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News and Articles

Airbus Industries - The new kid on the block

Once thought of as the new kid on the block it’s hard to believe the Airbus company will be 52 years old this December. No longer just building airliners, it also markets the military freighter the A400M Atlas and its helicopter arm Airbus Helicopters is the world’s largest helicopter company in terms of revenue and turbine helicopters delivered. This kid is now a fully... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 4 May 2022

Maintenance Mutterings… 4

Just a short update on the engineering goings on here at the British Airliner Collection. The Herald has, after 37 years with us, departed to its new home in Scotland. The final weeks of its stay here saw mainly contractors working on dismantling her but when it came to loading her up on the two low loaders from Welch’s transport there was a small DAS involvement. Peter Archer,... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 10 April 2022

Dan, Dan the Comet man !

Dan Air Comet

Mention the de Havilland Comet to people and many will immediately think of Dan-Air, mention Dan-Air to people and many will immediately think of the de Havilland Comet ! The two were inextricably linked for fourteen years over which time Dan-Air owned 49 examples of the 114 built, at one time the entire world supply of airworthy civil Comets was owned by Dan-Air. So please enjoy... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 18 March 2022

Hasta la vista Herald

On 7th July 1985 Handley Page Herald G-APWJ was flown into Duxford by Air UK for donation to the Duxford Aviation Society to be preserved as part of their iconic British Airliner Collection. PWJ was the last Air UK Herald to operate scheduled passenger services with the airline. Thirty seven years later she left Duxford for a new home in Scotland with the Morayvia Air Museum at... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 17 March 2022

Maintenance Mutterings 3

MM3

  A look at the recent activities by the volunteers at the Duxford Aviation Society and their efforts to keep the airliners of the British Airliner Collection in tip top shape. Today we can report on progress with the Herald, Hermes, Viscount and our annual aircraft cleaning project. Herald Since our last report the contractors have removed the outer wings, tailplane,... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 13 March 2022

Flying the Royals

the recent acquisition by the Duxford Aviation Society of an ex-32 (The Royal) Squadron BAe 146 CC2 Statesman, let’s take a look at the history of the Royal family in flight. It wasn’t until 1936 when the Prince of Wales became King Edward Vlll that a serving British monarch took to the air. Before he became King, the Prince of Wales had a healthy interest in air travel... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 24 February 2022

Maintenance Mutterings 2

Welcome to the second edition of our series looking at the work of the Duxford Aviation Society volunteers. First a quick look back at a couple of the major achievements from 2021 made all the more astounding due to regular Covid lock downs and social distancing. We had for some time wanted to repaint the Ambassador and when the IWM at short notice kindly offered us a week in the... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 2 February 2022

ROYAL AIRCRAFT RETIRES TO DUXFORD

British Aerospace 146 ZE701 from the RAF’s Number 32 Squadron (the Royal Squadron) is flying in to IWM Duxford on 24 January to retire and join the British Airliner Collection The most successful British jet airliner, the BAe146 is an important addition to the world’s premier collection of post-Second World War British civil airliners at IWM Duxford which attracts thousands... more >

By Bob Wright, 23 January 2022

Loganair-Scotland’s Airline

  Loganair was formed by Willie Logan on 1st February 1962 with a single Piper PA-23 Aztec as the air charter arm to his construction company. He had for many years used aircraft to visit various building sites for his company Duncan Logan (Contractors) ltd. Their biggest development being the Tay road bridge. When the air taxi company he regularly used went broke he bought... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 14 January 2022

Maintenance Mutterings 1

Those of you who have read our website pages for several years may remember a regular series called ‘Ramp Ramblings’. This series came to an end four years ago due to the author moving to the other side of the country and not being able to bring you regular updates on the goings-on at DAS. There has now been a request to try and bring back some sort of occasional update... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 14 January 2022

Boeing 757 a holiday romance

I find it very hard to believe that in February 2022 the Boeing 757, an aircraft I saw into airline service with UK launch customer British Airways, will be 40 years old. First flying on 19th February 1982 the new airliner was initially ordered by Eastern Airlines and British Airways. Eastern were the first by a month to put the new Boeing into operation when they operated their... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 14 December 2021

Where does Aerospace go now?

