Photos by Ian MacFarlane
When I started reading books and magazine about aeroplanes, I also began to note the names of photographers. Ian MacFarlane was one of those aviation photographers who had his photos regularly published in the 1970s and 30 years later our paths crossed again, on the internet.
While my website is mainly about my own photos and my historic interest, I am honored Ian was willing to share some of his excellent photography.
Photos © I.MacFarlane
A short intro by Ian: "I obviously got my interest in aviation from my father, who was in the Royal Air Force and flew with Bomber Command during the war and remained with the service until about 1955; he then joined BEA, based at London Airport.|
It was in the summer 1955 that I took my first aircraft photographs, at Newcastle Airport (these being Black and White). My first Colour Slides being taken in about 1958 and I never looked back.
I was trained as a Commercial / Marine / Aerial Photographer from 1958 - 1964, then joined civil aviation until March 2001 when I retired."
|Ian MacFarlane sent me these Belgian Ar Force C-119 photos and he remembers them well. His memory was triggered due to an exchange on Classic-Propliner Yahoo forum on C-119 names; he wrote-
" I remember the Belgian Air Force used to call their C-119's Packets or Charlie One Nineteen.
We used to see them regularly at Newcastle and previously RAF Ouston on their trooping flights for "Operation Over Tyne" (which it is still called today) at the Otterburn Ranges in Northumberland, England.
In the latter days of its service we used to provide a handling service (Ground Power usually) at Newcastle to the BAF and they referred to them as Packets or Charlie One Nineteen and certainly used the latter on the R/T to I/D their type when on initial call. Also telex messages never mentioned anything other than Packet or C-119 - Boxcar was never ever used, it was the same in Diplomatic Clearances to ATC.
If we had crews from both the C-119 and DC-6A in the office at the same time and you asked who is flying what - it was alway the Packet or Charlie One Nineteen.
Correct me if I am wrong, but some of the C-119's appeared to be fitted with a two stroke type engine and only used only for Engine starting, anyone remember this?"
"CP-31 - was at RAF Ouston (still used by the Army!) which is located about 5 miles north west of Newcastle Airport, it was hard to get good sharp photographs of taxying aircraft due to my camera having a manual focus and the fastest shutter speed being 1/300 - the C-119's used to taxi past at quite a speed as it was quite some distance to the main runway."
"CP-46 - this photograph was taken from the Aero Club garden as you can see by the small fence, note the other C-119 to the left of CP-46 was parked along side a DC-6A.
C-119G OT-CAQ / CP-17 (10679), NCL 03Apr73.
Ian wrote: "I actually managed to photograph about 30 different Belgian C-119's at Newcastle/RAF Ouston.
Ouston used to be good for taxi photographs as you could stand at a small fence/gate and help your self; the Domestic site was at the other side if the airfield and no one ever came around and to use the main runway this taxiway had to be used. On rare occassions aircraft used one of the shorter runways which meant no photographs. I have seen DC-4/6's land on the shorter runways only."
C-119G OT-CBJ / CP-30 (10998), NCL 01Aug69.
Forty-six C-119s were delivered to the Belgian Air Force from 1952 onwards, initially C-119F's (1951 serials), and later C-119G's.
Eight of the C-119F's were passed to the Norwegian Air Force during June-Sep. 1956 and the remaining ten were converted to 'G' standard in 1959, with some reserialling.
The C-119G's CP-19 to CP-40 were delivered between 10Aug53 and 20Mar54 with CP-41 to CP-46 following ex-USAF in Feb58.
All aircraft served with 15 Wing only, amassing some 154,157 flying hours until retired during 1972-73. Most went into storage at Koksijde, but CP-29 and CP-37 were believed to be sold to Ethiopia and CP-46 went to the Brussels Museum.
(Source: Belgian Military Aviation 1945 - 1977, by Paul A.Jackson; Midland Counties Publications, 1977)
This is Douglas C-54B-1-DC D-ABEB (c/n 10530) of Continentale at Newcastle,UK 29Jul1960.|
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Ian contibuted regularly to Propliner magazine and it was not surprising that in the no.117 edition (Winter 2008) an excellent article appeared, written by the Editor Tony Merton Jones and titled 'West German Skymasters - The Early Years' featuring a detailed history on Continentale (a.o.) was one of the operators to appear in the spotlight and I copy part of the article herewith-
"The 1958 season saw the DC-4 flourishing in West Germany with another charter company acquiring Skymasters in the shape of Hamburg-based Aero Tour, who purchased 2 aircraft from Eastern Aircraft Corporation (of Hackensack,NJ): N34537 and N86571.
