P.O. Box: Herald

Mid seventies British Air Ferries (BAF) was replacing its Carvairs for regular passenger planes. As a kid I remember those Carvairs unloading cars, for which a mobile hoist was used. Boats ferrying cars were rare, and motorways not that abundant as nowadays. So ferrying a car across the North Sea through the air seemed a reasonable and time-sparing idea. But in the seventies, this all changed, and BAF switched from mixed-freight/car ferry services to regular passenger transport.

EHRD 19770503 G-ASHZ

As rare as a Carvair, almost as rare was its replacement, the Handley Page Herald, of which there were only 50 built. Designed in the fifties as a DC-3 replacement, its prototype flew in 1955. Technically it was an advanced plane, with smooth flying characteristics at low speed due to its use of slots, a Handley-Page invention, now present in all modern airplanes.

The Herald had to rival with the Fokker F-27 and HS.748, but heavy changes to fullfill requirements of airliners late in the development phase turned out fatal for sales. And the privately owned Handley Page company could no longer compete with the state supported companies. It went bankrupt in 1970.

See here for a full overview of all Heralds I logged myself. 25 aircraft, 50% of all there were ever built.

In November 2006 I did receive a picture taken by Andreas Klima of TG-AZE, which I once logged as BAF’s G-BDZV. It shows TG-AZE in September 1989 at the airport of Guatemala City (GUA), ready for its flight to Flores (FRS). Since, it has probably been scrapped in Guatemala City in 2001.

BAF also disappeared. It once was, like me, a regular visitor to Rotterdam (EHRD) but in 1979 its operations were assumed by British Island Airways (BIA). In 1980 four regional airlines, including BIA, went into Air UK. In 1995 KLM acquired the majority of shares, and Air UK became KLM UK, in 1998. Operations were split up into a low budget carrier, Buzz, in 2000. The remaining operations were integrated in KLM Cityhopper in 2003, while Buzz was sold then to Ryanair.

TG-AZE at Guatemala City (MGGT) 1989 

same aircraft as G-BDZV at EHRD 19781026

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