Hello, and welcome to my first feature request! Today, I am requesting the British Caledonian Airways DC-10.
Here’s a little info on British Caledonian Airways:
Caledonian Airways was the brainchild of Adam Thomson, a former British European Airways (BEA) Viscount pilot and ex-Britavia captain, and John de la Haye, a former BEA flight steward and Cunard Eagle’s erstwhile New York office manager.
Thomson, de la Haye and three associates started Caledonian Airways from scratch with an initial investment of £54,000 raised from institutional investors on both sides of the Atlantic, many of which had a “Scottish connection”.
Initially, Thomson, de la Haye and their associates wanted to incorporate the new airline under the name Scottish Airways. When they found out that BEA had already reserved this name, the company was incorporated as Caledonian Airways (Prestwick) in Prestwick, Scotland, in April 1961 to conduct worldwide IT and group charter operations, with de la Haye and Thomson being appointed managing and deputy managing director respectively.
Caledonian operated its inaugural flight on 29 November 1961 from Gatwick, the newly formed airline’s main operating base, to Barbados. The first revenue service, an immigrant charter under contract to London Transport Executive, operated the following day in the opposite direction.
The first fare-paying passengers to New York departed Prestwick on 21 December 1961. They had paid £40 for the return trip.
Other destinations served during the first year of operations included Lourenço Marques.
The initial aircraft type operated was the Douglas DC-7C, the first of which was leased from Sabena in November 1961. This aircraft was lost in a fatal accident in Cameroon in March 1962. It was replaced the following month with another aircraft of the same type leased from the same source.
Caledonian’s first two DC-7Cs operated European and long-distance charter flights, carrying mainly tour groups, inclusive tour holidaymakers and members of the British Armed Forces. The Ministry of Defence approved Caledonian as a carrier for trooping flights in early 1962. IT flights to European holiday resorts began during summer 1962.
Two Caledonian Airways Douglas DC-7Cs appeared at the Biggin Hill Air Fair in May 1963; one to carry travel trade invitees on a special flight around the English south coast; the other to be viewed by the public while on static display at the airfield.
The DC-7C continued to be the main type flown during the early years. The last example was sold in September 1966.
The airline was emphasising its Scottish roots for marketing purposes by adding the tagline “The Scottish International Airline” immediately behind the Caledonian name on both sides of the aircraft’s fuselage, and by making its female flight attendants wear tartan uniforms. The company also sought to attract customers by providing an inflight service that was superior to what most other contemporary charter airlines offered, including complimentary meals, drinks and free overnight bags.
Max Wilson, the chairman of the Overseas Visitors’ Club, one of the airline’s main group charterers, became Caledonian’s first majority shareholder.
In late 1963, the Donaldson Line, a Scottish shipping company, took a 25% minority stake in Caledonian by subscribing to new shares worth £32,000. This provided the resources to expand the airline’s freighting activities and to add a pair of DC-6Bs to its fleet in time for the following year’s European summer charter season. As at the 1963 Biggin Hill Air Fair, in which Caledonian participated with two of its DC-7Cs, one of the newly acquired DC-6Bs could be viewed by the public while on static display at the 1964 Biggin Hill Air Fair.
Photo credit goes to Mark Abbott (http://www.markabbottphotos.com/douglas/d10/kgd100001.jpg)
Thank you for checking out my first feature request!