Ownership of the Skymasters was transferred to the Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft on 04Jul1958. By the end of the summer season saw Aero Tour running into financial difficulties. While their Vickers Vikings were sold off late in the year, the Skymasters were both repossessed by their former American owners in Jan.1959.
Rather than repatriate the grounded Skymasters back to the USA, Eastern Aircraft Corp. Instead decided to support the establishment of a new West German charter airline to operate the aircraft.
And so the Continentale Deutsche Luftreederei GmbH was founded late 1958 and they took over the operations of the Aero Tour Skymasters.
Charter operations began from Hamburg's Fühlsbuttel Airport in April 1959 when Skymasters D-ADEM and D-ABUL entered Continentale service as D-ABEB and D-ABEF respectively. Both aircraft were sprayed in a smart new livery, which included the square outlining of the circular cabin windows in order to give the aircraft a more modern appearance. This technique was much in vogue at the time, and an indication of the grander ambitions of this new airline was provided by the allocation of fleet numbers to the aircraft, with D-ABEF becoming Fleet Number 1, and D-ABEB Fleet number 2.
Although the airline did fly inclusive tour holiday charter flights from Hamburg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and other German airports to the Mediterranean, the airline's main source of revenue was derived from the operation of passenger charter flights to the Far East, with D-ABEB first noted staging through Bahrain on one of these assignments on June 7 1959, and being noted at Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong, on June 26 1959. Visits were made to many European airports, with D-ABEB operating a charter to Blackbushe Oil June 13, and to Southend on July 23. Ship's crews' charters to the Middle and Far East also became an important part of Continentale's programme, with D-ABEB undertaking one from Athens to Cardiff on August 6 1959. followed by a Liverpool to Hamburg charter on October 4.
Interestingly, many of the pilots who flew for Continentale in these early days were of American origin, no doubt seconded from the Eastern Aircraft Corporation, and included Captains Begg, Haerum, Merzenich (former Trans-Avia pilot) and Simonsen.
One famous aviator who donned Continentale epaulettes was none other than Henry 'Hank' Wharton. Later to become famous for his exploits on the Biafran Airlift, Wharton was in command of Skymaster D-ABEF on the night of October 26 1959 when it diverted in to Prestwick while en-route from Frankfurt to Keflavik on a passenger charter to North America. Presumably headwinds had forced the airliner to drop in to the Scottish airport in order to pick up fuel, and with her tanks suitably replenished, D-ABEF took off again ten minutes after midnight, once again bound for Keflavik.
Hank Wharton makes up for some interesting reading!
Like here on www.mercenary-wars.net/biafra/jim-townsend.html
His real name was Heinrich Wartski
and he was born in Germany in 1916. He came to the USA in 1937.
Wharton (or Warton) operated under several diffent company names, e.g. North American Aircraft Trading Co (a.k.a. 'Biafra Airways', with all 5T- registrations being fake!) and ARCO Bermuda in 1969-71. That last one was based at Sao Tomé, Basle and Stockholm.
Mike Zoeller did an excellent write up on www.oldjets.net/good-guys-went-bad.html
Of all early West German Skymaster operations, Continentale was probably the most interesting and diverge, and certainly led to the aircraft visiting many distant locations during more than four years of service. Meanwhile, at the end of 1958 Trans-Avia's operations had run into financial difficulties. By early January 1959 a number of Trans-Avia aircraft were impounded at European airports for non-payment of charges, and inevitably this resulted in the collapse of the airline.
With Trans-Avia following Aero Tour into bankruptcy, Germany's Skymastcr operations at the beginning of the 1959 summer season were limited to the four aircraft flown by Continentale and LTU.
By way of a replacement for the lost Skymaster, Continentale leased its first pressurised airliner in the shape of a Douglas DC-6B owned by the French airline Union Aeromaritime de Transport. At the same time the French airline took a financial stake in Continentale, which had also seen further investment made by a West German bank (Bank für Gemeinwirtschaft) and Kurt Kraemer, with the latter gentleman joining the airline's board alongside another new director, Gustav Hornei.
The leased DC-6B, F-BHMR (c/n 43842) was still in Continentale service on September 8 1961 when she passed through Malta, but she is believed to have returned to her French owner by the beginning of October.
