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Stansted Airport History and Nostalgia

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Stansted Airport History and Nostalgia

Old 7th Apr 2020, 21:53
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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Yes it was. i was working there at the time and remember seeing the aircraft parked outside a day or so before the accident.

At that time new taxiways were being constructed onto the runway from the new terminal side. This involved night works between 2230 and 0600 hrs local weekday nights when the runway distance was reduced to 1500m. The runway edge lights at the time were elevated (they are now flush) and plastic buckets were placed over the elevated lights in the closed off area so they weren't visible.to pilots. On the early morning of 16th October '87 when the hurricane winds arrived many of the plastic buckets were blown off exposing the lights in the closed off area.! Fortunately no movements were expected until after 0600 hrs. Because the wind direction was south to south west and Stansted's runway direction being more favourable, a number of diversions from Gatwick and possibly other SE airports were received once the runway re-opened to full length.
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Old 7th Apr 2020, 23:20
  #162 (permalink)  
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Very interesting Muskat, thanks for sharing that.

Whilst we are in clamp down due to Covid-19 I think that diversions at London Stansted Airport during the 1970/80's might be a good subject to discuss during the coming weeks.

​​​​​​We've already discussed the Scandinavian visitors, the US affinity charters, Canadian charters and previous cargo operators on the Stansted Airport History and Nostalgia thread.

But before I start discussing diversions as there have been so many over the years I think that I might bring up the discussion regarding long haul charters as in the Lion Air Boeing 747 and American Trans Air TriStar flights.

I'll leave that to another day though as it's late now 😉
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 00:57
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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On a trivial subject as a Constable at STN in I believe 1973 Paul Getty arrived in the middle of the night in a twin turbo about the size of a G1. I believe it was Rouseau Aviation/Airline, featured in much of the press the same day. Stating we had all been instructed to look away from him as he disembarked. I remember it was a weasel like elderly man. Am I right or was it someone else?
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 02:09
  #164 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by HZ123 View Post
On a trivial subject as a Constable at STN in I believe 1973 Paul Getty arrived in the middle of the night in a twin turbo about the size of a G1. I believe it was Rouseau Aviation/Airline, featured in much of the press the same day. Stating we had all been instructed to look away from him as he disembarked. I remember it was a weasel like elderly man. Am I right or was it someone else?
Considering the fact that you were a police constable on duty at the time of the event I should imagine that you would have more insight to the events of that evening compared to the majority of others reading this thread!

In 1973 Rousseau Aviation had a fleet of 2 Fokker F-27s, 2 HS.748s, 5 Nord Aviation-262s Fregates, 1 Beachcraft Baron, 1 Beachcraft Bonanza, 1 Cessna172.

​​​​​​Rousseau Aviation was sold to TAT Touraine Air Transport in 1973, the name disappeared in 1976 having been totally absorbed into TAT.

What month in 1973 are you referring to?

You do realise that 1973 was a very significant year for the Getty family with John Paul Gettys Grandson, John Paul Getty III being kidnapped for ransom in Rome that lasted for several months which inevitably involved his ear being cut off!

John Paul Getty III was aged 16 at the time of his kidnapping in Rome at 03.00 on Tuesday 10 July 1973.

Although being one of the richest men in the world at the time, John Paul Getty was indeed a very weasel like elderly man.

I wasn't expecting to be discussing this event on the Stansted Airport History and Nostalgia thread!
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 09:05
  #165 (permalink)  
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Among the more unusual visitors: American Airlines MD-11s. I have a feeling these were flown from the factory to Marshalls at Cambridge for finishing off and avionics work which may have been cabin IFE. Whether their arrivals were too early for Cambridge to accept them, or whether they were clearing customs or whatever, they seemed to route via STN. I remember being parked on the ramp next to one early one morning. They had a short life with AA and I think got sold off to FedEx to become freighters. They're probably still landing at STN even now in 2020.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:03
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BSD View Post
Among the more unusual visitors: American Airlines MD-11s. I have a feeling these were flown from the factory to Marshalls at Cambridge for finishing off and avionics work which may have been cabin IFE. Whether their arrivals were too early for Cambridge to accept them, or whether they were clearing customs or whatever, they seemed to route via STN. I remember being parked on the ramp next to one early one morning. They had a short life with AA and I think got sold off to FedEx to become freighters. They're probably still landing at STN even now in 2020.
Last I checked Fedex were still operating a couple of ex Laker DC10-10's, I believe redesignated as MD10's
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 14:04
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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Surely not the old girls Western Belle and Eastern Belle! I thought we'd have been using them for razor blades and beer cans a long time ago.

