McAlpine Aviation


Operated from Sep 1947 to c.Apr 1989

Main Bases – Fairoaks later Luton and Leeds-Bradford

Founder/Director – Mr. Kenneth McAlpine

Acting as a subsidiary operation of the large Sir Robert McAlpine Engineering and Construction Company which has since 1869 been responsible for some of Britain’s largest civil engineering projects, this branch of the company initially started out as a private concern that was tasked with transporting family members and company executives to the various construction sites around the British Isles. Starting out with a single Miles Gemini, this aircraft would the following year be supplemented by a larger Dragon Rapide which would take over much of the work. However, big changes would come about in 1957, with a move to their own facility at Luton coupled with the purchase of another aircraft, the hiring of one more pilot and the setting up of their own aircraft engineering firm.

By 1959 more aircraft had joined the fleet, including the delivery of the first of several, rather strange looking Piaggio P.166s which due to their STOL performance were perfect for visiting the crude landing strips that had been carved out by construction crews. Suitably impressed with these aircraft, it was then that McAlpine began to initially lease them out and later fly business charters. In fact, two such aircraft became regular visitors to SEN from 1961 to 1963 in the form of G-APYP & later G-APWY both operating on behalf of the British Nuclear Company. From 1969 onwards, several H.S.125s would also be added to the fleet and increasingly ventured into SEN on a regular basis. Having signed a contract with Ford to transport its executives from Southend to Liverpool, these flights would continue to operate from the end of 1969 until the beginning of 1973, although trips with smaller props and the odd jet operated on behalf of other businesses would infrequently turn up until around the mid-80s.


McAlpine Aviation fleet from 1969 to 1973

Hawker Siddeley H.S. 125

G-AVXK – 3/72 to 5/75

Operated by Ferranti

G-AVXL*– 2/72 to 8/77

Sold to Hambros Bank Ltd

G-AWUF*– 1/69 to 2/89

Sold to Magec Aviation Ltd as G-BOCB

G-AWWL*– 6/72 to 3/81

Sold to Euro Air Finance Ltd

G-AWXO – 5/73 to 1/82

Sold to Al-Kharafi Aviation Ltd

G-AXPU*– 10/69 to 3/89

Sold to Magec Aviation Ltd as G-OPOL

G-AYOK – 7/73 to 11/74

Operated by J.Lyon and Company

G-AYRY*– 3/71 to 3/81

Sold in Saudi Arabia as HZ-FMA

G-BAXL – 12/72 to 2/76

Sold to Dennis Vanguard International

G-BBGU – 8/73 to 9/85

Sold to Intergraph Corp as N270AV

Piaggio P.166

G-APSJ* – 3/59 to 6/63

Sold to Air Charter Pty Ltd as VH-ACV

G-APWY*– 1/60 to 5/67

Sold to Marconi

G-APXK – 6/60 to 11/69

Operated by United Steel – Sold in Nigeria

G-APYP* – 3/60 to 6/63

Sold to Air Charter Pty Ltd as VH-MMP

G-ASPC – 7/64 to 9/72

WFU 6/72 at Luton and later scrapped

G-AVSM – 8/67 to 6/72

WFU and scrapped

BAC 1-11

G-BLHD – 7/84 to 3/90

Sold to Twinjet Aircraft Sales

Cessna 310

G-BAHW*– 3/73 to 5/75

Reg to subsidiary Marchweil Plant and Engineering

Cessna King Air 100

G-BABX*– 1/73 to 10/76

Reg to subsidiary Marchweil Plant and Engineering

Piper PA-31 Navajo Chieftain

G-BBVR – 1/74 to 9/75

Sold to Comput Air Ltd



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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.