Hawker Siddeley 121 Trident 2 in British European Airways livery

Hawker Siddeley 121 Trident 2

Hawker Siddeley Aviation

HS.121 Trident G-AVFB

G-AVFB was built at Hatfield in Hertfordshire and was the second of fifty Trident 2E aircraft destined for BEA. She first flew on 2 November 1967 and was delivered to the airline on 6 June 1968. She continued in service until 1973 when she was withdrawn from service and leased to Cyprus Airways in June 1973 and re-registered 5B-DAC. She was in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974 and suffered superficial damage from gunfire.

Returned to Heathrow in May 1977 the aircraft was repaired, restored and repainted in British Airways livery. She returned to service flying between London and Manchester. She was retired and flown on Duxford on 13 June 1982 after 21,642 hours flying time and 11,726 landings. There, in 1990, she was repainted in her original BEA colours.

Hawker Siddeley 121 Trident 2

Designed by Hawker Siddeley Aviation 117 Trident aircraft were built between 1959 and 1971. Designed to meet an operational requirement for British European Airways (BEA), the Trident was built as a short to medium-range airliner capable of carrying around 100 passengers. The first Trident 1 - registered G-ARPA - flew from Hatfield on 9 January 1962. The first commercial flight for BEA of a Trident aircraft took place on 1 April 1964.

Hawker Siddeley Aviation reduced the specification of the Trident to meet the revised requirements of BEA. In total, twenty-four Trident 1c aircraft were built. Despite the original reduction in specification the subsequent 1e derivation was revised to suit BEA's requirements. These changes included a greater seating capacity, for up to 140 passengers.

The second derivation - designated the Trident 2e - was fitted with uprated Rolls-Royce Spey engines, lengthened fuselage, modifications to the wings and extended range. The Trident 3c, which entered service in 1971, featured an greater extended fuselage over the Trident 2e with seating for up to 180 passengers. A number of examples survive at aviation museums and sites in the UK.

British European Airways

In post-war Britain air passenger services were provided by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). On 1 November 1945 the then Labour Government announced plans to break up BOAC into three state-owned companies: BOAC, flying long haul routes including to North America; British South American Airways (BSAA), flying to South America and the Caribbean; and British European Airways (BEA), flying all domestic and all European routes. BEA was founded as a division of BOAC on 1 January 1946 and on 1 August 1946 the Civil Aviation Act received Royal Assent, officially breaking up BOAC into the three companies. A number of smaller independent airlines were absorbed into BEA.

Throughout the 1950s BEA expanded its European routes and introduced new aircraft. In 1960 BEA introduced its first jet aircraft, the Comet 4B and by September 1960 had carried its 25,000,000th passenger. BEA introduced the Trident in 1962 and by April 1969 BEA Airtours Ltd, a new subsidiary charter airline company was formed. In 1967 a government committee chaired by Sir Ronald Edwards published a report in 1969 called 'British Air Transport in the Seventies' arguing for the merger of BEA and BOAC. The findings were accepted by the then Conservative Government and the British Airways Group was formed in September 1972. The two airlines officially merged on 1 April 1974 forming British Airways.


ManufacturerHawker Siddeley Aviation
CountryUnited Kingdom
TypeCivilian airliner
Length114 ft 9 in
Wingspan98 ft 0 in
Height26 ft 9 in
Weight (empty)73,800lb
Weight (loaded)142,500lb
Engines3 x Rolls-Royce Spey 505 engine
Range2,700 miles

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HS.121 Trident photographs

  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB
  • HS.121 Trident G-AVFB