The Handley Page Hermes - G-ALDG
The Handley Page Hermes HP81 was the first British post-war pressurised aircraft, and was the civilian version of the military transport, Handley Page Hastings.

G-ALDG (C/n 81/08) was registered on 27th October 1949 and started life flying with BOAC on services to Africa in August 1950.

BOAC retired her in 1954, and she was then flown by Airwork until 1959. Other operators of G-ALDG were Silver City and reportedly Britavia and Skyways, retiring from flying service in 1962. Both Airwork and Silver City used her on Trooping flights.

She was acquired by British United Airways in 1962 to serve as a Cabin Crew Training aircraft, with her clipped wings’, she became a very familiar sight along the perimeter road at Gatwick Airport for many years.

Re-liveried in keeping with the changes in the airline, into Caledonian // BUA livery and finally into British Caledonian livery.

In 1976 she was retired from the role as a crew trainer, purpose built simulated cabins being more realistic. BCal presented the aircraft to the British Airports Authority and it was towed to an area at the end of the runway to serve as a smoke chamber for airport fire crew training.

1981 saw G-ADLG, which is the last surviving Hermes, on her way to Duxford and she now resides there, fully restored and preserved, though in BOAC livery.

Below are some photos of G-ALDG, my thanks to Caz Caswell and Tony Hyatt for their contributions.

Did you train on the Hermes?  It would be great to have some stories and recollections of the training, please feel free to email me anytime.


G-ALDG BUA Days G-ALDG Cale//BUA Days G-ALDG BCAL Days
G-ALDG BUA Days G-ALDG Cale//BUA Days G-ALDG BCAL Days
G-ALDG G-ALDG G-ALDG
G-ALDG G-ALDG G-ALDG
G-ALDG G-ALDG G-ALDG
G-ALDG G-ALDG G-ALDG
If you have any photos you can share,  please drop me a line anytime  evswitch@aol.com