Douglas C-54B-5-DO – c/n 18333

With Air Charter from April 1960 to Aug 1960

This C-54 would be the last of her type to enter service with Air Charter spending just 5 months with the airline until finally being absorbed into British United. November Hotel came to ACL via Euravia, having previously been owned by the somewhat short lived incarnation of Independent Air Travel which was towards the end of its life known as Blue Air. The main reason for her acquisition was to aid the other three C-54/DC-4s flying to Adelaide on the M.o.D. Woomera contract as these aircraft were at times struggling to keep up with operational requirements being as each round trip usually took around 14 days to complete.

As such, she would be the only ACL aircraft to adopt the livery of her former owner, due no doubt to the ever dwindling use of the Air Charter name. On February 8th 1960 having spent a short time in Holland, she was flown from Rotterdam to Southend where she remained in temporary storage until March 1960 when she was finally purchased by Air Charter who then sent her to ATEL for maintenance before commencing operations in May. Her main remit was to fly as many as 64 passengers on the numerous services between Southend-Ostend and Southend-Calais and occasionally assisted the slow and noisy Bristol Freighters whose main task was still that of hauling mostly cars and freight across the Channel.

Then in August, all of ACL’s aircraft were either absorbed into British United or continued to fly in association with Channel Air Bridge while the Air Charter name itself would sadly vanish forever. That said, this aircraft would continue to fly in a mixed Blue Air/Euravia/ACL colour scheme and titles until late February 1961, when she was finally refinished in a BUA livery. November Hotel continued to fly under the BUA banner from both Southend and Stansted until the winter of 1962 when she was finally withdrawn from service and handed over to Aviation Traders for conversion into Carvair number 11.

With thanks to Peter Clark for providing extra information relevant to this page.


History of G-APNH

6/44 to 12/45

USAF as 43-17133

12/45 to 4/46

Douglas Aircraft Co (Conv to DC-4)

4/46 to ?/54

Delta Air Lines as N37477

?/54 to 6/58

North American/Trans American/20th Century Airlines

6/58 to 4/59

Independent Air Transport as G-APNH

4/59 to 10/59

Blue Air (TFR from IAT)

10/59 to 12/59

Blue Air Receiver

12/59 to 4/60

Euravia as PH-EUR (but reg NTU)

4/60 to 8/60

Air Charter Ltd

8/60 to 1/65

British United Airways

TFR to ATL for conversion to ATL.98 Carvair – circa 2/63

Please see the separate Carvair entry for further details


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

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.