Planecrazy

New Member
May 5, 2013
13
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Iv been an avid reader of this site for about a year and I look forward to reading it each day. I have a big interest in different models and makes of planes and love looking at the aviation photos from the past. Unfortunately im too young to have seen the virgin 747 land at lba or many of the other wonderfull aircraft that landed in the 60,70,80 and 90's.
It would be nice to hear from people that have witnessed planes from yester year and give us their thoughts on them.
I spent a lot of time watching planes takeoff in the summer of 2012 and one of the most memorable was a swift jet aircraft taking off which I think was a md type aircraft with the engines at the back. The noise it made was amazing as it roared up the run runway and i remember been quite alarmed at the large amount of black smoke that billowed from its engine as it took off. Iv always had a soft spot for planes with their engine either side of their tail and all though rare would love to see one of their rare visits to lba.
I look forward to hearing some tails.
 
Hi Planecrazy,

My interest in civil aviation,I think began when I was a child growing up in Cookridge.From my bedroom window I could see all the planes coming and going.I think as a teenager I was bought an airband radio and a pair of binoculars,and the rest is history!.

Among my lba highlights is I saw the British Airtours Tristar land and subsequently run off the runway.I was at the airport as my parents were due to fly to Palma on it.

I was lucky to get a seat on the first British Airways 747 pleasure flight from Lba.I also flew on one of the Concorde supersonic flights too.Flew to Toronto on the Wardair 747 in 1988.

Probably the highlight for me was seeing an Aviaco DC8 63 land on runway 14 on a miserable murky day in place of the Iberia A300?,way back when.Don't ask me why but the DC8 63 is my favourite aircraft.Only managed to fly on it once a Worldways Canada flight to Toronto.
 
Hi Planecrazy, I am pleased that you enjoy looking at the photos taken in the past, many of which were taken by myself. I grew up living in the Cookridge area too, so have watched LBA go from a small airfield with a few Dakotas a week to what it is now. The Swift Air aircraft you refer to was (I think) one of the MD83's that we used to see regularly, particularly those of Spanair. I love to see them too, and I confess I really miss the rear engined aircraft. For me, the Boeing 727-200 was the most beautifully styled aircraft to be built and they looked fantastic climbing out. I have posted a few photos of them, mainly Dan Air and Sabre (although that was actually an ex Dan Air aircraft), plus Iberia. I was fortunate to be at LBA in the early 90's when LBA handled well over 50 diverts in one evening, including a Swissair A310, and also at Euro 96 when we were treated to a similar number of charter flights including a Corsair Boeing 747SP, a DC10, various Iberia and Air France aircraft and quite a few from Scandinavia. Many of the photos are posted in the Nostalgia photos section. Other highlights are the Wardair Boeing 747 and DC10, Air Transat, Worldways Canada and British Airtours Tristars, and ocasional Airtours DC10's also. You have already mentioned the Virgin 747 and I was there to see and photograph that one horrible wet evening. The take off of that aircraft was simply amazing - off runway 14, early lift off (it was only flying to Gatwick) and a hard bank right before it reached the end of the runway, to disappear over Horsforth Golf Club! If you have any queries about any of the photos I have posted, let me know.
 
I have to agree that the Boeing 727 was the best looking jet aircraft of the past and the other fabulous looking aircraft was the Lockheed Constellation with its four engines and three tail fins. We had a few of them over the years but not enough for me.
 
I have to agree that the Boeing 727 was the best looking jet aircraft of the past and the other fabulous looking aircraft was the Lockheed Constellation with its four engines and three tail fins. We had a few of them over the years but not enough for me.

I was reading this thread from the top and the comments about the B 727 led me to immediately think of the Lockheed Constellation which I always think is the best looking aircraft ever built. I'm delighted to read that you share my view on the 'Connie's' beauty.

Does anyone know if a Constellation ever operated into LBA?
 
I can't resist a bit of Nostalgia!
What about the first visit of Concorde in August 1986, 2 Interflug IL-18 on the apron at the same time in July 1985, the first visit of a DC9 - Aviaco - in November 1976. The Transavia Caravelles that operated the Dutch Bulb Field flights in the early 1970's, Aer Turas DC4's on horse charters in the mid 70's
I could go on ....
 
My first flight was LBA to Jersey on BKS Viscount.I remember the huge windows of the aircraft.We stopped at Guernsey,I think to let people off on the way.Unfortunately I can't remember what year it was though,early 70's?.

Another trip I took was on a Capital Shorts 360 to the Isle of Man for the day,with the cast of ITV 'Duty Free' tv series which I think was filmed at Ytv.
 
Thank you all for replying, reading your comments and looking at the many wonderful photos really gets the imagination going. Its not often you wish to be older but I wouldn't of minded being around when so many amazing aircraft visited leeds and bradford airport.
 
.
Local Yocal said
Does anyone know if a Constellation ever operated into LBA?[/quote]

A Catair Constellation visited during the 1970 dock strike, and prior to that a USAF Constellation or EC-121 with awacs style bumps on it, visited in the 1960s. It stayed a few days and came from Torrejon in Spain and was connected with the local golf ball station!
 
Agreed Eastcoaster, I saw both of them. No mistaking the connie with the humped fuselage. I am also privileged to say that I have been in a Connie, and sat in the captains seat. Sadly, the aircraft was derelict, parked up on the old disused side of Luqa airport, Malta. It had been turned into a restaurant which had close down, leaving just the stripped out shell of the aircraft there. The only seats left were in the cockpit. This was in the early 90's, so I have no idea if it is still there - I haven't been back to Malta since.
 
Hello Planecrazy - I can understand your sentiment but 'maturity' comes around all too soon! On my first visit to the aerodrome (as it was then) I recall BA Swallow, Chiltern, Proctors, Geminis Tiger Moth and the relatively modern Chipmunk. BKS DC-3s did a few schedules. This first visit started an association with aviation and LBA in particular which has endured ever since. My first flight from Leeds was in a North South Airlines Heron followed by a Silver City Bristol 31 to IOM off '28' and an AS 57 Ambassador of Dan Air to Ostend which was off the original 'short' '33' as it was then designated. I also recall Martinair DC4's doing bulb field charters operating off '28' before the new runway was constructed. Very interesting take offs!
In addition to the splendid machinery already mentioned in posts a number of Boeing 707 visited. There were a couple of EL AL diversions from Manchester and also an MEA freighter. I also recall an intrepid aviator landed an executive middle eastern 707 on runway 33 before the extension was constructed. JAT did a summer season carrying IT passengers to Yugoslavia on 707s and one of my lasting memories was when flying a C 310 back from somewhere in Europe to LBA along Blue 1 at FL08 the JAT 707 flew over me at FL09 and then through my level in the descent to Leeds - against a clear blue sky it looked magnificent. 'I was prompted to comment to ATC how pristine it looked which was obviously picked up by the JAT Captain who gave us a very enthusiastic wave and 'thumbs up' as we taxied past him on the apron to clear Customs after landing.
 
Very interesting post GolfFox and welcome to the forum. In the years soon after completion of the Runway 32 extension it was delight to see (and hear) the wonderful JAT 707's and their smaller 727 sisters (In my opinion the two best looking subsonic airliners ever built), along with 747's, Tristars, DC8's, Convair 990's, Tupolev 154's, BAC111's and DC9/MD80's, not to mention a good assortment of turboprops. Today's offerings seem so boring by comparison, although they do of course reliably take us to many more places.
 
I add my welcome to the forum too, GolfFox.

Your account of LBA in the days of yore is fascinating. I suspect that we might be of fairly similar vintage.

I look forward to reading more posts from you.
 

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