Avions Fairey


Operated from Apr 1962 to Nov 1966

Country of Origin – Belgium

Founder/Director – Ernest Oscar Tips

The name Fairey should be familiar to all aviation enthusiast by virtue of the large number of significant aircraft that this company built during its 45 year lifespan. Indeed, during WWII the Royal Navy relied heavily upon its aircraft, one of which played a vital part in the sinking of the 45,000 ton battleship Bismarck. However, Avions Fairey’s history heralds back to well before the war when Belgian national Ernest Oscar Tips travelled to the UK to escape the carnage of WWI. He subsequently settled, studied aeronautical engineering and became heavily involved in the formation of Fairey Aviation after which he returned to Belgium in 1931 to set up subsidiary Avions Fairey. This company would later go on to build military aircraft on behalf of the Belgian Air Force and would return to similar work after the 5 year hiatus brought about by WWII.

In fact, it was this post-war work that would see Avions purchasing a number of aircraft to fly parts and spares around Europe after having won contracts to first service Douglas Dakotas and then later build Gloster Meteors, Hawker Hunters and Lockheed Starfighters. By the early 1960s, Avions had a small fleet of freighters some of which would regularly frequent Southend. Of its two Bristol 170s OO-FAG was arguably the most common visitor although their sole DC-4 was known to turn up from time to time too. However, while cargo services from their base at Gosselies were reasonably short lived, this company’s aircraft would still turn up for maintenance and engineering services up until their disposal at the end of 1966. The manufacturing wing of this company eventually became SONACA after Avions went into administration during 1977.


Avions Fairey fleet from 1962 to 1966

Bristol 170 Freighter

OO-FAG* – 4/62 to 8/65

Sold to Societe Avio Transporti Torino as I-SATC

OO-FAH* – 8/63 to 2/66

Sold to Societe Avio Transporti Torino and B/U during 1967

Douglas C-54 Skymaster

OO-FAI* – 8/64 to 11/66

Sold to All-Air as D-ADAB


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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team. (R)