Neil's Nostalgia

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• Prestwick Portraits •
I will be adding loggings and snaps to these pages gradually - usually when I'm in a nostalgic mood.
52-0960 Douglas C-124C-DL Globemaster (43869) USAF-MATS, trundles along, with lots of side action going on. to keep the spotter busy. Robert Webster ©
A hand tinted photo I made as a small lad, after being shown around a Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation of Trans Canada Airlines.
An era that has ended. Once upon a time the main road crossed the main runway!
53-0228 Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter USAF - New York ANG, passing the Palace, next stop Newfoundland. Photo: Neil Aird © 29 September 1965
48-0422 Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter (16034) USAF with fantastic day-glo markings. Photo: Unknown photographer © 29 October 1961 - Aird Archives
52-2693 Boeing YC-97J Stratofreighter (16724) USAF Norton AFB. This beautifilly modified KC-97G-26-BO redesignated as a YC-97J, flying test bed for Pratt and Whitney YT34-P-5 turboprops. To MASDC as CH0626 Aug 3, 1964. Later acquired by Aero Spacelines along with 52-2762 and parts used for B-377SG (Super Guppy) N1038V (N1038V was originally a Stratocruiser with Pan American). To AMARC as NA0001 Jul 9, 1991. Now with Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, AZ. Details from the great Joe Baugher website. Another image on Gordon Macadie page. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Photo: Unknown photographer © 27 October 1961 - Aird Archives

My first attempt at side view profiles of aircraft, done when I was sixteen, one quiet Saturday afternoon. I liked day-glo even then. Neil Aird © 1961

Photo taken from under a Douglas C-124C Globemaster, of 52-0930 Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (16624) USAF New York ANG, and a Lockheed SP-2 Neptune 141248 (726-7120) LQ/12 of VP-56 Squadron USN, parked on the old runway.
A typical early morning scene at Prestwick, the view from the public enclosure, hang out of schoolboys and enthusiasts wanting to see some of the "new" big jets, and the regular USAF transports of course. A C-133 and C-124 are parked on the old cross runway.
G-APFG Boeing 707-436 (17708) BOAC with a Douglas DC-3 of KLM sharing the ramp. It's amazing how many of the faces I can remember of the ramp crews after all these years. The photograph was taken on that awful Gratispool film, it was cheap, and all I could afford at the time. Buy one, get a free film with processing.
Perhaps my favourite set of images from this period at Prestwick are of this TCA - Trans Canada Airlines, Lockheed L-1049G Super Constellation, being prepared for her departure. I manged to wangle a wee peek inside. Note the USAF Boeing KB-50J and Douglas C-47 on the north dispersal area.

Little did I know that many years would pass before I got to be in a similar position - in fact fifty-three years later! The location was Albion Park, New South Wales and the aircraft was VH-EAG (4176) ex 54-0157. I had the pleasure of being inside during a lengthy engine runs while the HARS crew solved some "issues". I logged this actual airframe at Prestwick on 10 June 1964 when it was in service with the USAF - Mississippi ANG!

I had actually flown in a Super Connie in Alaska back on 31 August 1966. That trip was a long one in N7777C. Anchorage-Unalakleet-Nome-Kotzebue-McGrath-Anchorage. Six hours and twenty-three minutes in the air! But that will be a story for another day.

