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Picture of the Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair aircraft

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Aircraft Taken at
More: Falcon Airways
More: Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair
More: In Flight
More: UK - England, May 1979
Remark Photographer
N80FA (cn 10273/7) Working at Southend Airport in the 'Seventies produced some great opportunities. Just before N80FA departed on its ferry flight to Texas, I was able to fix up an air-to-air session from Cessna 172 G-ATLN. We flew as fast as possible, the Carvair as slow as it could with everything down. I can still hear those P&Ws roaring over the sound of my open window and the general racket in the Cessna. I even sold my car to one of the Falcon directors who duly loaded and flew home to the States with it - truly Car-via-air as Freddie Laker originally intended. This aircraft crashed in Alaska in 1997 as N103; another of the few remaining Carvairs suffered a similar fate up there in May 2007, so now only two survive.
More: Richard Vandervord
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Distinct views: 337,436
Photo added: July 11, 2007
Average views per day: 124

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Visitor comments (83)   [Hide]Post your own comments by rating the photo above!
A visitor from - posted Mon January 20, 2014:
Despite all its ugliness, ungainliness and uncoolness, this craft reminds me of a likeable old grandma - in a cute charming sort of way.

A visitor from China posted Sat March 23, 2013:
I Yabba-Dabba Do! : Flinstones' Fred and Barney flying this plane on their way to the local pub.

A visitor from Italy posted Sat March 23, 2013:
Thanks for this piece of history!

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Wed February 20, 2013:
Nice picture

A visitor from Belgium posted Mon January 7, 2013:
One of the most exciting planes on which I flew quite a lot of hours with B.A.Ferries
Marc T.

A visitor from United States posted Tue November 27, 2012:
This aircraft is ugly.

A visitor from United States posted Wed May 16, 2012:
Airliners.net has great photos!!!

A visitor from United States posted Mon March 26, 2012:
This is a BEAUTYFUL plane...except for the nose. But this is a very unique shot with the gear down! If you look close enough it looks like the plane is smiling. BTW how do you get the "DEFAULT IMAGE" in your comment.

A visitor from United States posted Wed August 31, 2011:
First time I have seen one of these airborne. People say they're ugly. It's a propliner; there is no such thing as an ugly propliner. And in its own element, this white elephant has a certain grace to it.

A visitor from - posted Sun August 14, 2011:
That looks really nose-heavy O.O

A visitor from - posted Tue March 29, 2011:
Impressive air-to-air pic!!

The first time I saw a picture of this model I thought it was a photoshop done for fun.... When I realised it was a real airplane, I was very astonished to see that the 747's form was not totally new. But frankly, this plane is not even 2% as gracious as the Jumbo..... it looks like a very problematic 747!

Btw I just love this message:

"A visitor from United States posted Wed October 20, 2010:
Looks like a 747 and DC-4 had a baby!!! :D" So sweet!!

A visitor from - posted Tue March 29, 2011:
Tswana's from Botswana should be wondering why their national colors are found around the head and tail of this elderly bird!

A visitor from - posted Tue March 29, 2011:
No wonder one day when the engine were being started whilst parked next to a B747... the crank sounded like MAMA!

A visitor from - posted Tue March 29, 2011:
Really nice photo. Really ugly plane!

A visitor from Australia posted Wed February 9, 2011:
It looks like somebody stuck the front-end of an old sikorsky onto the fuselage of a PC-3 orion

A visitor from - posted Wed February 9, 2011:
An unbelievably cool plane that I never knew existed! Thanks for sharing!

A visitor from - posted Fri January 14, 2011:
I wonder if the guys making the 747 got the idea from this baby!

A visitor from United States posted Fri January 7, 2011:
I've never seen this aircraft before! Looks like a 742 with props

A visitor from - posted Fri January 7, 2011:
My mama told me I could be a jumbo if I tried hard enough but I only made it this far.

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Fri January 7, 2011:
Truly a hybrid

A visitor from Singapore posted Fri January 7, 2011:
An old 747 on props! AWESOME!

A visitor from Canada posted Fri January 7, 2011:
I come back to this picture on a.net often because it's such a favorite. The description is so good that I can imagine being there. Just awesome!

A visitor from - posted Thu January 6, 2011:
I noticed that this plane plays a star role in the James Bond movie 'Golfinger' .
You get to see Golfingers' Rolls Royce hoisted into the front of the plane.

Thanks for posting this image !
Without the information here, I never would have been able to identify the plane in that movie.

A visitor from - posted Tue November 30, 2010:
This is the grandpa 747

A visitor from Honduras posted Wed October 20, 2010:
I like this picture, this is special plane.

