Midland Air Cargo

Operated from Oct 1970 to Apr 1973

Main Base – Coventry Airport

Founders/Directors – Lord Trefgarne & the Marquis of Headfort

By October 1970, B170 car ferry services had ceased at Lydd and any remaining aircraft were either WFU there or flown to Southend. At the same time, it was becoming evident that these once popular cross-Channel services had already begun their slow albeit terminal decline at Southend and in an attempt to keep all aircraft and their crews active, BAF’s Carvairs were increasingly placed on cargo services which in turn, rendered BAF’s few remaining Bristol 170s somewhat redundant. In fact, by late 1970 only two of these aircraft remained operational with BAF. However, three of these venerable Bristol Superfreighters would be given the chance to soldier on for several more years when newly formed, Coventry based Midland Air Cargo snapped them up for pure freight services between Coventry and the Continent/Ireland.

Operations went well from the outset and while Southend would initially see little of these aircraft, they would eventually return for checks and maintenance with ATEL. Then in mid-1971, MAC began to run ad-hoc charter services to and from the Channel Islands with a small number of these flights coming to Southend. Also in 1972, the B170s would return once more operating a number of dock strike flights to the airport during July and August of that year. Sufficed to say, even MAC began to realise that these Bristol 170s were rapidly reaching the end of their days and plans were set in motion to replace them with four Argosies from Canadian outfit Transair. However by the end of 1972, Midland had encountered financial problems which ultimately could not be resolved and by February all flying had ended with the airline finally folding in April of this year.

 

Midland Air Cargo fleet from 1970 to 1973

Bristol 170 Superfreighter

G-AMLP – 11/70 to 5/71

Sold to Lambair as CF-QWJ

G-ANVR – 3/71 to 4/73

For spares only – B/U at Coventry 3/74

G-APAU – 3/71 to 4/73

Flown to Lasham & B/U 5/75

G-APAV – 10/70 to 4/73

Shackleton Aviation (bought 8/73)

 

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