This time, I had a better camera for my visit to the flight deck.
Photos: Neil Aird © 05 November 2010
Another Connie up close, this time PH-LKL Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation (4840) "Desiderius Erasmus" KLM, receives similar attention. Note that anniversary decals are not a new thing. Sadly, in later life, this aircraft crashed on take off from Mesa, Arizona on 11 May 1975.
PH-LKN Lockheed L-1049H Super Constellation (4843) "Hermannus Boerhaave" KLM. XXXXXXXPhoto: A very nice low angle view taken by Ron Livingstone ©
Lockheed L-1049D Super Constellation of Seaboard World Airlines. .This was probably N6501C (4163), N6502C (4164) or N6504C (4166). I had logged all three of them at Prestwick. Photo: © Ron Livingstone.
EI-ACH (12893) Douglas DC-3 Dakota "St Mel" of Aer Lingus on the ramp at Prestwick on Tuesday 05 May 1959. I remember being happy with this photo as I had a new yellow filter which made the cloud contrast better. This was taken with my little Kodak Brownie Reflex camera, which worked quite well until the winding mechanism went "wonky' and left me with many 120 negatives with the planes bent!! I should be able to fix them with Photoshop someday. This camera was a step up from a bellows one given by an Uncle. The DC-3 ended up going to Nepal as 9N-AAM on 05 April 1964.
G-ANUB (15969) Boeing B.377 Stratocruiser "Calypso" of British Overseas Airways Corporation - BOAC, at Prestwick on Monday 13 July 1959, about to start-up and depart on her regular flight across the North Atlantic. It later went on to serve briefly with West African Airways Corporation - WAAC, of Nigeria. I believe it was broken up at Stanstead. I had seen my first BOAC Strat back on 21 August 1958, that one was G-ANTZ "Cordelia" which ended up passing through Prestwick en route to the US on 13 April 1959.

Many years later in 1966, while on an early morning flight to Inyoken, California, from Los Angeles, I looked down and saw thirteen Strats sitting on an otherwise empty airfield in the desert! Later research proved the location to be Mojave! Eventually it was fairly easy to obtain the identities of these aircraft. I remember watching an episode of "Cannon" a detective show, and seeing Frank Cannon (William Conrad) chase bad guys about a boneyard littered with Strats! It was of course the same location. Some were later converted into "Super Guppies" and our paths crossed yet again.

G-AOIG Douglas DC-7C Seven Seas (45117) of BOAC relaxes as the Cabin Crew leave after their passengers have entered the terminal. This DC-7C later became N90773.
G-AOVD (13235) Bristol B.175 Britannia 312 of BOAC. Ron Livingstone captured this ill fated Britannia at Prestwick on his "Box Brownie" in 1958. First flight was 13 November 1957, it was written off 24 December 1958 near Christchurch.
G-AOVM (13421) Bristol B.175 Britannia 312 "Team Spirit" of British Eagle, does crew-training touch and go, note No:3 prop feathered. This aircraft was a frequent visitor while with BOAC. Her flying career as a Britannia 312 for BOAC as G-AOVM began on 10 June 1958. The maiden flight was from Filton on 29 April 1958. Leased from BOAC 28-03-1964. She was originally purchased by British Eagle International Airlines barely six years later, G-AOVM was named "Team Spirit". Damaged in landing incident at Yesilkoy Airport, Istanbul 08 December 1966. Repaired and converted to freighter configuration during 1967. Operated British Eagle's last revenue flight Tel Aviv - London 07 November 1968. Sold to Air Spain as EC-BSY 17 November 1969. Purchased by the Ministry of Defence in November 1971, G-AOVM was given the serial XX367 and went to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire. The final owner was to be BCF Aviation, Kinshasa Airport in Zaire.
G-AOVO (13423) Bristol B.175 Britannia 312 of BOAC on a regular run to and from North America. It went on to be leased to British Eagle as "Bonaventure" and was written off 29 February 1964 at Innsbruck.
As the Speedbird crew do a pre-flight walk around, a KLM Viscount departs.
I'm not sure if this is the same KLM Vickers Viscount, but it is a typical view "over the wall - up the back" showing some of the many Canadair CL-13 Sabres in their cocoons.
XK699 de Havilland Comet C.2 (6035) RAF. Seems I was not the only one to nip over the wall! Photo: © Ron Livingstone. f/f 02 February 1957, d/d 20 February 1957, to RAF Museum Store, Henlow as 7971M, now on display, RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire.
One of the larger exhibits at the 1960 Armed Forces Display, visiting from 420th ARS RAF Sculthorpe, was 0-80084/M73 a superb Boeing KB-50J Superfortress.
48-0084 Boeing KB-50J Superfortress USAF 420th ARS departs after the 1960 Armed Forces Day - " turnin' and burnin' " Photos: Neil Aird © 28 May 1960
Douglas C-124 Globemaster USAF-MATS departs westbound off 31.
The purpose of these photographs is to try and evoke the "feeling' we had as young spotters at Prestwick during the years 1958 - 1965. Here 51-5179 Douglas C-124C Globemaster, marked 0-15178 of USAF - MATS, back taxis to the end and then returns, lumbering very slowly, nose raising a little, endeavouring to reach take off speed on runway 13.
45-0943 Douglas VC-47D Skytrain (16946/34205) USAF 81st TFW 0n 23 March 1964, probably visiting from RAF Woodbridge or RAF Bentwaters.
42-72510 Douglas C-54D-1-DC Skymaster (10615) USAF on the same day. She was sold as scrap from Davis-Monthan on 21 September 1967.
62-4474 North American T-39A Sabreliner (276-27) USAF, gets off in a more sprightly fashion.
A Douglas C-118A Liftmaster of USAF MATS sits at "Green Terminal" as the North side USAF facility was known. The old Civil Terminal on the South side was the "Orange Terminal" after Orangefield Hotel. Dating from the times of Robert Burns.
A Douglas C-118A Liftmaster USAF-MATS rolls out, and would most likely do a 180 and back track, to be met by the USAF "Follow-Me" truck which would guide it to the MATS terminal on the north dispersal.
141299 Lockheed WV-2 Warning Star (4423) MK/299 VW-13 Squadron USN. x Photo: Neil Aird 27 March 1964
141325 Lockheed WV-2 Warning Star (4449) MK/325 VW-13 Squadron USN. x Photo: Unknown photographer © 24 August 1961 - Aird Archives
Schoolboy Sprint. The mad dash to get there before anyone else gets in front of the aircraft. Here 141328 Lockheed WV-2 Warning Star (4452) US Navy MK/328 of VW-13 Squadron awaits the throngs of visitors at this USAF Armed Forces Day, Prestwick, 23 May 1964. She later went to the USAF as 67-21478 an EC-121R.
131450 Lockheed SP-2E Neptune US NAVY LB/2 of VP-7 Squadron. "Black Falcons" at the same Open House.

