ozark1
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What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:17 am

I have always considered the Viscount one of my favorite airplanes. I can just imagine sitting looking out one of those windows as a kid. I remember the bigger the window, the more I liked the airplane. I loved the Electra and the Convair 580, and preferred the DC8 to the 707 due to the larger window. But I never got to experience a Viscount. Was it a lot quieter on the inside than it was being subjected to the high whine of the turbines on the outside? Could it be comparable to an Electra or 580/600 in noise level in the cabin? I remember the vibration in the Electra and was wondering if, it was as noticeable. I grew up in ELP and was mesmerized by the Golden Tailed ones what would come and go. I know in the cockpit they could be sluggish and truck like, at least from what i've read. Any memories would be appreciated.
Well ok I guess I ALMOST flew in a Viscount when I flew in an Ozark FH227---those windows and then being able to watch the gear fall! Maybe that's even better than the V!
 
vv701
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:53 am

What was it like to fly in a Viscount? Great!

This video will give those who were never fortunate enough to fly in a Viscount some idea of just how big the windows were:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZIJINsKiGo

The cabin on BEA';s Viscounts included some backward facing seats with a table between them and the next row of forward facing seats. This meant you could have all the advantages of an aisle seat with an uninterrupted view out of the adjacent cabin windows particularly on the left side of the aircraft where, with the 3-2 seat arrangement, there was no centre row..

I cannot answer the questions on the Electra and Convair 580 as back in those days I would always choose to fly in the Viscount wherever possible. But this video may give you some appreciation of cabin noise levels, (Take-off starts at about 6' 50" into the video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=3fuDyWAD_lw
 
Type-Rated
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:53 am

Those Dart engines seemed much smoother than the engines that were in the Electra or Convair 580. The 580 engines had a very unique whistling sound to them. The Viscount engines seem quieter.
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e38
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:00 am

ozark1, it was magnificent. I don't think there has been, or ever will be, an airplane as graceful or exotic as the Viscount.
I only had the opportunity to travel aboard Viscounts twice--in the summer of 1966. I flew aboard Continental flight 288 from Midland/Odessa (MAF) to Dallas Love Field (DAL) with a stop at Fort Worth Greater Southwest International Airport (GSW). At Dallas Love Field Continental parked at Gate 26 on the Red Concourse. It's not there anymore, of course, but it is in the general area where Continental and Delta park today (I think they are currently gates 29, 30, 31, and 32). The return was a few days later--DAL to MAF nonstop. These were of course Continental's Viscount IIs (I think the official designation was Viscount 812).

On Continental's Viscount's, the Coach cabin was forward and was divided into two cabins: directly behind the forward entry door was a small coach cabin consisting of eight seats--the first row faced aft and the second row faced forward (in a 2-2 configuration). Behind this cabin was a coat closet on one side of the aisle and a lavatory on the other side of the aisle. Aft of the closet and lavatory was a standard coach cabin of approximately 5 rows in a 2-3 configuration (facing forward). Finally, behind the coach cabin was the first class cabin consisting of 5 rows in a 2-2 configuration. If you add all this up the seating capacity of the aircraft was 53. The crew on both of these flights consisted of two pilots and two stewardesses (that was what Continental called their flight attendants in 1966 and it is OK to state that here--it is not meant to be negative or derogatory--it was a professional, respectable career field)

I don't recall traveling aboard other aircraft where the first class cabin was in the back of the aircraft.

In the back of the aircraft, behind the first class seats was the galley.

Here are a few observations:

The view out those big oval windows was outstanding. I cannot think of another aircraft that provided a view as spectacular as you had on the Viscount.

On one flight I sat in the standard coach cabin (second cabin); on the other flight my family and I sat in the forward coach cabin. I do not recall either area being particularly loud nor did it vibrate excessively. I do remember the distinctive whine of those Rolls Royce dart engines. That was superb. Also, with the big RR stamped on the engines, you knew the powerplants would be 100 percent reliable. That was comforting!

