Friday, 13 April 2012

Luton Airport Arrivals 1972

Welcome, it's early 1972 and we tread the well worn path round the Luton Airport perimeter road. The Agfa Stillette Rapide is loaded with Black and White, and you can sink into the luxury of the leather seats in the 1965 Hillman Minx for the trip.

We go round the far side to the fire station road where there are no fences to obstruct photography and where we find Hunting Surveys C47 G-AVPW note the magnetic survey device under the fuselage  which is wound out on a wire behind the aircraft.

British Midland's BAC 1-11 G-AXLN

Slightly earlier late November 1971 Britannia Airways Boeing 707-321c G-AYEX is rolled out for the first time. Britannia's other 707 G-AYSI  can be seen behind the number 1 engine on the compass swing bay. Its often forgotten that Britannia was a 707 operator for  2 years, using them on affinity group charters ( remember those ?) to Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles and Vancouver, along with the first long range IT flights to Montego Bay and Monastir and Tenerife in europe. The 6000ft length of the Luton runway did not suit the Boeing 707's lead sled characteristics meaning that transatlantic flights had to make a tech stop at Keflavik or Gander on the way out, or in the case of Vancouver by flying 10 minutes in the wrong direction for a tech stop at Stansted (ZSD in those days) change flight deck crew then fly direct ZSD - YVR, flights also carried a navigator who directed the trans atlantic part with the aid of a bubble sextant and Loran (a long range version of the Gee set found in wartime lancasters).

British Midland's Viscount 800 G-AZLR

Monarch's Britannia G-AOVG

An unusal visitor is Braathens Safe F27  LN-SUF.

And so as the Hillman Minx glides round the perimeter road and down the hill, we say goodbye to Roger and Reggie till the next time.

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