PH-VIB Vickers 803
In 1957 KLM took delivery of 9 series 800 Viscounts.
Seen here are two shots of the same
aircraft, named "Louis Bleriot". The
above close up is courtesy of KLM, whilst the lower shot
is a nice one by Jennifer
Gradidge at London Airport in the late 1950s.
Interestingly, during that
time period I was working for Western Air
Lines who had reciprocal non-rev privileges with KLM.
In 1961 I flew this aircraft
from Amsterdam to London. At that time it was only four years
Even now I remember that it shook, rattled and rolled like a ten
year old veteran. Clearly it did
not live up to the initial
reputation that Viscounts were given when introduced into Australia,
that one could stand a
three-penny piece (the old octagonal sided ones) up on end in the
certainly couldn't have in -VIB on
that trip! The short haul European stages flown by KLM had
certainly taken their toll
on the airframe. Not sufficiently to deter Aer Lingus,
purchased the whole lot, second hand,
from KLM in 1966.