Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,162 pages of information and 233,682 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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January 1947.
1953. Hangars at London Airport.
February 1961.
December 1961.

British European Airways (BEA)

1946 August: British European Airways took over the European services operated by BOAC, which were shorthaul routes from Northolt. BEA used the unpressurised Douglas DC-3 and the Vickers Viking for these routes; for several years Northolt was one of the busiest airports in the world.

1950 16 April: The first scheduled BEA service from London Airport, a Vickers Viking, took off for Paris.

1 July: The world’s first regular, scheduled helicopter passenger service, between Cardiff and Liverpool, was opened by BEA.

28 July: The world’s first gas turbine-powered service was flown by BEA from Northolt to Le Bourget, Paris using a Vickers V630 Viscount aircraft.

1954 30 October: BEA operated its final service from Northolt.

1965 10 June: BEA made the world's first fully-automatic landing of a commercial airliner carrying fare-paying passengers (a Trident 1 from Paris to Heathrow)

1968 November: Super One-Eleven aircraft entered scheduled service on German internal routes for BEA.

1974 31 March: BOAC and BEA were dissolved following the formation of the British Airways Group.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • History of BA [1]