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wayne albertson articles

Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair 

You never know what a quick Google search will find. I wanted to see if I could find a rare aircraft that had flown in the Eastern Provincial Airways fleet to write about; it didn't take very long. The ATL-98 Carvair (pictured in this edition's header) came up among the photos in the search and certainly fit what I was looking for. 

While researching the history of the aircraft, I noticed that it is  frequently described as one of the ugliest and weirdest looking aircraft ever built. It looks to me like a cross between a Boeing 747 and an Airbus Beluga but, while watching the video (link below) of the vehicles being loaded through the nose, an image of a piranha swallowing a goldfish came to mind. 

The aircraft model was apparently developed in the 1960's as an idea from the always innovative Freddie Laker to modify some surplus Douglas DC-4's to replace Bristol Freighters and carry cars across the English Channel (car-via-air). 

Although not an attractive aircraft, it was quite practical. As operated by British Air Ferries (BAF), it could carry up to 5 cars with 22 passengers or, with quick conversion, fewer cars and more passengers. 

CF-EPX (pictured in header) was leased by EPA from Air Lingus (July 1968) to carry freight to remote regions in the Maritimes. On September 28, 1968 it was damaged beyond repair while attempting to land at Twin Falls, Labrador.

A second ATL-98 was operated in Canada by Hawkair as late as 1999 under registration C-GAAH

Thanks to Terry, Ken & Bob for their assistance with this article.   

you tube linkClick the icon  for YouTube videos of the ATL-98 Carvair.

Additional information:

Wikipedia.org - Pinterest.ca - Airliners.net

www.aussieairliners.org - An extensive history of the Hawkair Carvair from its DC-4 beginnings to the end of its career. Some excellent photos in this site.

CNN Travel - Car ferries in the skies: The rise and fall of the Aviation Traders Carvair (click the photo below).

TMB 550 ATL98 Carvair BAF

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