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 148,414 pages of information and 233,868 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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January 1947.
February 1947.
1947. LHS.
1947. RHS.
December 1948.
September 1950.
1951. BOAC / BEA.
February 1952.
May 1953.
February 1955.
March 1960.
25th March 1961.

British Overseas Airways Corporation

1939 November: company formed

1940 April: British Airways Ltd and Imperial Airways together became British Overseas Airways Corporation, which later became the British Airways of today.

1941 BOAC started its special air service from Leuchars to Stockholm, the 'ball-bearing run', using Lockheed 14 aircraft.

16 October: BOAC assumed responsibility for the general administration of the Air Transport Auxiliary.

1943 February: unarmed Mosquito aircraft were used on the Leuchars to Stockholm service.

1944 Douglas DC3 aircraft were introduced on the Leuchars to Stockholm route.

1945 November: The government announced plans for post-war air services which would be provided by three state corporations: BOAC to continue to operate routes to the Empire, Far East and North America, British European Airways (BEA) to operate services to Europe and domestically within the United Kingdom, and British South American Airways (BSAA) to operate new services to South American and Caribbean destinations.

1946 31 May: Heathrow officially opened as the new London Airport to replace the old Croydon grass airfield.

1949 30 July: British South American Airways merged with BOAC.

1950 2 May: BOAC flew the world’s first pure jet service. The Comet G-ALYP flew from London Airport to Johannesburg.

1954 After 2 BOAC Comet aircraft exploded in mid-air within three months of each other, the fleet was grounded. Exhaustive tests revealed that the aircraft had suffered from metal fatigue.

1956 BOAC’s first Douglas DC-7C was handed to the company and a contract was signed for 15 Rolls-Royce engine-powered Boeing 707 aircraft.

1958 The first jet service across the North Atlantic to New York used Comet 4s.

1960 First BOAC flights using Boeing 707 aircraft.

1962 BOAC and Cunard Steam Ship Co formed BOAC-Cunard Ltd to operate scheduled air services from Britain to the United States, Caribbean and northern South America.

1965 First BOAC inaugurated services by Super VC-10 from London to New York, continuing on to San Francisco.

Comet 4 withdrawn from service.

1966 BOAC Engine Overhaul Ltd was formed at Treforest, South Wales.

1966 BOAC-Cunard was dissolved

1971 First commercial Boeing 747 flight by BOAC, flying from London to New York.

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

See Also


Sources of Information

  • History of BA [1]