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-   -   LUTON History and Nostalgia (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/527527-luton-history-nostalgia.html)

LTNman 11th Nov 2013 04:45

LUTON History and Nostalgia
This thread has been started as the Luton 7 thread in Airlines, Airports and routes was shut down by the Mod as there were complaints about Luton's history being posted there. Posts here will sometimes be linked to hot topics in Luton 8 over on the Airlines, Airport and Routes forum.

Luton check-in over the years.







Late 1990's


LGS6753 11th Nov 2013 08:10

LTNman -

Your first photo must have been taken in the early 1960s. However, the second must also be a 1960s shot, as Autair re-branded to Court Line in early 1970 and the Autair desks are clear in the background.

More pics please!

oncemorealoft 11th Nov 2013 08:30

The 80s picture looks like check-in for one of the MoD charters. Even casually dressed these chaps clearly aren't off to Benidorm! I can just about read 'Hanover' on the check-in display.

LTNman 11th Nov 2013 21:31

I think you are right about the MOD flights. I seem to remember there were 2 or 3 a day to West Germany.

The service people had to queue twice. Here is a photo of the JSATO??? desks.


compton3bravo 12th Nov 2013 16:39

In the late 1980s and early 90s the MoD had a check in desk next to one of entrances to the terminal with the title of SMITH AIR. It stood out like a proverbial sore thumb with rather clean shaven and short hair style gents lining up. It also had an outside wall on to the concourse - not a very good idea in those days regarding the Irish problem!

Also remember in the late 1960s the Open University using the airport to film exterior scenes for a programme - I think resembling a French airport. Remember the sliding doors at arrivals!

thegypsy 12th Nov 2013 16:56

Did many a Double Trooper from Luton to Gutersloh,Wildenrath,Gatow, Hanover etc 30 minute turnrounds in B737-200. Always had time to get cheap beer from the NAAFI.

Then a quick drink in Freds:{

Before I got my command did several with Derek Davison ( Chief Pilot ) who would turn up just a few minutes before chock time!

Aero Mad 12th Nov 2013 18:22

Would anyone be able to tell me which airline operated LTN-GCI and at what stage? I can only find records from the CAA in 1989 (1633 pax), 1990 (2488 pax) and 1991 (2429 pax). It would seem from this that it was a seasonal operation but I can find no details. If anyone could give me the low-down on the route's history I would be very interested.

richlit 12th Nov 2013 19:18

luton airport clips 1974
Hi al,l its been put on before but some may not of seen it. Luton airport in 1974. Richard LUTON AIRPORT - British Pathé

richlit 12th Nov 2013 19:31

some more old luton airport clips
One more. Some the same some new shots. Sorry no sound on this one. Richard LUTON AIRPORT - British Pathé

wet wet wet 12th Nov 2013 19:31

More pics please! The first picture looks like customs rather than check-in - note the chemist's scales in the background.

wallp 12th Nov 2013 19:34

Pretty sure it would've been British Midland at that stage. They operated seasonal services from Luton both to GCI & JER for many years with a mix of DC9/737/Viscount as I recall. Would imagine the latter was used for most if not all the GCI rotations

almost professional 12th Nov 2013 19:36

I'm sure the Guernsey flights in the eighties were BMA, probably Viscounts, and were seasonal - mostly weekends, along with Jersey.

wallp 12th Nov 2013 19:42

British Midland definitely operated weekend only seasonal flights to the Channel Islands. Think GCI was probably once on each of Sat & Sun. I do remember in peak summer, JER was several times on both Sat & Sun

almost professional 12th Nov 2013 19:58

BMA diesel nines back and forth on summer Saturday's !
Possible that Guernsey may have been done with a Dash7 late on - or that may have been at EMA, left Luton in 1989 and memory failing

wallp 12th Nov 2013 20:27

Actually yes, I do seem to remember a Dash 7 being used, perhaps an ATP at times too?

compton3bravo 13th Nov 2013 04:31

Going back to the 1960s and 70s British Midland used Argonauts on the Jersey and Dart Heralds and F27s on the Guernsey as well as to Jersey. I am sure someone can remember Derby Airways - the precursor of BM - operating Miles Marathons and DC-3s to Jersey but that was before my time.

LTNman 13th Nov 2013 05:29

Luton's old terminals over the years

Luton's wooden terminal gets some much needed expansion

Luton gets a new terminal, photo taken 1969

Around 1984 the terminal got a new entrance with sliding doors! Now coaches can park under cover.


Only a few year later the arrivals meeters and greeters area needed to be expanded thus closing the bus lane.


LTNman 13th Nov 2013 05:55

1985 British Midland Flight number BD 1709 aircraft F27
1986 British Midland Flight numbers BD 1711/ BD 1709 aircraft F27
1987 British Midland Flight numbers BD 1733/ BD 1731 aircraft F27
1988 no information
1989 British Midland Flight numbers BD 1783/ BD 1789 aircraft ATP

One flight each Saturday and Sunday. In 1985 the same flight number was used for both days.

wallp 13th Nov 2013 07:36

Great to see these old photos. My, how times have changed. I well remember the 'LIA' days when the terminal got its new entrance.