Two further Skymasters would supplement the Continentale fleet during 1962, although this increase in capacity was offset by the sale of one of the original fleet members (D-ABEF) to the Aeronavale in June 1962. Therefore, Continentale entered the 1962 summer season flying seasoned Skymasters D-ADAM and D-ANEK, to be joined by D-AMAX in April and D-AGUS in May, the latter following a delivery flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Hamburg late in the month. Both aircraft joined the airline's now extensive programme of holiday charter flights to the Mediterranean and low-fare passenger charter flights to Africa, the Far East and Australia and New Zealand.
Although Continentale had established a sound reputation for its operation of low fare passenger charters to the Far East (a single ticket from Europe to Sydney cost approximately UKL 170), a number of operational problems were encountered during the latter part of the year that led to the airline's downfall. A series of unfortunate press reports soon highlighted that Continentale had run into difficulties. It began in November 1962 when a group of 66 Australian and New Zealand passengers on a flight from Rotterdam to Sydney were off loaded at Biak, New Guinea, on the understanding that another aircraft would pick them up and allow them to continue their journey. However, no replacement aircraft arrived and eventually after eight days of isolation the passengers were flown to Australia by KLM. Subsequent negotiations led to their fares being paid for by Continentale, but the damage had already been done to the airline's reputation.
The company found itself unable to raise further finance to solve its problems.
The airline ceased all operations and entered bankruptcy proceedings on 29Dec1962."
Note- The above is a condensed version to benefit on screen reading and I recommend buying the No.117 Propliner edition to read the article in full.
Any typographical errors are the responsibility of the Webmaster.
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Ian wrote me in Feb.2006, while discussing N708Z's delayed transfer to Alaska: "Guess what, just finished sorting out my October 1980 visit to Florida and what did I see in storage at Opa Locka: N708Z. |
At the time it was in the hands of Southern Aero Traders and in storage.
You see the photo is not the best and the weather was overcast at the time, I was just wondering if it was in en ex military colour scheme ?"
N708Z is a Douglas C-54G with c/n 36067 (line nbr 461) and was for sale for much of the 1990s; it was registered on 21Apr04 for Brooks Fuel Inc. of Fairbanks,Alaska but remained in Florida (Opa Locka) for overhaul and modifications. It was still at Opa Locka during June 2005 but by Feb.2006 had moved to Douglas (!) Municipal,GA and was awaiting an engine change.
After major overhaul in 2005 N708Z had its looks improved a lot !
A nice line up at Detroit-Willow Run (01Oct1980), Zantop aircraft in addtion to Trans Continental.
Ken Swartz sent a June 2009 update, showing the declining numbers of propliners at YIP..
Ian took this photo that same date, 01Oct80; in the foreground sits N45001.|
N45001 is a Douglas DC-6A, which has the following history described in TAHS' Piston Engine Airliner Production List (2002 ed.):
Delivered on D26Jun53 to American Airlines and named "Air Freighter Chicago" and registered N90778. It went to RANSA (Venezuela) YV-C-ERG on 06May60. This DC-6A returned to the USA as N45001 for Intl Aerodyne, which bought it in Nov.1965. It went to another owner, Shamrock Airlines (which named it Southern Belle) in Sep69. Plymouth Leasing Company became the new owner in Mar74 and Trans Continental Airlines leased it from Feb78 (to 1982?).
Air Traffic Service Corp took use as of Aug82 and Intl Air Line Support bought it in Oct82.
It moved to South America for the 2nd time in its career, but for all the wrong reason: the Colombian Government seized it in 1982; it was transferred to the Fuerza Aerea Colombiana in 1983 and was last reported as stored without further use at Madrid Air Base in 1990.
Israelian Stratocruiser 4X-FPY on approach to Newcastle, 03Jun73.
Ian wrote: "..must be the last time I saw one flying. It was on a round robin training flight and from Newcastle it went to Amsterdam."
This Boeing 377-10-29 Stratocruiser (c/n 15964) carried the following tailnumbers: N90948 - 4X-AOI - 4X-FOI - 4X-FPY - 097. It was broken up at some point.
Source: Production Lists by Peter Riool
As N90948 it flew with American Overseas Airlines, which was taken over by Pan American in 1950. This webpage has a fleetlist of AOA.
Ian had an interest in Propliners, War Birds and Vintage (American) Aircraft as well as UK Airlines and over decades built a vast collection of Black & White/Colour Negatives and Colour Slides. Ian MacFarlane sadly died over the 2008 Christmas
Ian built an impressive portfolio on
Airliners.net and Air-Britain Photographic Images Collection
Last updated 05.3.2017