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Which wing is this?

Old 28th Jan 2023, 08:33
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1973 Corfu UK Holiday flight - I reckoned first a BAC 1-11
so could be Laker Dan Air or Cambrian at the time.
(Not a -500 series as they had a tip kink added)

But I am thinking it is a Comet (DA or KT) - do I see a glimpse of the fuel jettison?

Doubt a 727 (DA) before the LE slats/flaps go down, but curved windows>? No.

Which it also means it is not a 707 (GK KT DA) or a 737-200 (BY)
and not a Viscount.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 09:31
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Wow, the drawing is great Noyade, really great food for thought there - I find it really hard to figure out the angles and how far out the tip might be, but the drawing is really helpful in visualising it. I think it's time to find out what flew out of Gatwick on the day in question.

I can see the feature that might be taken for a bit of the fuel tank - could even look a bit like a prop now I've noticed it - but I think that's grime on the slide. There was quite a lot of that and it tended to cluster on the edge,

Thanks so much to everyone who's engaged with this, really helpful. I'm going to set up the flight path sequence to try and figure out the approach now I have some attention
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 10:04
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Here are the photos on the approach, first picture is my attempt at a possible routing, starts looking back at Lake Korission positioned south west of the island, turns and runs parallel to the island heading north on the "wing" shot", then over Glyfada which on the west coast (due west of the airport) with two different photos, the second with a pronounced turn (possible telephoto zoom here), then parallel again to the runway flying lower to the north, and the last one at the southern end of the runway at the turn.

The sequence of these is determined accurately by the matrix numbers on the slide film. These sort of work with my father sitting on the port side and travelling north initially, I think better than the idea of a starboard southerly approach with the tailplane visible.

Subsequent photos are just the big versions of the insets, in case any clues there. I did wonder whether there were any standard approaches and holds.

Certainly interested in hearing from anyone who can validate or discount my interpretation.



Lake Korrission from East of the Island just north of Marbella Beach


Corfu Airport from east and slight south, at altitude


Glyfada Beach from West and slightly north, at altitude


Slightly south of last Glyfada beach photo, appears lower and turning


Back to the east of the airport



Turning at the southern end of the runway.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 10:16
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Originally Posted by rog747
1973 Corfu UK Holiday flight - I reckoned first a BAC 1-11
so could be Laker Dan Air or Cambrian at the time.
(Not a -500 series as they had a tip kink added)

But I am thinking it is a Comet (DA or KT) - do I see a glimpse of the fuel jettison?

Doubt a 727 (DA) before the LE slats/flaps go down, but curved windows>? No.

Which it also means it is not a 707 (GK KT DA) or a 737-200 (BY)
and not a Viscount.
Definitely not a T tail aircraft of any sort; looks more like a Cherokee to me.
Due to obstructions at the north of the airfield, airliner pilots rarely elected to depart off 35 or land on 17; there was a set of traffic lights (at least when I went there in '88) literally at the north end of the runway.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 10:20
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Tailplane of a Metropolitan, maybe.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 10:45
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Originally Posted by sablatnic
Tailplane of a Metropolitan, maybe.
Windows look wrong.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 10:50
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It wasn't a light aircraft or smaller airliner, I was on it and it was a holiday charter, so just on the basis of range it won't be a small prop or turboprop.

The Comet tailplane theory doesn't work as it would be impossible to see down onto it from the window base (see graphic)

Trailing edges seem unlikely because of the lack of static dispersal features and the difficulty of getting behind the wingtip anyway. That also implies the wingtip photo was flying in a southerly direction, which doesn't fit well with the sequence.

I guess I'm stumped at this point. Going to go back and check all details because I must have missed something important!


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Old 28th Jan 2023, 11:13
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Given the apparent height of the photographer above the object in question, what about a Carvair wingtip?

Have a look at 1:55-2:00 into this video.


Last edited by Peter Fanelli; 28th Jan 2023 at 11:26.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 11:21
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Originally Posted by bisonrav

Compare the line of cabin windows with the position of the tailplane; the windows are if anything, slightly below the tailplane but the photo shows a view looking DOWN on the tailplane with the cabin windows well above it.
I would suggest it's something with a very low set and low dihedral tailplane like a Britannia.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 11:36
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I don't think it's a Comet but it does occur to me that the aircraft may well be in a turn with the camera pointing slightly upwards in relation to the aircraft, hence no apparent tailplane dihedral. Could it also be a wide angle lens he used, giving some distortion to the window frame and tailplane?
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 11:47
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He was a camera enthusiast (Pentax SLR), and used a lot of lenses including wide angle and telephoto, and not unlikely he was using wide angle out of the window, it would make sense for landscape shots I think. Sadly now deceased, so I can't ask him!

If this was a Manchester flight, it was a 727 somehow, but really losing confidence in that possibility now. I'm asking someone who has records from Gatwick to see what went up on the date in question (21st May 1973)
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 12:03
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Originally Posted by bisonrav
If this was a Manchester flight, it was a 727 somehow, but really losing confidence in that possibility now. I'm asking someone who has records from Gatwick to see what went up on the date in question (21st May 1973)
A 727 is not possible; the tailplane would have been well above window line and out of sight from the cabin.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 12:12
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You more or less have deduced this for yourself -
you state you went to Corfu a lot on BEA Airtours Comets at that time - in the early 70's and I too think it is a Comet wing tip.

However KT's wings were painted red...Plot thickens

Dan Air Comet 4B wing from cabin in flight

The 3 Dan Air 727's were flying then in 1973 on their first summer from mainly LGW BHX and MAN but the round windows throw me --- although the wing tip - was a maybe...

I don't know why some folk here think it is a tailplane - The Comets were angled upwards and the tips on KT's were painted black.
Even seated down the back in the last row I do not think you would see the tail.

Carvair or Metropolitan>? Do Pay attention at the back, Class....lol

Last edited by rog747; 28th Jan 2023 at 12:42.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 12:17
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Looking at that line diagram there seems to be quite a degree of dihedral on the tail which does not show in the photo. This would suggest it to be the main wing.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 12:43
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Assuming the type in question to be a Comet, it would almost certainly be a 4 series model. Looking at the wingtip, there would be some kind of fence visible from the photos perspective. I also dare say that the profile nose on a Comet is a little less sharp than what is shown on the picture.

But looking at an 1-11 wingtip, it seems that there is quite a bit of similarity. As it has been mentioned, if not established, by people more knowledgeable than me that 1-11s were among the types operated on the discussed route in a matching time frame, IŽd place my bets on this type here.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 13:02
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This is fun.

Dan-Air (or Olympic?) Comet wing without slipper tanks.
Must have been fun doing that 180 for RW35.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 14:14
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I would propose a Britannia as the attached extract (currently the complete drawing is for sale on Ebay) shows a very similar looking tip of the tailplane plus the relatively close location of the curved rear passenger windows (on some versions only). This would allow the photo to be taken with a reasonably wide angle lens that would include the end of the tailplane.

I note that according to Wikipedia, Britannia's were flying passengers with Monarch up to 1974. However it appears that they must have usually flown from Luton as their bases at Manchester and Gatwick did not open until the 1980's


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Old 28th Jan 2023, 15:05
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Vanguard leading edge metal work looks similar and has nice big windows.







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Old 28th Jan 2023, 15:17
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That was my first impression as well. Some type of low wing monoplane general aviation type. I can't be more specific that that, there is something about the far tip of the starboard wing gives me that impression.

I am enjoying this thread very much!
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 15:57
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Don't recall any Vanguards doing ITs to Corfu.

Last edited by chevvron; 28th Jan 2023 at 18:31.
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