Heathrow 1966: ill-fated G-ARPS in Trident trio
Ill-fated Hawker Siddeley DH121 Trident 1C c/n 2120 G-ARPS of then British European Airways BEA stands in the middle of a Trident trio at Heathrow (EGLL) in June 1966. The photo is one of a few I took at Heathrow during my first visit to the airport, equipped with an Agfa box camera with a shutter speed of 1/30. Three years later, on 29 July 1969, G-ARPS would be damaged beyond repair in a cabin fire while parked at Heathrow. Luckily, no-one was hurt. BEA reserved registrationsin the CAA-register for the Tridents it had ordered as early as 13 April 1961. The registrations that were assigned to the variious construction numbers in 1961 changed over time. The registration G-ARPS was earlier linked to c/n 2118, but was later assigned to c/n 2120. The Trident with c/n 2118 would become 9K-ACG of Kuwait Airways. G-ARPS was built in 1965 and delivered to BEA on 1st June 1965. The Trident 1C in front is c/n 2119 G-ARPR, a registration that was earlier assigned to c/n 2117 (which would eventually become G-ARPP). G-ARPR was also built in 1965 and was delivered to BEA on 12 April 1965. When BEA became British Airways after the merger with BOAC, ownership of G-ARPR went to BA on 1st April 1974. It was withdrawn from use on 30 September 1984. The third Trident is most likely G-ARPO, but the quality of my first camera was not good enough to determine the registration for sure. Note the bridges (ramp would be a better word) from the terminal building to the platform. Passengers had to walk all the way down, cross the platform to the aircraft and then climb the stairs to get on board.
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