G-AJFR

Viking G-AJFR3

Vickers 627 Viking 1B – c/n 236

With Channel from Dec 1962 to Apr 1966

One of the stalwarts of Tradair’s fleet was the venerable G-AJFR which was one of two aircraft that had previously been fitted with an extra cargo door by her former owner to ease the loading and unloading of freight. However with Tradair’s collapse, Foxtrot Romeo was transferred to Channel Airways and from that point forward she would for the most leave her cargo hauling past behind and would instead be employed flying passengers on her new owner’s routes. While making a few, end of season flights (her first service being to Jersey on December 22nd) her career for Channel would begin in earnest on April 5th 1963 when she took a group of passengers to Basle although for the rest of the year she would sit mostly idle at Southend and wasn’t reactivated again until October of that year.

While 1963 would be a relatively busy year for the rest of the Viking fleet, it would also see a number of them being removed from service with this summer season offering the last, final hurrah for around half of the fleet although FR would not be one of these aircraft. Indeed, the following year would see Foxtrot Romeo starting the season with flights between Southend and Beauvais and as the summer began to warm up, she would find herself carrying happy holidaymakers on Channel’s most popular routes to the Channel Islands, Ostend and on the popular bulb trips to Rotterdam while from time to time, she would also fill in on the busy Manchester to Ostend service and undertake ad-hoc charters to Basle as and when she was available.

However, as far as the three remaining Vikings were concerned, they could not go on forever and with newer, quicker and more comfortable turboprop aircraft joining the fleet en-masse, the era of the Viking was rapidly coming to an end. Foxtrot Romeo would be the second from last Viking to face withdrawal, this eventually occurring on September 21st 1964 with a final flight between Southend and Rotterdam. Like all other ageing and superfluous aircraft, she was WFU and later towed over to the Channel hangar where she would languish for another 18 months before finally being scrapped.

 

History of G-AJFR

7/47 to 2/58

Airwork

2/58 to 12/62

Tradair

12/62 to 4/66

Channel Airways

Fate

WFU at SEN 9/64 – B/U circa 4/66

 

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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.