Capital Airlines  Vickers 745 Viscount      N7410                  (c/n  108)


                                In 1955 Capital Airlines made the unprecedented move in ordering a fleet of 60 British built Vickers
                                Viscounts.  In today's lingo that would be translated to the effect that they "wanted to make a state-
                                ment".  In fact the statement was that they now felt that they were ready to join the big boys, (the
                                airline was already the fifth largest carrier in the US) and they needed a machine which exceeded,
                                technically, the then currently available aircraft to demonstrate their progressive thinking.   Both
                                BEA in the UK and TCA in Canada were having remarkable successes (and load factors) with
                                their Viscounts and Capital thought it was a good bet.   Actually it was, although to this day there
                                are still analysts (generally of the NIH syndrome, which is very prevalent in the US) who insist the
                                demise of Capital was due to the Viscount.  Not true.  In fact, United were to carry on using them
                                for another seven or eight years.  The problem was probably in the size of the order, and their in-
                                ability to service the huge debt, whilst the depreciation expenses played havoc with the balance
                                sheet (can you tell I was an ex-accountant?).   The financial difficulties outlined above, plus a couple
                                of  accidents with the Viscounts caused the shareholders to overthrow the Board of Directors in 1960.
                                The following year, Vickers made noises about repossessing the Viscounts and on 1 June 1961 the
                                then largest merger in the history of the U.S. Domestic Trunk industry took place when United Air
                                Lines purchased Capital.  As stated, it took all of the "problematical" Viscounts and flew them profit-
                                ably for up to eight more years.  The upper shot was taken at La Guardia in 1956.  This aircraft,
                                N7410 was descending en route from Pittsburgh to Baltimore on 20 May 1958 when it was struck
                                by a National Guard Lockheed T-33 out of the Martin Airport.  The probable official cause given
                                was due to: "The failure of the T-33 pilot to exercise a proper and adequate vigilance to see and
                                avoid other traffic".     The shot below is by Leo J. Kohn and was taken at Milwaukee in 1958.
                                This was after the banning of the minuscule registration numbers on the rudder when they were
                                relocated to the fuselage in something readable.  Note nose fitted radar by that time also.

                              Vickers 745D Viscount      N7406        (c/n  104)