On both flights, a hot meal was served (the flying time on this routing was about 1 hour 15 minutes). As I recall, there were no tray tables on the seats in front. The stewardesses passed out very firm pillows to each passenger and then you balanced the tray on your lap upon the pillow. The hot meals were roast beef, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, a roll with butter, a small piece of cake, and a beverage of your choice.

Overall, the Viscount was a perfect aircraft (at least that's my opinion!)

e38
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:36 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
I don't recall traveling aboard other aircraft where the first class cabin was in the back of the aircraft.

At least one ANA (Australian National Airways) DC-6 had a 1st class lounge in the rear of the cabin with a semi-circular seating arrangement at the very back (maybe exBCPA?)

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Jackbr
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:44 am

Most, if not all, prop liners had First Class at the rear of the aircraft - simply because it is quieter at the rear on a prop. On a jet, it quiter at the front. Qantas Electra's had F class at the rear, as did BOAC Britannias.

When Continental's first Viscounts were delivered, there was a small lounge area at the rear of the aircraft.
 
PanHAM
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:07 am

"Great" was what came up first when I saw the title.

I was lucky to have been on the Viscounts of BEA and Lufthansa and the BEA Vanguards as well. The sound of the engines, the procedure of starting the engines with the props picking up speed. Back then it was much more exciting to fly than with today's modern airliners. I would not want to miss a single flight on these machines, which included the Electra, the Convair 580 and even 4 segements on the CL44 freighter.

Too bad Lufthansa or British did not preserve one in flying condition. The Viscount would have deserved it.
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:41 am

Quoting gemuser (Reply 4):
At least one ANA (Australian National Airways) DC-6 had a 1st class lounge in the rear of the cabin with a semi-circular seating arrangement at the very back (maybe exBCPA?)

In the early 1950's, some of the BOAC Argonauts on which I flew had a similar arrangement. They also had first class at the back and in the middle and up the front because there was no coach/economy class then.

I was quite shocked the first time I flew on an Argonaut with coach/economy - 1954 or '55?  

As to the Viscount, I always found it a smooth and pleasant ride, and, like most others, I loved the big windows.

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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:47 am

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
The view out those big oval windows was outstanding. I cannot think of another aircraft that provided a view as spectacular as you had on the Viscount.

As a Railfan too, I've heard the Viscount refered to as the "Dome Car" of the skies!

The Viscount was the first plane I flew on as a kid. Trans-Canada Airlines had a large fleet and they were everywhere from Torbay YYT to Pat Bay YYJ.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:39 am

I flew one in '73 or '74 LHR-NCL, return was a Trident. The same trip we went from LHR onwards to ORY on a Caravelle so that was 3 Europlanes in one trip. Was 8 or 9 y/o at the time. I remember the Viscount had curtains on the windows, not shades and to this date was the only 4 engined turboprop I've flown on. We flew fairly low offering me great views of the English countryside. I don't recall much else about the particulars of that flight as my head was pressed against the window for most of the flight!
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shankly
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:43 am

It is one of the two planes that started it all for me, the other being its Vickers stablemate the VC10. Regrettably I never actually flew either

Have an uncle who had a pal who was a British Midland Airways pilot. As a youngster (9-12yrs old) I would spend a week with my uncle in the Midlands and his pilot friend would always take me to the BMA maintenance hanger at East Midland Airport (Castle Donnington), which was heaven for a kid nuts on planes.

Can still recall sitting in the cockpits of the Viscounts and Heralds, but it was the Viscount that always impressed. Such a roomy cabin and those magnificent windows noted by all above.

Growing up in the South East of England my spotting trips revolved around my local airports of Stansted, Southend and Luton and of course big days out at Heathrow. Viscounts were very much part of the landscape at all these airports and I can still recall the unique wind up of the wonderful RR Dart...BAF, BMA, BA, Jersey European, Intra, Swedair and of course the bright red Post Office freighters. The Turkish Air Force Visounts were also regular maintenance visitors

Luckily have the Brooklands museum close by and having joined as a Trust member often pop in to marvel at the amazing airliners produced by the Vickers Company
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freakyrat
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:16 pm

I flew on them between ORD and SBN many times. They were pretty quick. The windows were big. Rode on one flight with Danny Thomas who was going from ORD-FWA.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:20 pm

