Propliners

On this page you will find a list of multi-engined, piston powered propliners that were long-term residents (one year or more) at Southend, but did not officially join any of the local, SEN based airlines. Many often sat for long periods of time before either departing or being scrapped. For those aircraft that were flown in purely for scrapping, then please click on the ‘For Scrap’ tab on the previous menu. All aircraft below are listed in chronological order from the date that they arrived at the airport. Please feel free to suggest any additions on saadinfomail@gmail.com

 

G-AIDW/G-AIBC

Airspeed A.S.65 Consul – c/n – 2956 & 4399

Stored at Southend from c.8/50 to 9/51 (DW) c.5/51 to 6/52 (BC)

These rather basic Airspeed aircraft became all the rage amongst a number of the smaller, newly founded airlines that appeared during the post-war years and the early 1950s, thanks to a plentiful supply of surplus, ex-RAF Airspeed Oxford trainers and liaison aircraft becoming available, many of which were cheaply and easily converted into small, 6-seat feeders/airliners that would come to be known as the Consul. Needless to say, a good number of these aircraft would pass through SEN during the late-40s and early-50s with one (G-AJXE) even temporarily becoming the favourite steed of T.D ‘Mike’ Keegan.

However, these two particular aircraft would fall into the hands of private owners with Consul Delta Whiskey first putting in an appearance at Southend during the last weeks of 1948. Owned by Dexford Motors Ltd of Southend, she was probably used for sales promotion work although she had seemingly been put out to pasture come the summer of 1950. The other Consul meanwhile, was registered to private owner Robert Allen Short in January 1951, although it would seem that it saw little in the way of use. Either way, both aircraft were stored at Southend before being B/U in September 1951 and June 1952 respectively.

 

G-APZA

Catalina

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina – c/n 1619

Stored at Southend from Feb 1960 to Jun 1961

Initially purchased by ‘Mike’ Keegan as N94574, this flying boat arrived at Southend from Rotterdam on February 17th 1960. She was subsequently left to languish in the centre of the field, although she did undergo a little engine maintenance with Continental during July. However, Zulu Alpha’s registration was eventually cancelled in November after having been previously WFU and on June 28th 1961 her scrapping finally commenced. It is believed that this aircraft had a temporary association with TV entertainer Huey Green, although what form this relationship took is unknown and it seems more likely that this particular Catalina has been confused with another that Green had previously flown into Croydon.

 

OO-EEN

Vickers 610 Viking – c/n 223

Stored at Southend from Jul 1960 to Apr 1962

Previously registered as G-AIVJ with BEA and Overseas Aviation, this aircraft was later sold in Germany where she remained for two years. She was then purchased by Dutch airline Aviameer Airlines who flew her for a further two years before being sent to Southend for retirement. She languished at the airport until 1962 and was subsequently scrapped for all usable parts.

 

G-ALDC

Handley Page H.P.81 Hermes 4 – c/n 81/4

Stored at Southend from Oct 1960 to Mar 1962

On October 9th 1960, this Falcon Airways Hermes was returning a plane load of passengers to Southend from Barcelona when she inadvertently skidded off of the end of the runway and ended up nose down on the London bound railway line. Needless to say, the aircraft had been damaged beyond repair and the SEN duty crew were given the task of towing her away to the rear of the airport. The aircraft was subsequently impounded pending an investigation by the AAIB after which she was stripped of all usable spares and scrapped on March 26th 1962.

 

G-ALXC

G-ALXC FAT

Avro 652A Anson 1 – s/n MH182

Stored at Southend from Apr 1961 to circa May 1963

During the Easter period of 1961, Speke based airline Federated Air Transport ceased operations and its remaining three aircraft were dispersed. Its sole, Dragon Rapide would remain with the airline’s owner while its two Ansons were sent to Southend as spares ships for B.K.S Aero Surveys. These Ansons had previously been employed carrying mushrooms and newspapers between Dublin and Liverpool and as such, had been converted for cargo operations, so without a good deal of work, they were unsuitable for passenger or air survey operations. Some attempts were made to preserve this aircraft and by February 1962, she could be seen up on trestles outside the B.K.S hangar, although nothing further happened. The exact date of X-Ray Charlie’s scrapping is unknown although by May 1963, she had been registered as permanently WFU.

 

G-AGRS

Vickers 498 Viking 1A – c/n 110

Stored at Southend from June 1962 to May 1963

Having already passed through the hands of a multitude of British independents Viking G-AGRS arrived at Southend on June 5th 1962 still in the livery of Orion Airways, the last airline to actually own her. However, almost a year earlier in August 1961 she had been purchased by United Dominions Trust Ltd and quickly went off on lease with former SEN airline Air Safaris. It is possible that this aircraft had some association with Tradair as after her arrival, she was parked outside their hangar where she would sit motionless until the autumn. Towards the end of 1962, she received a certain amount of attention, although whether this was work being carried out to get her back into the air again or instead involved the removal of certain parts and spares is unknown. Whatever the case may have been, by the spring of 1963 she was facing her imminent demise and by the end of May, all traces of her had been removed by a local scrap merchant.

 

G-AWML

Anson G-AWML

Avro 19 Series 2 – s/n TX166

Stored at Southend from Jul 1968 to Mid-1969

Delivered and stored at Southend from July 1968, this Anson was registered to L.A Osbourne who was the wife of Tony Osbourne, the founder of the BHAM/HAM. This aircraft was destined to engage in aid work in the war zone of Biafra, Africa and as such, some extra equipment was fitted which included an ADF. While this was being undertaken, a Southend Standard reporter turned up to interview Tony about his trip and asked what would happen in the event that he came down in some remote and hostile area of Biafra. Tony subsequently pulled a service revolver from his jacket and commented that he would use that… However, the aircraft was never to reach African climes and instead departed to Baginton in the summer of 1969 and then on to Weston-Super-Mare where she was eventually scrapped in May 1970.

 

G-BBVN

DC 4 HS-VGZ

Douglas DC-4-1009 – c/n 42922

Stored at Southend from Nov 1973 to May 1977

Destined for Mr Harold Bamburg’s, Eagle Air Cargo subsidiary ‘Southern Air Cargo’, DC-4 HS-VGZ would arrive at Southend during November 1973. The plan was to convert this and two other DC-4s into pure freighters, before putting them into service from Bournemouth and Southend. However, this new airline never got off the ground and the aircraft would languish for exactly a year before Norwegian Overseas Airways displayed an interest in her, although much like the initial plan for this aircraft, the deal fell through. This DC-4 then sat forlorn and unloved at Southend until May 1977 when she was finally scrapped.

 

G-APZG

De Havilland D.H.104 Dove 6 – c/n 04462

Stored at Southend from c.Nov 1976 to c.May 1979

This aircraft first visited Southend during the 1960s in her Chartag guise as HB-LAS and then in the early ’70s, she would make her return on the odd charter between SEN and Biggin Hill with operator Fairflight. She was subsequently sold on to Land Surcon Ltd in October 1974 for air survey use. However, by 1976 she had been put into storage at Staverton where she was seen during the summer with one prop missing. Whether she was later prepped for flight or was instead roaded to Southend is unknown, however by November 1976 she had been spotted at the airport. She would then sit idle next to G-AMON for several years and was likely scrapped at about the same time as this Viscount which was broken up in the spring of 1979.

With thanks to Nigel Stockwell for helping with some of the information on this page.

More to come…