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Aircraft which brought Elizabeth ll back to London after her father's death.

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Aircraft which brought Elizabeth ll back to London after her father's death.

Old 29th May 2022, 20:01
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Aircraft which brought Elizabeth ll back to London after her father's death.

Just watching the Queen's until now unseen footage of her life. The BOAC aircraft that brought her back from Africa following her father, the king's death in 1952. Looks like a DC 6. Would that be right?
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Old 29th May 2022, 20:05
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BOAC Argonaut
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Old 29th May 2022, 20:32
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Thanks! I stand corrected.
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Old 29th May 2022, 21:54
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Pathé film here:
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Old 30th May 2022, 00:10
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
BOAC Argonaut
Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Canadair built 71 examples of what was officially called the Canadair Four under the designations: North Star, DC-4M, C-4 and C-5. With the exception of the single C-5 (which had Pratt and Whitney R2800 engines, as fitted to the Douglas DC6), these variants were all powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and 51 of the production examples were pressurised.

BOAC ordered 22 DC-4M-4s and named them the "Argonaut class", each aircraft having a classical name beginning with "A". The Argonauts were delivered between March and November 1949; they flew to South America, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East from London Heathrow until 1960.

On 1 February 1952 the BOAC Argonaut Atalanta G-ALHK transported Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Kenya to begin a Commonwealth tour.[9] Some days later, 6 February, it was again Atalanta G-ALHK which returned the newly acceded Queen Elizabeth II to England upon the death of her father, King George VI.
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Old 30th May 2022, 05:45
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And Ron Ballantine and R C Parker were the captains who flew her back:-

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obi...allantine.html
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Old 30th May 2022, 09:06
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Originally Posted by finalapproach View Post
Thanks! I stand corrected.
You are not completely wrong. The Canadair C-4 is a blend of DC 4 with some DC 6 features added, powered by RR Merlin engines.

It is worth adding that Her Majesty flew from Nanyuki to Entebbe, where she boarded the BOAC Argonaut to return to London, in East African Airways DC 3 Dakota "Sagana" VP-KHK. Thus EAA became the first airline to fly a reigning British Monarch... This Royal flight was commanded by Capt. Aubrey Francombe with Capt. Bob Watson as co-pilot, Ivan Morris as Radio Officer & George Mathews as Steward.

Last edited by Planemike; 30th May 2022 at 09:28.
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Old 30th May 2022, 10:59
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A plaque was installed in the Argonaut which read:-
Their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth & The Duke of Edinburgh flew from London Airport in this aircraft to East Africa between 31 January and 1 February 1952.
Her Majesty The Queen with The Duke of Edinburgh returned in it from East Africa between 6 and 7 February 1952.
Royal Mail Aircraft "Atalanta" G-ALHK
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Old 30th May 2022, 13:24
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Originally Posted by Alan Baker View Post
A plaque was installed in the Argonaut which read:-
Their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth & The Duke of Edinburgh flew from London Airport in this aircraft to East Africa between 31 January and 1 February 1952.
Her Majesty The Queen with The Duke of Edinburgh returned in it from East Africa between 6 and 7 February 1952.
Royal Mail Aircraft "Atalanta" G-ALHK
It's a shame that Argonaut wasn't deemed worthy of preservation - broken up in 1965 apparently.
I wonder if the plaque survived - somebody surely would have saved it?
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Old 30th May 2022, 14:07
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Isn't there a fuselage at Duxford, or am I confusing myself here?
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Old 30th May 2022, 14:19
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Originally Posted by bobward View Post
Isn't there a fuselage at Duxford, or am I confusing myself here?
That's a H.P Hermes I believe, not an Argonaut.
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Old 30th May 2022, 14:42
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And for those of you that were glued to the Box to watch the Crown on Netflix - The BOAC aircraft seen in the episode of HM succession marked as registration G-ALDP (which was a Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A)
In reality, a South African DC-4 with registration ZS-AUB, c/n 42984 built in 1946 used in the series to depict BOAC's Argonaut Atatlanta.

One of two flying DC-4s operated by South African Airways Historic Flight, painted in a BOAC livery for the TV series, shot on location in RSA.

The CG aircraft, the DC4, was a special case. A real vintage DC4 exists in South Africa, which the production was able to paint in contemporary BOAC colours and use for filming on location there. During this time the SFX/CG Company had a chance to gather a large amount of reference photography that they used in conjunction with photogrammetry software to build and texture their CG model for more scenes.
Then they added further detail on a shot by shot basis.
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Old 30th May 2022, 15:20
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IIRC one of the BOAC Argonauts sadly ended up as the fire service practice aircraft at LHR, parked just south of 28R about two thirds of the way along.