My first airline flight was in 1966, aboard a Continental Viscount, DEN-MKC-STL. This was a Continental-Braniff interchange flight, with the flight crew swapping out at MKC. I was traveling military standby, and since there were no first class passengers, the cabin crew told me to have a seat up front. Not a bad way to be introduced to airline flying........
I was amazed by the BIG windows. The first class section on that ship was two facing rows of seats. I was served a meal on both legs and had my own stewardess. (This was before some brainiac thought up "flight attendant".) This service only lasted another year or so after that, and the CO DEN-MKC service was taken over by a wonderfully noisy DC-9 shorty, with the occasional 707-720 night flight. Ahh-good times  

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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:47 pm

I used to fly both EA Electras and United Viscounts from RDU to CLT when I was a student at UNC (a few decades ago). The fares were cheap (youth/student). The Viscount was a smooth ride and the whine of the RR Engines was like music. The Electra was in a different league, a bit noisy, and IIRC, had 1st class in the rear of the aircraft.

A big bonus--UA went RDU-CLT via GSO, so the two takeoffs/landings was well worth the fare. The Viscount along with EA's B720 and DL's 880's were my planes of choice back in the 60's.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:18 pm

I flew on Lufthansa's Viscount 814s, along with other Viscounts on BEA, Channel Airways, Aer Lingus, and Austrian Airlines. I loved the big windows, but not all seat rows were lined up with the windows. Thank goodness they had open seating, so that I could choose a row with comfortable window alignment. I remember that the Channel Airlines Viscount had seatbacks that were so thin that if I leaned comfortably back in my seat, the tray table for the seat behind me would pop open. Although I loved the Viscount, I preferred KLM's Electras. The Electra had proper window alignment on all rows, and it seemed stronger and sturdier than the Viscount.

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isitsafenow
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:50 pm

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
I don't recall traveling aboard other aircraft where the first class cabin was in the back of the aircraft.

BN and AA Electra....TWA Super Connies.

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
The view out those big oval windows was outstanding. I

To give you an idea how big the oval windows were, sit down and look at your knee. That's how far
they came down.....compare that with a 737 or A319...nope, not even close.
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:31 pm

Hello

I have flown on G-CSZB and took video of engine start up, in flight etc. Windows were huge!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Watt



Really need to find a way to transfer old camcorder tape to PC then upload to YouTube.

Regards

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KELPkid
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:46 pm

Quoting ozark1 (Thread starter):
I grew up in ELP and was mesmerized by the Golden Tailed ones what would come and go. I know in the cockpit they could be sluggish and truck like, at least from what i've read.

You know, then, too, that the city of El Paso named a major street near the airport Viscount drive   Kind of fits in with the aircraft manufacturer names for streets near the airport: Boeing, Convair, etc.
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:50 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 2):
Those Dart engines seemed much smoother than the engines that were in the Electra or Convair 580. The 580 engines had a very unique whistling sound to them. The Viscount engines seem quieter.

One can only hope! I have never witnessed a Viscount in operation, but as a lineboy, I refuelled a few CV 580's...marshalling them in definitely required hearing protection, much worse than a Lear 24/25, even... I swear my ears were ringing afterwards despite wearing 24DB hearing protectors (basically, David Clark headsets without speakers in them)   
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:13 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 2):
Those Dart engines seemed much smoother than the engines that were in the Electra or Convair 580. The 580 engines had a very unique whistling sound to them. The Viscount engines seem quieter.

Agree, the Viscount was very smooth and quiet on the inside. I made my very first flight when I was about 8 or 9 on a Trans-Canada Air Lines Viscount from Edmonton (YXD airport then, near the city center, before YEG was built) to YYC. That was soon after TCA became the first carrier in North America to operate turbine-powered aircraft. I probably made at least a dozen more flights on Viscounts. The huge windows were the best feature.

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
I don't recall traveling aboard other aircraft where the first class cabin was in the back of the aircraft.

