Handley Page H.P.R.7 Herald 206 Series – c/n 167

With BAF from Jul 1975 to May 1983

Given Name – ‘Rory Keegan’

Herald Foxtrot Echo was the last of the three, Eastern Provincial aircraft to arrive at Southend during the first week of August 1975. Her somewhat delayed purchase and arrival was the result of a wheels up landing that she had suffered while operating in Canada during late-1974. This damage was early-herald-g-bdfestill being repaired when BAF decided to procure the other two Heralds although at the time, ongoing talks revolved around the possibility of transporting her to SEN via sea and road but eventually, the decision was taken to wait until she could make the trip by air. Like all of BAF’s early Heralds, G-BDFE was put into service with the intention of not only boosting the airline’s passenger carrying capacity, but to supplement and then replace the dwindling number of Carvairs that were still operating the few remaining car-ferry services. Inevitably, Foxtrot Echo soon began to appear on the Ostend, Basle and Rotterdam services adorned in BAF’s early white and light blue striped livery.

Some time during the latter part of 1975 (Any clues to an exact month?) she went off on her first lease and was seen at Leeds-Bradford sporting United Towing and Star Offshore Services Ltd titles (With a V.I.P. interior? Can anyone confirm this?). Charter work also saw her visiting Glasgow and Exeter. Then in mid-1976, she received the full BAF ‘Bee’ livery and would go back to BAF charters and scheduled services being seen as far north as Glasgow on a couple of occasions. However, March and April 1977 would bring a degree of fame to Foxtrot Echo, having been fitted out for a short, Fleetwood Mac tour with the white engine nacelles bearing the band’s name. The aircraft moved around Central Europe and Germany in particular, being seen at Düsseldorf and Munich amongst other places.

It was probably around this time that BAF decided to retain the luxurious interior and instead, began to advertise the aircraft with its VIP seating arrangement which could be configured for 12 to 23 people, who would be cared for by three flight attendants. Touted as being just as fast as small Herald G-BDFEbusiness jets such as the H.S.125 over distances of 350 miles or less, it was hoped that companies and other business concerns would show an interest in hiring the aircraft for executive trips and corporate events. Indeed, it would seem that for at least a short period of time, this idea would pay off and the aircraft retained its V.I.P. nacelle logos until at least mid-1979 although this interior was still frequently removed and replaced with the standard 50 seat arrangement as and when such action was required. Needless to say, the aircraft would frequently turn up at Ostend, Rotterdam, Paris and the Channel Islands often with a full load of passengers, while charters would see her visiting Glasgow, Shannon and Dusseldorf.

In fact, it was on October 31st 1977 that BAF opened its very first, scheduled service between Southend and Düsseldorf and Foxtrot Echo would gain the distinction of being the very first, British commercial aircraft to be operated by an all female crew,air-alg-baf-herald-g-bdfe captained no less by the well renowned Caroline Frost. A mixture of scheduled services, charters and leases would then keep Foxtrot Echo going through to 1981, with a month’s lease to Touraine Air Transport in April 1979 and then two visits to Algeria on behalf of Air Algerie which took place between during April and July 1980 and January and April 1981. This Herald was operated out of Algiers and was used primarily on domestic routes within Algeria itself. Meanwhile on the home front, she would pop up on the established routes and was also seen at East Midlands, Coventry, Manchester, Heathrow and Paris (Charles de Gaulle), no doubt carrying out an assortment of scheduled services and charters.

By 1981, BAF had started to buy up a large number of ex-British Airways Vickers Viscounts and as a result of this, a number of the smaller Heralds were later sold off. In May 1983, it became Foxtrot Echo’s turn and she was eventually sold and transferred into the ownership of Keegan Leasing although technically, she was still a BAF aircraft. Nevertheless, this Herald was quickly leased on to Janus Airways and would not return to Southend again for another 10 months. From this point on, she would have no further dealings with BAF and at the end of February 1984, Keegan sold her to MMM Aero Services in Zaire where she would spend the remainder of her service life.

BAF Herald V.I.P. Flights









As something of a departure from BAF’s normal, dark blue attire, cabin crew were provided with brown uniforms for use on both G-BDFE’s & G-BCZG’s V.I.P. flights to no doubt match the cabin interiors which were also a blend of browns and other earthy shades. Two boardroom areas were provided both of which were kitted out to provide a luxurious lounge style environment. Other facilities included a fully equipped kitchen supplying freshly cooked meals, a complementary drinks service & an 8-track stereo and cassette system while VCRs and secretarial services could also be provided on request.


History of G-BDFE

3/63 to 7/75

Eastern Provincial Airlines as CF-EPC

7/75 to 5/83


5/83 to 2/84

Keegan Leasing

2/84 to 3/87

MMM Aero Service as 9Q-CAA


WFU at Kinshasa, Zaire 4/86 – B/U 3/87


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this aircraft or indeed, any pictures that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.