AIRSHOWS

 

In the 1960s the charter airlines were particularly keen to encourage air travel to the masses and therefore regularly attended airshows.   Not only did they exhibit their airliners at such events but often ran joyflights before the flying display began.  It was by taking advantage of these at the Biggin Hill Airshows that gave me my one and only flights in a Vickers Viscount (Channel Airways) and - one of the great aircraft loves of my life - the BAC 1-11 (British United).   Most of the below photographs are thought to have been taken in the 1965-1967 period.

 

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One aircraft doing a flying display at Biggin Hill in the 1960s was De Havilland Rapide G-AKIF.

 

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This unusual helicopter is a USAF Kaman HH-43 Husky seen on display at RAF Chivenor sometime in the late 1960s/early 1970s.   Note the Hawker Hunters in the background.  My thanks to several viewers of this website who identified this helicopter for me.  It had been a mystery to me for something like 35 years!

 

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My dad, mum and young sister (now in her 50s she will hate me for displaying this on the internet!) - the 3 at the top of the stairs - disembarking from a Channel Airways 700 series Viscount after a joyflight at the Biggin Hill Airshow.  This is thought to be in 1965.

 

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Another Channel Airways Viscount - a V812 G-ATUE - was on display at Biggin Hill in 1966.  This aircraft, manufacturer's serial number 357, was delivered to Continental Airlines (on whom Channel Airways based their livery) on the 26th June 1958. It was bought by Channel Airways on the 29th April 1966 and displayed at Biggin Hill before going into service with them for one year.  This aircraft was broken up at East Midlands Airport in May 1972.

 

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British United BAC 1-11 G-ASJF was both on display and giving joyflights at Biggin Hill - I think in 1966.

G-ASJF, a type 201AC manufacturer's serial number 010, was delivered to British United on the 22nd May 1965.  It subsequently became part of the British Caledonian fleet, and after further service in the USA was broken up, I think in Florida, in February 1986.

 

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Not so many crowds around it now, hence another photograph, which also shows better the silver strip on the leading edge of the fin - this needed a good small brush and a steady hand when painting it onto the Airfix kit that was first introduced in this British United livery!

 

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BEA Helicopters' Bell Jetranger G-AWGU was providing joyflights at Biggin Hill - I think this might have been in 1967.  We took a trip in this craft though it was not our first helicopter flight, that honour belonging to our jaunt to the Isles of Scilly. 

My next flight in a helicopter had to wait another 30 years, again a joyflight, again in a Jetranger, but this time at North Weald during the 1997 Fighter Meet.  This ride was to introduce my then 13 and 10 year old daughters (who by this time had already flown 5 return trips across the Atlantic, plus 6 European flights) to helicopter travel.

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