by Charles Woodley
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Found in: Aviation History Books
Aviation Reference Books,
Civil Aviation Books
Published: 17 November 2005
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BEA was originally formed in 1946, when as part of the government's nationalisation policy, it took over most UK domestic and European routes from the smaller regional airlines. Initially flying with a fleet of outdated and often uneconomic aircraft, such as the DC-3, Avro Viking and Rapide, it had re-equipped with the more modern jet-prop Viscount towards the end of 1955 and achieved a more stable financial footing . By the early 1960's the airline introduced larger jets such as the Comet, Trident and BAC 1-11and in 1974 went on to merge with BOAC to form the much larger British Airways still in existence today.
The volume includes what a remarkable fleet list, with full details of aircraft types, serial numbers, purchases and disposals too. There is a fascinating section on the airline's predecessors and the early operations from the both Croydon and Northolt before the move to the newly-opened Heathrow. All aspects of the aviation business are covered in the publication and the reader will therefore find useful information on engineering bases, terminals, European and domestic passenger and cargo services as well as helicopter operations.
There are of course numerous black and white and colour archive photographs of aircraft, equipment, advertising media, route maps and personalities too. The anecdotes from former crew and ground-staff add the human element, making this a valuable reference work for enthusiast's libraries and bookshelves.
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