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Brief History of the British Overseas Airways Corporation
The British Overseas Airways Corporation is a British airline headquartered at Speed bird House, London, Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom. The airline was created in 1940 when the Imperial Airways (under the chairmanship of John Charles Walsham Reith) and British Airways Ltd. merged.
In 1939, through the Act of Parliament, the British Overseas Airways Corporation was created to become the British State Airline. Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd., worked hand in hand since September 3, 1939. This was the time when the war was declared that resulted in the transfer of operations from London to the Bristol City, United Kingdom.
However, the British Overseas Airways Corporation started to stand alone on April 1, 1940, and during the war, the airline was also known as the British Airways with the combination of the Speed bird symbol and Union flag marked on the aircraft and equipment.
During the North Atlantic pre-war, several experimental flights were made with the use of the Empire flying boats. The final mail flight happened during the Battle of the Britain by the British Overseas Airways Corporation’s Clare and Clyde to La Guardia.
During the war in 1941, the British Overseas Airways Corporation was assigned to become the ‘Return Ferry Service’ – Prestwick to Montreal. The goal of this strategy was to place the ferry pilots into different positions after they had accompanied and sent the American-built bombers from Canada.
When the British Overseas Airways Corporation did the ‘Return Ferry Service’, they had with them the Royal Air Force Consolidated Liberators.
Lockheed Lodestars, Liberators, Douglas DC-3s, and converted Sunderland were the aircraft that consisted the British Overseas Airways Corporation after the war.
The BOAC acquired their first six Lockheed 049 Constellations and tried to expand their fleet. In the late 1940’s, the British Overseas Airways Corporation’s captains, O.P. Jones and J.C. Kelly-Rogers were requested by the AerlinteEireann to assist them with their transatlantic service launch. However, in 1948, the project was discontinued that resulted in the BOAC’s acquisition of the new 749 models.
It was in May 1952 when the British Overseas Airways Corporation introduced a passenger jet, including private jet charters, into the airline service. The first airline that flew via Nairobi (Kenya) to Johannesburg (South Africa) was the de Havilland Comet – with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines that were buried in the wings; with pressurised fuselage and large scale windows.
However, in April 1954, all Comet 1 aircraft were suspended after four Comet aircraft had crashed. The jet airlines then designed and created fail-safe aircraft that included the revised Comet 4.
In the late 1960s, the British Overseas Airways Corporation had begun making profits under the management of Sir Giles Guthrie.
In 1970, they got their first 747 aircraft but chose not to include it in the commercial service and private jet charters since they were not able to pay for the crew and British Airline Association’s fee.
Because of this, the British Overseas Airways Corporation had let their company controlled by the British Airways board together with the BEA that later on turned into the merging of their operations to form the British Airways.