A visitor from - posted Wed October 20, 2010:
The Poorman's version of the boeing 747

A visitor from United States posted Wed October 20, 2010:
Looks like a 747 and DC-4 had a baby!!! :D

A visitor from Iceland posted Wed October 20, 2010:
So that's where Boeing got the design idea for its 747 :)) BTW, why does the very nose of this plane looks like the surface of a golf ball?

A visitor from New Zealand posted Wed October 20, 2010:
I remeber seeing one or two of these at Hamilton airport NZ sometime in the late 70's

A visitor from - posted Sun April 25, 2010:
If there were more than 5 stars, i would rate next highest available rating. I never knew that B747 design already existed before 747s were built. Thanks a million for sharing this pic. This is one of the epic photos.

A visitor from Panama posted Sat April 24, 2010:
Its amazing im only 21 years old and they only built 21 of them and i got the opportunity to wacth one of then even my first impression was what the hell is that i flew many times over it to see that was a real aircraft and now i know his name and there were so few of them built it

A visitor from Canada posted Sat April 17, 2010:
Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo of this unique airplane...until now..I didn't realize the 747 was a copy cat...lol

A visitor from Brazil posted Tue March 9, 2010:
A flying truck with big nose.. ;-D

A visitor from Sweden posted Sun March 7, 2010:
Excellent picture, but that is one ugly-*ss plane!

A visitor from - posted Sun March 7, 2010:
Looooool looks like someone step on it...

A visitor from - posted Sun March 7, 2010:
I too used to live right under the flight path of these at Leigh on Sea during the 60's and travelled occasionally in the 70's with the photographer, Richard Vandervord. I seem to remember a trip to Sculthorpe and various other airfields around East Anglia which finished with us getting caught by security at Marshalls Cambridge! I've never been in touch since then - long time. Happy memories from Neil Sharp (name changed to Stefan Lange - long story)
Really great picture and a historic subject, thanks for sharing it.

A visitor from United States posted Sun January 17, 2010:
My five star rating of this shot goes far beyond technicalities which are stunning. Mine is an emotional response since that aircraft was purchased by my father, Jim Griswold, and his partner for their company, Falcon Airways. I was feeling nostalgic today and decided to do some research for the fun of it. Finding these pictures brought tears to my eyes. He lived to fly and I'll never forget his excitement over the acquisition of that aircraft. It was perfect for transporting huge oilfield equipment and vehicles in their freight business. He described every detail about how this aircraft was developed and how it was used to ferry horses and autos across the English Channel. Thanks for posting the photos. They brought back memories of a wonderful time and my Dad's love of flying along with his affection for the people who worked for him at Falcon Airways.

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Wed January 6, 2010:
Oh what fond memories!! I used to go to school in Southend in the 60's/70's and we were right next to the flightpath into SOuthen Airpor, so used to see the Carvair on a daily basis, together with the Bristol Freighter, DC3 and Vickers Viscount. River Crouch in the background also sets the scene for that part of Essex. Thanks for sharing this great photo.

A visitor from United States posted Thu November 26, 2009:
Hi,
I live in Denton, Texas my Dad owns a Citabria. We fly up to the Gainsville municipal airport when we are landing I saw this big plane and was wondering what it was I later found out by this picture it was a carvair! It looks like it is in very good condition. It was sitting next to a DC-3!

A visitor from Puerto Rico posted Wed November 18, 2009:
Looks like a little brother of tthe 747! Cool

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Fri November 13, 2009:
A fantastic shot - as most air to air photo's are, but what makes this so special is that it is of a really rare aircraft in an even more rare colour scheme, I like the way the background landscape gives the picture a great perspective. I remember seeing a few Carvairs at Manchester Airport as a kid in the 70's.

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Tue October 27, 2009:
This plane is like a car crash, it's an ugly thing but nevertheless you just can't stop watching it. Thumbs up for the history and the quality of this 30 years old shot. Thanks for sharing.

A visitor from United States posted Fri August 21, 2009:
Its almost as ugly as the A380!

A visitor from United States posted Sat August 8, 2009:
No, no to those who think if there is any relationship between this plane and the 747, they are wrong, first of all this plane was developed from the DC-4, second of all the 747 was originally going to be 2 full stories however there were problems with the evacuation routs so they simply changed the design third of all this plane only resembles the 747 a bit i wouldn't go as far as to say that Boeing ripped off the design from these people don't over exaggerate this, its those kind of people that make the swine flu sound big, the 747 is and always will be an innovative flying masterpiece.

A visitor from United States posted Sat January 17, 2009:
Oh, so this is where they got the idea for designing the 747 huh?

