G-BEYD

baf-herald-g-beyd

Handley Page HPR.7 Herald 401 Series – c/n 171

With BAF from Oct 1977 to Oct 1984

Given Name – ‘Amy Johnson’

By the middle of 1977, BAF was operating eight Handley Page Herald aircraft and being extremely happy with both their ease of operation and their exceptional versatility, the company looked into how they could procure yet more of these sturdy airframes. As luck would have it, the Royal Herald G-BEYD RMAFMalaysian Air Force had from 1963 onwards, purchased eight aircraft of their own and by 1977 they were looking for a replacement. Needless to say, BAF stepped in and submitted a bid for these aircraft which was duly accepted and thus in one stroke, this acquisition almost doubled the size of the fleet. (‘G-BEYI’ remained in Malaysia and was instead, scrapped for parts on site). Another bonus was the fact that these aircraft were all 400 series variants, built especially for the RMAF with specially strengthened floors and a slightly larger, double side loading door, which would come in useful for cargo work, especially during the later years when passenger services began to drop substantially.

While Yankee Delta was the first in the G-BEY- series, she would be the third of these Heralds to arrive at Southend on October 18th 1977 and was the only one to arrive equipped with wing tanks as in the image above. As such, oneHerald G-BEYD aircraft would arrive every month on average between August 1977 and May 1978. She was then pulled into the hangar for an overhaul and for the first part of 1978, spent much of her time flying cross-Channel services from Southend-Ostend/Rotterdam and Manchester-Rotterdam. However, this aircraft seemed destined to become one of BAF’s most leased Heralds and it wasn’t long before she departed on her first to Nile Valley Aviation who were at the time flying a domestic, air taxi service of sorts to Cairo and whom during the late ’70s and early ’80s, went on to lease a number of these aircraft from BAF. She finally returned in October and was replaced the following year by Herald G-BDZV.

Her next lease would come as part of BAF’s transferral of its scheduled services to British Island Airways at the beginning of 1979. Yankee Delta was not leased out immediately though and it wasn’t until April that she finally went to work for her lessor. It was no doubt this late arrival that resulted in her never adopting a BIA livery and she was flown in BAF’s ‘Bee’ livery with BIA titles applied to her instead. She was later returned to BAF in September of the same year. During 1980, her frequency of short leases would increase further and in February, she would serve with Air Inter for one month. June would see her joining yet another French outfit – Touraine Air Transport for a similar length of time. Finally in October she would head off for the warmer climes of Northern Africa, joining Air Algerie for the first of two leases, which in essence became one long lease that lasted up until roughly the middle of 1981.

It would seem however, that Yankee Delta was henceforth destined to spend much of the rest of her service life operating in North Africa, onlyG-BEYD May 1983 returning to Southend for maintenance or for a short period of storage until the next contract began. Having returned from Algeria, she would next depart for Libya where she would spend much of the spring of 1982 with Agoco Oil and then later in the year she would join Libyan Arab Airlines, before finally returning to SEN late in 1982. It would appear that on her return, she would see little in the way of further use, probably having been made redundant by BAF’s large, Viscount fleet and by early-1983, she was sitting forlorn on the northern apron without engines where she remained for more than a year before finally being towed away and scrapped during October 1984.

 

History of G-BEYD

11/63 to 10/77

Royal Malaysian Air Force as FM1020

10/77 to 10/84

BAF as G-BEYD

Fate

WFU at Southend 10/82 – B/U 10/84

 

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