C/N 153

Mk.201  -  G-APWE

Herald C/N 153, a model 201, was the first production 200 series aircraft and the first of six 200 series Heralds to be ordered by Jersey Airlines. The fuselage was build at Cricklewood and transported to Woodley where final assembly was carried out. It made its first flight from Woodley on 13th December 1961 with its Certificate of Airworthiness being issued on 29th December.

 

On 3rd January 1962 it was handed over to Jersey Airlines being placed on the UK civil register twelve days later on 15th January 1962 as G-APWE, a registration it carried its whole career. 

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G-APWE at delivery in the colours of Jersey Airlines. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

Early in 1962 BEA sold off its 25% share holding in Jersey Airlines providing the opportunity to be taken over by British United Airways (BUA) which took place in May of 1962. On 1st August 1963, BUA changed the trading name from Jersey Airlines to British United (C.I.) Airways. The Heralds adopted a revised colour scheme with the addition of British United titles. On 1st November 1965, G-APWE flew the inaugural BUA service from Southampton to Exeter and then on to Belfast. Five days later on 6th November, G-APWE flew the inaugural Southampton-Exeter-Dublin service.

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G-APWE in British United (C.I.) Airways colours at Dublin on 11th January 1967 about to operate flight JY1432/451 Dublin-Exeter-Southampton. (Photo © Barry Friend)  

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Likely about to operate its first service of the day, G-APWE in British United (C.I.) Airways colours sits on the ramp at Southampton awaiting its passengers.                          (Photo © Ron Roberts)  

In August 1966, parent company British United Airways (BUA) introduced a new two-tone sandstone and blue colour scheme with large BUA titles in black. All Heralds being operated by British United (C.I.) Airways received the new scheme. 

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G-APWE seen at Gatwick in July 1967 now wearing the new BUA sandstone and blue colours. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

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Seen also in July 1967, parked on the apron at Paris Orly, it looks like G-APWE is about to take on quite a load for her return flight back to Jersey. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

In 1968, following losses at BUA the previous year and in an attempt to return the airline to profitability, the parent company, British & Commonwealth decided to restructure the airline by splitting the business into two independent organisations, British United Airways (BUA) and British United Island Airways (BUIA). The Herald fleet joined the new company which commenced operations on 1st November 1968, specifically flying the routes to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. To distinguish the change of operating company, all aircraft that had been transferred had their British United titles removed with their fuselage and tail logos changing from BUA to BUIA.

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Now displaying BUIA titles and fitment of a Bendix nose weather radar, G-APWE was caught in the BUA maintenance area at Gatwick in February 1969. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

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G-APWE seen just a few months later on the ramp at Southampton in May 1969. Note that compared to the photo above, the size of the BUIA tail logo had been reduced, as carried by other BUIA Heralds. The only other Herald to temporarily display the larger tail logo was G-APWH. The size difference was possibly due to both aircraft being painted early with the fuselage letters being used in place of the smaller requirement. (Photo © Barry Friend)  

1970 became a key year for G-APWE. With BUA continuing to under perform financially, parent company British & Commonwealth sold the airline to Scottish charter airline Caledonian Airways (later British Caledonian) on 30th November 1970. The sale excluded BUIA which had become a wholly owned subsidiary. Just prior to the conclusion of the sale, British & Commonwealth had changed the name of BUIA to British Island Airways (BIA). With the name change came a rebranding and colour scheme change to all aircraft in the fleet to the well known and perhaps some would say well loved and famous 'orange tail' colours. While BIA was officially launched in July of 1970, British & Commonwealth waited until completion of the sale of BUA to Caledonian before starting operations and as such it began life as a legal entity on 1st December 1970. G-APWE was one of the first Heralds to adopt the new 'orange tail' colours.

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No doubt having just been painted, G-APWE positively gleams in her new BIA 'orange tail' paintwork at Southampton in December 1970. Note the BIA logo size and font style has been retained from the BUIA/BUA schemes. (Photo © Derek Squires)  

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G-APWE taxying at Hannover in May 1972. (Photo © Richard Hunt Collection)  

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G-APWE looking like it's completing a cross wind touch down on Jersey's runway 26 in November 1974. She has lost the white paint from her engine nacelles which are now polished bare metal. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

In 1977 BIA gave some thought to changing their colour scheme, thanks in part for a plan to acquire some BAC 1-11's and while a couple of different tail colours were trialled on Herald G-APWF it wasn't until the following year that BIA rolled out an aircraft in the new colours which became known as the 'hockey stick' scheme. All BIA Heralds with the exception of G-AYMG received the new scheme.  