All propeller aircraft operating in 2-class configurations in those days had first class at the back, the quietest part of the cabin, unlike jets.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:27 pm

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
On both flights, a hot meal was served (the flying time on this routing was about 1 hour 15 minutes). As I recall, there were no tray tables on the seats in front. The stewardesses passed out very firm pillows to each passenger and then you balanced the tray on your lap upon the pillow. The hot meals were roast beef, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, a roll with butter, a small piece of cake, and a beverage of your choice.

Yeah great sure, fair enough! Do you also recall how much the airfare was, corrected in today's dollars?
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:35 pm

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
As I recall, there were no tray tables on the seats in front. The stewardesses passed out very firm pillows to each passenger and then you balanced the tray on your lap upon the pillow.

I expect CO Viscounts, which were the later and slightly stretched 800 series, had tray tables. Even TCA's earlier Viscount 724/757s that went into service in 1955 had fold-down tray tables, their first aircraft type with that feature (except seats in the first row where the tables plugged into holes in the armrests).
 
tonyban
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:42 pm

In 1979 after completing my 'O' level exams, my friends and I took a weekend holiday to Jersey from LHR.
We flew in a Viscount and I still remember to this day, the absolute joy in flying in this beauty. Our return journey was in Trident 3 which was also an experience in itself.
Thanks for reminding me    of those memories !
 
KarlB737
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:46 pm

Quoting ozark1 (Thread starter):
Was it a lot quieter on the inside than it was being subjected to the high whine

I rode on a Capital Airlines Viscount from TVC to YIP in 1957. All I remember about that ride was the pain in my ears from the high pitched whine.
 
milesrich
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:52 pm

Quoting e38 (Reply 3):
I don't recall traveling aboard other aircraft where the first class cabin was in the back of the aircraft.

As was stated above, all propeller aircraft that had two class configuration had first class in the rear as that was the quietest part of the aircraft, except Braniff's Electra's which had a first class lounge foward, coach in the middle in the main cabin, and FC in the rear.

I flew on quite a few United Viscounts, between MLI and ORD/MDW. UA's Viscount 745D's had drop down tray tables, and were configured in all First Class cabin with 44 seats in 2-2. On the ramp, the Viscount was like listening to two F-27's or FH-227B's at the same time. The video was very good and brought back lots of memories. The ride was almost vibration free, unlike the pistons, and I preferred riding in the Viscount to the Fairchild aircraft.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:52 pm

The viscount is an aircraft I remember with affection. I remember the large windows however as they aged, the windows hazed a bit and it wasn't easy see clearly. I remember flying on BEA, Aer Lingus, Virgin and British Air Ferries. I had the good luck to work as cabin crew briefly on the viscount. There were two cabin crew and a good sized galley at the back. I also remember the lav, also at the back with the little flap covering the tank that held the "blue" sanitizing fluid and often the flap stuck open with the tank contents sloshing around. The aircraft was very stable and had a perky taxy along the taxyways and runways. The sound from the engines was unmistakable and not too noisy. The dropdown tray tables were held up by a leather tag with a snap clip. Also the seatbelts were 1950's vintage with a belt that fed through the clip which then compressed down on the canvas belt. State of the art at the time but perfectly safe. Boarding through the forward door was precarious as it a low door and we has a cushion strip that was placed on the underside of the door opening to prevent nasty head injuries from the taller passengers. No automatic inflatable slides either, canvas "rag slides" that required a bit of manipulation to attach to the sides of the doorways after you had opened the flap in the floor and pulled the whole lot up into the cabin. Not something easily accomplished in precious seconds. Thankfully I never had to use them. As we were well into the jet age by the time I got to work on the VCV, passengers complained that they were being transported on this ancient relic! I was always most enthusiastic however the enthusiasm wasn't infectious. What I particularly remember is doing seatbelt check as we were on approach and in a banking turn with the huge windows it was like the side was missing from the aircraft as there was a vast panorama of the ground below. The aisle was wider than the jets of today and the 3-2 seating with the huge windows made the cabin very spacious.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:55 pm

In the 60/70s the Viscount was the workhorse of the BEA/BA Highlands and Islands service,with flts to BFS and seasonally to JER and GCI ex GLA.
I flew many times S/A to the various islands, and to me on a summers day given that at times the flts were at 2 to 3k feet together with the smoothness and quiteness on the engines, and the views through the large windows it was and still is my favourite aircraft type. The 748 s which came later could not compare with the Viscount.
The most memorable day on a Viscount saw me fly GLA-EDI-ABZ-KOI-LSI-KOI-WIC-INV-GLA in the days when there was no Taxes, nor security at airports ..
 
isitsafenow
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:09 pm

Quoting KarlB737 (Reply 23):
I rode on a Capital Airlines Viscount from TVC to YIP in 1957. All I remember about that ride was the pain in my ears from the high pitched whine.

