Bristol 170 Freighter Mk31 – c/n 13216

With Air Charter from Aug 1954 to Feb 1959

Given Name – ‘Victory’

In one respect, Mike Foxtrot was unique due to the fact that unlike her other Mk31 stable mates, she was never upgraded to Mk32 standard during her service life with Air Charter and Channel Air Bridge. Being a smaller, Mk31 aircraft, she was frequently employed to fly passengers and smaller loads of freight rather than vehicles, although the cabin could and often would be converted for car ferry services as and when required. Indeed, Mike Foxtrot had the honour of inaugurating the very first cross-Channel ferry flight between Southend and Calais on September 1st 1954, with the Mayor of Southend (along with his ceremonial vehicle), Freddy Laker and several other dignitaries on board, although a couple of proving flights had been flown by MF several days prior to this event.

The day was inevitably considered to be a resounding success and as such, this Bristol Freighter would then go on to fly six weeks of proving flights back and forth across the water along with G-AMSA and G-AMLP until finally being wound down in mid-October. As the winter arrived, MF would head off to Germany to replace Lima Papa where she would remain until the summer of 1955. However, by July of this year, she was back at Southend and returned to ferry services often making as many as 8 return trips daily across the Channel during peak times, although during these early days, the aircraft would often return to Southend empty.

G-ANMF being loaded at SEN

Needless to say, other charters were flown when aircraft were available and Mike Foxtrot was one of several ACL B170s that were used on newspaper runs in the Midlands during May 1955, while in July, she would also make a freight run to Rome. Then, as the end of the 1955 season drew to a close, most of ACL’s Bristol Freighters would go back to hauling loads of general cargo from Amsterdam, while linking flights would often be made to Lille in support of the German contract. As the 1956 ferry season dawned, Mike Foxtrot was thrown back into the cauldron of cross-Channel services, while one particular flight saw her bringing 5 tons of fresh lettuce back from Amsterdam. However, it was not long after this that she would eventually be converted for passenger use, with a 44 seat cabin for the rest of the summer season.

Autumn 1956 would see a return to the transportation of cargo and along with G-AMSA, G-ANMF would spend much of the winter moving livestock across the Channel. However, in January, she was sent off to distant climes with a load of cargo and made a trip across the Atlantic via Iceland, returning to Southend roughly one month later. During the summer, she was reconfigured once again, to carry out passenger services, which she would continue to perform through to October 1957, with the odd freight charter thrown in for good measure. While 1958 would continue much in the same thread, an outbreak of foot and mouth during June would see MF hauling five ton loads of meat in from Rotterdam, accompanied by most of ACL’s other Brisol 170s.

For more on this aircraft’s post-1958 history, please see the menu CAB/BUAF/BAF/BWA – Bristol 170s


History of G-ANMF

1/54 to 8/54

The Bristol Aeroplane Company as G-18-192

8/54 to 2/59

Air Charter Ltd

2/59 to 1/63

Channel Air Bridge

1/63 to 10/67

British United Air Ferries

10/67 to 8/70

British Air Ferries

(Spares use only)


WFU Lydd – 8/67 to BAF – 10/67 for spares and finally B/U – 8/70


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this aircraft or indeed, any pictures that you would like to share? If so, please post submissions below or contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.