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Perplexing. What Type Of Aircraft Is This?  
User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4959 times:

Below is a photo of an aircraft which was taken at Lisbon Airport, probably sometime in the 1940s or 1950s.



OK, here is the challenge.

Name the type of aircraft in the photo. The only information I have on the aircraft, is that there were only ever 2 airlines which flew it, and 1 of those airlines only ever flew that type of aircraft.

What do we know about the aircraft?

* It is a 4 prop aircraft (one of the props can be seen behind the stairs)
* Its capacity is probably around 40-50 people? I say this because of the number of people lining up and walking up to the aircraft.

Myself, and a few other people have discounted quite a lot of the "major" props from that era, including Douglas DC-4s/DC-6/DC-7, Bristol Britannia, etc, etc.

One thing which should be noted is the higher positioning of the stabiliser.

Personally, I am thinking of an aircraft which was built somewhere like France, Italy or Spain. It is obvious by the fact that only 2 airlines operated it, that it wasn't a "successful" program.

So guys and gals, let hear it. What type of aircraft is it?

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4922 times:


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Photo © Steve Williams


Vickers Viscount

or:


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Photo © Pedro Aragão


Lockheed Electra

or:

...?




Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4871 times:

Not a Viscount. You can tell this by the angle of the stabiliser.

Wouldn't be an Electra either, because the Electra flew with more than 2 airlines. Also the engines on the Electra are very different to those in the photo.

So that discounts both of these types.


User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4777 times:

An Ambassador?

******************



-
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4757 times:

Boeing Stratocruiser? The engines and main gear look about right.

The only two airlines I know of who operated them were Pan Am and BOAC though I'm sure someone will correct me.


User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4752 times:

Not an Ambassador. It has 3 tail booms from memory.

Not a Stratocruiser. It was operated by more airlines than those 2, e.g. Northwest Orient.

I don't actually know the answer myself, but I think the answer will lie in that only 2 airlines ever operated it, and 1 of those only ever operated that aircraft.

It is going to be an obscure aircraft. I can feel it.


User currently offlineLapper From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 1564 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

I think the steps leading up to the rear door are a bit of a red herring on this chaps. TAP's fleet only ever consisted of:
B.747
A340
L.1011
A310
B.707
B.727
A320
A321
A319
B.737
Caravelle
DC-7
L.1049
DC-6
C-54
DC-4
C-47
C-53

All of which can be discounted either becuase of the type/age or engine layout.


User currently offlineTomh From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4719 times:

Aviatsia,
Do you mean it has 4-blade props, or do you mean it hads 4 engines? This has apparently confused some of those replying.

It is likely a CASA twin, a radial engine type similar in appearance to a Convair 240. I think the Spanish Air Force operated them into the 1970s.


User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4718 times:

Lapper

It needn't be an aircraft operated by TAP. As the airport is in Lisbon, TAP would have handled the aircraft, and provided the stairs for the aircraft.


User currently offlineTomh From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4692 times:

I think it is a CASA C-207 Azor. First flight 29 Sep 55.

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22CASA+Azor%22&sa=N&tab=wi


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Photo © Steve Williams




View Large View Medium
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Photo © Günter Grondstein



User currently offlineGaruda From Indonesia, joined Nov 2000, 584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4675 times:

It's definitely 4-engines airplane, you can see the 2nd prop on the wing near the main gear door.

The single nose gear is also a good clue, hardly any 4-engines airplanes have a single nose gear. I only know the DC-4/6/7 who has it, but the DC's tail is different.



User currently offlineAviatsiya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4670 times:

Tomh

I was thinking of the CASA C-207 also, but the line about it only ever being operated by 2 airlines knocked it out in my mind, as for as far as I know, the C-207 was only ever operated by the Spanish Armed Forces? Also, I did mean 4 props as in 4 engines.

Garuda

Agreed on that. For those who can't see the 2nd prop, I have circled it here:



Anyone know the names of some of the lesser known French aircraft manufacturers from that era?

[Edited 2003-01-28 14:51:57]

User currently offlineGoing64 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2002, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4637 times:

The CAZA C-207 was a 2-engine prop. So we have to look further or the circled engine is something different.

User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7370 posts, RR: 14
Reply 13, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4624 times:
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If that circled bit indicates where the 2nd prop is, wouldn't that interfere with the fuselage i.e. crash-bang-wallop time?

Looking at this website page looking aircraft histories in the 1950s, one finds



which is a Saab Scandia, used by SAS and then by VASP and Aerovias Brazil.

David


User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6597 posts, RR: 55
Reply 14, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4605 times:

The aircraft in the original photo has a fairly high stabilizer, whereas the VASP above has a fairly low one....not the same aircraft.

User currently offlineGoing64 From Netherlands, joined Oct 2002, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4596 times:

Perhaps the IL18 (Russian Aircraft) although this aircraft could carry approx. 75 passengers.

User currently offlineSkymonster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4576 times:

Well, what have we got???


Definitely a four engined airliner (even without the inboard prop, the location of the main gear gives this away), conventional configuration, with a single nose wheel. Unusual horizontal stabliser configuration.

It definitely isn't: (1) a Casa Azor as this has two engines, (2) a Saab Scandia as this too has two engines, (3) an IL-18 as the horizontal stab is in the wrong place, (4) a Stratocruiser as these have double wheel nose gears, nor is it any of the TAP aircraft mentioned or a Viscount or Electra.

