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.
A second ATL-98 was operated in Canada by Hawkair as late as 1999 under registration
Thanks to Terry, Ken & Bob for their assistance with this article.