1-11 G-AVGP

BAC 1-11-408EF – c/n 114

With Channel from Jun 1967 to Mar 1970

While Channel may have had several years of experience operating jet powered turboprops, 1-11 Golf Papa would be the first, pure jet aircraft to join the fleet, the company having previously signed a contract with BAC for four new aircraft. In fact, these 1-11s would be delivered with a high density cabin layout, evident by the twin, over wing escape hatches that were required to meet ARB regulations. However, only three of these aircraft would ever enter service, the fourth – G-AWGG being sold almost immediately and as a consequence, never flew for the airline. In contrast, G-AVPG would initially undertake a good deal of work from Southend, arriving there on June 14th 1967 and making her first commercial flight for the airline two days later on a short flight to Rotterdam.

During the coming summer, she would replace the Viscounts on many of the I.T charter routes, flying to such destinations as Ibiza, Malaga, Malta, Palma and Perpignon. While short or lightly loaded flights presented few problems, these operations would not go as swimmingly as hoped due to Southend’s short runway putting certain restrictions on many of the airline’s longer routes. Most flights would leave SEN at night when it was cooler, while longer journeys would often necessitate a refuelling stop at Ostend which in effect gave the 1-11 very little advantage over the aircraft they were supposed to be replacing. Needless to say, the locals were not happy with these noisy night flights either and as a result, an anti-jet lobby began to emerge which would result in most of Channel’s jet services at least, being moved to Stansted.

During 1967, Channel had been toying with the idea of starting a ‘bus stop’ service which would see an aircraft flying the length of Britain while making a series of short stops at various airports along the way. On October 9th, Golf Papa operated a proving flight on this route carrying the usual bevy of dignitaries, airline officials and press reporters. However, this idea would not come to fruition for another 16 months and would end up being flown by turbine powered equipment instead. As such, jet flights would more increasingly be moved to Stansted where the runway was twice as long and apart from the odd charter and an appearance at the 1968 Southend Airshow, Golf Papa would play no further part in SEN’s history. With the arrival of the larger Comet fleet, she was sold to Cambrian in March 1970.


History of G-AVGP

6/67 to 3/70

Channel Airways

3/70 to 4/76

Cambrian Airways

4/76 to 3/90

British Airways (TFR from Cambrian)

3/90 to 11/92

Birmingham European Airways

11/92 to 8/93

Brymon Airways (TFR from BEA)

8/93 to 12/96

British Airways (TFR from Brymon)

12/96 to 10/08

Nationwide Airlines as ZS-OAF


B/U in Durban, South Africa circa 10/08


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