09/30/2007. Remarks by Jack McKillop: "This aircraft made its first flight on February 10, 1965 and was delivered to British European Airways Corp. (BEA) on March 2, 1965 registered G-ASXM. On June 15, 1970, it was sold to the Canadian airline Transair and registered CF-TAG. Transair leased it to the Irish independent airline Aer Turas from November 1971 to November 1972 where it was registered EI-AVJ and named "Consortium".
It was next leased to the New Zealand airline Safe Air on October 27,
1973, registered ZK-SAF and then purchased by Safe Air in December
1973 and named "Merchant Pioneer". The aircraft was damaged beyond
repair while landing at Woodbourne, New Zealand, on April 1, 1990."
12/31/2004. Remarks by Alfred
Damen: "The A.W.650 Argosy was a private venture
from Hawker Siddeley's Armstrong Whitworth division aimed at the
airline cargo market and first flew on January 8, 1959, powered by
four Rolls-Royce Dart 532 turboprops.
Seven of the first ten series 100s built went to the US for Logair
military contracts while British European Airways (BEA) took the other
three. The bulk of production, 56, went to the RAF as a
short range freighter, with whom it earned the nickname Whistling Wheelbarrow.
The series 200 was built for BEA and featured uprated engines for
heavier take-off weights. BEA bought five 220s but only operated them
for a few years before they were sold, two soldiering on with
Safe-Air in New Zealand until the 1990s and others serving with Air
Bridge Carriers in the UK.
The RAF retired its A.W.660s early as an economy measure in 1975 but
their high operating costs meant few found new owners and most were
scrapped at Kemble.
There are none still flying but several are preserved in the UK, New
Zealand and the US
I remember a whole bunch of them parked in the cargo area of
Melbourne (Australia) airport way back in 1990. They were all in TNT
Parcel service livery and looked operational."