Trident 1C G-ARPO was the 13th Trident built. Here are some facts about it:
Built at: Hatfield, UK
First Flight: 13 January 1965
Delivery: 31 January 1965
Operators: BEA British European Airways, British Airways
The aircraft served on the routes of BEA and British Airways for 18 years before it was retired at London Heathrow airport. Following a short period of storage, it was ferried to Teesside Airport (now Durham Tees Valley Airport) in 1983 to be used at the Civil Aviation Authority’s fire training school along with a number of other Tridents.
The school is now operated by Serco, and continues to train aviation firefighters from around the world. Unlike many of its stablemates at Teesside, G-ARPO was spared from burning (and ultimately destruction) as it was only used for evacuation and smoke training. This has meant the aircraft has suffered some neglect and heavy-handedness, but is still largely intact with many interior fittings still present.
Now, at the end of its useful life with Serco, the company has kindly agreed to donate the aircraft to us for relocation and preservation.
What the future holds for this aircraft is as yet unknown, but our plan is to dismantle and take it to the North East Aircraft Museum at Sunderland, where it can be reassembled and kept under cover. It will be painted externally in the colours of Northeast Airlines, and restored internally with original fittings and an exhibition of Trident memorabilia.