Carvair G-ANYB

Aviation Traders ATL.98 Carvair – c/n 1/10528

With CAB/BUAF from Feb 1962 to Jul 1970

Given Name – ‘Golden Gate Bridge’

On 16th June 1961, Carvair No.1 was wheeled out of the Aviation Traders hanger, ready to engage in an extensive series of trials and tests that would have to be undertaken before it could be handed over to Channel Air Bridge and from that day on, it would be the first of 21 aircraft that would go on to make their own, unique mark on aviation history. However, it had been a long process to get to this stage. In Freddy Laker was an entrepreneur who was determined to cut costs and improve efficiency on the cross-Channel, car ferry services and as far as he was concerned, the new Carvair was the way forward.

Serious plans for a Bristol 170 replacement had already started way back in 1958 and by the end of 1959 the fuselage of PH-DBZ, an old Dutch C-54 had been purchased and was subsequently put to work at Southend, assisting ATEL’s engineers with jig and tool manufacturing, not to mention, solving any issues that they may possibly encounter during construction. G-ANYB was to have the honour of undergoing the first of many conversions. She had previously flown with Air Charter Ltd as a C-54 airliner, which had been fitted with a passenger cabin to supplement the Bristol 170s on the car ferry routes during the high summer, when loads were extremely high. However, at the beginning of Oct 1960, YB was handed over to Aviation Traders and her transformation began.

G-ANYB takes to the skies…

Indeed, production went swimmingly and Yankee Bravo eventually flew as a Carvair for the first time on June 21st 1962, making a two hour flight with ETPS graduate and ATEL Chief Pilot, Mr D.B. Cartlidge and Channel Air Bridge Chief Captain Bob Langley at the helm. For the purpose of this flight, the aircraft was flown unloaded, however, provisions had been made to carry water ballast at a later stage. During this test, the flight characteristics of the Carvair were revealed and despite the huge bulbous nose, handling was determined to be good. You can read more about this test flight by clicking on the link above. However, the proceedings came to a temporary halt on August 28th when a fork-lift driver accidentally rammed into one of the rear stabilisers, almost tearing the rear empennage off in the process. Despite the damage being irreparable, the Dutch C-54 came to the rescue and the tail plane from this aircraft was grafted onto YB and once again, all was well in the ATEL camp.

With testing over, the aircraft was finally passed on to Channel Air Bridge and over the next week, she became the very first Carvair to ply the Calais, Ostend and Rotterdam routes across the Channel. However, for some curious reason she would remain registered to the now defunct Air Charter until finally being handed over to CAB officially in 1962. Nevertheless, she continued to provide almost 5 years of faithful service until she was finally WFU at Lydd during March 1967 due in part, to the cancellation of the ‘Deep Penetration’ routes to Central and Southern Europe. In October 1967, BUAF would become BAF and as such, ownership would pass over to the latter. However, she would never fly for this airline and was most likely used as a source of spares until her scrapping in 1970.



History of Carvair G-ANYB

3/60 to 1/62

Air Charter Ltd

1/62 to 1/63

Channel Air Bridge

1/63 to 10/67

British United Air Ferries

10/67 to 7/70

British Air Ferries


WFU at Lydd 3/67 – B/U 7/70


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