[quote=Mooncrest;10102408]
Originally Posted by happybiker View Post

Makes good reading. Shame it's history now. I assume Fields did the Viscount stuff that was beyond BMA.
Fields often carried out the maintenance and work required to bring the BMA aircraft onto the UK register as well as specialist jobs such as the resparing. BMA were able to carry out most of the work on their in service aircraft but Fields were able to assist if they had a capacity conflict.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 19:43
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Quite a handy arrangement. Makes me wonder if Fields got involved when G-AZLT was badly damaged at Leeds Bradford and was reincarnated as G-BMAT at East Midlands. A replacement set of wings was involved.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 20:03
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Cannot help with info on G-AZLT I'm afraid. I had moved on from EMA by the time that accident occurred.
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 20:14
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Originally Posted by happybiker View Post
Cannot help with info on G-AZLT I'm afraid. I had moved on from EMA by the time that accident occurred.
Nae bother. I'm just speculating.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 07:49
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i seem to recall after our second LBA big prang no.2 that ZLT was reunited with spare wings from G-BAPD and was done at LTN
she went by road from LBA - don't think the work was done at EMA but such a long time ago
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 09:21
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
i seem to recall after our second LBA big prang no.2 that ZLT was reunited with spare wings from G-BAPD and was done at LTN
she went by road from LBA - don't think the work was done at EMA but such a long time ago
I expect someone knows but I fear I've caused thread drift.

I have only ever seen one Air Bridge Carriers aircraft that I clearly remember. That was a Merchantman at Manchester about thirty years ago. It parked on the Fairey apron and it struck me how much the engines sounded like Darts, even though they were Tynes !

I did once see an Argosy at Leeds Bradford one Sunday morning in about 1979/1980. It could well have been an ABC aircraft but I don't remember. Coincidentally, there was an ABC Viscount there the same morning, sporting full Dan-Air livery and operating a Jersey rotation.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 09:30
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post
I did once see an Argosy at Leeds Bradford one Sunday morning in about 1979/1980. It could well have been an ABC aircraft but I don't remember. Coincidentally, there was an ABC Viscount there the same morning, sporting full Dan-Air livery and operating a Jersey rotation.
Saw Argosy G-BEOZ at LBA in the late 70's, shortly followed by BAF carvair (probably G-ASHZ). I think they were transporting horses - must have been a big race on
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 09:43
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Originally Posted by DH106 View Post
Saw Argosy G-BEOZ at LBA in the late 70's, shortly followed by BAF carvair (probably G-ASHZ). I think they were transporting horses - must have been a big race on
Quite likely for York Ebor. The BAF Carvairs are another that probably eluded me - I could well have seen one without realising, given my tender years back then.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 10:46
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Originally Posted by Midland 331 View Post
Dick Gilbert has written an excellent book on the company:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Air-Bridge-.../dp/B00TQTK862

His collection on Flickr contains many photos of aircraft and staff from ABC, plus many other outstanding historical shots.

https://flic.kr/p/iy5CPb

Hearing one of the Merchantmen rumble up Amber One above Castle Don. around midnight on the Luton-Glasgow papers, is an abiding memory.
Unfortunately, it's 'currently unavailable'
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 18:51
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There's a new copy for sale on EBay for £16, free p&p.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 19:32
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Originally Posted by Rocket Pants View Post
There's a new copy for sale on EBay for £16, free p&p.
Ordered. Thanks RP
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 19:59
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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I remember seeing one on the cargo ramp at Cork in the 1990s, next to an Electra. Both were operating night cargo flights.

I always thought until then the two contemporary types were comparable. Only on seeing them trogether did I realise the Vanguard towered over the Electra.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 21:42
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Going a bit left-field here, but I do remember a story about one of the Merchantmen being haunted?
Did this not start with a Merchantman strangely releasing its parking brake one night, resulting in a loss of life?

It seems that sometimes, both pilots and engineers were intimidated by the guardsvan.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 22:17
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Last time saw merchant man G APES Was a cold night at Luton around 82 .What amazed me was the lights on the aircraft lit the whole place up lovely old sounds of engines
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 22:40
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Air Bridge at BFS

I used to load and unload the Vanguards at BFS in 1984-1986. TNT, general freight and newspapers, horses. Lovely machines. DHL had a Herald and when loads got too big it was changed for a whistling wheelbarrow.
Load planning was tricky as TNT would send us three igloos of varying weights with no indication of how heavy the next three would be, so there was a skill in popping the in, in the right order and leaving enough trim range to accommodate whatever came next on the container from Belfast. I've still got a copy load sheet and could quote the empty weights without the manual after a while.
Standing under the nose for startups with those four huge props turning was great, opening the front hold with the props running to chuck in some forgotten paperwork was nerve-wracking.
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Old 31st Mar 2018, 22:58
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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ABC Argosy at Prague with some Skodas: (note the TELEX number)


Last edited by evansb; 31st Mar 2018 at 23:27.
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