Ah, those were the days, when there were numerous aircraft factories and aircraft types in abundance. This is my first ever picture taken at Heathrow (EGLL) in June 1966 on my first trip to London. Centrepiece is Vickers Viscount 701 c/n 20 G-AMNZ of Cambrian Airways, but in all there are at least 10 aircraft types clearly visible and most likely even more in the foggy distance. In the background are from left to right: a BEA Comet, BEA Vanguard, Sabena Convair, British Eagle Bristol Britanna, Armstrong Whitworth Argosy, BEA Trident, DC-8, Sabena DC-3, SAS Caravelle and two more BEA Comets. It was the time when Heathrow could still not be reached by train. From the centre of London passengers had to take the tube to Hounslow West and from there the bus to Heathrow. G-AMNZ was intended to take part in the London-Christchurch air race which would start in October 1953, not only because the NZ in the registration was deemed appropriate for a special flight to New Zealand, but also because it would be named James Cook, after the British explorer who had "discovered" New Zealand in 1769 (well, of course New Zealand had been there for ages already, only the rest of the world did not know). However, G-AMNZ only made its first flight on 3 September 1953, too late for extra tanks to be fitted for the air race anyway, but BEA had already made it clear that it could not spare the aircraft because of booming traffic demand. Instead, Vickers demonstrator Viscount 701 c/n 3 G-AMAV was loaned by the owner, the Ministry of Supply, to BEA and participated with a BEA livery and air race markings. According to the CAA register, Vickers Viscount c/n 20 G-AMNZ was first intended to become G-AMOG, but this registration was later used for c/n 7. On 3 October 1953 G-AMNZ "James Cook" was delivered to BEA. It went to Cambrian on 27 June 1963. From June 1967 to May 1968 it was leased to Air France and then went back to Cambrian. G-AMNZ was finally broken up in 1971.
The history of Vickers Viscount c/n 20 G-AMNZ on the Vickers Viscount Network website
See the most recent EnoAeroPics images on Flightglobal/Airspace