One of the worst flights I ever had was in a Bristol 170 Mk1 of Airworks, from Blackbushe to Berlin,(1953) carrying an engine for a Viking that had gone U/S. It took five and a half hours, it was bumpy, and I wasn't far off being airsick. The journey back was OK as I sat on the flightdeck the whole way.
Jack Hall, e-mail, 26.05.2012 03:46
Flew many thousands of hours, both as w/op and navigator, longest trip 12:45 akl/melbourne. Highest 26,200ft, lowest was when we touched the surface of calm harbour. A very reliable, powerful a/c. 2040hp on takeoff. 120gph. RNZAF had up to 12 aircraft
RP Watson, 21.09.2011 18:57
I was a co-pilot on these aircraft in 1967. Then it was likened to 'flying a cottage from the upstairs bedroom window" - I'd agree with that. I recall a captain telling me about ferrying a 'freighter' from Canada to Europe. He joined the circuit at an airfield en-route on the US eastern seaboard. Obviously the ATC controller was watching this unusual aircraft through binoculars from the tower. He asked what type it was, and the pilot replied: "A Bristol 170". The controller - after a short pause -- said: "Gee, did you build it yourself?"
, 17.06.2011 05:58
look at it!
Geoff R Parnell, e-mail, 10.01.2011 19:56
In the early 70s I had the good fortune to fly both the Mark 21 and 31 from Melbourne to Launceston Australia for Air Express Ltd carrying all sorts of freight from Crayfish, oysters to sheep and race cars. Great airplane, I learned a lot from some very experienced pilots.
john lundvall, e-mail, 04.12.2010 03:12
about1997, i was in wrangel, alaska and got a ride ,in a bristol over the mountains to a one way strip at a gold mine on the stikine river, just over the border , in british columbia. the props rotated clockwise and the controls and brakes were operated by air. the radial engines were a wet sleeve no valve similar to the old willys knight. there was a track system down the length of the fuselage, which fuel tank was slid out on the rails. in return, processed gold and silver ore, in 3 big rice bags weighing 3000# per.(not sure ai,ve never heard a
about 1997, i was in wrangell, alaska and got a ride (in a bristol) over the mountains to a one way strip on the stikine rivsr, in british columbia. the engines ran clockwise and were the noisiest i ever heard. the cylinders were in a moving sleeve with no valves similar to the old willys knight. the brake and steering systems were air operated and emitted the coolest sound while operating. there were conveyor rollers and a track down the length of the fuselage. the plane carried a large diesel tank that was rolled off at the mine, then 3 large rice bags containg processed gold, silver ore was slid down the tracks. got to ride in the navigators sear, wow, beautiful severe clear day in feb. and these character pilots did,nt believe much in clearing the crags. most of the trip we were looking up at the peaks! john lundvall, edmonds wa.
Ian Andrew, e-mail, 07.10.2010 18:29
The RAF took on one Bristol Freighter.
The story I heard was that it was taken on for trials, and the RAF decied not to buy any.
When the trial were over, RAF Boscombe Down used the a/d to ship engines between Boscombe and places where 'Hot & High' trials were being carried out.
I re-fuelled the said a/c several times as it passed through Istres.
KG, e-mail, 27.08.2010 17:48
it is interesting to note that i have the original log book from a member of the isle of man crew ( miss w.d.murray ) whos first entry was for the silvercity bristol g-aics dated 29-6-1957 and has in total 77 hand written entrys up til the winter hill desaster involving the very same plane,also with the two personal flying log books issued by the transport and civil aviation ( aircraft operating crew )up to 1964 is a number of original sow on badges and a silver, silvercity two pin badge,miss murray was fortunately not on the doomed flight yet was flying during that day to other destinations.
Carey Taylor-Forbes, e-mail, 17.08.2010 19:26
I forgot to mention that the photo above of the Bristol with the freight doors open is of a Safe Air aircraft being loaded using the ingenious Cargon loading system which was invented at Safe Air. It meant a freight turnaround time as short as ten minutes. It consisted of a railway flatcar with what amounted to bogies turned sideways and a chain running lengthwise and hydraulic lifts. The bogies ran the load out to the plane, the belt engaged the bottom of wheeled pallets to load or unload the aircraft and the lifts made the loadbed conform with the angle of the aircraft deck. The whole device was electric. The load in the picture is a passenger pod used to fly passengers to the Chatham Islands. The pod was equipped with all the usual airline comforts.
