Avro 688 Tudor 1  –  c/n 1256

With Air Charter from Aug 1954 to Apr 1959

Given Name – ‘Zephyr’

This veteran of 114 Berlin Airlift trips was like most of the other Ministry of Civil Aviation Tudors withdrawn from service towards the end of 1949 and as such, she would languish for a number of years at Tarrant Rushton airfield until being purchased by Aviation Traders in September 1953. Around the beginning of 1954 and after a period of checks and servicing, she was flown to Southend where she would be placed in external storage until July 1955. It was at this point that she was pulled into the ATEL hangar where she would be the first of two series 1 Tudors to receive the IVB Super Trader modifications. This work was subsequently completed by October and she eventually departed to Stansted on the 24th. By 1955, Air Charter had won an RAF contract to haul missile parts between the U.K. and the Woomera testing range in Australia and Romeo Hotel would be one of six Tudors to undertake such operations.

Unfortunately though, little more is known about Romeo Hotel’s service history, although it is likely that she was tasked with some government cargo work to Germany and several long distance charters. By 1958, Tudors were becoming something of a rare sight in the skies so in August, RH was sent to the Blackbushe Airshow for two days of R&R. By the following year, only four Tudors would would still be operational and come the summer, this had been reduced further to just two, these being lost in accidents with rather tragic outcomes. Unfortunately, Romeo Hotel would end up being one of the latter aircraft when on April 23rd 1959, she crashed into the side of Mount Suphan in Turkey having veered off course while flying a sector between Ankara and Bahrain. Sadly, very little remained of the 12 crew or the airframe and such was the nature of the top secret cargo that was being carried by the aircraft at the time, that an RAF mountaineering team had to be dispatched quickly to secure and then blow up whatever remained at the site.

Many thanks to Chris Garton for help with providing extra information for this page.


History of G-AGRH

9/45 to 6/48

Ministry of Supply

6/48 to 9/53

Ministry of Civil Aviation (Leased to BOAC and BSAA) Conv to Tudor 1 Freighter

9/53 to 8/54

Aviation Traders

8/54 to 4/59

Air Charter Ltd


Crashed into Mount Suphan, Turkey 23/4/59


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.