A visitor from United States posted Fri December 5, 2008:
Very """"aerodynamic"""" fusalage

A visitor from United States posted Wed October 8, 2008:
Its floating! Beautiful. It's the 70s baby!

A visitor from - posted Thu August 14, 2008:
And I thought it's 747...

A visitor from - posted Sat July 19, 2008:
Interesting picture to say the least and considering what had to be endured to get it....great shot

A visitor from Chile posted Tue March 11, 2008:
Wow..747's Grandpa!!!

A visitor from United States posted Tue March 11, 2008:
Great shot, such an unusual airplane, it was fun to see it fly for a while in the USA with Falcon, next to their DC-3's and DC-4

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Fri March 7, 2008:
Just classic - old prop in flight, doesn't get any better!

A visitor from Chile posted Wed January 23, 2008:
Nice to meet 747's grandpa!

A visitor from Netherlands posted Sat December 1, 2007:
This aint just a picture, this is histroy! The quality is just amazing, makes me feel like im 1979 right now. Thank you so much for sharing.

A visitor from Sweden posted Sat September 1, 2007:
Outstanding picture, so very impressive!
Spencer Wilmot.

A visitor from Mexico posted Tue August 28, 2007:
Great.. great photo what a classic airplane. VERGA

A visitor from Brazil posted Fri August 24, 2007:
Great shot. I never seen that plane in action, must have been incredible.

A visitor from Canada posted Tue August 14, 2007:
This wonderful photo brought back childhood memories of family vacations to France. Cars went in the front and passengers in the back. Bit cramped, but just a 20 min hop to Calais. Take off from Southend and 45 mins later you’d be driving through France!

A visitor from Canada posted Sat July 14, 2007:
Nice job! A unique historical shot!

A visitor from Italy posted Fri July 13, 2007:
Because it means the courage to fly...

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Fri July 13, 2007:
Love the Essex backdrop to this photo. Reminds me of sitting on the beach in the 1970s as a kid and seeing a Carvair coming over low to land at Southend. Many thanks for sharing.

A visitor from France posted Fri July 13, 2007:
2 words to describe this shot : absolutely fantastic!
What a chance you had to do this.

A visitor from United States posted Fri July 13, 2007:
Top shot mate!

A visitor from United States posted Fri July 13, 2007:
A truly unique shot. It's doubtful you can find another picture even remotely like it?

A visitor from United States posted Fri July 13, 2007:
Nice picture and everything, but I still cannot get myself to like the Carvairs.

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Fri July 13, 2007:
Excellent photo and so cognitive detailed story in remark. Thanx a lot!

A visitor from United States posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Amaizing looking plane....I guess now the 747's shape does not looks an inovative to me anymore.

A visitor from Costa Rica posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Doesn´t get any better than this; keep them coming!

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Lovely Shot, Lovely Story.
I used to work with some ex-ATEL guys, who all waxed lyrical about the Carvair. Great Blokes, I would love to see a Carvair end up back in the UK,

A visitor from United States posted Thu July 12, 2007:
I remember seeing N80FA at ANC when I was a kid and thinking, "What did they do THAT for?" Now I see what a majestic conversion the Carvair is.

A visitor from United States posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Historic but ugly aircraft...

A visitor from United Arab Emirates posted Thu July 12, 2007:
I thought it is a Boeing 747. It is look like that. Thanks for this great shot!

A visitor from Netherlands posted Thu July 12, 2007:
To be honest, this thing is almost too ugly to have ever seen the light of day. Nevertheless it's nice to see what aviation was not too long ago. Makes you wonder why other (aeronautical) developments are going so slow.

A visitor from Belgium posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Hard to believe this is a scanned image. Incredible quality and incredible effort to get this picture. *****

A visitor from Denmark posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Incredible picture - and thanks for the story that follows. This is indeed a very seldom image.

A visitor from Australia posted Thu July 12, 2007:
An absolute spectacle! Nothing less than 5 stars. Thanks for sharing.

A visitor from Germany posted Thu July 12, 2007:
My first impression was: a 747 with props?? Oh no! Maybe I have to visit my oculist.

A visitor from Ireland posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Beautiful picture! Thanks a lot for sharing this one with us.

A visitor from Spain posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Excellent quality indeed for such and old photograph. That's a strange-looking bird!

A visitor from Italy posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Unbelievable air-to-air classic shot!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

A visitor from Germany posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Stunning pic of this very special aircraft

A visitor from Ukraine posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Best of the best of the best!

A visitor from United Kingdom posted Thu July 12, 2007:
Blimey..........what an absolutely fantastic image! The quality is outstanding. Thanks for uploading and thanks for supporting Airliners.net.

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