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Old 8th Apr 2020, 14:41
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Akrotiri bad boy View Post
Surely not the old girls Western Belle and Eastern Belle! I thought we'd have been using them for razor blades and beer cans a long time ago.
No, Northern Belle (G-GFAL) and California Belle (G-GSKY). The former is still active with FedEx and the latter was until about 6 months ago (now at Victorville).
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 17:06
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Here's a diversion story from October 1987. Arrived on night shift about 9pm to help out with the runway works and found an Air Malta B737-200 parked on the ramp. It had diverted in from Luton due fog. Passengers were being bussed from Luton to Stansted and they arrived in good time, were processed through the terminal quickly and were on board the aircraft about 2215hrs. The runway works were due to start at 2230 hrs with 1500m reduced runway length.

We noticed that the aircraft's baggage hold doors were still open and discovered that the bags had not been loaded. The few ground handling staff were busy in the cargo area loading other aircraft. It was estimated that by the time the ground handlers finished their cargo loading and attended the Air Malta the flight wouldn't be ready to depart until around midnight.

We informed the crew that they would have 1500m runway length at that time. This was too short for the Malta flight so they decided to offload the passengers and position the aircraft empty to Gatwick off the 1500m length. The passengers were later bussed from Stansted to Gatwick.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 19:26
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BSD View Post
Among the more unusual visitors: American Airlines MD-11s. I have a feeling these were flown from the factory to Marshalls at Cambridge for finishing off and avionics work which may have been cabin IFE. Whether their arrivals were too early for Cambridge to accept them, or whether they were clearing customs or whatever, they seemed to route via STN. I remember being parked on the ramp next to one early one morning. They had a short life with AA and I think got sold off to FedEx to become freighters. They're probably still landing at STN even now in 2020.
I believe that they were the aircraft originally destined for BCal. They are both still active, indeed one of them is due to land a STN in about 25 minutes time!
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 19:55
  #171 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GAZIN View Post
I believe that they were the aircraft originally destined for BCal. They are both still active, indeed one of them is due to land a STN in about 25 minutes time!
Indeed British Caledonian Airways was to be the launch customer of the MD-11 in 1991 with 3 ordered plus 3 options. These were not to be after the takeover by British Airways in August 1988.

After the takeover, British Airways immediately cancelled the MD-11 order and the three aircraft were taken up by American Airlines.

The first MD-11 N1751A was delivered to American Airlines on the 01 February 1991.
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 07:23
  #172 (permalink)  
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American Trans Air, Caribbean Airways, Lion Air, Trans International, Wardair.


Trans International DC8-63 London Stansted Airport 1977

American Trans Air L1011 TriStar-50 N82AT London Stansted Airport 16 September 1985

American Trans Air L1011 TriStar-50 London Stansted Airport

Lion Air/Orion Air Boeing 747-121 LX-GCV London Stansted Airport

Lion Air (Caribbean Airways) Boeing 747-121 LX-FCV London Stansted Airport 18 September 1988

Lion Air (Caribbean Airways) Boeing 747-121 London Stansted Airport 18 September 1988

Wardair Boeing 747-211B C-GXRD London Stansted Airport 18 June 1987

London Stansted Airport postcard 1987
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 11:51
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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One of the MD-11ís mentioned by BSD in post 165. This was the first of two that I photographed, N510MD, now N583FE it is inbound to STN from IND as I write this. The second one that I photographed was N411MD which became N581FE and was written off in a non fatal accident 17Oct99.



