Aviation Photo #1234479 Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair - Falcon Airways

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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.
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    Richard Vandervord
    Falcon Airways
    Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair
    Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair
    Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair
    Aviation Traders
    10273/7
    N80FA
    In Flight
    England
    United Kingdom
    May 1979
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Distinct Views: 364,523
Photo Added: July 11, 2007

Comments (85)

Anonymous
9 years ago
Blimey..........what an absolutely fantastic image! The quality is outstanding. Thanks for uploading and thanks for supporting Airliners.net.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Best of the best of the best!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Stunning pic of this very special aircraft
Anonymous
9 years ago
Unbelievable air-to-air classic shot!!! Thank you so much for sharing.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Excellent quality indeed for such and old photograph. That's a strange-looking bird!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Beautiful picture! Thanks a lot for sharing this one with us.
Anonymous
9 years ago
My first impression was: a 747 with props?? Oh no! Maybe I have to visit my oculist.
Anonymous
9 years ago
An absolute spectacle! Nothing less than 5 stars. Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Incredible picture - and thanks for the story that follows. This is indeed a very seldom image.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Hard to believe this is a scanned image. Incredible quality and incredible effort to get this picture. *****
Anonymous
9 years ago
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.
Anonymous
9 years ago
I thought it is a Boeing 747. It is look like that. Thanks for this great shot!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Historic but ugly aircraft...
Anonymous
9 years ago
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.
Anonymous
9 years ago
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,
Anonymous
9 years ago
Doesn´t get any better than this; keep them coming!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Amaizing looking plane....I guess now the 747's shape does not looks an inovative to me anymore.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Excellent photo and so cognitive detailed story in remark. Thanx a lot!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Nice picture and everything, but I still cannot get myself to like the Carvairs.
Anonymous
9 years ago
A truly unique shot. It's doubtful you can find another picture even remotely like it?
Anonymous
9 years ago
Top shot mate!
Anonymous
9 years ago
2 words to describe this shot : absolutely fantastic!
What a chance you had to do this.
Anonymous
9 years ago
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.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Because it means the courage to fly...
Anonymous
9 years ago
Nice job! A unique historical shot!
Anonymous
9 years ago
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!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Great shot. I never seen that plane in action, must have been incredible.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Great.. great photo what a classic airplane. VERGA
Anonymous
9 years ago
Outstanding picture, so very impressive!
Spencer Wilmot.
Anonymous
9 years ago
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.
Anonymous
8 years ago
Nice to meet 747's grandpa!
Anonymous
8 years ago
Just classic - old prop in flight, doesn't get any better!
Anonymous
8 years ago
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
Anonymous
8 years ago
Wow..747's Grandpa!!!
Anonymous
8 years ago
Interesting picture to say the least and considering what had to be endured to get it....great shot
Anonymous
8 years ago
And I thought it's 747...
Anonymous
8 years ago
Its floating! Beautiful. It's the 70s baby!
Anonymous
8 years ago
Very """"aerodynamic"""" fusalage
Anonymous
7 years ago
Oh, so this is where they got the idea for designing the 747 huh?
Anonymous
7 years ago
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.
Anonymous
7 years ago
Its almost as ugly as the A380!
Anonymous
7 years ago
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.
Anonymous
7 years ago
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.
Anonymous
7 years ago
Looks like a little brother of tthe 747! Cool
Anonymous
7 years ago
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!
Anonymous
6 years ago
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.
Anonymous
6 years ago
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.
Anonymous
6 years ago
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.
Anonymous
6 years ago
Looooool looks like someone step on it...
Anonymous
6 years ago
Excellent picture, but that is one ugly-*ss plane!
Anonymous
6 years ago
A flying truck with big nose.. ;-D
Anonymous
6 years ago
Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo of this unique airplane...until now..I didn't realize the 747 was a copy cat...lol
Anonymous
6 years ago
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
Anonymous
6 years ago
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.
Anonymous
6 years ago
I remeber seeing one or two of these at Hamilton airport NZ sometime in the late 70's
Anonymous
6 years ago
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?
Anonymous
6 years ago
Looks like a 747 and DC-4 had a baby!!! :D
Anonymous
6 years ago
The Poorman's version of the boeing 747
Anonymous
6 years ago
I like this picture, this is special plane.
Anonymous
6 years ago
This is the grandpa 747
Anonymous
5 years ago
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.
Anonymous
5 years ago
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!
Anonymous
5 years ago
An old 747 on props! AWESOME!
Anonymous
5 years ago
Truly a hybrid
Anonymous
5 years ago
My mama told me I could be a jumbo if I tried hard enough but I only made it this far.
Anonymous
5 years ago
I've never seen this aircraft before! Looks like a 742 with props
Anonymous
5 years ago
I wonder if the guys making the 747 got the idea from this baby!
Anonymous
5 years ago
An unbelievably cool plane that I never knew existed! Thanks for sharing!
Anonymous
5 years ago
It looks like somebody stuck the front-end of an old sikorsky onto the fuselage of a PC-3 orion
Anonymous
5 years ago
Really nice photo. Really ugly plane!
Anonymous
5 years ago
No wonder one day when the engine were being started whilst parked next to a B747... the crank sounded like MAMA!
Anonymous
5 years ago
Tswana's from Botswana should be wondering why their national colors are found around the head and tail of this elderly bird!
Anonymous
5 years ago
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!!
Anonymous
5 years ago
That looks really nose-heavy O.O
Anonymous
5 years ago
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.
Anonymous
4 years ago
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.
Anonymous
4 years ago
Airliners.net has great photos!!!
Anonymous
4 years ago
This aircraft is ugly.
Anonymous
3 years ago
One of the most exciting planes on which I flew quite a lot of hours with B.A.Ferries
Marc T.
Anonymous
3 years ago
Nice picture
Anonymous
3 years ago
Thanks for this piece of history!
Anonymous
3 years ago
I Yabba-Dabba Do! : Flinstones' Fred and Barney flying this plane on their way to the local pub.
Anonymous
2 years ago
Despite all its ugliness, ungainliness and uncoolness, this craft reminds me of a likeable old grandma - in a cute charming sort of way.
Anonymous
1 year ago
He looks like Mr. Bump with a bandage around his head!
Anonymous
9 months ago
Great photo and remarks

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