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.