140962 Lockheed P2V-7 Neptune LH/12 of VP-21 Squadron USN. A favourite aircraft of mine. This purchased print was for my collection, as I had been there on that day with no camera. Five Neptune aircraft had arrived, this one plus 148360 LE/7 of VP-11; 147960 LE/8 of VP-11; 135547 LH/5 of VP-21; 147966 LH/7 of VP-21 A really great day with umpteen new aircraft for me! Photo: Unknown photographer © 26 May 1962 - Aird Archives
53-4304 Boeing RB-47 Stratojet of USAF, a weather diversion on 05 December 1963. This image by an "unknow photographer" was a purchse from one of the lads, printed in his darkroom, cost me 1/- (a shilling) a lot of money when you consider at that time I made 2/6d (a half crown) a week delivering newspapers. I did not see this particular aircraft, but I was working on a production list and thought it would be a nice addition to the pages of text. I later saw quite a few Stratojets in that serial range, namely 53-4302; 53-4303; 53-4305 and 53-4307. Usually at Prestwick we only saw them trailing overhead returning or arriving from the United States. I saw quite a number at the four main bases in England when I made my marathon bicycle trips from Scotland. Upper Heyford, Brize Norton, Fairford and Greenham Common were always "Fab".
62-4138 (18478) Boeing C-135B Stratoliner USAF-MATS, photgraphed from our favourite spot by "the wall". No long lenses in these days, or fences. This aircraft is now an RC-135W "Rivet Joint" with 38th RS at Offut AFB.
A regular RCAF Canadair CC-106 Yukon departs while 52-5832 Convair T-29D-CO Samaritan (52-31) USAF is on display with Twin Pioneer at an Armed Forces display.

The door under the white sign reading "United States Air Force, Prestwick, Scotland" is the door through which Elvis Presley stepped on his only visit to Great Britain.

Photo: Neil Aird © 23 May 1964.

