The Handley Page Hermes - G-ALDG
The Story of an airliner
I hope you enjoyed reading about ALDG and any additional information would be gratefully recieved
If you have any photo's you can share or show on this site, please drop me a line anytime, firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Ken Honey, David Slack and Alan Painter for all their help
Our aircraft G-ALDG (C/n 81/08) was registered on 27th October 1949 and started life flying with BOAC on services to Africa, she was given the fleet name Horsa.
She was bought by Airwork on 27th July 1957 and joined their other four Hermes operating at that time. She was mainly used on their Trooping flights between Britain and Germany.
In all Airwork operated seven Hermes, though two were lost in 1952 and an accident to one, G-AKFP, in September 1957 reduced their fleet back to four of the type. DG flew with Airwork until 4th August 1959 when she was sold to CL Air Surveys, who leased her to Silver City (11/08/1959 - 15/10/1959).
The next owner was Falcon Airways, they had arranged to buy DG from CL Air Surveys, but the end of the summer season had been reached and they had no use for her. Falcon were the registered keeper for 1 day and she was bought by Britavia, part of the British Aviation Services Group, and sister airline to Silver City.
Our Hermes was now in Silvery City livery and was named City of Chester. She operated from Manston flying inclusive tour charters to Europe and also Silver Arrow services. A super colour photo below of DG.
She also flew a special charter to Le Touquet in June 1960. Onboard were 83 passengers who were celebrating various anniversaries, the 50th anniversary of a two-way crossing of the Channel by air on 2nd June 1910, the 12th year of Silver City’s car ferry operation and the 26th anniversary of the re-opening of Le Touquet on 13th June 1944 after World War II. Trooping flights were also flown by DG and Silvery City's other Hermes.
When the British Aviation Services Group became part of Air Holdings, our Hermes was essentially part of the BUA fleet but by now the Hermes type was outdated and she was retired from flying duties but she was transformed into the Cabin Services Training unit and liveried in BUA colours.
She wore both BUA liveries, that of Caledonian//BUA and also British Caledonian before being given to the BAA for non-destructive fire training (smoke evacuation) use at Gatwick in 1976; a photo below
Now, onto DG's role as a Cabin Services Trainer - link below - Hermes CSU
In January 1981 she was taken by road to Duxford where she has been preserved for the nation, in BOAC livery.
But our Hermes, Delta Gulf, has seen many parts of the world and is now the sole survivor of the type.