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G-APWE displaying the new 'hockey stick' scheme in July 1977. (Photo © Ian Haskell Collection)  

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G-APWE on the apron at Beauvais in October 1979. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

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G-APWE parked outside BIA's engineering facility at Blackpool on 30 January 1980. (Photo © Paul Tomlin)  

In the latter half of 1979 BIA merged with Air Anglia, Air Wales and Air Westward to form Air UK which began operations officially on 16th January 1980. The Heralds that were fast approaching their fatigue life were planned out of service within a twelve month window so didn't receive the attractive Air UK 'blue plane' scheme.

 

G-APWE was one of the three original Jersey/BUA/BUIA/BIA aircraft to make it into full Air UK colours which came earlier than expected thanks to a landing accident on 13th May 1980. The Herald was on approach to land at Gatwick when the crew were alerted to the port main undercarriage not being locked down. A decision was made to carry out an emergency landing at Manston which had the ability to lay down a bed of foam on the runway to reduce the risk of fire. The port main gear collapsed on touchdown with the Herald safely coming to a stop without injury to passengers and crew. With the help of Air UK engineers from Gatwick the Herald was recovered and towed to locally based Invicta International Airlines who carried out temporary repairs. The repairs were sufficient to allow G-APWE to fly to Air UK's engineering base at Norwich on 19th July for the permanent repairs, overhaul and repaint into the full Air UK colour scheme.

 

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Seen here at Manchester on 4th May 1980, before G-APWE received its coat of blue and with an aggressive re-branding policy in place, it was one of a number of Heralds that flew with BIA titles removed and the application of the Air UK tail logo. It didn't last long in these colours however, as nine days after this photo was taken it was damaged in an emergency landing at Manston and then flew to Norwich for repair and repainting. (Photo © Paul Tomlin)  

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Image source unknown, the two photos above depict G-APWE at Manston on 13th May 1980 following its gear collapse on the foam runway.

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G-APWE now displaying its coat of Air UK blue prepares to touch down at Jersey in April 1981. (Photo © Richard Vandervord)  

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Jersey was a regular destination for at least 15 years for G-APWE, seen here taxying to her parking spot at Jersey in June 1982. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

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G-APWE on the ramp at Jersey in August 1982 just three months away from being withdrawn from service.  It was one of the Heralds that didn't have the orientation of the Air UK forward fuselage logos corrected. Compare to the photo above, the Air UK 'bird' should have been forward, then the airline title followed by the Union Jack. Clearly the pattern for the port side was used on the starboard side also. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

In November 1982 G-APWE's flying career and years of plying her trade between England's south coast and the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey came to an end when she was flown to Air UK's engineering base at Norwich and placed into open storage. She had flown a total of 32,122 hours and completed 40,457 landings. With her certificate of airworthiness expiring on 30th March 1983 the end was in sight and she languished on at Norwich for another year and a half slowly being robbed of useful parts to support her sister Air UK Heralds before being broken up in December 1984. 

 

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With her Dart engines having already been removed G-APWE sits forlornly on the apron at Norwich in March 1984. (Photo © Ian Haskell Collection)  

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With all useful parts now removed and awaiting her fate G-APWE sits quietly in a corner at Norwich in September 1984. (Photo © Martin Fenner Collection)  

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A sad end to the first production 200 series Herald and the Jersey Airlines flagship. G-APWE is broken up at Norwich in December 1984. (Photo © Ian Haskell Collection)  

Timeline

1961 December 13   -   First flight from Woodley Aerodrome, Berkshire

1962 January 3          -   Delivered to Jersey Airlines as G-APWE

1963 August 1           -   Transferred to British United (C.I.) Airways - flying with British United titles

1966 August              -   BUA sandstone and blue colour scheme introduced

1968 November 1    -   Transferred to British United Island Airways (BUIA)

1970 December 1    -   Transferred to British Island Airways (BIA) - 'orange tail' colour scheme introduced

1977                           -   Revised BIA 'hockey stick' colour scheme introduced

1980 January 16       -   Transferred to Air UK, 'blue plane' colour scheme introduced

1980 May 13             -   Carried out emergency landing at Manston when port main landing gear failed to lock down

1982 November       -   Retired and placed into open store at Norwich

1984 December       -   Broken up at Norwich