Towards the end of the Second World War the British formed the Brabazon Committee to recommend types of civil aircraft that would be needed when peace returned. Vickers responded with a project that became the “Viscount”, which proved to be the most successful British commercial airliner of all time. It was the world’s first turboprop powered airliner, and the prototype flew in July 1948. The larger and more developed production airliner obtained its Certificate of Airworthiness and entered service in April 1953.
Trans Canada Airlines started operations with the first of fifty-one that it purchased in early 1955. Our “Viscount” was delivered in 1957 and served until 1974. It was then owned briefly by Harrison Airways. It was subsequently used by the British Columbia Institute of Technology as an instructional airframe at Vancouver International Airport, before being acquired by the BCAM.
“Recovery” was relatively straightforward, with the aircraft being carried by barge from Vancouver International to the seaplane ramp at Patricia Bay. Restoration was by an enthusiastic and skilled team under the leadership of former “Viscount” pilots Al Catterall, Bob Hallworth and Dave Peters. Our “Viscount” takes pride of place in the new Henderson Hangar.