Viking G-AJFS

Vickers 627 Viking 1A – c/n 237

With Tradair from Feb 1958 to Dec 1962

Much like stable mate G-AJFR, Foxtrot Sierra was procured from Airwork and delivered to Southend from Blackbushe in February 1958. On arrival at Southend the aircraft went straight into the hangar of BKS Engineering to have its cargo door fitted after which, it would enter service with Tradair on the 22 April flying 31 passengers from Southend to Rotterdam, later making her way back via Dusseldorf. Needless to say over the coming year she would fly a wide and varied assortment of both freight and passenger charters and being the only Viking fitted with a double cargo door, she was frequently called upon to ferry loads around the UK and Europe.

With the approach of the 1958 summer season, both G-AJF- Vikings went to work flying Tradair’s ever expanding charter network to the near continent. However, on the morning of the 10th June, Foxtrot Sierra departed from Southend on a charter to Gibraltar via Heathrow. A few minutes after take off, one of her engines failed although thankfully, the aircraft managed to return to the airport where she made an uneventful landing. With the engine repaired she again departed for Gibraltar some time later that afternoon.

As far as cargo was concerned, some of the more unusual loads carried by G-AJFS included two Ferrari Grand Prix cars that were collected from Helsinki in May and were then flown to Frankfurt for the German Grand Prix. She also became involved in the transport of meat from Rotterdam along with sister ship JR during the 1958 Foot and Mouth outbreak, which saw the two Vikings making a total of 16 flights on the 15th and 16th of June. On the 17th of January 1959, she would fly out to Bahrain via Rome with a helicopter and two engineers, returning to Southend on the 22nd January with another helicopter on board which required mechanical attention in the UK. Being the progenitor of the I.T Charter, Tradair and its Vikings continued to fly to a large number of European and North African destinations during the summers of 1959 and 1960. The cargo flights continued apace too, including the odd charter on behalf of the airline itself. On 27th December 1960, JS was called upon to lift a spare Bristol Hercules engine for G-AJFR which had suffered an engine failure on a flight from Lyons to Southend, making an emergency landing at Le Tourquet. After delivering the engine, this Viking then returned the passengers to Southend.

By mid-1961 and despite its apparent success, Tradair was beginning to suffer financially and as a result Barclays called in the receivers. Yet despite these impending troubles that loomed in the background, the Vikings nevertheless soldiered on with JS flying cargo on a weekly basis to Malmö while cargo trips were also undertaken on behalf of Lufthansa, between Dusseldorf and Heathrow during the first few months of 1961. This Viking would return to this German airline for 10 days in mid-September while their own Viking G-BONE was receiving attention. However, by 1962 she was back on passenger flights, mainly to Maastricht and as the autumn approached, she would once more revert back to cargo runs on the Groningen and Odense routes. Juliet Sierra made her last revenue flight for Tradair on 9th December 1962 with a trip to Brindisi, returning via Paris two days later and with the exception of a few training flights, she would not fly again commercially for Tradair and was subsequently transferred to Channel Airways after the airline’s take over.


G-AJFS’ service life was extremely well documented and as such, she was noted at:

Gothenburg, Rotterdam and Dusseldorf – 4/58 (Pax)

Amsterdam, Basle, Cardiff, Lisbon, Lyons and Palma – 5/58 (Pax)

Malmö, Brussels and Dublin – 5/58 (Cargo)

Bordeaux, Gibraltar, Heathrow, Lyon, Malta, Nice and Pisa – 6/58 (Pax)

Rotterdam – 6/58 (Cargo – Meat)

Dusseldorf and Manchester – 7/58 (Pax)

Amsterdam – 7/58 (Cargo – Flowers)

Stockholm – 7/58 (Cargo and Pax)

Tarbes and Blackbushe – 8/58 (Pilgrims)

Antwerp, Berlin, Bremen and Brussels – 9/58 (Cargo)

Perpignan – 10/58 (Pax)

Barcelona and Seville – 11/58 (Tour)

Malta, Rome, Hamburg, Newcastle and Turku – 12/58 (Pax)

Bahrain and Rome – 1/59 (Cargo – Helicopter Fuselage)

Manchester, Tarbes and Gothenburg – 5/59 (Pax)

Glasgow and Belfast – 7/59 (Cargo)

Malmö – 11 and 12/60 (Cargo)

Dusseldorf and Heathrow – 2,3 and 4/61 (Cargo – Lufthansa)

Dusseldorf and Heathrow – 9/61 (Cargo – Lufthansa)

Maastricht – 6 and 7/62 (Pax)

Leconfield and Bergen – 7/62 (Pax)

Luxembourg and Odense – 8/62 (Cargo)

Groningen and Odense – 9/62 (Cargo)

Maastricht – 10/62 (Pax)

Brindisi and Le Bourget – 12/62 (Unknown)

Stansted – 12/61 (Training)


History of G-AJFS

9/47 to 2/58

Airwork Ltd

2/58 to 12/62

Tradair Ltd

12/62 to 2/65

Channel Airways Ltd


WFU at Southend and stored 5/64 – B/U 2/65


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.