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Old 9th Apr 2020, 11:56
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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Some cargo flights from 1989. Sadly the Tigers 747 crashed 7 days later whilst on approach to KUL.




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Old 9th Apr 2020, 13:21
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Why does the MD-11 two posts above look somewhat copper toned, rather than the normal buffed metal or light grey of American Airlines ?
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 14:39
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SpringHeeledJack View Post
Why does the MD-11 two posts above look somewhat copper toned, rather than the normal buffed metal or light grey of American Airlines ?
It looks to me that the bare metal has been Alodine treated ready for painting.
(Alodine or Alochrome is an anti corrosion treatment for aluminium alloys.)
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 10:09
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Thank you, that seems like a good explanation.

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Old 10th Apr 2020, 13:23
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Originally Posted by dixi188 View Post
It looks to me that the bare metal has been Alodine treated ready for painting.
(Alodine or Alochrome is an anti corrosion treatment for aluminium alloys.)
The American MD-11s, like most of their fleet at the time, were not painted; they retained a natural aluminium finish. The exceptions were their Airbus fleet, initially the A300, which had a surface finishing process which did not suit this, and thus were painted in a grey-lookalike colour. American had standardised on this unpainted (apart from decals and cheatlines etc) finish ever since metal aircraft came along in the 1930s, until finally changing over to paint about 7 years ago, possibly not quite fully achieved yet.

Having said that, the finish was not easily achieved, and at the start it required quite some treatment to achieve, which American normally did themselves at their central maintenance base in Tulsa OK where aircraft were delivered. These aircraft however were unfinished, and were sent to Marshalls in Cambridge for whatever remaining works could not be carried out at McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach. Don't know whether the protective coating was stripped and the metal finished by Marshalls, or if they were then taken back to the US for the final preparation.


The surface treatment took more work to prepare and to maintain (polishing), but gave a weight saving. Their accountants must have calculated it was worth it one way. Many other airlines of course thought the opposite, though there was a spate of "natural" finishes by other carriers in the US around the 1990s. It's particularly difficult to achieve on a secondhand aircraft that has been previously painted, and American abandoning it coincided with the merger with US Air which brought large numbers of painted aircraft into the fleet. Those from London may recall that on the Underground, all new trains were unpainted aluminium from the 1960s to about 2000, when a paint livery was applied to them all. This was principally driven by the paint graffiti vandals, it being extremely expensive and time-consuming to get back to a decent finish afterwards. The very first unpainted aluminium Underground train carriage was sent by the manufacturers to a trade exhibition, for which it was got to an attractive mirror finish which was still somewhat apparent compared to the rest of the fleet 15 years later. Apparently this had involved a huge effort, and wiped out the stores stock of fine-grained sandpapers !
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Old 10th Apr 2020, 15:41
  #179 (permalink)  
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Bare metal finish

Although slightly off topic to the thread but whilst on the subject of polished bare metal finish.

As already mentioned by WHBM, several North American airlines had "polished bare metal finished" aircraft during the 1970/80/90's.

Other than American Airlines which had their aircraft delivered in this way from 1933 with the advent of the DC 3 there were several others including.

Air Canada
Eastern
Flying Tigers
Northwest Orient
Piedmont
Southwest
US Air
Western

Also CP Air with their part bare metal finished aircraft. (Which looked stunning)

Several European airlines also trialled polished bare metal finished aircraft during the same period including.

Aeroflot
Aeromexico
British Airways
Condor
JAT Yugoslav
Lufthansa
SAS Scandinavian

Although in many cases this was short lived and the aircraft were eventually fully painted.

In the case of British Airways I believe that they only had one Boeing 737-200ADV styled in this way.

British Airways Boeing 737-200 ADV G-BKYA in the short lived "trial" bare polished metal finished livery although the underbelly still retained the dark midnight blue.

One of the best looking aircraft was the Condor DC10-30 which was delivered factory fresh in the bare metal finish.

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Old 10th Apr 2020, 19:39
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Painted aircraft burn more fuel than bare metal aircraft.
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