The Aircraft Data and History Section has an entry for the ATL
-98 "Carvair" and I can tell you a bit more from personal sources. The ATL
-98 was seen as a replacement for the long-nosed Bristol 170 Mk32s operated by Channel Air Bridge and car-ferry pioneer Silver City Airways. During 1962, Channel Air Bridge and Silver City merged to become British United Air Ferries (BUAF) effective 01 Jan 1963. In March 1962 I joined Silver City as a Traffic Officer at Lydd Ferryfield (EGMD / LYX) and worked there for BUAF until January 1966, when I transferred to the parent company, British United Airways (BUA), at London-Gatwick.
I have a hard-copy of the 1965 Jan/Feb edition of Esso World by Douglas Whybrow, Commercial Director of British United Air Ferries, confirming the ATL
-98 first flew in 1961 and entered service on 16 February 1962. Whybrow (who I knew) states the converted DC-4 was conceived in 1958 by (Sir) Freddie Laker and manufactured by a team under J.R.Batt, director of Aviation Traders (Engineering) Ltd.; the Chief Designer was A. Leftley.
BUAF operated ATL
-98s from Lydd to Basel, Geneva, Strasbourg and Liege. B170s continued to be used on the short routes to Le Touquet, Calais, Ostend and, in the summer, Deauville. The ATL
-98s carried up to 5 cars and about 22 passengers. The B170's took 3 cars and 14 passengers. I can just about remember how to arrange cars of differing lengths and weights to get a balanced aircraft. At peak periods Lydd had around 120 movements a day.
To see a BUAF ATL
-98 loading cars go to View Large View Medium
Photo © Phil Rix
It was in my first upload to the database and was kindly approved by Johan in spite of its low quality compared to today's digital images.