Ford Motor Company/Fordair

Has Operated from Jun 1903 to Present

Main Base – Stansted

Founder/Director – Henry Ford

Another huge multinational that has made good use of the airport is the Ford Motor Company or more correctly, subsidiary Ford of Britain which has since the 1960s, been freighting in parts, machinery and materials from its facilities on the Continent mostly for use at Dagenham and later its research facility at Dunton. However as a rule, these cargo flights have always been chartered out to various airlines and freight companies, the number of which are too numerous to list here, although some of the more common companies to frequent SEN on regular Ford business included local airline BAF plus Channel Express, Eastern Airways, Heavylift and Air Atlantique while a number of foreign airlines such as Air Truck, Farner Air Transport, Southern Air Transport and WDL would bring in spares and parts from Cologne, Saarbrucken and Valencia although a small number of these flights would also operate in the other direction.

However, Ford occasional chartered aircraft to and from SEN for its V.I.P.s and company executives although again, these were invariably operated by third party air taxi or charter concerns, Channel Airways being one of the first to provide a service between Southend & Cologne using their 1-11s, although concerned Ford executives eventually had them relocated to Stansted. Yet despite this, Ford still flew aircraft of its own, the first coming in the form of Grumman Gulfstreams, N304K & N305K (the latter becoming G-BRAL) both of which arrived during June 1963, while two others registered to Fordair would become regular visitors to the airport during the latter part of 1969 and early 1970, often on diversions from Stansted although a few flights would actually operate to or from SEN.

Eventually, Ford made the change to commercial jets and these visitors later arrived in the form of BAC 1-11s which were added to the fleet from December 1976 onwards. The first visit would be made by G-BEJM on January 18th 1978, while the second aircraft G-BEJW put in her first appearance just over three years later on January 28th 1981. It would be almost another 9 years before the third 1-11 G-BFMC arrived on a diversion from Stansted on November 21st 1989. By 1993, the 1-11s had themselves been replaced by MD-87s one of which ventured into SEN on February 24th 1999, on yet another diversion from Stansted.

 

Fordair fleet from 1961 to 1985

Grumman G-159 Gulfstream I

G-ASXT*– 7/67 to 9/83

WFU Denver, CO & B/U

G-AWYF*– 1/69 to 6/94

Sold to General Aviation Services as N213GA

G-BRAL*– 10/80 to 4/96

Sold to Trans Global Aviation as P4-JML

BAC-1-11

G-BEJM*– 12/76 to 10/97

Sold to Indonesia Air Transport as PK-TST

G-BEJW*– 12/76 to 7/93

Sold to Kabo Air as 5N-GGG

G-BFMC* – 11/77 to 7/93

Sold to Kabo Air as 5N-KKK

McDonnell Douglas MD-87

VP-BOO* – 12/92 to 11/00

Leased then sold to Miami Air International N948MA

VP-BOP – 2/93 to 11/00

Leased then sold to Miami Air International as N945MA

 

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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.