Operational Experience with the Trident Aircraft 640331

British European Airways was the pioneer in introducing turbine-engined aircraft into passenger service. Engineering work on the aircraft, which became the Viscount, was commenced by Mr. R. C. Morgan in November 1945, leading finally to the introduction of the Viscount 701 (Rolls-Royce Dart engines) into service in April 1953, preceded by the passenger service of the Viscount 630 in July 1950. A Viscount was flown by BEA in the New Zealand Air Race in October 1953.
In April 1960 BEA introduced the Comet 4B medium range jet with Rolls-Royce Avon engines into service and the following February the Vanguard with Rolls-Royce Tyne engines was introduced into service.
With four years experience of the Comet 4B and on the background of the propeller-turbine experience, BEA introduced the Hawker Siddeley Trident (Rolls-Royce Spey engines) into service in March 1964. This unique combination of medium range jet operating experience is reviewed. The Comet 4B is a very successful, popular and reliable aircraft. The impact of the Caravelle is acknowledged and its influence on the design of the Trident. The requirements which led to the Trident and its design features are reviewed and although it has only been in service a short time the operational experience is compared. The Trident offers improved performance, greater passenger appeal and potentially better economics and reliability.


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