Film: 3425

Aviation | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Commercial flights from Heathrow airport by plane to all destinations in the early 1950's

Heathrow, near London, under construction - telephone switchboard - Spectators Enclosure on Northside from original control tower - airport built to handle 70 aircraft every hour and handle 4,000 passenger per hour - line of Avro Lancasters visible - then BOAC Canadair Argonauts and Handley Page Hermes - next is Bloch 161 Languedoc of Air France (67 built for Air France, LOT, Misrair, Iberia and the French military - could carry 33 passengers at just over 200 mph) - Spectators Enclosure has had 340,000 visitors - Tower controls aircraft up to 40 miles away - radar on old site alongside A4 (then called Southern ATC Centre) - later moved offf airfield to West Drayton - worldwide communications involves much use of teleprinters - Bristol Brabazon seen landing at Heathrow (only visit 15 June 1950) on runway 28 (now 27R or 27L) - Convair 240 taxying - airline office (Pan American, Air France, Air-India, FAMA (Argentine National Airlines who had Yorks and Lancastrians), Iberia and Sabena - El A1 DC-4 (4X-ADE) - KLM Convair 240 - Viking of Kings Flight picking up Duke of Edinburgh - Pan American Boeing Stratocruiser - Air France Languedoc (F-BCUS) - E1 A1 DC-4 - Trans Canada Airlines Canadair DC-4M (Merlin powered Skymaster) - Sabena Convair 240 (00-AWF) - Qantas Lockheed Constellation - Alitalia Savoia-Marchetti SM95 (I-DALL) - (12 built for Alitalia and SAIDE-Egypt - could carry 30 passengers at 215 mph and taken out of service in 1951) - BOAC Costellation from India? - plane of the future is BOAC Hermes IV (G-ALDN 'Horus' force landed in West Africa May 1952 after running out of fuel) - carries 40 passengers at 330 mph - loading mail followed by pilot making external inspection - carries three crew of pilot, radio operator and navigator - pilot is Captain Bennett? - Hernes takes of - SM95 (I-DALL) loads up for trip to Rome which takes 6.5 hours - scene shifts to cabin crew training (under John Lawrence?) in Hernes prototype G-AKFP or is it a mock up? - instructor (Matthews?) supervises classroom lessons on paperwork - cabin crew must memorise timetables - cockpit shots of?? - interior is probably Stratocruiser - operated on North Atlantic services - shows fold down sleeper beds of BOAC Stratocruisers and Constellations - thenm Avro York (G-AGJB) and Hermes IV (G-ALDM 'Hero') - hanger shots of Argonaut and Stratocruiser - and engine overhaul - scene changes to London's other designated airport - Northolt from which European services operate until Heathrow is completed - BEA bus - SA DC-4 (SE-BBA) - Aer Lingus D-3 - Swissair DC-3 (HB-IRN) - Scottish Airlines DC-3 (G-AGZF) - Hellenic Airlines DC-4 And Swissair Convair 240 - ground crew signpost aircraft to Paris, Warsaw, Brussels, etc - then crew briefing with flight planning and met. Reports for 1055 flight to Paris in Vickers Viking G-AIVG - Northolt control tower - Viking lines up to take-off for 90 minute trip to Paris - BEA has ordered world's first turboprop airliner - Vickers Viscount 630 (G-AHRF) - scenes Weybridge design office - shots in factory where aircraft is under contruction - designers discussing progress - then G-AHRF at Northolt - shots of passengers including Mutt Suimmers balancing coins (several including 3d and 2 shilling pieces on table to illustrate lack of vibration - air-to-air shots from a Viking - then De Havilland Comet jetliner - prototype (G-ALVG) in the air - film then switches to experimental helicopter intercity services operated between Speke Airport (Liverpool) and Cardif by Westland Sikorsky WS-51 Dragonfly (G-AJHW) probably being flown by Reggie Brie of Jock Cameron (who later became chief of BEA Helicopters) - helicopter is shown hovering and landing at Speke - Miles Gemini taxies by then WS51 loads up with pilot and two passengers. Film ends with more views of the Bristol Brabazon (G-AGPW) while commentary notes explain that with a span of 230ft (exactly the same as later Boeing 747) the aircraft was designed to carry 100 passengers and a crew of 12 great distances at a speed of 250 mph - planned accomodation included a forward lounge, a dining saloon, lounge bar and cinema to keep the passengers happy.

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