The local "fleet" lines up for an Armed Forces Display. 45-0608 Douglas SC-54G Rescuemaster (36061) USAF. Later went to PanAm as N88957 "Clipper Oriental" , then on to Aero Union as N3373F. Crashed 14 July 1981 at Kenai, AK.
42-72696 Douglas SC-54D Rescuemaster (10801) USAF - MATS - Rescue.
42-72464 Douglas SC-54D Rescuemaster (10569) of the resident USAF Rescue Squadron, squeaks along to the holding point of 13 in the hazy sunshine.
90412 Douglas R5D-4R Skymaster (27368) US NAVY Anacostia departs runway 31. x XXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Unknown photographer © 27 October 1961 - Aird Archives
Trundling along to the holding point behind the SC-54D was this Bristol 170 freighter 31M of the RCAF. They were a common sight at Renfrew and Prestwick, usually coming up from RCAF Langar or bases in France. They had six, 9696 (12830) which was w/o by 1955; 9697 (12829); 9698 (13079); 9699 (13219); 9700 (13249); 9850 (13403).
G-APTA (71) Vickers V.702 Viscount for Kuwait Airways, ex BWIA VP-TBK later VP-BBW of Bahamas Airways. This is a way to get the whole aircraft in a square format camera, plus a self portrait with friends!
N6590C (232) Vickers V.798 Viscount, Northeast Airlines, one of several to pass through Prestwick on delivery westbound. I managed to log N6592C (234) doing the same thing on 21 August 1958, but I had no camera! XXXPhoto: Ron Livingstone © 08 May 1958
OY-KPD (393) Convair 440 Metropolitan "Ravn Viking" of SAS. Movements were always pretty few and far between at Prestwick, so it was nice to have something parked to enjoy in detail. You really became aware of what it took to turn a plane around. The passengers even walked by the public enclosure and you could see their friends wave and sometimes have parting chat with each another. What a pleasant time it was - unless it was pouring rain. This Convair later served with the Swedish domestic line Linjeflyg as SE-CCV, then over to Canada as CF-GLM with Great Lakes Airlines. N24DR is the current registration. I saw it again in Sweden and in Canada.
N1220V Douglas C-54A-5-DO Skymaster (7469) leased to Seaboard & Western Airlines in 1958.
PH-DFB Douglas DC-6A (44257) KLM "General C. J. Snijders" gets attention prior to departure. Originally delivered to KLM as PH-TGB in 1954.
PH-DSH Douglas DC-7C Seven Seas (45187) KLM "Caribbean Sea/Caraibische Zee". I saw it many years at Basle airport being used for fire practise as "HB-SSA".
A Pan American Douglas DC-7C ready to cross the pond.
"Passing the Palace"

Here's a bit more info on that building written by my colleague Ken Marshall who lived in New Brunswick.

Virtual Model by students of my Alma Mater - The Glasgow school of Art

At Prestwick airport, probably the most famous building on the North Side is the Palace, what a story! Built as the Palace of Engineering for the 1938 British Empire Exhibition staged in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, well over 30 miles by road from the airport. After the December 1938 close of the "expo", the building was dismantled (translation disassembled) and transported to Monkton, the village on the north side of the Airport.

It was reassembled, and since then has been used for everything and anything from B-24 repairs, building of Scottish Aviation aircraft, to the manufacture of Electric cars, and the Griffon engine, a development of the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin.

But now known to almost all as " The Palace ".

Photo: Reverend Allen © 1938

Pan American continued to serve in later years with Douglas DC-8 Jetliners.
VH-EBE Boeing 707-138 (17700) Qantas "City of Perth" on the continuation of her delivery flight. I had no camera, so made do with a quick sketch in my "Homework Notebook" . . as usual, hard to spell Qantas correctly! x Photo: Unknown photographer © 30 August 1959 - Aird Archives

