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      JEE3


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      Post #38322, posted on 08-18-2011 GMT-5 hours    

      For airliner fans, one of the disappointing things is when an innovative color scheme never got it's full run and sadly that's what would be the fate awaiting the new "Pink Flamingo" scheme, when it was introduced for Bahamas Airways' (2) "500" A/C plus (2) options order in this late 1968 BAC 'airbrush'!
      Two things about Bahamas Airways were that they NEVER made a profit and were, for most of it's existence, under British (BOAC) control. Founded in 1933, to take over the operations of "Inter-Island Charter Services", when during WW2, Pan American purchased a 45% interest. In 1949, BOAC bought up P.A.A.'s shares and began what would be a nearly (40) year control. The 1949 route map shows the basic route structure that would for Bahamas Airways, pretty much stay the same (adding [2] more cities in Florida & extending south to the Turk Islands). DC-3's would be the mainstay of the small fleet through the 1950's.
      By April 1959, BOAC sold 80% of Bahamas Airways to Skyways Bahamas Holding Company and Bahamas Airways got a new look.
      A few 4-engined Hermes A/C were added but by 1960, BOAC decided it wanted keep BH for feeder traffic and bought back it's shares. BOAC acquired 2nd-hand Viscounts, as an equipment upgrade for it's old associate airline. A logo would appear on the A/C for the 1st time, the NW-flying bird. By 1963, the Bahamas Airways route map shows most of the new routes that were added, including Miami & Fort Lauderdale.
      In 1964, the Bahamas was granted internal self-government rule, though still under colonial rule (since 1783) and retaining the British-Bahamas flag. By 1966, Bahamas Airways Viscounts were a regular visitor to Miami.
      1966 would be a key year in the relationship between BOAC and the Bahamian government. The local-rule meant that the Bahamas had control over route authorizations and much to BOAC's annoyance, Bahamas gave authorization to a new airline, International Air Bahamas. For years, the Bahamas government felt that BOAC could have easily operated an extension of one of BOAC's New York flights to Nassau as a Bahamas Airways flight or a London-Nassau service. BOAC, for it's part now felt the the Bahamian government was 'failing' to protect it's own airline (which it really wasn't!) This animosity would later be seen again, in 1968. By now, the aging Viscounts were getting a bit-'long in the tooth' and BOAC decided to throw more money into the flowing Red ink that was Bahamas Airways, when it placed an order for (4) HS-748's. A new bolder styled title was introduced in 1967.
      Also for it's advertising, White titles w/Red background began to be used.
      A 1-yr Viscount lease was taken up with BWIA, pending the HS-748 deliveries, making an interesting hybrid scheme.
      The new Bahamas HS-748 arrived in January 1967 and were a bit of a surprise, as the famous BOAC 'Speed Bird' was now on the tail!
      By early 1968, after going through a Bahamas Airways 'non co-operation' action between the pilots and the airline over pay (pilots wanted similar salaries to small US airlines), BOAC began looking to sell and turned to John Swire & Sons, who ran Cathay Pacific and had purchased BOAC's Hong Kong Airways in 1959. In May 1968, the Bahamian government was offered a 49% share to the Swire's 51%. Most in the industry were surprised when the government said 'no thanks'! (with hindsight-not so surprising). BOAC instead would retain 15% and the new owners took over in October 1968. The 1st order of business was to bring in Jet A/C and would keep it's British connections in ordering (2) One-Eleven '500's plus (2) options.
      The first 1968 timetable would introduce the world to the 'Pink Flamingo' and the (4) HS 748's would be repainted!
      While awaiting the 1969 delivery of the (2) '517's, (2) brand new '432's were leased and the 74-passenger A/C entered service in November/December 1968.
      BH was now ready to begin high frequency Jet routes; Miami-Nassau, Miami-Freeport, West Palm Beach-Freeport-Nassau & Fort Lauderdale-Nassau (interestingly BH never offered Jet service to Rock Sound and West End as other carriers did). Bahamas Airways flight attendants did get a new uniform and the previous BH badge (worn by both) was carried over for pilots.
      The (2) leased "432"s carried 'BAC One-Eleven' tiles under the cockpit. It would be with the new "517"s, that the 'Flamingo-Jet' titles were introduced. In July 1969, the (2) 99-passenger '517's were ready to leave Hurn.
      Even as the new '500's were arriving, BH knew it needed a 'long-route' (Nassau-New York) for it's financial future and formally applied for the route. With no time to wait, as the red ink was flowing freely, an ad was placed for a NY manager. Since the "500" lacked the range, Bahamas Airways officials began to look elsewhere. Both Eastern & Pan Am were using the 727-100's on the routes from N.Y., BH began planning for a 727 (most likely a lease from one of the US Supplemental airlines World Airways or Airlift?), as their 727C's were beginning to be underutilized with the winding down of the Vietnam War.
      Once BAC got wind of the planned lease, (BH still had [2] "500" options), their engineers came up with new plan for a 'special-built-long range' adaptation. In the rear of the forward cargo hold, additional fuel tanks could be added to make the N.Y.-Nassau flight. BH decided to take up the 1st option for the 'special long-range 517'. Work began in June 1970 and the A/C (VP-BCQ) was ready for delivery in November 1970.
      Unfortunately, by the completion date, Bahamas Airways wasn't in business anymore! Sadly, the 'Pink Flamingo' stopped flying on October 9, 1970. Had the Nassau-New York route application been approved, it might have kept the airline in business for a while longer but like Northeast Airlines, they never had enough money making 'long' routes.
      For fans of the 'Pink Flamingo' color scheme, it was an all too short 2-yr run. We almost got to see the 727 'Flamingo-Jet'! In April 1970, a leased ex-British Eagle '300' VP-BCP, would be the last Jet addition to the fleet and would stay till the end............John


      Images: Chuck Gowing-Airlinecolors.com/Flight International.com/Reginald Rowe Photo

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      Braniff2


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      Post #38323, posted on 08-18-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      I always liked this paint job. Too bad it didn't last very long.

      Does anybody know what the regs were for the 4 HS748's that BH had?

      Thanks!

      Braniff2
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      JEE3


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      Post #38324, posted on 08-18-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      The (4) were; VP-BCJ (1609) 12-09-66, VP-BCK (1610) 03-07-66, VP-BCL (1611) 03-16-67 & VP-BCM (1612) 04-04-67. Sadly, couldn't find (1) in-service photo!.........John

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      Sergio Goncalves


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      Post #38325, posted on 08-19-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      Amazing research, thanks!

      Sergio
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      Post #38333, posted on 08-19-2011 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote

      The (4) were; VP-BCJ (1609) 12-09-66, VP-BCK (1610) 03-07-66, VP-BCL (1611) 03-16-67 & VP-BCM (1612) 04-04-67. Sadly, couldn't find (1) in-service photo!.........John
      Quote




      Thanks JEE3!!

      Braniff2
      MCI

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      JEE3


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      Post #47135, posted on 03-06-2013 GMT-5 hours    
      I combined (2) previous Bahamas Airways "LS"s into one, which is why this "LS" is a bit longer than normal.......




      John

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      Kikiferret


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      Post #47140, posted on 03-06-2013 GMT-5 hours    
      Wow! never heard before about this flamingo scheme! Thanks for share it John!

      Saludos / Greetings

      Fernando Casta˝ˇn