Last edited by Discorde; 4th Jun 2022 at 20:31.
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Old 30th May 2022, 15:37
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The Argonaut on the fire dump at Heathrow was G-ALHJ. My recollection of it circa 1975 was largely complete but a little bit singed...
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Old 30th May 2022, 15:42
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Discorde, you are right. For many years the Fire Service practice airframe . I used to remeebr the registration but no more . It was scrapped when they built the 747/DC10 combo green giant that lived on the Engineering base area east of 23/05. This had gas fuelled fire areas and was needed by the time it was built 1990s?? since there was very little on an Argonaut that was in any way like a modern aircraft especially a widebody.

I grew up in Stanwell south west of LHR as a kid and my earliest spotting memories are of eastbounds departing from 09R in the days before it was fully extended to the present length and I can still remember the appalling racket Argonauts made on take off compared to the much smoother sounding US radials. The Merlin was a wonderful military engine but for civil use it must have deafened hundreds who flew in it . Presumably it was some sort of economy meaure to save $$$ on US proper civilian aircraft as most of our post war piston aircraft were pretty dreadful and pretty dangerous until the Viscount came along and the finally fixed Comet 4.. I never flew on a big piston but I think the difference between them and the Viscount for noise and vibration must have been the biggest step in pax comfort ever. I was lucky enough to fly on a Viscount a couple of times and it really was a nice ride pretty much the same as one gets on a A320 today. Scuse the thread drift
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Old 30th May 2022, 16:09
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Originally Posted by Planemike View Post
You are not completely wrong. The Canadair C-4 is a blend of DC 4 with some DC 6 features added, powered by RR Merlin engines.

It is worth adding that Her Majesty flew from Nanyuki to Entebbe, where she boarded the BOAC Argonaut to return to London, in East African Airways DC 3 Dakota "Sagana" VP-KHK. Thus EAA became the first airline to fly a reigning British Monarch... This Royal flight was commanded by Capt. Aubrey Francombe with Capt. Bob Watson as co-pilot, Ivan Morris as Radio Officer & George Mathews as Steward.
Gad! I used to fly in EAA Daks back in the 50s and 60s! I wonder if I flew in that one? In those days you realised why places were called 'Airfields'. That's what many of the landing areas for the EAA Daks were: grass fields with a wooden shack in the corner. Them's were the days!
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Old 30th May 2022, 16:29
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The involved Argonaut, G-ALHK, had been sold to Danish holiday/charter carrier Flying Enterprise in 1961. When they went under in 1965 there was no further market for it, and it was broken up at Copenhagen I believe.

The Argonaut had been chartered from BOAC for an extended Royal trip to Australia etc over some weeks, the first leg of which was to East Africa. It was stood down at Entebbe when the news came through, and one can only imagine the efforts required to arrange the flight to London. I believe it had a single crew who were to accompany it throughout the leisurely trip.

The DC-3 VP-KHK which performed the initial link flight to Entebbe was sold a couple of years later to the French Air Force, for whom it performed long term. In 1969 it was sent to Scottish Aviation at Prestwick, one of the few remaining DC3 MROs in Europe by then, and while standing on the ramp it was overturned in a severe gale, and damaged beyond repair.

There was a more detailed discussion by several of us here a few months ago, on the actual anniversary of the accession, including a picture of the damaged Dakota at Prestwick :

Death of King George VI and accession of HM Queen Elizabeth II - PPRuNe Forums
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Old 30th May 2022, 17:39
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Slight thread drift -
I went through El Adem many times in the sixties pre Gaddafi and on one occasion was with an old Navigator (probably 40 years younger than I am now) who said that he remembered that for the outbound trip of Princess Elizabeth and the D of E to Kenya the first flushing lavatory in El Adem had been installed in case it was required on the turnround.
Anyone know anything about the loo and where it was ?
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Old 30th May 2022, 18:08
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Wasn’t there a story about an Argonaut on a royal tour that had a lot of armour plate fitted which was subsequently forgotten?
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Old 30th May 2022, 18:58
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
The Argonaut on the fire dump at Heathrow was G-ALHJ. My recollection of it circa 1975 was largely complete but a little bit singed...
I participated in engine runs on that very aircraft in 1968 or 69. Still recall the significant effort to hand pressurise the hyds/brakes before the run
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