Ever since Orville Wright flew sitting in front of a 12 HP engine back in December 1903, aircraft have been powered by polluting internal combustion engines. Following on from COP 26 at Glasgow we take a look at how aviation is intending to reduce its carbon footprint in the coming years. The United Nations has stated that aviation results in 2.4 per cent of the world’s CO2... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 28 November 2021

Andrei’s three-holer

In the 1960s three new tri-jet medium-range aircraft arrived on the airliner scene. First to fly in 1962 was the British de Havilland Trident which would see 117 examples built. Next up was the much more successful American Boeing 727 with the first of 1,832 examples first flying in 1963. The last of the trio was from the Soviet’s Andrei Tupolev design bureau, the Tupolev Tu-154... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 26 October 2021

Test aircraft built for Concordes development

Concordes friends

The term ‘Little friends’ was first coined by the USAAF 8th air force bomber crews during the Second world war. This came about when they were met by the Mustang and Thunderbolt fighters to escort them on their raids over Europe, supporting the success of the mission. This support from ‘Little friends’ can also be applied to Concorde. The project was so revolutionary,... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 28 September 2021

The Story of the DC9

From 104 feet to 152 feet, back to 124 feet and all points in between, the Douglas DC-9 and its derivatives the McDonnell -Douglas MD-80/90 series and Boeing 717 was a very flexible design, even allegedly lending itself for use by the Chinese in developing their Comac ARJ21 airliner. With its long range DC-8 airliner in production Douglas took a look at the short to medium haul... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 26 August 2021

MASK WEARING ON AIRLINERS

Following the IWM’s recommendation that visitors wear masks indoors where possible, especially in crowded areas and enclosed spaces. Duxford Aviation Society (DAS) has decided that visitors boarding any DAS airliner must wear face coverings unless exempt.      more >

By Steve Jeal, 3 August 2021

Props Over the Water

Props Over the Water

Before the Second World War if you wanted to fly on a scheduled flight across the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans it would have been on a flying boat, after the war all that changed. With the availability of many new airfields with hard runways designed for long range bombers the way was now clear for land planes to replace the existing flying boat services. With all of Europe having spent... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 27 July 2021

The Overnighters

Up until the early 1970s if you wanted to send a parcel you would have taken it to the Post Office who would send it by van to a local sorting office and then another van, train or maybe by plane to the destination sorting office, from there into the postman’s bag and eventually to its destination. Here in the UK this worked fine if a little slowly, it was indeed possible for... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 27 June 2021

Two’s company but three is certainly not a crowd.

Those of you who follow our Facebook page may well remember a recent run of posts covering three-engine jets such as the Trident, DC-10, Tristar and Boeing 727. This engine arrangement was nothing new as we shall see in this article about some early piston engine tri-motor aircraft. The first tri-motor plane built would appear to be the Batson Air Yacht. Designed to cross the... more >

By Bob Wright, 25 May 2021

IWM DUXFORD NOW OPEN

Welcome back! IWM Duxford has now fully reopened to the public. You can now pick up one of our free Visitor Guides to find our more about the Duxford Aviation Society's collections: The Military Vehicle Wing and The British Airliner Collection Our Military Vehicles are located down behind the Land Warfare Hall, head on down and have a look! If you are planning a visit to... more >

By Carol Archer, 19 May 2021

The Jetliner Race

The jetliner race

Ask any 1950s schoolboy, or anyone interested in aviation history or travel what the first jet airliner was and they will correctly tell you the de Havilland Comet. Ask them what the second one to fly was and you would no doubt get varied answers such as the Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8, the Sud Aviation Caravelle or maybe a long shot the Convair Cv-880. Almost nobody would correctly say... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 29 April 2021

Boeing’s best selling baby

  From its entry into airline service with Lufthansa in February 1968 to the present day, you could visit any airport around the world and very likely see an example of Boeing’s best selling jet. With nearly 11,000 built, 400 waiting to be delivered and orders for many more this aeroplane is an icon of the airliner world. This baby Boeing is of course the Boeing 737 series. Back... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 26 March 2021