Double Hydco 13th Nov 2013 09:09

When I would regularly use the Britannia trooper to Gutersloh during the late 1980's, I seem to recall that the movers desk in the terminal was marked 'Sunshine Tours' or similar. I think it was a vain attempt to fool the IRA and the soviet bloc, that the kitbag carrying passengers were holiday makers?

Level bust 13th Nov 2013 09:55

A little later, but in 1998 Jersey European (as they were then) based a Friendship at Luton and did at least 2 rotations a day to Jersey via Guernsey.

Aero Mad 13th Nov 2013 17:40

Thanks for all your replies - it's this sort of thing which makes PPRuNe quite unique.

Old F86 Aviator 27th Nov 2013 05:51

Sorry but I am new to posts on PPrune pages.
Luton Airport, I can offer some clear memories at the beginning of the 39-45 war when my father was working for Percivals there. I used to visit with him on Sundays usually, aged about 11-12 and my father early on in the war was running the 'production line' fitting Napier Sabres into the Hawker Typhoons. I well remember one Sunday and people were arriving to see a Land Mine swinging from inside the hangar roof. It did not cause much of a stir and I suppose the Bomb Disposal people turned up to clear it. I had several flights with the Chief Test Pilot in the P Proctor sitting on lots of cushions to see over the front. The net result must have made an impression as I ended up with a most exciting career for over 30 years as a pilot in the RAF all over the world ............ memories are fascinating, regretably no photos of Luton Airport.

LTNman 30th Nov 2013 09:27

The airports old approach road with views of Percivals.


In the background of the middle picture is the Italian prisoner of war camp off Eaton Green Road



LTNman 22nd Feb 2014 08:45

The opening of Luton Airport

East Anglian Film Archive: Luton Airport, 1938

LTNman 10th Mar 2014 22:18


1967. A rather small airport in those days

LGS6753 16th Mar 2014 18:44

The 'field' closest to the camera was the public enclosure. I well remember Friday evenings there in 1967 with mates on our bikes!

keepers one 17th Mar 2014 11:44

First post from me.I reckon I was there as well in 67 on my bike,I was also there in the late 1960's photo (when I worked at LTN)

LTNman 19th Mar 2014 06:16



just a guess but I would say maybe 1964?

compton3bravo 20th Mar 2014 17:33

euravia connies
Great pictures LTNman, yes I would go for 1964 when in the August the company changed its name to Britannia Airways. I think I am right in thinking that none of the Connies actually wore Britannia titles. The bottom Connie looks as though it is still in basic Skyways colours.

LTNman 20th Mar 2014 19:23

Undated photo. Can someone identity the aircraft and take a guess at the year?


spekesoftly 20th Mar 2014 20:21

Six Miles Magisters on the grass, and two Hawker Furys by the hangar.


22/04 21st Mar 2014 00:12

"Great pictures LTNman, yes I would go for 1964 when in the August the company changed its name to Britannia Airways. I think I am right in thinking that none of the Connies actually wore Britannia titles. The bottom Connie looks as though it is still in basic Skyways colours".

IIRC some Connies were actually painted into Skyways colours form Euravia ones - 'RXE comes to mind. I think this was something to do with a service to Malta.

LTNman 21st Mar 2014 05:45

A close look to the left of the top hanger shows the Napier Lancaster( Error should read Napier Lincon) test aircraft.


Proplinerman 21st Mar 2014 22:23

"I think I am right in thinking that none of the Connies actually wore Britannia titles." That's right, because Euravia re-named themselves Britannia when they moved on from Connies to Britannias.

Those Magisters: I'd say immediately pre-war rather than 1940, as not camouflaged and biplane in background (Hawker Hart?).

Democritus 21st Mar 2014 23:10

Photo at post#31 of the Magisters.....the fourth one from the front. Has anyone got better skills at blowing up photos than me? It looks as though it could be L8255. If it is, it's the Magister in which my late father did his first solo on June 12th 1941 at No 16 EFTS at Burnaston, Derby.

L8255 was destroyed by fire during maintenance in a hangar on 28 October 1942.

LTNman 21st Mar 2014 23:15

They are parked in order. The 4th aircraft is L8259, can't read the last two though. If you PM me I can email you the photo if you want it but then I guess you don't as it is the wrong aircraft.

Democritus 21st Mar 2014 23:26

Thanks LTNman - I thought that was possibly the case. Thanks for the offer of the photo but I was hoping it was my Dad's aircraft.

Haraka 22nd Mar 2014 05:52

Isn't that possibly the Napier Naiad turboprop Lincoln test bed to the top left of the aerial view in #34?

LTNman 22nd Mar 2014 07:05

Think you are correct. I did a Google search on "Napier Naiad turboprop Lincoln" and there is a nice piece from Flightglobal about Luton and its Lincoln test aircraft.

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