Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

British Caledonian Boeing 707s

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

British Caledonian Boeing 707s

Old 10th Jan 2023, 10:16
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: LEEDS
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
British Caledonian Boeing 707s

Did BCAL continue to use these on long haul routes after the DC10s began to arrive or were they relegated to secondary and/or charter flights? I never saw one in the flesh - I expect they flew almost exclusively from Gatwick - but I can imagine a parallel with Aer Lingus, i.e. as a back-up to the widebodies whilst doing ITs to the Canaries and the more distant Greek islands.

Thankyou.
Mooncrest is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2023, 12:09
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Dorset UK
Age: 69
Posts: 1,602
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There were still some passenger routes using the 707 in 1982 despite having 8 DC-10 by then.
I remember turning one round at Gatwick. It had come in from Lusaka and then went to Tripoli and back.
I was a liney mech and only signed for oil, tyre pressures and a basic walkround.
When it arrived from Lusaka one engine needed 10 quarts of oil so I contacted maintrol and they said it was allowed 1 qt. per hour and as the inbound flight was 10+ hours it was OK.
I sent it out to Tripoli and was still on shift when it returned about 7 hours later.
The Flight Engineer was not happy. He had topped up with about 20 qts on the turn round in Tripoli and shut it down at the top of climb due to low level. They re-started it for the approach at Gatwick.
Maintrol's response was that we got the flight flown and it will go in the hangar tonight for an engine change.
dixi188 is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2023, 14:28
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: LEEDS
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As I recall, BCAL owned a number of new-build 707s as well as used examples - two of these came from Britannia after a brief stay there. I think there was also a -100 in the fleet for less than a year.
Mooncrest is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2023, 14:41
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 5,805
Received 83 Likes on 41 Posts
IIRC the BCal 707's were a lot more comfortable than most other airlines.

But once you'd been on a wide body .....................................
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2023, 22:00
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Southampton
Posts: 345
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
British Caledonian Airways received their first McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 in February 1977.

British Caledonian Airways retired their last Boeing 707-320 in March 1984.

With eight DC-10-30 in the fleet by 1982 the Boeing 707s flew between London Gatwick and secondary destinations in Africa.

​​​​​​In the latter years in service with BCAL the remaining Boeing 707s often flew to the following destinations.

Banjul
Casablanca
Freetown
Las Palmas (charter, previously a scheduled destination)
Lusaka
Monrovia
Tenerife (charter, previously a scheduled destination)
Tripoli

There were also a couple of Boeing 707 cargo aircraft in the fleet at the time with flights to Lagos and Accra. There was also a dedicated weekly (Sunday) cargo only flight between London Heathrow and Houston.

British Caledonian Airways, my all-time favourite airline. Even after almost Forty years London Gatwick Airport still doesn't feel the same without the BCAL lions against the pier's. I always imagine what the airline would have become if it had independently survived.

www.british-caledonian.com is a good resource.
Sotonsean is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2023, 22:23
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Caledonian Airways built up quite a 707 fleet from the mid-1960s onwards, taking over from their Britannias, and their principal usage was summer Transatlantic IT charters, where they became a market leader. There were just a few Mediterranean IT flights which were beyond the capabilities of their One-Elevens, and off-season they found various tasks, including a substantial programme to Singapore. Come the merger in 1971 with British United and they started to run this non-scheduled side slowly down, and the 707s were progressively transferred to what the BUA VC-10s had once done. The 707 fleet rose (sometimes) and fell, dependent on what work they secured, I don't think they ever quite got it into double figures, and had a long handover period to the DC-10; the first of these came in charter configuration as well for the initial year, but that side of the business was just progressively dropped off.

Last edited by WHBM; 10th Jan 2023 at 22:34.
WHBM is offline  
Old 10th Jan 2023, 23:28
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Southampton
Posts: 345
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
IIRC the BCal 707's were a lot more comfortable than most other airlines.

But once you'd been on a wide body .....................................
By 1974 the BCAL fleet of Boeing 707-320s we're fitted with the new 'wide-body' look interiors. Plenty of photos online showing the new look cabin interiors at the time which was a huge improvement on the previous.
Sotonsean is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 01:32
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cardiff
Age: 79
Posts: 62
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I seem to remember that it was a BCal 707 that was the first comercial airliner to fly non-stop from UK to Singapore. It would be in 1967 or 1970/1
Mickj3 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 02:36
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Southampton
Posts: 345
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickj3 View Post
I seem to remember that it was a BCal 707 that was the first comercial airliner to fly non-stop from UK to Singapore. It would be in 1967 or 1970/1
I believe that it was 1970.

