Aviation Historian 26
D.Stringer - The Viscount comes to America (3)
A rare colour photograph of Northeast’s Curtiss-Wright CW-20T N1381N at Boston. The aircraft, also referred to as a Smith-Curtiss Commuter, served on the Boston-Montreal route until the port engine caught fire on approach to Boston on August 30, 1957, suffering substantial damage. It was retired and later went to Argentina.
Paul Collins was a highly experienced aviator, having served with the Allied Expeditionary Force in France during the First World War, later flying for motion pictures and the US Air Mail Service. He was also instrumental in establishing Northeast’s transatlantic ferry route during the Second World War, as seen here.
When George Storer took over Northeast in the summer of 1965, a new fleet of Boeing 727s was acquired and introduced into service. Seen here in the airline’s stylish new yellow colour scheme, N1633 joined the fleet in late August 1966. The eye-catching new scheme included the legend "Yellowbird" on the fin.
Douglas DC-6B N6587C (c/n 45223) was delivered brand-new to Northeast on August 23, 1957, and is seen here at Boston in October 1964. The airline’s colour scheme incorporated the company’s stylised Puritan motif emblazoned on the forward fuselage beneath the cockpit, emphasising Northeast’s “Route of the Pilgrims” theme.
Hurn-built Viscount N6594C (c/n 284) was delivered to Northeast on September 22, 1958, and is seen here beside a Piedmont Fairchild F-27 Friendship. When Northeast ran into financial trouble, its nine remaining Viscounts were repossessed by Vickers and sold at auction, N6594C being acquired by Alitalia, with which it served as l-LIRG.
Northeast lost only one Viscount, N6592C (c/n 234), which was written off in a (miraculously non-fatal) accident at Boston on November 15, 1961, when National Airlines DC-6B N8228H smashed into the back of the just-landed Viscount during the DC-6’s uncleared take-off run, shearing off the Viscount’s tailplane and outer wing.
Northeast Viscount V.798D N6596C (c/n 288) awaits its next flight at Boston’s Logan Airport, its integral forward “air stair” extended, ready to receive its next load of passengers. Northeast received its first Viscount in 1958, operating the type for a relatively short period of five years.
Viscount N6590C at Washington National Airport in June 1963. The introduction of the British turboprop saw Northeast enjoy what came to be known as the "Viscount jump", in which operators of the type experienced a substantial spike in their profits; Northeast's load factors in the Northeast Corridor sectors increased by 60 per cent after the Viscounts entered service.
Viscounts galore at New York’s La Guardia Airport in November 1960, with Northeast’s N6597C (c/n 391) sharing the busy apron with another of the company’s examples and a pair of Capital Viscounts.
Although Northeast did not quite “go to town” to the same extent in promotional terms that its fellow Viscount operator, Capital Airlines, did, the airline nevertheless extolled the virtues of the “jet-prop Viscount” on its lucrative services between Boston, Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia and Montreal.
The first Bristol Britannia Series 305, G-ANCD (c/n 12920), at Filton in January 1958, painted in the colours of Northeast, for which it would have served as N6595C had the deal been completed. When Northeast failed to find funding for its fleet of five Britannias, G-ANCD was painted in Cubana colours and sent on a 23-day sales tour of Iberia, Cuba and Latin America instead.