The Spannermen

With the rise of many small independent airlines in the 1950s and 60s, there was a demand for companies to carry out major engineering work and checks for those airlines who did not have a dedicated engineering department but only a few qualified guys to cover their day to day work. Companies such as Fields, Marshalls, Airwork and the subject of this article Aviation Traders Engineering... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 26 February 2021

Felling of the giants

For over 50 years the travelling public have been used to flying on giant airliners. Sadly this experience is slowly coming to an end with manufacturers Boeing and Airbus both ending production of their Jumbo -sized jets. The Boeing 747 first took to the skies in 1969 entering service a year later. Nearly 1600 of these ground-breaking jumbos will have been produced when the last... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 27 January 2021

A Dutch Master

F27

Back in the 1950s many manufacturers were looking hungrily at the DC-3 replacement market. So many examples of the Douglas design were in operation around the world it was generally thought there would be huge profits to be made in providing their replacement. As it happened, many of these old Douglas planes just flew on and on. Here in the UK Handley Page... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 30 November 2020

The history of sponsored air races

Racing

For many years the Daily Mail had been the leading newspaper when it came to offering prizes for imaginative air races. This started in 1909 with a prize of £1,000 (£52,000 in today’s money) for the first person to cross the English Channel in an aeroplane, it was won by Louis Bleriot. Fifty years later in 1959, the paper sponsored another air race to commemorate... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 30 November 2020

Pan Am...a lost American icon

Back in the 1960s there were many large airlines in the United States; TWA, Eastern, Braniff, Northwest Orient and Western to name just a few. But the one that stood out on the international air routes was Pan American World Airlines or as it was better known Pan Am. Sadly, after failures and takeovers, only three major legacy airlines are left in the USA; American, Delta and United.... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 6 November 2020

The sleeping princesses

The sleeping princesses   As a young boy, when we went on our ‘foreign’ holidays across the sea to the Isle of Wight, I always noticed the huge mummies on the dockside. My dad, who knew about these things, told me they were cocooned Princesses. For years I thought they were something from the Egyptian pyramids until he explained they were actually flying boats.... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 28 September 2020

Britten Norman BN2 – A British Success Story

BN

Britten Norman BN2 - a British success story At 6:45 am on 11 September 1970 the prototype BN Trislander made its first flight. To commemorate this event we reflect on the history of the company that built it and the story behind how and why the aircraft was developed. Let’s begin the Britten-Norman story with a short quiz Which British commercial aircraft has had the... more >

By Bob Wright, 28 August 2020

Two Caledonians and a BCal

Two Caledonians and a BCal With all three airlines affectionately known in the trade as Callys, Caledonian Airways had two lives as Caledonian and one as the parent company of British Caledonian, although it must be said the last Caledonian was a completely different animal to its predecessors, sharing just the name. Here is a brief history of these three airlines. The original... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 28 August 2020

The British Airliner Collection Aviation History No.2 de Havilland DDH106 Comet 4 G-APDB

Comet

The world’s first passenger jet, complete with that characteristic jet whistle, triumphed over the tragic crashes of the 1950s to become the first non-stop, jet airliner across the Atlantic in 1958. Comet 4 G-APDB, now based at IWM Duxford, made the historic Eastbound record-breaking flight on 4 October 1958. Click below to view the video.  more >

By Steve Jeal, 21 August 2020

The British Airliner Collection Restoration history No1 YORK G ANTK

York

Duxford Aviation Society’s workshop team got to work on York MW 232/G-ANTK in 1986. 20 years later this Berlin Airlift veteran went on display at IWM Duxford. This video is a tribute to the dedication of a skilled team. The aircraft is currently showing a reconstruction of a part-loaded Airlift consignment.    more >

By Steve Jeal, 18 August 2020

Clear?…Contact !

Engine start

Clear?…Contact ! These very words were most likely heard on the beach at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on 17 December 1903, when Wilbur started the engine for his brother Orville piloting their Wright Flyer prior to making man’s first powered flight in an aeroplane. Starting an aero engine has come on a bit since then but the principle remains the... more >

By Keith Bradshaw, 26 July 2020

 
 

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