Karl, you must of sat by the engines or just ahead of them. I alway sat in either the last or next to last row. It was quieter back there........Crossed the lake(Michigan) many times in a Viscount. I miss them.

What I don't remember is did the Viscount have a three man cockpit crew or a two man cockpit crew?
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ozark1
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:05 am

I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of everyone taking the time to respond to me! Such an interesting array of comments. I really enjoyed looking at some of the pics taken inside looking out at the engines. Forgot how long the nacelles were, they sure seem longer than the Allison. I bet looking out at that wing on a shiny new BEA Viscount with the RR stamp on the side of each engine was very reassuring.
Did this plane have any kind of achilles heel like the Electra did or the BAC111? I know Capital had several accidents but don't recall any consistent item that led to them.
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:44 am

Well I've said it in threads before and I'll say it again now, my first ever flight was on a BA Viscount (sound familiar?) LHR-GCI in August 1979. I had waited for years to board an aircraft and actually fly somewhere (I had been on static display aircraft at Duxford, which obviously went nowhere!) and there was so much to take in that the flight is pretty much a blur.

What I do remember is that the aircraft was a lot quieter than I had expected it to be, especially having seen Viscounts flying over my home town of Battersea, South London many times on approach to LHR. There was no mistaking the drone of a Viscount as it flew in (usually) from the Channel Islands compared to the scream of more modern jet aircraft, so I expected to hear that drone when I was onboard the aircraft. But it was pretty quiet. The windows were of course enormous and offered great views of the south of England and the surrounding islands as we made our way to Guernsey. Another thing I remember is the long, low takeoff as compared to the steep takeoff of the jets that I had watched taking off from LHR many many times.

I was of course glued to the window the whole way, whilst my Dad was more interested in buying duty free cigarettes! 
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e38
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:16 am

Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 27), "What I don't remember is did the Viscount have a three man cockpit crew or a two man cockpit crew?"

Michael, as I remember, the Viscount was certified with a two man cockpit crew.
Lockheed Electras had three man cockpit crews.

e38
 
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longhauler
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:03 pm

The first time I flew in a Viscount was in the late 1960s, when Air Canada had just configured the aircraft to all Y class, 48 seats, with 12 rows of four. As stated above, and with only 10 windows, the rows did not align properly. However, as my Father flew Viscounts at the time, and with access to his Pilot Operating Manuals, I knew which rows were best for viewing. (for the record, the best seats were rows 1, 6 and 11 and 12. But 12 only on the right side, as the door blocked the window on the left side when opened.)

That is also why the window exits were windows 4, 6 and 10 on the right side, but 4, 6 and 9 on the left side.

The seats were alternating yellow and blue, with beige walls, and dark brown curtains and carpet. (It wasn't as ghastly as it sounds). That configuration remained unchanged until the aircraft was retired from Air Canada service, and in fact at the Western Canadian Aviation Museum in Winnipeg, you will find a Viscount open for public access in this configuration.

While the Rolls Darts certainly were noisy on the outside, on the inside they were muted to a low pitched "moan". The only time you ever heard the characteristic whistle, was on the ground when taxiing. I found the same in the other Dart equipped aircraft on which I flew, the FH-227, Avro 748, Convair 640 and the Handley Page Herald.

The vibration was far less than the Electra or the Vanguard, and about the same as the Convair 580/640.

The best Viscount trip I took was with my Father on one of his trips as Viscount Captain. YYZ-YYB-YUY-YVO-YOW-YUL to a layover, then the same route in reverse the next day. Doesn't get any better than that!
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Viscount724
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:55 pm

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 28):
Did this plane have any kind of achilles heel like the Electra did or the BAC111? I know Capital had several accidents but don't recall any consistent item that led to them.

