Bristol 170 Superfreighter Mk32 – c/n 13263

With CAB/BUAF/BAF from Feb 1959 to Nov 1970

Given Name – ‘Viceroy’

Having been officially transferred over to Channel Air Bridge in February 1959, Alpha Victor received slight modifications to her Air Charter livery and was given CAB titles. Sufficed to say, operations would continue in much the same way as they had before with an ever increasing number of vehicle ferry and cargo services being flown between Southend and Calais, Ostend and Rotterdam. However, on June 7th 1962 it would be the turn of this B170 to take over the baton from Alpha Uniform and in doing so, she became the third and last aircraft to fly the SABENA route between Southend and Ostend. Because of this commitment, AV would carry out little to no other work until being released two years later in July 1964; when this contract that had started more than 7 years earlier was finally ended, due to a significant downturn in passenger numbers on this route.

During 1963, another company reorganisation had taken place with CAB and Silver City being combined into one airline known as British United Air Ferries. Due to the demands of the SABENA contract, Alpha Victor had like the aircraft before her, flown in the full livery of this airline and it would appear that this aircraft continued to operate in such colours until well into 1965 or at least until she was transferred to Lydd in June. By 1967, she had been adorned in the short lived, sandstone and blue livery of British United operating for BUAF and was instrumental in the July, national rail strike which saw her freighting post and newspapers between London and Yeadon. By this time, most of BUAF’s B170s had been relegated to lessor duties or had been dispatched to Lydd, mostly as a result of the larger and more efficient Carvair’s entering service in ever greater numbers.

However by October 1967, yet another company reshuffle would see BUAF disappear and re-emerge as British Air Ferries and as such, this also sounded the death knell for a good number of these aircraft. That said, being the very last aircraft off of the Bristol production line, this would not be the case as far as Alpha Victor was concerned and she would along with a small handful of other B170s, occasionally return to Southend operating for BAF although her vehicle ferry days were now long over and she was confined primarily to the carriage of freight. The arrival of a new decade would witness just three of these aircraft remaining in the fleet and in November 1970, Alpha Victor was the first to be sold off. While grounded for much of the time, she survived for another 4-1/2 years before finally being scrapped at Lasham in May 1975.


History of G-APAV

4/57 to 2/59

Air Charter Ltd (Leased)

2/59 to 1/63

TFR to Channel Air Bridge (Purchased 7/61)

1/63 to 10/67

TFR to British United Air Ferries

10/67 to 11/70

TFR to British Air Ferries

11/70 to 8/73

Sold to Midland Air Cargo

(Capt C.J.O Trimble)

8/73 to 5/75

Sold to Shackleton Aviation Ltd


WFU and stored Lasham – B/U 5/75


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.