Carey Taylor-Forbes, e-mail, 17.08.2010 19:23
I forgot to mention that the photo above of the Bristol with the freight doors open is of a Safe Air aircraft being loaded using the ingenious Cargon loading system which was invented at Safe Air. It meant a freight turnaround time as short as ten minutes. It consisted of a railway flatcar with what amounted to bogies turned sideways and a chain running lengthwise and hydraulic lifts. The bogies ran the load out to the plane, the belt engaged the bottom of wheeled pallets to load or unload the aircraft and the lifts made the loadbed conform with the angle of the aircraft deck. The whole device was electric.
Carey Taylor-Forbes, e-mail, 17.08.2010 19:14
My father flew these aircraft for almost 20 years with Safe Air (originally Straits Air Freight Express) and of the first 100 flights of my life, most were in this aircraft. A good number of those flights (perhaps as many as 40 or 50) I flew in the navigator's seat which was the de facto jump seat since a navigator was not required flying around New Zealand. The view from that seat was wonderful because it faced forward looking between the pilots and somewhat above them. I didn't fully appreciate what a fabulous experience that was until later. Such things are pretty much impossible these days.
My father also went to Pakistan to bring back a former Pakistani Air Force Mk 31 (Safe Air eventually became the largest operator of the type with more than a dozen in service at once). On the flight across the Bay of Bengal they had mechanical problems and had to request an emergency landing in Rangoon. Burma was closed to the outside world at the time and they were escorted in by Burmese Air Force fighters, put up in an empty hotel under military guard all the while, escorted back to the repaired aircraft in the morning, escorted by fighters out of Burmese airspace and basically told to buzz off and not come back. They had to pay for the repairs in US cash from their emergency funds.
guilbert catherine, e-mail, 04.07.2010 22:28
philippe je te recherche depuis longtemps peux tu me donner de tes nouvelles et celles de ta famille je serais super contente
Michael Barnaby Rudge, e-mail, 10.05.2010 20:00
I saw my only Bristol 170 Freighter in Ketchican, Alaska the summer of 1992. It was actually flying cargo. I didnīt know at the time how to interpret matricula numbers nor did I notice what company may have been the opertor. Michael Rudge, Monterrey, Mexico
Charly Franklin, e-mail, 03.04.2010 02:05
The picture at the top of the page is the Mk 32 Super Freighter. My father, Bill Franklin worked for Silver City for many years, and oversaw the construction of Ferryfield near Lydd, Kent. We lived in Lydd from 1955 through 1958 and I flew many times to Le Touquet and back. The old Bristols had a wonderful distinctive sound and the high wing and low altitude gave a wonderful view. What a great plane!
John Merchant, e-mail, 13.03.2010 16:40
As an Apprentice, I worked on the last Pakistani aircraft to leave the Factory. I also had a flight in the Bristol demonstrator aircraft after a magneto change. Same engine failed over Bristol Channel requiring an urgent return to Filton!
Andrew Merchant, e-mail, 13.03.2010 16:28
My father worked on the prototype 170 and told me they used bicycle chain from a local shop to fix up the first trials of opening and closing the clam shell freight doors. He also lost a close friend when one crashed over the English channel doing single engine trials. I think a couple ended their days flying race horses round Australia.
John Hancocks, e-mail, 07.03.2010 10:25
I first saw a Wayfarer at an airbase outside Rawal Pindi, the British had donated it to the Pakistani Air force...problem was, it couldn't clear many of the surrounding peaks so it's use in the N.W was severely curtailed! Was given a joy ride in a MK 32 of Silver City, Dungeness/Calais and return. I sat up in the vacant Navigator's seat (they used a Decca inertial navigator on this route) and we rattled across the channel in the drafty beast..quite an experience, how those Pilots put up with the boredom of those runs I'll never know though weather could have made things exciting from time to time.
JIM WEEKLEY, e-mail, 09.02.2010 17:45
Yes, I was based in Ubon Thailand US Army 1964 and flew many times in the Bristol 170's with the NZRAF - a few times in and out of Viet Nam interestin air craft.
Richard James, France, e-mail, 25.11.2009 22:09
Silver City Airways used to fly the 170 from Hurn (now Bournemouth) Aiport, Dorset, England to Le Touquet, France during the 1950's and early 60's. I have a film (old family film)on DVD showing briefly the 170 flying from Hurn.
sarang m. patel, e-mail, 04.06.2009 15:26
DEAR SIR SORRY I WILL FERGOT TO TELL I AM FROM MAHARATSHTRA STATE, INDIA
sarang m. patel, e-mail, 04.06.2009 15:24
dear mister, i seen ur old advertisement of Plane (G-AHJC) I LIKE THIS ADVERTISE BECAUSE 60 YEARS AGO ADVERTISEMENT IN BLACK & WHITE PRINTING IS GOOD QUALITY IF YOU HAVE SAME ADVRTISE WITH YOU WILL PLS SEND ME THANKS, SARANG M. PATEL
leo rudnicki, e-mail, 29.04.2009 22:16
Chuck Norris saved the orphans in one of these. What a humanitarian.
