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Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 10:53 am

I never flew on one of these aircraft but I do remember seeing them in Dublin in the eighties being flown in by spanish charter airline Hispania.I would like to hear from anyone who flew on this aircraft.

RE: Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 12:30 pm

Yep, I did. It was back in the late 70s and early 80s. Mainly ORY to the south of France. As i was quite young at the time, i have few memories but i do remember that those rides were quite bumpy. Bumpier than with the Mercure on which i have also flown...
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RE: Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Wed Mar 08, 2000 4:54 pm

Hi EI133,

i would love to fly the caravelle :-)
I have investigated a lot and the only operator i could find who still flies them is
Gabon Express which is a subsidiary of Air Gabon. They have two caravells in service and fly them on domestic routes out of Libreville.

Syrian Air was on of the last operators of the caravelle, they retiered them (2) in

If you come across some news about one still flying (other than Gabon Express) io would appreciate any info.
Thanks & best regards

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Yes, I Did!

Thu Mar 09, 2000 12:38 am

I'll remember this my whole life.
I was about 10 years old, that time (so about 1976) and it was my first flight ever. I flew with my granddad to make a surprise to my grandmom. The company was Aviaco (not existing any longer, absorbed by Iberia on 1st September 1999). It was BCN-MAD and it took 40 minutes. We had some turbulences, but I was not afraid at all. I was very excited and I enjoyed a lot my new experience.

Best turbulences to everybody!!
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RE: Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:15 am

I flew from Orly to Marseille on an AF Caravelle in 1964 (when I was 14 yrs old.) I was travelling alone from Chicago to Marseille (an AF 707 from ORD-ORY), and the trip was my first jet flights. Mostly I remember the triangular windows. I thought they were really "neat"!.

Does anyone know if there was any reason for this unusual window shape, other than just for design purposes? I've always wondered.
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RE: Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:24 am


I flew Paris Orly - Grenoble on an Air Inter Caravelle back in 1990. I remember particularly the overhead luggage racks with only string nets to stop the bags falling down! Similary to the old Russian jets.

The return to Orly was on a Mercure!

I remember I was initially disappointed not to fly on one of the new A320s, but then realised it was much more special to fly on these aircraft which would soon be phased out and grounded. Especially the Mercure was a rare bird. Where did they end up?

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RE: Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 6:46 am

Back in 1992, from Dublin to Toulouse on Air Toulouse when they flew the Caravelles, before being replaced by B737's.
The aircraft was ok, at the time I actually thought it was ancient, just shows wisdom comes with age.
The fuselage was perfectly circular because the door lifted straight up on tracks along the roof. When the door was shut the air hostess just reached above her and slid it down into place. The use of air brakes on the approach also meant that it was quite bumpy (perhaps that was what everybody meant in the above posts re: turbulence) Now todays air brakes are smooth etc.. on this aircraft the pilots had to make an announcement to the cabin to disregard the severe buffeting, thats how much the aircraft shook.

ps On quite a few articles this feature has been mentioned so it wasn't the pilots mucking about.
Aircraft I've flown: A300/A310/A320/A321/A330/A340/B727/B732/B733/B734/B735/B738/B741/B742/B744/DC10/MD80/IL62/Bae146/AR

RE: Ever Flown The Caravelle?

Thu Mar 09, 2000 7:23 am

I remember (vaguely) flying on Caravelles operated by SAS back in early 70's. It was whilst my dad was working at Torslanda airport in Sweden for what was BAE at the time. I used to love the fact that you could enter it at the rear between the engines - well, I was young! I always regarded it as a strange looking aircraft, but enjoyed the flights none the less.
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Yes, 10 Times On Sterling Airways

Thu Mar 09, 2000 5:46 pm

Back in the 70's and 80's the danish charter airline Sterling Airways, now Sterling European, operated between 20 and 30 Caravelle's.

I flow 10 times in the Caravelle, first time was in 1971 from Billund in Denmark to Gerona in Spain and retur.

Later I flow to Mallorca in Spain a couple of times, and last time I flew from Billund to Malaga, and that was in 1982.

I have always thought that the Caravelle was a very nice plane, and I miss it very much.
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RE: Yes, 10 Times On Sterling Airways

Fri Mar 10, 2000 7:41 am

I remember those Sterling Super Caravelles, flew with them from ENGM (the old Gardermoen charter airport) to EGSS (London, Stansted) for a week stay in London back in February 1983. You could forget to talk with your neighbour if you had seats all way back in that plane. And I did hear noises similar to what the rattle snake makes! :-)
No more Caravelles for me.
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RE: Yes, 10 Times On Sterling Airways

Fri Mar 10, 2000 4:12 pm

I flew on a Sud Caravelle operated by United Airlines from New York City to Rochester, New York, in the early 1970ies. The speed brake design was "unique", based on my experience. However, I thought the flight was just fine.

Cool factoid: The design of the nose portion of the Caravelle was licenced from DeHaviland and, from an exterior standpoint, was identical to that of the Comet.

I never understood the reasoning regarding the window shape. However, the the square-shaped windows in the Comet probably contributed to the Comet airframe disintegration disasters. Perhaps Sud Aviation was trying to avoid the Comet's problems.

Anybody remember Nord Aviation and the Nord 262?
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About Those Windows ...

Sat Mar 11, 2000 8:00 am

the teardrop design was based on the idea that passengers look down when gazing out the window, so they put the bulk of the viewing area there. Some trivia: on the Super Caravelle and the Caravelle 12, the windows were moved 5 inches upwards since pax on the earlier models complained about them being too low.

I flew on a number of Air Inter Caravelles -- both the old Avon-powered IIIs and the ultimate stretch 12s. They were interesting but a bit cramped. I remember that the Avons made this low rumble during taxi that was very distinctive when heard from inside the cabin.

When those speed brakes were deployed for landing the airframe shook and there was no question that altitude was being lost. "Dive! Dive! Dive!"