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Aviation Nostalgia Forum | the good old days
Think my favourite airport abroad was the one in majorca i spent two great weeks there. during the week there was a lot of military flights mainly spanish airforce and USN. also there was huge amount of internal spanish flights from Aviaco and iberia. Some of the super or standard DC8 s from iberia ,which never came to the uk. then on firday to sunday. there was a huge amount of IT flights from germany scandinavia and uk. that year was 1968.
In the uk i toured to many us military airfields from 62/68 and civil aerodromes. Biggin hill being my favourite aerodrome. During the summer i would spend all my sats/sundays school hols at gatwick/southend. and the winter at heathrow. I just got bored and old for plane spotting by 1969 and found other hobbies. motorcycle raceing and later marriage to my ex.
During the late eighties i became a union rep and health and safety rep for my union/job and ended up twice a month flying from heathrow and stansted to scotland. to say it was an anticlimax to fly out of heathrow was a understatement. But i always thinking of the good old days !
Some of the stuff was amazing at Manchester, Nor-Fly Convair 440s and LOT Il-18s coming in on charters as well as Air Malta B720 and Aviogenex TU-134 flights. I remember seeing Pacific Western B707F freighters at the old cargo centre where T3 is now and plenty of CP Air metal on the other side. Seems like today everything has just lost that bit of variety and colour.
An A380 is nice but I'd trade ten diverted SQ and QF ones for just one more visit by an airworthy BAC 1-11. You miss them when they are gone....
The other thing that's very noticeable now is that airlines are now more prepared to hold for long periods in times of dodgy weather due to improvements in aircraft capability in reduced visibility - gone are the times when all ATC had to say "mist at LHR/LGW, what are your intentions?" and aircraft would divert.
Nice to see Pan Am DC-6's at Hannover
I remember MAN was full of
i also remember the odd 707,DC-8 and Il-62 dropping in.
I missed the Vanguard era on domestic flights, but do recall tridents being a bit thin on the ground. Shuttles always seemed to be done on the 1-11 fleet based at Manchester. The smaller Tridents were also better performers than the gutless Trident 3 fleet.
Saturday nights always seemed to draw the exotic stuff, but after dark and when the piers were closed. Mornings saw all the Canada and USA flights, including CP Air with the DC8-63 which was beautiful.
It took us 2 hours on the buses to get to MAN and the earliest we could get there for was 0900, if we were lucky we would see the SWR DC9, AFR Caravelle and KLM DC9. We would then stay till 1600 for the Lufty B737. Yep that was it, ONE AFR/SWR/DLH/KLM per day!
You got four widebodies a week, one BA B747 on Saturday and three on Sunday's, BA, Wardair and CP Air - for those who have never seen CP Air, take a look on hairnet, the DC-10's were something else!
In 1978 Tridents started to replace the 1-11's on the shuttles, you saw Laker DC-10's once in a while and we even had a TWA B707 service for a few months but for me 1979 was the start of things for MAN, KLM doubled up, we had three of the four Air Malta B720's in at once on a Thursday morning in summer, Wardair DC-10's, TAP B707's and B727's, Trans International DC-10's, Air Europe, and the big one for me, in October Northwest Cargo started a B747F service.
Whilst I miss the schemes and the aircraft types from back then you cannot deny MAN now is a different animal, the amount of movements is in a totally different league and if you like the big stuff well there is no comparison really. You can see more widebodies in one full day at MAN than in a week in the 70's.
Later they got C-GXRA and C-GXRD (742 with GE engines) and C-GXRB and C-GXRC which were DC10s
(this from memory only, corrections welcomed)
They had some 707F freighters and occasionally a Hercules in their colours would come over this far. Freight was still exotic in those days as all sorts of startups would be around with 707s and DC8s that had been displaced from major carriers.
Pacific Western did passenger ops as well but their freighters are the ones I remember most. Air Canada Cargo and CP Air did have DC8 freighters so I'd expect those would have called in at LGW. CP Air especially.
I do remember G-BPAT the Pelican Air Cargo B707 calling in at Manchester.
Keeping on the freight side, also remember Flying Tigers very well though only got to see them at LHR which was great for freight stuff. Have seen Varig Cargo B707's and the Air Afrique B747F in there too.
Canadian charters used to be brilliant at MAN,LGW and the rest for turning up stuff like stretch DC8s. The old traffic rules were also good to Scottish spotters as transatlantic operations frequently had to go via Prestwick. However it is the daily thunder of four Conways that was the high point of the day with BA's daily MAN-Toronto flight. I would have loved to take that trip, although in those days it was bloody expensive. Adjusting for changes in the value of the pound, today it would probably be something like a couple of grand to buy a seat in Economy as in the 80s it was something like £400 or more return.
Only the charter companies and Wardair/CP did it cheaper and even then it would be pound for pound a lot dearer than today.
One of the holding points was over us too, remember the NW B747F's on hold on occasion as was a BMA B707 once with it's undercarriage down. Took some photo's of it and when I looked close up at the negs with a magnifying glass managed to get the reg!
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