What (in today's terms) is the oldest aircraft you've flown on?Back to Forum
In 1954 flew from Managua, Nicaragua, Central America, to San Francisco, Ca., on a Pan Am DC4 (equivalent C-54), with a passenger lounge at the rear of the plane. A long flight.
On a C-97 StratoFreighter, 2 decker , with 4 3500 HP P&W engines, from Travis AFB to Norton AFB in 1966.26 Apr 2019
My first flights were what I think was a B-727 from CPT to JNB and then a BOAC VC-10 from LHR via NBO and FCO back in the 60’s. As a student Dan Air Comets from LGW to the original Athens airport were a cheap option for the summer.
Since then business flights on older aircraft included an SAS DC-8 from either ARN to Oslo or Oslo to Bergen (can’t remember which). This was in the 1990s and must have been near the end of this type’s lifespan span. It was also a surprise as I was expecting the usual DC-9. The most obviously antique was a Pulkovo TU-154 from HEL to St Petersburg, not an experience I want to repeat.26 Apr 2019
Vanguard – BEA, BHX-LHR, my first ever flight aged 11
Trident One – BEA,LHR-BHX, first ever jet flight aged 11 +2 days
Viscount – BEA, BHX-GCI-BHX
BAC One-Eleven – BA, BHX-CDG-BHX and Airways International Cymru – CFU-BHX
B707- British Midland, BHX-CFU, leaking overhead panels stuffed full of paper napkins!
B727 – JAT, LHR-ZAG-LHR
B737 – early models Britannia, Orion, Italian Airlines(?) and Air Europe to and from many European holiday destinations
B757 – that great workhorse of the skies, incl one with leaking overhead panels and noisy door seal (the joy of an emergency exit seat)
DC9 – JAT, ZAG-ZAD-ZAG (boarded at ZAD via rear stairs under tail) and Adria BHX-PUY-BHX
A310 – Cyprus Airways LHR-PFO-LHR
Newer ones have been A320/A321, A330, B767 and Embraer 175/195.
Difficult to pick an older favourite, but probably Trident One and B757.26 Apr 2019
Early 60’s Ah memories!
A twin prop Avro something or other BHX-LHR. Canvas seats, open cockpit, very noisey, unpressurised so about 3000′ all the way.
Vickers Viscount BHX-GLA bit more comfortable but props not fully sync’d so not pleasant.
Many hours in various age-uncertain but fully serviceable wooden gliders (does that count?).
BPP26 Apr 2019
F-27 MSA and Sempati
Britannia British Eagle
HS 748 Bahamasair
Trident 1 BEA
B707 Britannia, Saudia and British Airtours
The Saudia 707 still had a spacious First class lounge up front, though sadly not the cocktails to go with it. The Sempati F-27 was probably the same one as the MSA plane, albeit 305 or so years later and British Eagle was endured London to HK, Singapore, KL and back to London with about four stops in each direction enroute.26 Apr 2019
The Saudia 707 still had a spacious First class lounge up front, though sadly not the cocktails to go with it.
I was up there once! They served me delicious coffee from a tall silver coffee pot and it was a good flight as I remember. Absolutely no booze of course, but I hardly drank even then so it didn’t bother me at all.27 Apr 2019
One of my first flights was around 1950 in a plane from Southend Airport.
My Dad loved to drive the family to Europe post-Second World War, for our Summer holidays (few people had holidays then outside of July/August). For the first couple of years we went via Dover, but around 1950 British Air Ferries operated a small, “very fat” plane, whose nose was upturned and a ramp dropped, for an airport worker to drive our car (and some others) on to the plane. The passenger cabin was above the hold where the planes were. We flew to Ostend.
The following year we did the same, but from Lydd Airport (in Kent) to Le Touquet.
In 1963 I flew on the first Aer Lingus charter flight to the USA, on a brand new Boeing 707.27 Apr 2019
I picked this up from southendtimeline.com, about the history of British Air Ferries:
“………………Services were moved to Lympne, Kent and on 13th July 1948 the first Cross Channel Car Ferry service was launched, using the prototype Bristol 170 Freighter G-AGVC, the 25 minute flight only had one car on board (Armstrong Siddeley Lancaster) but over the following three months 180 vehicles were flown across the channel.
By 1949 the Car Ferry business had been increased and made in to a scheduled service. The new look operation begin on the 13thApril 1949, just two weeks into the 1949 season the service had to be increased from four a day in May to 16 a day during July-August. The busiest day of the year came on the 28th July when the four Freighters flew 23 round trips. When the season came to an end the service was slowly reduced until it was operated on a fly as you arrive basis. 2500 cars had been flown along with their owners and passengers, 50 motorcycles & 5 pedal bikes. Three of the freighters were sent to Germany to aid with the Berlin Air Lift, by the time they returned they had flown 213sorties amassing 600 flying hours.
During the 1950/53 period the Car Ferry operation went from strength to strength, however the operation was hampered by the Freighters lift capability of only two cars, the Mk32 freighter was developed that was 5ft longer could carry an extra car and up to 23 passengers, Silver City took delivery of six of the “Super Freighters” by March 1953 by the end of 1953 all 17 of the ordered Super Freighter had been delivered, with the extra capacity by the end of the 1953 season 38.000 vehicles had been flown in just 10 months. However the service was still having problems, Lympne was still a grass strip, and operations were hampered by aircraft becoming stuck in the mud, so flights had to be diverted into Southend on a regular basis……….”
There’s plenty more at https://www.southendtimeline.com/britishairferries.htm
When I wrote earlier I hadn’t realised that the planes only carried two cars (to be fair I was only 5 at the time of the first flight).27 Apr 2019
Went from HRE to Bulawayo on an Air Zim 737 a couple of years back. About 30 years old, one of the last 737-200s, Pratt & Whitney engines screaming on take off.27 Apr 2019
Went from HRE to Bulawayo on an Air Zim 737 a couple of years back. About 30 years old, one of the last 737-200s, Pratt & Whitney engines screaming on take off.
There are plenty of old 747s out there too. Absolutely not a problem for me as long as they’re well maintained, though they can be long in the tooth. I’m sure there are no 747-100s carrying passengers now, but I’m not sure about the -200 and -300.28 Apr 2019
1968 travelling on Dad’s staff travel as standby passengers we were put on an Ansett ANA Vickers Viscount I think it was from Brisbane to Sydney. We had to sit in the little lounge seating area at the rear of the ‘plane as there were not enough seats for us. Not sure if that should have been allowed???28 Apr 2019
Always had a soft spot for float planes and had an amazing flight on a Catalina PBY around Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe in early 1990.
The plane was owned by a charming French guy and the flight was a real treat.28 Apr 2019