Ansett-ANA Vickers Viscount 832 VH-RMG

From September 1958 to March 1959 Ansett-ANA engineer Lindsay Wise was assigned to the Vickers-Armstrongs works at Hurn, near Bournemouth in the UK, as Resident Inspector to learn about and oversee the construction and acceptance of the first of Ansett-ANA's four Viscount 832s, VH-RMG. The aircraft was photographed (above) at the Vickers works at Hurn on 22 February 1959. The colour scheme is: polished metal wings and under-fuselage; white fuselage top; red fin, fuselage flashes and titling; and blue bands on fuselage and fin. It was delivered to Australia in March 1959 and entered service on 20 April. Click here to see a photo of a Certificate of Maintenance Approval issued to Lindsay Wise for the ferry flight.

Part of the Resident Inspector's duties involved overseeing the construction of each aircraft. The photo below shows a Viscount fuselage undergoing a pressure test at Hurn in 1959.


Although Ansett-ANA initially did not want the Viscount, preferring instead the Lockheed Electra, they were forced to order it under the Australian government's 'Two Airline Policy', implemented in this case via the Airlines Equipment Act of 1958. This Act and the 1961 Airlines Agreement Act, which were administered by DCA, imposed a requirement for the two major domestic airlines, Ansett-ANA and TAA, to offer equal capacity on trunk routes. For Ansett-ANA, this resulted in the Viscount order in order to match the existing TAA fleet.

In the event, the Viscount proved successful in Ansett-ANA service, operating alongside the Electras that were also ordered and together forming the mainstay of domestic services until the introduction of the Boeing 727 and Douglas DC-9 from 1964. The Viscount 832s were not the first Viscounts in Ansett-ANA service, two earlier V.700s having been acquired with the take-over of Butler Air Transport in February 1958. In March 1960, Ansett-ANA also took over three Viscount V.720s from a reluctant TAA as part of the 'Two Airline Policy' fleet-balancing arrangements in exchange for two DC-6Bs. This controversial arrangement gave the Ansett-ANA fleet a considerable boost.

(Photos: Lindsay Wise collection)

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