Posts: 1037
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2001 4:15 am

Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:19 pm

how long were the car decks on these two a/c. and what about pax capacity?

How many of each are still in service ?

Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:23 pm

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:52 pm

don't know the specs but up till last year a buddy of mine was running one ,a carvair, out of texas, a real pt.125 freight dog operation,business wasn't too good,but she turned heads whenever they flew.
the rumble of round engines is like music to me,likewise the thunder of thr JT8D
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2001 4:15 am

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:22 am

Isn't one for 5 cars and the other for three .. but how long ?
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Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:39 am

There's a great Bristol 170 Freighter story, allegedly true, that goes like this:

In the 50's, Trans-Canada were trying to boost their freight service across Canada and to New York. They had 1 North Star converted to freight at the time, but added 3 Bristol Freighters.

So, one day they start cargo service YYZ-IDW with the thing. The pilot lands and taxis up to the cargo terminal. After post-flight paper work, the crew deplanes and is walking across the ramp when accosted by an AA pilot.

"You the captain?" asks the AA guy.

"Yes", replies the TCA captain, "I just flew in from Toronto."

"You make this yourself?" asks the AA guy, and turns and walks away.
Anyway, the 170 had a short and not illustrious career at TCA....
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:56 am

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:26 pm

Bristol 170 Mk 31E Carried 2 cars and 15 passengers, none left in service,a few in museums in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Bristol 170 Mk 32 Carried 3 cars and 23 passengers,not sure if any of this version survive today.

ATL98. Carvair (The name was derived from the specification Car Via Air ) was intended as a replacement for the Bristol Freighters, it could carry 5 Cars and 22 passengers or a maximum of 85 passengers,there is at least 1 operational in South Africa with Phoebus Apollo Aviation, 1 with Brooks Fuel in Alaska and I think there are 2 operational in other parts of the U.S.
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:50 pm

There was a charter company down in BC a number of years ago that operated both types-in the case of the Bristol it was the last operating example of its type at the time.

The big problem with the Bristol was that they tended to be write-off's when wrecked. The cargo compartment just folded up on it'self, if you ever saw a photo of the structure you would understand whyl. There wasn't a lot of metal used in the cabin walls. The floor was stron for a vehicles but if it ended up on it's belly it just folded in on it'self.

The ATL-98 is an interesting airplane, I would be curious to see how it's numbers compared to the DC-6 swingtail conversions.
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:17 am

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:39 pm

I spent four years (1962-1966) at Lydd (LYX/EGMD) working on the air ferry for Silver City Airways and British United Air Ferries. I hope my memories are accurate.

The hold length the B170 Mk32s operated by Silver City Airways was 41’ 6” bulkhead to sill, which was used for reservations. The actual load length of the three cars could exceed this by about a foot, provided the car in the nose had a good overhang behind the rear wheels (e.g. Triumph Herald) and did not snag the nose door luggage racks. Flights departed every five or ten minutes in the summer. Loads were often rearranged as passengers arrived early or late.

At Lydd loads were assembled directly outside the Traffic office and checked for height and for length against ground marks equivalent to the aircraft hold. Staff compiling loadsheets used a profile of the aircraft and scaled car lengths, in 6” increments, to see where the C of G of each car would be before calculating the overall C of G of the aircraft on a bespoke slide rule. The number (weight) of passengers in the rear cabin determined the order in which to load the 3 cars.

Quoting Pelican22 (Reply 4):
Bristol 170 Mk 32 Carried 3 cars and 23 passengers,not sure if any of this version survive today.

Silver City aircraft had 14 seats plus one for the cabin attendant, not the 23 suggested by Pelican. I do agree with Pelican that the ATL-98 had 22 passenger seats, but have no recollection of the hold length. I would guess at around 67’ for the 5 cars.

As an aside the B170 32s also carried livestock in the winter, a typical load being 110 sheep or 54 regular size pigs, in three bays separated by wooden hurdles lashed on to the floor rings. The escape hatch windows were replaced by wire mesh to provide ventilation. The passenger cabin was empty. I made about 130 trips as a temporary livestock flight attendant clambering along the hold to check the sheep were on their feet and to discourage the pigs from knocking down the hurdles. Fun when you are young and getting six shillings a trip extra pay.

Two books about the B170 and ATL-98 car ferry operation, Air Bridge 1 and Air Bridge 2, cover 1947 to 1977. If anybody is interested and e-mails me I will let you have the details.
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Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Bristol 170 Vs Atl-98

Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:01 pm


Lydd was "The place" to see those lovely airplanes in the 60's!!! I consider myself a lucky guy because I saw at least the ATL98 Carvair at LIS. I tell you, in 1978 or 1979 BAF sold their ATL98's to a new airline from USA called Falcon Airways, the route took them from UK to USA via LIS, and I saw 2 of them here at LIS - N80FA and N89FA - one of them I saw it taking-off and it was really nostalgic to see the airplane taking-off slowly , then a very nice slow turn to the right and again very slowly gainning altitude and pass vertically over LIS airport on his way to the was a fantastic sight that I'll never forget!!! I never had the chance to see the Bristol 170 at LIS, but I'm sure some came by!!!
Thanks for bringing those memories back Rw774477......nice to reed some "fresh" topics in this forum!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!

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