In the spring of 1970, Caledonian Airways won a renewable, one year contract from Qantas to carry migrants from Europe to Australia. The initial contract was worth 4.3 million. It was a sub-charter providing for the carriage of up to 40,000 passengers on approximately 220 flights.

The flights went to several Australian destinations such as Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. All went via Singapore and a Middle Eastern fuel stop. In the case of the Caledonian Airways Boeing 707 being the first ever commercial airliner to fly non-stop flight from London Gatwick to Singapore. This is indeed the case but I'm sure it only ever occurred if the conditions allowed it and I'm not sure how many occasions it actually happened.

Last edited by Sotonsean; 11th Jan 2023 at 22:40.
Sotonsean is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 07:31
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 65
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to add to the great posts above -
Caledonian AW in 1967 got 2 new-build 707-399C's G-AVKA Flagship Bonnie Scotland, which was immediately leased to Flying Tigers in a hybrid CALE/Tigers livery.
and G-AVTW.
They soon added 2 more bought from Flying Tigers, 707-349C's G-AWWD and G-AWTK
plus 2 707-355C's built for Exec Jet G-AYEX (ex Airlift and International Air Bahama) and G-AXRS (ex Transavia)

CALE had 7 186/189 seaters flying charters on line by summer 1970, with the addition G-ATZC a 707-365C (was BRITISH EAGLE NTU, ex Airlift and Transavia)

They were all used on Affinity Group charters to the USA and Canada, plus to East Africa, and the Far East HKG and SIN.
FETC Far East Travel Centre charters, plus the 10 POM's contract flights to OZ.
At weekends they flew for Global Holidays, Tartan Arrow, Blue Sky, and Horizon Holidays from LGW MAN and GLA to PMI IBZ ALC RHO and TFS.

At the BUA merger for 1971, it was decided to retain the 707-320C's as the new airlines long haul airliner of choice, and to let the VC10's go.
Scheduled licences saw the BCAL 707's on JFK and LAX as well as Africa and South America.
The 707C fleet was expanded, to include a dedicated cargo freighter G-AYZZ leased from AA,
plus G-AYSI (from Britannia) and G-AZJM (from Lloyd International) were added in 1973.

In 1973 wide look cabins were being installed on the 707's to keep up with BA/PA/TW who by now had new 747's on their Transatlantic and other scheduled routes that the new BCAL were now competing on, albeit from LGW.
Golden Lion Travel was formed to operate the newly allowed ABC charters.

More used examples were sourced such as from Qantas and PIA.

The 2 707-399C's were disposed of early on 1973 sold to TAP, and in 1977 the first 2 707-349C's went to TAAG.

G-BCLZ 707-351B/SCD was a rare ex Northwest hybrid 707 that was leased for a year from China AL in 1974.

One 707-338C was registered G-BCAL Flagship Bonnie Scotland in 1975.(sold 1979 when more DC-10's came)

The 707's were named such as County of Renfrew, Angus, Ayr, Perth, Caithness, Stirling etc

A 707-139B G-TJAA was leased from Tempair/Templewood/TransAsian in 1979 to cover DC10 delays/groundings.

Last edited by rog747; 11th Jan 2023 at 07:44.
rog747 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 07:45
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 5,805
Received 83 Likes on 41 Posts
Originally Posted by Sotonsean View Post
By 1974 the BCAL fleet of Boeing 707-320s we're fitted with the new 'wide-body' look interiors. Plenty of photos online showing the new look cabin interiors at the time which was a huge improvement on the previous.
That explain's why they were so much better than other airlines - thanks!!
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 09:15
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Under the clouds now
Age: 85
Posts: 2,442
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Mickj3 View Post
I seem to remember that it was a BCal 707 that was the first comercial airliner to fly non-stop from UK to Singapore. It would be in 1967 or 1970/1
I was in Singapore with an RAF Britannia when that flight occurred, empty, I beleive, apart from a replacement Pratt and Witney engine for another BCAL 707. I remember it pissing off the RAF because they had just flow a Vulcan from the UK to Singapore nonstop, (with a lot of inflight refuelling)
brakedwell is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 15:02
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: britain
Posts: 580
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rog747 and WHBM
Caledonian did not merge with BUA. They took them over
bean is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 15:17
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NORFOLK UK
Age: 75
Posts: 2,574
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This uniform was the best thing about BCAL - streets ahead of any other airline......



