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There was at the time of this protest another counter action group, ABBA , A Better Birmingham Airport
which was of course successful.
In all fairness, and I can appreciate perhaps these protesters concerns and fears, but can you imagine how the old airport would have faired with its inadequate facilities, serving the UK's 2nd largest city.
It would certainly hampered business growth and jobs for the area.
Even so as an aviation eenthusiast I miss the charm and quaintness of the old ELMDON airport.
I have flown out of Birmingham Airport three times this year. There is absolutely no way that Elmdon could have coped. One time at 5.00am we were on the first floor of Terminal 1 snaking up and down 7 rows of people then in the next area up and down 5 rows all waiting to get into security. I wanted to fly out of Birmingham again next month but the flights and the costs did not work out so I am flying out of Gatwick and saving enough to cover the train fares.
Passengers just alighted from a British Midland Dakota reg G-ANTD in the mid 1960s. If your seat was at the front in a Dakota there was an 'uphill' climb to get to it. Those passengers may not have known that the aircraft they had just flown in was built in 1944 for the United States Army Air Force, and saw some service in the Royal Air Force until the early 1950s.
In 1985 a flight, which I was on, had to land in Birmingham due to a severe snowstorm in southern England. The flight was from Palma, Mallorca and was destined for Bristol. Alternative airfields in the south, such as Exeter, Bournemouth, Cardiff and one other (memory does not recall its name) but Birmingham was the most southerly we could land at - although there had been snow there as well but cleared off the runways. It is the only time I was there but had seen the place from nearby roads back in 1952/53.
Noting some of the older aircraft pictures here reminds me of some the flights from Defford and later Pershore.
In the early 80s I worked for a local business that had a bulk mailing contract with Royal Mail. We received a PR visit one afternoon, I dont recall what went on in the meeting but they were obviously there to promote their services. When the meeting ended they handed over two complementary tickets for a race event at Silverstone the following Sunday in which two sponsored Datapost cars were participating. A Datapost aircraft was used to fly their guests out from Elmdon (Birmingham airport). I only recall about 10 people going, including my wife. The aircraft was fitted out with seats for the event or maybe they were standard and was allowed to land in the middle of Silverstone race track. Rest of the day was spent in a celebrity box watching the car racing being plied with food and wine. There was lots of food left over which we ended up taking home. Had been chatting with the pilot (ex RAF) who allowed me to occupy the co-pilots seat for the return trip. It was a low level flight probably not much more than about 300 or 4000 feet max with the pilot making constant visual checks for other aircraft. The organiser wasn't too happy as he wanted to sit up front! But then if you don't ask you don't get!
I thought there used to be 2 Datapost Shorts that flew in and out of Birmingham but searching the web I can only find reference to G-RMSS which belonged to Air Ecosse and Manx Airways. Was this the only Short in Datapost service at that time and was this service replaced by Parcelforce?
Passengers just alighted from a British Midland Dakota reg G-ANTD in the mid 1960s. If your seat was at the front in a Dakota there was an 'uphill' climb to get to it. Those passengers may not have known that the aircraft they had just flown in was built in 1944 for the United States Army Air Force, and saw some service in the Royal Air Force until the early 1950s. View attachment 121145
First flight was in a Dakota in 1959. Blackpool to the Isle of Man with Silver City Airways. I remember the uphill climb to our seats as we sat by the wing. Air hostess handed out barley sugar sweets and little packets of cotton wool for your ears. Realised why once the engines started. The noise was deafening.
Another photo of Valetta VW 197 in 1969. It was not the most elegant aircraft but it was a shame that in 1971 it was sold for scrap and cut into pieces for transport to a scrapyard. More info in posts#370 and 371.
Whilst I was serving in the RAF we flew back from West Africa (Gold Coast) in 1951 in a Huntings Airways charter a/c, a Viking, hard to tell the difference between that and a Valetta, apart from the Viking does not come to a point at the fuselage rear. Never found out why the RAF used civilian charter instead of Transport Command who took us out there
Hi Eric, below is a short film of a Viking aircraft. It is an old Movietone News film with has one of those typical commentaries which remind me of the 1950s. It says the Viking only carried 24 passengers.
Hi Smudger - The only one I can remember at the moment is the Vickers Varsity. The 'bump' had windows at the front and was used for training bomb aimers. We had Varsitys at RAF Topcliffe and if you had a friendly pilot he would let you lie in the 'bump' for a magnificent view of North Yorkshire. View attachment 91609
There is very little difference between a Viking , shown here and a Varsity cookie. Its just one is for the military. The RAF often gave a different name to there civilian counterpart. The only area that is slightly different is extra cockpit glazing at the top.
Do you recall seeing a Chipmunk on occasions doing aerobatics over where Hatchford Brook golf course is. Regular air traffic then was mainly Viscounts and Vanguards. Don't know if it was permitted then. Certainly wouldn't be allowed now!