On this date in aviation history… January 20, 1959…
The inaugural flight of the Vickers Vanguard; a Type 950 prototype G-AOYW, was a transfer to Wisley, 3 miles away.
The Vickers Type 950 Vanguard was a British short/medium-range turboprop airliner. It was introduced in 1959 by Vickers-Armstrongs, and designed to a BEA requirement for a 100-seat aircraft to replace their Viscounts.
(Source – Wikipedia – photo attributed to John M Wheatley)
The Vanguard was introduced just before the first of the large jet-powered airliners; only 44 aircraft were built – ordered by Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA) and British European Airways (BEA). Some years later, TCA successfully converted one of theirs to a freighter configuration, calling it the Cargoliner, and by the 70’s, most of the Vanguards were converted to freighters, those from BEA becoming the Merchantman. The freighters remained in service for a number of years, with the last one retiring in 1996.
(Photo attributed to Pergiuliano Chesi)
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