PH-VIB  Vickers 803 Viscount II                        (c/n  173)


                                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 old.
                                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, namely
                                that one could stand a three-penny piece (the old octagonal sided ones) up on end in the cabin.  I
                                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, apparently, who
                                purchased the whole lot, second hand, from KLM in 1966.