Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Adastra Hudson Sydney BB c1969_369

It's VH-AGX at Sydney. Note the high security in place at Sydney Airport... I walked out and just took a shot. OK, it is the quiet 'light aircraft' side of the field... and I looked innocent enough at 11 years old with a Box Brownie in my hands.

CF-CPT CPAir DC8-55 Sydney BB c1969_367

CPAir, or Canadian Pacific Airways if you like. It's 1969 again, taken with a Kodak Box Brownie... once more not great quality but (once more) a rare bird worth sharing. Again I simply walked through the gate and literally walked all around this bird.

Voyager 1000 DC7C N287 Sydney BB c1969_365

Yes folks, an 11 year old with a Box Brownie could go anywhere in 1969... note the "old" Sydney International Terminal on the left with a gaggle of 707s, notably Pan Am and Air India.

QF 707-138B and JAL DC8 Sydney BB c1969

The "new" Sydney International Terminal when it was actually new... taken with my Box Brownie in around 1969...

RAF Comet Sydney BB c1969_366

RAF Comet Sydney BB c1969_366
Originally uploaded by gtveloce
Get set for some old, blurry pics taken by yours truly with his Box Brownie, age 11 or so...

Yes, it's 1969 again folks. Not great quality but (once more) a rare bird worth sharing, and to think I simply walked through the gate and literally walked all around this RAF Comet without question. Can't do that these days.

Friday, April 18, 2008

OK, here's a weird one

I had a dream last night where I was watching traffic at Heathrow airport in what appeared to be the late 1950's. Now I was only born in '57 and have never been to London, so that's weird enough alone. Anyway, 2 Vickers Vikings collided mid-air and brought down what I thought to be a Boeing C-97. I looked it up and that's exactly what it was. (At least I got my plane recognition right on both counts.) Now I don't recall a 3-way crash like that ever happening, but there you go. And I've only ever seen pictures of Vickers Vikings, so why I thought of that aircraft I don't know. The same goes for the C-97, which is of course a Boeing cargo version of the Stratocruiser.

The rest of the dream involved family and friends, none of whom were of the correct age for the period, but then again it was a dream so anything is possible. But one of the characters in the dream is English and could have been either a 10 year old plane spotter or possibly lived near Heathrow at the time. I haven't seen him for 20 years and can't check.

What else could I do, I had to search for this crash. I found the crash stats for Vickers Vikings (24% survival, not bad; 54 hull losses, which sounds a lot). I also found Madden's excellent Air Transport Safety Resources, with 3 mentions of the Viking:
Interesting that it was an "Airnautic" Viking as one of the characters in my little dream ran an operation called "Aironautica". Hmmm. Still, no exact matches, and no C-97s nearby at all. But if nothing else it gave me something more to search on. So I did.

If that wasn't interesting enough, the Longford Residents Association tells the tale of the Vulcan bomber - the very first - coming back from what must have been a simply wonderful trip to Australia, with the Air Vice Marshall so keen to greet the dignitaries awaiting the craft at Heathrow that he had (a) displaced the co-pilot from his seat and (b) over-ruled warnings not to land in a thunderstorm... you can guess what happened (it includes Brussel sprouts, btw) or read it all here: On 1st October 1956, the first Avro Vulcan bomber taken on charge by the RAF, returning from a successful flight to Australia and New Zealand, crashed on approach to Heathrow Airport (then called London Airport).

According to the aforementioned LRA Heathrow's history as an airport is in itself quite alarming: The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was party to the whole plot but complained about the unsuitability of the proposed layout of runways for their civil aviation requirements. To maintain the ruse, a runway was built which was totally unsuitable for civil purposes and which was subsequently abandoned without ever having been used... ...The airport was formally opened on 31st May 1946. According to that reference Stage 1 was a military use, but it didn't happen. And Stage 2 didn't happen either, btw. So the lucky residents got a wonderful set of long concrete strips and massive traffic jams instead.

In short, no luck so far on the search but some interesting research there... well I'm interested, anyway!

These posts represent my opinions only and may have little or no association with the "facts" as you or others see them. Look elsewhere, think, make up your own mind. If I quote someone else I attribute. If I link to a web site it's because I have visited it myself and wish to refer to it, however that linking doesn't denote, imply or suggest any ownership, agreement with or control over that content. If an advertisement appears it's because I affiliate with Google, Amazon and others similar in nature and usually means nothing more than that... the Internet is a wild and untamed place folks, so please tread warily. My posts do not constitute consultation, advice or legal opinion of any sort.

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