The Viscount had a single spar wing design which I believe required replacement of the spar after a certain number of hours which was a major job. There were a few fatal Viscount crashes resulting from failure of the wing spar and separation of all or part of a wing.
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19611130-1
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19660922-1
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19681231-2

Quoting longhauler (Reply 31):
The first time I flew in a Viscount was in the late 1960s, when Air Canada had just configured the aircraft to all Y class, 48 seats, with 12 rows of four.

AC reused the original F class seats in that final Y class configuration, replacing the 5-abreast Y class seats but installed at tighter seat pitch than the original F class layout. It made the Viscount more attractive on routes where they were operating both the DC-9 and Viscount.

Re the misaligned seats and windows, wasn't that also true with the original TCA all-F class layout? If memory correct there were 11 rows (44 seats), but with only 10 windows per side some seats didn't align with the windows. After that layout they switched to a 2-class configuration with 12 F at the back and 39 Y 5-abreast (last row 4 abreast). I think some aircraft also operated in a 5-abreast all-Y layout for a while. I've heard that configuration mentioned but I can't recall it.
 
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longhauler
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:59 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 32):
I think some aircraft also operated in a 5-abreast all-Y layout for a while. I've heard that configuration mentioned but I can't recall it.

TCA / Air Canada had only the three configurations you mentioned. The original 44F layout with 11 rows, then the dual class 39Y12F layout with 11 rows then the final 48Y with 12 rows.

During the change from 39Y12F to 48Y there was a major cabin modification as well. While the same size as the old F seats, the 48Y actually had newer seats, with a slightly different (more stable) arm rest and tray table mechanism. Also the passenger service units moved from the cabin wall to under the overhead racks. The picture shown above in this message thread from the old TCA days, has the old seats with the old PSUs.
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:14 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 33):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 32):
I think some aircraft also operated in a 5-abreast all-Y layout for a while. I've heard that configuration mentioned but I can't recall it.

TCA / Air Canada had only the three configurations you mentioned. The original 44F layout with 11 rows, then the dual class 39Y12F layout with 11 rows then the final 48Y with 12 rows.

That was also my understanding, but there was a reference in a 2006 thread to an all-Y configuration with 54 seats which I had never heard of. It's in reply 36 here:
Vickers Viscount Vs. Lockheed Electra (by Columba Jun 17 2006 in Civil Aviation)#menu52

However, a few other things in that reply don't seem quite right either. For example, in line with your memory, I recall the original all-F configuration as 44 seats, not 40 (some carriers did use a 40-seat configuration which avoided the misaligned windows problem). And the 2-class F/Y layout was 12 F and 39 Y (not 40 Y). And I can't recall a 48-seat all-F configuration, only all-Y at the end.

[Edited 2011-09-02 12:22:13]
 
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RE: What Was It Like To Fly In A Viscount?

Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:58 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 34):
That was also my understanding, but there was a reference in a 2006 thread to an all-Y configuration with 54 seats which I had never heard of.

Yes, I recall that thread. I looked at Pilot Operating Manuals for the TCA Viscount from 1957, 1963 and 1970 there is no reference to a 54Y layout. And, looking at the seat charts from those three manuals, I can't see how they would have done it. To go to 54 seats would require 12 rows, and that was not physically possible at the time.

When the aircraft was built, the PSUs were on the cabin walls and were fixed at 11 rows. It was not until the modification in the mid/late 1960s that the configuration went to 12 rows. To do that, the PSUs were placed under the overhead racks.

To accommodate 54 passengers in 11 rows would require 10 rows of 5, and 1 row of 4. The fuselage narrowing in the rear would not allow 5 abreast so far back.

Understand though, I am not saying it didn't exist. Looking today at the many cabin configurations of the aircraft I fly, the B767, I can well imagine that there may have been a few "oddballs" in the fleet back then too. But, looking at the manuals, safety cards (which had a cabin layout), boarding passes (which also had a cabin layout) promotional material and anything related to the TCA or AC Viscount, I see no mention of a 54Y configuration.
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