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Vintage Airliner!


This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the closure of British Eagle International Airlines, surely one of Britain’s most iconic independents. Famous for its large fleet of Bristol Britannias, the longest serving of which was series 324 G-ARKA (c/n 13516) seen here taxying at Berlin (Tegel) Airport during the summer of 1968 in this splendid view captured by Ralf Manteufel. A former Canadian Pacific example (CF-CPD), this Britannia was delivered to Cunard Eagle Airways at Heathrow on March 10 1961. Her final flight for British Eagle took place on October 22 1968 when she flew from Heathrow to Liverpool for storage. British Eagle ceased flying at midnight on November 6 1968, and although G-ARKA returned to airline service with Swiss carrier Tellair for the 1969 summer season, the days of the Britannia in passenger service were numbered.

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