Bill Stephenson, e-mail, 15.01.2009 00:44
I flew in one of these. What an experience. It was a long time ago in the 60's. It was all stripped out, with few seats, there was four of us, and four crew. It was a buppy slow ride, reminding me of the Anson I had flown in in the 50's. Take off, we rattled down the runway, I thought it was going to shake to pieces, it vibrated like mad, but we got airbourne at last. Flew low and got to our destination. I have forgotten many of my flights I have made, but not that one, it sticks in my mind. Loved it all the same, and been interested in them ever since.
Trevor A. Fitchett, e-mail, 02.04.2008 06:36
In 1957, the age of 10 I went on a family holiday to the Isle of Man.UK on a Bristol 170 Wayfayer operated by Lancahire Aircraft Corporation, departing from Blackpool Sqires Gate. To fly on a family holiday in those days was very unusual and amomg my childhood friends I became somewhat of a celebrity for many months afterwards.
The schedled departure from Sqires Gate was at 15.00 hours and we arrived at the airport at aroung 13.00 after a six hour journey in a Burlingham Seagull coach, operated by Robin Hood Coaches of Nottingham, England.
We rested in a restaurant area ( a converted nissen hut from World War Two days ) before being called for the flight.
I sat under the wing in a first row seat and had a very good view from the large window. After seat belt and primative emergency instuctions all passegers were given a barley sugar sweet and the customery sick bag with LAC logo.
With a noisy, vibration packed start up the Hercules engines throttled back to idle and we began to taxi. En-route to the runway the pilot tested the brakes a number of times and each time the aircraft swung violently to port. The pilot then entered the passeger cabin to inform the passegers of a problem with the brakes and that we would shortley be returning to the terminal to effect a repair.
Four hours later we boarded the aircraft again and this time we were airbourne in a very short time, sweeping over a wind swept shoreline and heading out across a stormy Irish Sea. After 40 minutes we crossed the Isle of Mans rocky shoreline to land at Ronaldsway. My first impression on exiting the aircraft was the line of six BEA Pioneer DC3's and the Viscounr 700 series of Aer Lingus. Mum had a camera but with film being expensive there was no chance of a shot to record the sight which greeted us on leaving the aircraft.
After a 2 week holiday in which I spotted the Wayfayers plying their trade to Blackpool on numerous occasions over the capital of the island, Douglas, we set off back in the same aircraft ( G- AICS )to Squires Gate. On the ramp at Ronaldsway I remember spotting a BEA Viscount series 800.
The flight back was over all too soon but I remember getting a good view of the the famous Blackpool Tower on our approach.
This wasn't my fist time in the air. On a previous holiday I had enjoyed my first flight in a DH Rapide, again from Squires Gate In October, 2000 I took my & year old grandson, Jacob for a long weekend to Blackpool and could not resist a trip to Squires Gate, now a fine modern airport renamed Blackpool International. Seeing that there was an air taxi operation I enquired about joy flights and within a few minutes we were getting airboune along that runway where the brakes had failed all those years before This time we were in a Piper Cherokee for a one hour flight out to Morcombe Bay and over the famous old tower again.
What great memories and this time I got the photo, I just wished the old 170 had been in the picture.
WARNAULT PHILIPPE, e-mail, 02.12.2007 15:22
DEAR MISTER J'LIKE THIS PLANE, J AM VERY INTERESTING FOR THE SILVER CITY SAFE AIR AER-LINGUS MANY AIRLINES HAVE FLY THE BRISTOL FREIGHTER. J HAVE MANY POSCARDS ON BRISTOL AND PICTURES,SLIDES. J SEARCH STICKERS AND PIN'S ON BRISTOL; J HAVE MANY REVUES AND BOOKS OF BRISTOL FREIGHTER. JE RECHERCHE DES CORRESPONDANTS FOR THE ECHANGES PHOTOS ETC. . . FELICITATIONS FOR THE ANSWER AND COMMENTS FOR THIS AIRCRAFT. SINCERELY PHILIPPE
martin fletcher, e-mail, 07.09.2007 11:35
recently found an aircraft which was very over grown on a site in south Auckland no wings or tail plain but fuselage and cockpit area in good condition. Have a few photo's think it could be mk 31 freighter version
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