Waterloo Air Terminal
WATERLOO AIR TERMINAL: With helipad
Notes: These two pictures from postcards, were very kindly sent by Mike Charlton who has an amazing collection. See, www.aviationpostcard.co.uk
It appears that G-ANUK was originally registered to Westland Aircraft at YEOVIL as a Westland-Sikorsky WS.55 Whirlwind Mk.1, from the 14th August 1954 until the 30th April 1955. Presumably it was modified to a Mk.3 before BEA acquired it from the 12th May 1955, and operated 'UK until the 27th May 1957.
G-ANUK was then registered to the South Georgia Company with an address in Leith, Edinburgh from the 5th July 1961 until the 23rd November 1972. Presumably engaged in 'Oil' operations in the Middle East? It was then acquired by Bristow Helicopters who operated 'UK from the 5th July 1961 until the 23rd November 1972 - then WFU (Withdrawn From Use) - which normally means scrapped.
Another aspect is why was G-ANUK equipped with floats? Was this because of the safety for passengers considering both the river Thames and other large ponds or even lakes being avialable for an emergency landing along the route to NORTHOLT were available? Possibly even a canal.
Operated by: BEA (British European Airways Corporation)
Location: On the south bank of the river Thames, between the Festival Hall and City Hall
Period of operation: 1953 to 1957
NOTES: I have to admit, despite being a surrogate Londoner as a lad, living just south of LAP (London Airport) that I had no idea about the WATERLOO AIR TERMINAL. But I was only ten years old at that time. When seeing this picture for the first time I was intrigued by the BEA buses in the background, and the large "Fly BEA" sign on the rather unusual curved building in the background.
My first impression was that the Whirlwind was employed during the Festival of Britain - but soon saw the dates didn't match up. Regarding the buses, built by AEC in Southall, I do believe these were a special order for BEA. Although ostensibly a double-decker, the rear lower section was for baggage, and the panoramic views for passengers on the upper deck were without equal. Quite why BEA thought that passengers viewing the dismal and dull suburbia of west London deserved 'panoramic' views has, to date, yet to be explained.
In October 1957 BEA opened the West London Air Terminal in west Kensington on the Cromwell Road and, for its day, this was a most imaginative development. Really impressive but it 'only' lasted until January 1974. And of course, without a helipad.
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