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BOAC London to Melbourne 1960

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BOAC London to Melbourne 1960

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Old 30th Jun 2018, 12:49
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BOAC London to Melbourne 1960

Hi folks, I'm trying to identify the actual plane my mother flew into Australia with and could use some helpful assistance.

The information I have is the following (may not be accurate)
- The plane had BOAC written on it.
- She boarded the flight in Athens on the 4th of July, 1960.
- Immigration records say she arrived in Melbourne on the 7th of July, 1960.
- There were many Austrians on board.
- The plane had propellors but she doesn't remember how many engines.
- The plane constantly broke down.
- The captain was English and would constantly come out of the cockpit to ease the stress passengers experienced during a "plummet".

After a lot of internet searching the best I can come up with is the aircraft could have been a Bristol Britannia - G-ANBG or G-ANBA perhaps. This particular aircraft model was not very reliable and had an engine icing fault requiring a regime of high/low flying.

If anyone has any further info of this particular flight that would be very much appreciated.

NB: I won't be in a position to reply to this thread for the next month or so but may be able to catch a quick glimpse of it.

Thank you, CT.

Last edited by cattletruck; 1st Jul 2018 at 05:20. Reason: Found evidence that it could not be 4th of June.
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 12:41
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I had a quick look at the BOAC timetable of 24.4.1960 Airline Timetable Images - List of Complete Timetables
and see that most flights were done by Comet 4s. The Britannias only went as far as Teheran.
"- There were many Austrians on board." Do you mean Australians? Not too difficult to distinguish between them!

Check it out yourself. Also, it will be difficult to find the precise aircraft flown.

Laurence
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 13:08
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Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
I had a quick look at the BOAC timetable of 24.4.1960 Airline Timetable Images - List of Complete Timetables
and see that most flights were done by Comet 4s. The Britannias only went as far as Teheran.
"- There were many Austrians on board." Do you mean Australians? Not too difficult to distinguish between them!

Check it out yourself. Also, it will be difficult to find the precise aircraft flown.

Laurence
I think NBG had been reregistered as PLL by then. Certainly it was some months later when I flew on it to Rome
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 13:43
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And surely BOAC didn't fly Athens-Australia?
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Old 1st Jul 2018, 14:21
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You're right. London-Athens-Sydney (not on to Melbourne) was a Qantas Comet. My eyes get crossed looking at the timetable with all the variable stops. But I can't figure out a flight that fits Athens-Melbourne. All I can offer further is that it is likely the aircraft had 4 engines! Oh, and there would have been multiple captains over that marathon trip.

Laurence
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 04:28
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Your Mother was emigrating to Australia? The government ran charter flights bringing immigrants out to Australia from various countries (see next para). Various operators provided services. I'd suggest if your Mother was emigrating she came on a BOAC charter flight with a mix of Austrians and Greeks, since she boarded in Athens. Melbourne is said to be the seventh largest Greek city in the world.

Belgian migrants arrive by Qantas BRITANNIA aircraft - Sixteen Belgian families - comprising 43 adults and 50 children, arrived at Melbourne by a Chartered Qantas Brittania as assisted migrants from Brussels in February, 1962 - The flight was arranged by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration and came to Australia via India, Singapore and Darwin (from an Australian Government archive)



The aircraft above is obviously a Britannia, you can just see the "C" of BOAC below the No. 1 engine.
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 08:41
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Originally Posted by l.garey View Post
You're right. London-Athens-Sydney (not on to Melbourne) was a Qantas Comet. My eyes get crossed looking at the timetable with all the variable stops. But I can't figure out a flight that fits Athens-Melbourne. All I can offer further is that it is likely the aircraft had 4 engines! Oh, and there would have been multiple captains over that marathon trip.

Laurence
And Qantas didn't have Comets either !
They may have had what we now know as a code share with BOAC though-using either BOAC Comets or Qantas Constellations?
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 09:32
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Halcyon Days: This service was with BOAC Comets but using Qantas code EM546.

Laurence
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 20:28
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Qantas didn't run Comets. They used BOAC aircraft, as was done for a number of other "Empire" carriers, at a time when jets were few and far between. They didn't have Britannias either; the one above just has a Qantas sticker applied.

However, the OP says that the aircraft had propellers, and being an Athens to Melbourne emigrant charter I would presume it was a Britannia 100, which were starting to get bumped from main scheduled BOAC runs by the jets. The Qantas/BOAC pool was still dominant and they got the pick of government-paid charters.

I too wondered if Austrian was an error for Australian, but equally can imagine an emigrant charter for a London-based aircraft filling up half in Vienna and the other half in Athens before heading onward. Incidentally, the engine intake icing issue principally afflicted the prototypes, and was pretty much dealt with when they finally entered service, which had been significantly delayed as a result. Shortage of spares downroute for the otherwise unknown Proteus engine was a much more likely issue.

If anyone has full sets of Propliner magazine, as a number of us here do (mine are too far back in the attic) there was detailed coverage of BOAC Britannia operations, including specific mentions of some notable charters they performed. That might be the best bet.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 11:09
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Wow, thank you all very much for your responses (and apologies for my delayed acknowledgment as I had no internet access until now).

I doubt it was a DH Comet as she recalls the engines being radials with propellers (and always breaking down). The plane had arrived in Athens with Germanic speaking people en-route of which my mother recalls being either Austrian or Dutch. It could have been a charter, the plane was mostly full of young single women and there were a small number of families with children onboard - all heading to Australia. Apparently the plane stopped at Darwin then flew direct to Melbourne.

Thank you, CT.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 15:48
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Originally Posted by cattletruck View Post
she recalls the engines being radials with propellers (and always breaking down)
Sounds like a good description of one of these:

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Old 10th Aug 2018, 16:01
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Though, given that it was 1960, more likely one of these:

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Old 11th Aug 2018, 12:07
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Thanks for the images David,

I showed here both photos and she just can't remember what the plane looked like from the outside, however she did favour the Britannia. She remembers the plane departed Athens in the afternoon which matches a BOAC departure in the timetable (page 20) posted previously, in which case it could have been the Super Connie, however there is every chance it could also have been a charter or BOAC could have changed the scheduled plane to be the Britannia. She also recalls the plane had square windows and there were about 80 people on board so we know it was one of these two aircraft.

Thank you, CT.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 12:10
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did the BOAC dc'7s ever go eastwards to the Empire?

sounds like a Britannia leased to QF...
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 12:27
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Just been thru this exercise for someone else.
Last BOAC Constellation service was Oct 58. Super Connies had square windows, earlier Connies (the type BOAC had) had round ones. Windows on Britannia were tall ovals. DC4/5/6/7 series, Argonaut, Hermes were square.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 12:27
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Originally Posted by rog747 View Post
did the BOAC dc'7s ever go eastwards to the Empire?

sounds like a Britannia leased to QF...
Could well be. Albeit we've been told that its "radial engines" kept breaking down. Not to mention the "square windows".
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 13:08
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Could well be. Albeit we've been told that its "radial engines" kept breaking down. Not to mention the "square windows".
ah!
what about a QF connie?
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 13:52
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Just came across this gem in my research, it may be of use to others (in fact many books on that website look interesting)

The Migrant Caper

Although it's mainly focussed on the 1947-49 period there is a footnote for 1950-60 of which they cite Britannia charters were mainly used for the immigration runs to Australia. However, according to the article, even clapped out DC4s were being used from Yugoslavia/Hungary/Czechoslovakia to Australia.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 03:08
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To the uninitiated the Britannia would look as though it had radial engines.

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Old 12th Aug 2018, 07:12
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But it had oval windows......


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