Hawker Siddeley H.S. 121 Trident 2E G-AVFB
The Hawker Siddeley Trident was the first aircraft to be designed from the outset to be equipped with Blind Landing equipment as standard to enable it to land in all weather conditions, including fog. It was also designed specifically to meet the needs of British European Airways, but the airline made so many changes to its specification during the design stages that the first model, the Trident 1, was too small and had too limited a passenger-carrying capacity and range to appeal to other European airlines. In an attempt to remedy this, the larger and more powerful Trident 2 series, and then the even bigger Trident 3 series were produced.
‘FB was the second of fifteen Trident 2Es ordered by BEA. It made its first flight at Hatfield on 2nd November 1967, and was delivered to Heathrow on 6th June 1968.
In June 1972 it was sold to Cyprus Airways, to replace one of that airline’s 2Es which had been damaged in a heavy landing, and was re-registered 5B-DAC In July 1974.’AC was parked at Nicosia airport when the Turks invaded Northern Cyprus, and it suffered gunfire damage in the ensuing fighting. Afterwards it was abandoned on the airfield along with other damaged Tridents Eventually British Airways sent some engineers to survey the Tridents to see if any of them could be repaired and then recovered to London with a view to returning them to service. ‘AC was in better condition than the other aircraft, having sustained just some bullet holes in its fuselage, and these were repaired with patches. It was ferried to Heathrow in May 1977, and restored to its original British registration. Following its total refurbishment and repainting in BA livery, ‘FB was used on the airline’s inter-city shuttle services until 27th March 1982, when it operated a London-Manchester service. It was then donated to the DAS, and was flown to Duxford on 13th June 1982, where the year’s main airshow was being held, and performed a short display before landing. It had then flown a total of 21,642 hours and made 11,726 landings. Work then began to prepare the aircraft for opening to the public. In1990 ‘FB was repainted in its original BEA ‘Red Square’ livery. Since then the Trident has remained on display outside, and this has necessitated a continual programme of monitoring both its external and internal condition and dealing with any problems that are encountered..