Deliveries in later years included this BAC 1-11 destined for service with Mohawk Airlines. A Swedish Piper Cherokee Six keeps it company on the new terminal apron.
XP295 (572) a smiling Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer C.C. Mk 2 destined for the Royal Air Force sits in the sunshine. Her first flight was on 05 October 1960. In order to get this shot at SAL, I had to jump over a wall and sprint or walk casually to the hangar rows. The main purpose was to peek in and log the RCAF Sabre and CF-100 aircraft present, plus catch up on what ever "Twin Pins" that were coming off the production line. Took a bit of "bravado" I assure you! Glad I did it! The Twin Pioneer was eventually scrapped at Seletar in 1968.
Coast looks clear! Over I go.
FM1014 Scottish Aviation Single Pioneer CC.1 of the Royal Malaysian Air Force. A very blurred "Box Brownie" shot, but important to include. It could take off in 75 yards and land in 65. The first (FM1011) was delivered to the RMAF 30 December 1958. Photo: © Ron Livingstone.
This was the first time I ever saw a de Havilland L-20A Beaver, 52-6137 (528) on the United States Air Force. Maybe not love at first sight, but it certainly has provided me something to reasearch over the last, yikes, almost 25 years! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXPhoto: Neil Aird © 05 September 1959
This L-20A Beaver image of 51-16568 (388) came from Tom Facfadyen, taken on 30 June 1955. Just as interesting are the background aircraft.
VF552 Auster AOP.6 (B636) of the Army Air Corps brought in for an Armed Forces Day at Prestwick. This Auster is now G-ASZE.

Peter Jeffries wrote: I can tell you is that the formation badge on VF552 is that of 3 Division which was the Strategic Reserve during the 60s and 70s when I was attached to it.  It was known by the troops as “Martini Troop” from the theme of the Martini adverts of the time – “Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere.”

Often this was a legitamate excuse for enthusiasts to cruise "up the back" and poke around normally "off limits" areas. Note some of the many cocooned RCAF Sabres in the background.
My thanks to Gordon Macadie for sending this aerial shot of part of the Scottish Aviation complex. I will be adding a new section to the Archives of Gordon's excellent images taken at Prestwick Airport during the 1958-1965 time period.
Here's a panorama shot of mine taken "over the wall" at about the same time period as the aerial image.
23112 (902) Canadair CL-13B Sabre 5 with some chums, stored at Prestwick for a while. Disposed of (Struck of Strength) 25 May 1960.
23692/BR-692 Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1522) RCAF 434 Squadron - struck off strength by 28 September 1962
23429 Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1219) RCAF 422Sq, 23642 Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1432) RCAF 434Sq, 23521 Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1311) RCAF 439Sq. This image was shot with an ancient bellows type camera, the film developed and printed by an Uncle. He gave me the prints, which were on heavy "pearl" paper, (awful to scan!), he later passed away...negatives were lost at that time. I kept these prints carefully, as they captured the feeling of those great days for me of "Sabres up the back at SAL".
23681 Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1511) RCAF 427Sq, with the great tail markings and codes of that era. Note the newer "RCAF" marking instead of a code on the other stored Sabre.
23614/IG Canadair CL-13B Sabre 6 (1404) RCAF 439 Squadron.
18344 Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck 4B RCAF 419 Squadron.
21607 Canadair Silver Star 3 (T33-607) RCAF
In later years I purchased a cheap 35mm East German Practika and started processing my own black and white film. I had an old enlarger given to me by an American. Got a power convertor and used it for many years in my bedroom, which happened to have heavy window shutters and a double door (which I called an Aird Lock!). Ideal spacious darkroom. I did huge enlargments on cheap document paper and then commandeered the bathtub to do the paper rinsing...which went well until one day I left the tap running. The lady from "doonstairs" section of our villa, came rushing up wondering if I had left a tap running as water was streaming down her walls? I presumed the overflow hole in the tub was connected to a drain . . it was not!