OUAQUKGF Ops is online now  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 16:08
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Dorset UK
Age: 69
Posts: 1,602
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Filming for one of the "Caledonian Girls" adverts was done inside a DC-10 in a hangar. The lighting guys set up flood lights outside the aircraft on tripods to shine through the cabin windows. After they had finished it was found that some of the windows had been damaged by the heat of the lamps. Several had to be changed.
dixi188 is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 17:41
  #16 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: LEEDS
Posts: 1,154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thankyou all. Nice to know that BCAL clearly valued their Boeings highly, spending some brass on modernised interiors and keeping them going alongside their DC10s, albeit in gradually reducing numbers.
Mooncrest is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2023, 21:30
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 7,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by OUAQUKGF Ops View Post
This uniform ...


That would be an expensive paint job - G-AZPW was only leased for 6 months, in summer 1972 (thus dating the skirt lengths), from Pakistan International, before going back there. I wonder if the airline name was "British Caledonian", or the earlier "Caledonian//BUA"
WHBM is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2023, 04:27
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 65
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
That would be an expensive paint job - G-AZPW was only leased for 6 months, in summer 1972 (thus dating the skirt lengths), from Pakistan International, before going back there. I wonder if the airline name was "British Caledonian", or the earlier "Caledonian//BUA"
Morning!
In 1971 Caledonian//BUA titles were quickly added to both fleets, and the repainting of BUA 1-11's and VC-10's soon began.
G-ARTA Vickers VC10-1109 was w/o LGW on 28.01.72 and was already in BCAL's new livery and titles.
(she did at first have the lion tail but with Caledonian//BUA titles)

By March 1972 when G-AZPW appeared the new British Caledonian livery was on. and BCAL was now the formal name of the airline.
G-AZRO was leased for just 18 months also from PIA around the same time.

The new BCAL livery was amended on Caledonians' own existing fleets of BAC 1-11 509 (4) and 707-320C (7) which saw livery changes to their tails, and to the 707's cheat lines.

BCAL's G-AZMF, a BAC 111-530FX was delivered brand new (In the new BCAL livery) in March 1972, and was the new airlines sole new build aircraft until the first new DC-10's arrived in 1977, although both G-BEBL and G-BEBM had already been built for a China AL order (NTU) and had been stored as white tails in the desert.
The other new builds for BCAL were the pair of Airbus A-310's in 1984.

G-AZPW sadly, was the PIA 707 lost on the 26-Nov-79 when it crashed near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while en-route to Karachi.
A fire had been reported near the aft cabin passenger door and the crew started an emergency descent from 30,000 feet and were cleared to descend to 4000 feet.
Nothing more was heard from the flight and the aircraft crashed in a level rocky area. The cause of the cabin fire was not determined but it was considered possible that it could have been a leaking gasoline or kerosene cooking stove, such as those often carried aboard by Haj pilgrim passengers. All 156 onboard were killed.

rog747 is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2023, 09:20
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ashwell
Posts: 444
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I flew from Nairobi to Gatwick on BCal 707 G-AWTK on 4/7/74. Nothing too unusual there but as it was a daytime departure from Nairobi i.e. hot and high it needed a fuel stop in Benghazi. I seem to remember the captain had a problem getting the engines started so he announced he was going to have us towed to face in to wind to assist the start. Was he pulling our legs or was this SOP?. Whatever it was it worked and we were soon on our way which was some relief as I'd spent 18 months working in Libya and was not impressed.
VictorGolf is online now  
Old 15th Jan 2023, 18:19
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
Age: 79
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The BCAL 707 was my first long haul command, coming from a BAC1-11 with BUA, just after the takeover by Caledonian. My failing memory tells me I only had about 18 months on the a/c before going to the DC10. The 707 certainly had scheduled services at the time, mainly to West Africa. We were known as the Africa corps. But Benghazi certainly featured as did Nairobi. It was a truly wonderful a/c to fly. I will never forget that feeling of raw power at the end of the runway when one applied full power and released the brakes. Basic indeed it was, with the need to have each throttle lever in a different position to achieve balanced power. Thank God for Flt engineers. I went on to fly the DC10, one memorable trip, when I set fire to Freetown airport after a bird ingestion on the roll out. Then the 744 with BA, not the same but still a wonderful a/c. The fun of the Caledonian girls was missing. BCAL was a truly wonderful company to fly for & to work for. I'm now in my 80th year, so forgive hazy memories!
hautemude is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.