The TAP steps could well be a red herring. And so too could the "its only been operated by two airlines" lead. So, if for one moment we assume that the only two airlines thing is wrong, that leaves plenty more choices. It could be an aircraft which was operated by many airlines, or indeed it could just be a one-off which was being demonstrated to TAP.

I wondered whether it could be an Armstrong Whitworth AW.55 Apollo, but the engines aren't quite right...



Can't see anything French that obviously fits the bill, and however wide the net is cast, the configuration of the tail is very unusual.

So, still thinking...

Andy


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13547 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4417 times:
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I'm not so convinced that this is actually a four-engine aircraft.

If you look closely at the circled area in the photo, it looks like it's a shadow of the wing root where it blends into the fuselage. Also, had that dark area been a prop blade, there would be another two of them visible at 90 degrees up or down from it. This doesn't seem to be the case in the photo.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13184 posts, RR: 77
Reply 18, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

I looked in the 1940's section of the site linked above, as I thought of a Handley Page Hermes, but the horizontal stabilizer position is wrong.
I also thought of some post war French designs, I pretty sure that at least one had a nose wheel, not the tailwheel aircraft pictured on the site.
I've done searches for aircraft in this catergory but no joy so far.


User currently offlineMiller22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 717 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4375 times:

Definately not a 207. Stab is much too high. You're right with the Apollo, engines aren't right, and the main gear doors are attached to the strut. Remember that just because they are using stairs owned by TAP, doesn't mean its a TAP airplane. I noticed the caravelle-like tail and considered the S.N.C.A.S.E. SE-2010 'Armagnac'.



I could only find this one photo of the aircraft, which unfortunately is at an angle where the wing eclipses the horizontal stab. I have noticed, however, that the rudder is uninterupted from top to bottom along the trailing edge of the vertical stab, which would indicate a more forward horizontal stab. Also the engines match, as well as the double doors on the main gear. Also, if you look closely, you can see the strut wrap around both sides of the nosewheel. Armagnac first flew in 1949, and only 9 were built, which I believe were all operated by Air France. It is very possible that Air France would have had one of these aircraft in Brazil during the early 1950's.

I think you're looking at a S.N.C.A.S.E. SE-2010 'Armagnac'.


User currently offlineMiller22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 717 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4367 times:

That was fun! Lets do another one!

User currently offlineAvroarrow From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 1045 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4360 times:

Hmmm...I like a good mystery. Although I don't have any real suggestions at this point, I'll include my opinion about a few things. I would tend to think that it could be a 4 engine aircraft as the visible engine is quite far out on the wing and it is possible that the ramp in combination with the angle the photo was taken at obscures the other inboard prop blades. I would venture that it is likely a radial engine too based on the size of the cowling/nacelle. Also the wing seems to incorporate some sort of vortex generator on it, almost like a caravelle. No answers really, but maybe more observations will shake something loose for someone else.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Ed



Give me a mile of road and I can take you a mile. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.
User currently offlineAvroarrow From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 1045 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4355 times:

OK I took too long typing my last post I guess, boy do I feel silly now.



Give me a mile of road and I can take you a mile. Give me a mile of runway and I can show you the world.
User currently offlineMiller22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 717 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4349 times:

Some further info on the Armagnac:

Carried approx. 160 people, which would explain the large number of people walking towards it. Also, it was made by the same company as the Caravelle. Good observations Avroarrow.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8506 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4279 times:

Good work, Miller22. The argument for the Armagnac is pretty strong.

25 Post contains images Backfire : It's almost certainly the Armagnac. The aircraft was operated by SAGETA (which, I think, is the airline that had an all-Armagnac fleet) as well as Tra
26 Lapper : Aviatsiya and Miller 22, the point about the stairs is exactly what I meant. SO, if only 2 airlines operated this bird, and AF were one of them, who
27 Post contains links Aviatsiya : Thanks guys for your answers. It seems it is indeed the SE.2010 Armagnac. It looks like it, and it fits in with the "2 airline" argument. It is intere
28 Aviasian : What an wonderful exercise . . . although the subject is as strange to Asian-based enthusiast as a flying saucer from Mars, it was highly educational
29 Sccutler : Easily the most entertaining thread in a very long time... thanks, Aviatsiya for starting it, and to all the participants for your effort and input. G
30 Timz : AFAIK the Armagnac was the largest (i.e. highest MTOW) piston airliner ever to go into service. Any arguments?
31 Je89_w : Interesting! Thanks for posting the thread Scotty! Jerrold
32 Tomh : Great topic and a lot of fun. When the location of the MLG was pointed out I knew I was wrong in thinking it might be a twin. You can even see the tap
33 Post contains links Lapper : On the tail of Backfires picture, you can also see the Air France "logo", the Winged Seahorse. If you have a look at the Air France corporate page, ht
34 Tomh : According to my copy of Air-Britian's "French Post-War Transport Aircraft" the SE-2010 Armagnac was first flown at Toulouse-Blagnac on 2 Apr 1949. As
35 GDB : Outstanding topic, and well done to those who tracked down the aircraft.
36 RayPettit : Aviatsiya et al, Great thread - I came across a slide of F-BAVI taken by someone else at Bordeaux a couple of years ago which prompted me to research
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