Here a USMC VMGR-252sq Lockheed KC-130F Hercules 149810/BH (3710) heads to runway 13. 0n 30 March 1965. No telephoto lense needed from this great vantage point. This machine was written off 30 November 1971. There were five Marine Hercules that day. The others were 148891(3605), 148899 (3632), 149791 (3657), 149798 (3680), all of VMGR-252sq

12756 Canadair CF-104 Starfighter RCAF roars off. Note the arrestor hook.
12757 Canadair CF-104 Starfighter RCAF follows in hot pursuit. Note fire trucks, they always came out for a launch. Photos: Neil Aird © 29 September 1965
Panorama shot showing a Canadair CF-104 Starfighter of the RCAF returning from a SAL test flight, trailing drag chute.
Oh for a long lense. XV197 (4218) Lockheed Hercules C.3 recently delivered that year to the RAF makes a smokey display pass at the 1967 airshow.
XT285/LM-653 Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 (B3-07-65) Royal Navy. Photos: Neil Aird © 30 September 1967

XT285 d/d 20/12/1965, w/o West Freugh 05/07/1978.

After the RCAF Sabre, CF-100 and T-33 aircraft had left Prestwick (most were scrapped there) the Canadian Armed Forces Canadair CF-104 Starfighter was omnipresent at Prestwick. My visits were less frequent, and the opportunity for me to photograph them were few. I had a different 35mm Camera by now, but no long lense. Here three, 12796, 12895 and 12842 are ready to perform at a Prestwick Airshow as BAe Andover C. 1 XS640 (24) starts her display. This was the first of the Prestwick Air Shows, which were held every two years until 1992. Here is a list of most of the participants.
21588               Canadair T-33AN Silver Star   CAF
12842               Canadair CF-104G Starfighter CAF
12796               Canadair CF-104G Starfighter CAF
12895               Canadair CF-104G Starfighter CAF	                             
XJ724              Westland Whirlwind HAR.10  202 Sqn
XS640              BAe Andover C.1   RAF 46 Sqn
206/V               Lockheed SP-2H Neptune   Dutch Air Force 320 Sqn MLD
XR660/56         Hunting Jet Provost T.4      RAF 6 FTS
17201/WH-E     Grumman HU-16 Albatross   R. Norwegian AF
17204/KK-X      Grumman HU-16 Albatross   R. Norwegian AF
WG481              de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10   RAF 12 AEF
XT285/LM653  Blackburn 	Buccaneer S.1  RN  736 Sqn
XT610               SAL Twin Pioneer C.1        RAF ETPS
XS736               BAe Dominie T.1               RAF CAW
XP441                Avro Argosy C.1               RAFTC
XR724/M           English Electric Lightning F.6  RAF 11 Sqn
XV197                Lockheed Hercules C.1            RAF LTW
XR534/93          Folland Gnat T.1                     RAF 4 FTS
XF702/B           Avro Shackleton M.R.3   RAF 120 sq
    
Armée de L'Air Nord N.2501 Noratlas No:113/61-NK arrives. Rare vistors such as this and No:130/61-QE on 10 July 1959 broke the routine while G-AMPP Douglas C-47 Dakota 4 (15272/26717) of Scottish Airlines sat at her usual parking spot. The reason for the aircraft "sitting on the wire" is because I had a cheap refelx camera, and that was as high as I could hold it. If I were shooting it with the same camera now, I would have held it over my head and taken the picture "upside down" . . .
Another military craft to brighten the day on 05 May 1959, English Electric Canberra B(I)8 XH228 RAF 59/3 Squadrons, f/f 26/02/1957, d/d 20/03/1957, to Catterick Fire School 22/02/1973, perished 1984.
G-ANAP de Havilland DH.104 Dove 1B (04433) of the MTCA. Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation. A regular at airports around the United Kingdom. This Dove served for twenty years.
Crew training, was, and still is, an important activity at Prestwick. Here a new BEAC Vickers V.953 Vanguard gets put through her paces.
G-APFF Boeing 707-436 (17707) of BOAC spent quite a while "bashing the circuit" whilst crew training. Bit of a crosswind to tackle on this landing.
G-AGUH Avro 652A Anson C.19/2 (1273). This faithful old "Annie" was scrapped at Baginton in October 1960.
Let's not forget another side of Prestwick's activities. Delivery flights to and from North America, (and other more exotic places) often use the field for a fuel/rest stop. Here F-BJUL Beech 95 Travel Air (TD-60) takes a break, registered in June 1961 to Ste. Internationale Marketing & Promotion, this may just have been a visit from Toussus, France. It was previously registered D-GINA and D-GARO.