Transair - Vickers Vanguard
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Transair started in the post war era, 1947, and operated from Croydon Airport which was then the main airport for London. Their first flight was in April that year with an Airspeed Consul.
Though from small beginnings their fleet grew and they were soon flying charter passengers all round Great Britain and over to the near continent. They soon picked up valuable contract work for tour operators including Ackroyd's Travel and by 1949 they had 10 aircraft in the fleet, Consuls, Avro Ansons and a Proctor.
Newspaper delivery services were a mainstay of their freight operations and they then were awarded contract Royal Mail delivery work from BEA (the nominated state carrier).
De Havilland Dragon Rapides and Douglas DC3's soon entered service; Transair pushed the DC3's performance envelope with their engineering upgrades, creating the Dakmaster.
But as their workload grew, so did the need for larger and more modern aircraft and on 24th June 1955 Transair became the third British independent airline to order the Vickers Viscount. They placed an order for two series 800s, with 70 seats. In all Transair would operate five Viscounts.
Though as a Vickers customer Transair would have been seen as a potential operator of the larger 100-seat Vickers Vanguard. This medium sized turboprop aircraft first flew in 1959, but promotion of the type would have preceded the first flight by a few years. But the Vanguard was starting its operational life just as the jets were coming along and only 44 were ever built.
Transair became part of the Airwork Group in August 1956. By 1959 merger discussions were progressing between Airwork and Hunting-Clan which led to the formation of BUA in July 1960 and Transair became part of BUA before the Vanguard made its first passenger flight.
In the end Transair never purchased the Vanguard, BUA's aspirations lay with jet aircraft, but this Vickers model of a Transair Vanguard survives and has recently joined the collection. It is a super model, all metal and has survived well for some 50+ years now.