Ex-Silver City Bristol 170s


Bristol 170 Freighters and Superfreighters

With the merger of Channel Air Bridge and Silver City on January 1st 1963, the resulting company British United Air Ferries automatically found itself owning a considerable number of Bristol Superfreighters. However, being as Southend car ferry services were already operating a number of the larger, more efficient Carvairs and several B170s on their own routes, the ex-Silver City B170s would continue to fly with BUAF from their old bases at Lydd or Hurn albeit adorned in the colours of their new owners BUAF/BUA. A few of these aircraft would eventually end up in BAF colours, although these had all been withdrawn by 1970.

Asides from going by registrations, the home base of each aircraft was generally defined by the name under its cockpit window. Hurn or Lydd based B170s would bear a ‘City of…’ moniker while Southend based B170s retained their Air Charter names which were all single words beginning with a ‘V’. Needless to say, the Hurn and Lydd based aircraft are not worthy of separate inclusion here, even though some of them did visit Southend from time to time, especially at the very beginning and at the very end of BUAF’s life. However, being as these aircraft were a significant part of BUAF’s and BAF’s early history, they have been listed collectively below…

The following were transferred to BUAF/BUA on 1st Jan 1963



WFU at Lydd 11/63 – Flown to Southend 15/5/64 and WFU – later B/U


Transported to Southend by road for spares use 5/64 – later B/U



Seen at SEN during late 1962

Crashed taking off at Guernsey 23/9/63


To BAF 10/67 – WFU Lydd 3/68 and B/U one month later


WFU Lydd 12/64 – B/U Lydd & transported to SEN for melting 4/67


WFU Lydd 12/65 – B/U Lydd & transported to SEN for melting 4/67

Arguably the most regular visitor to Southend


WFU Lydd 10/65 – B/U Lydd & transported to SEN for melting 4/67


To BAF 10/67 – WFU Lydd 11/67 – B/U 3/68


To BAF 10/67 – WFU Lydd 3/68 – B/U 7/70


To BAF 10/67 – WFU Lydd 9/69 – B/U 8/70


To BAF 10/67 – WFU Lydd 10/70 and later B/U


To BAF 10/67 – WFU Lydd 4/69 – B/U 8/70

Operated from SEN for a short time during late 1962