Whilst this project is all about the preservation of G-ARPO – the last complete Trident 1C anywhere in the world – we have become quite fond of our parts source over in Belfast, and so dedicate this page to her and the work we’ve done over there.
G-AVFE is a Trident 2E. It was the 44th Trident built, operating for British European Airways and British Airways, before retiring to Belfast International on 12th February 1985 as a fire service trainer.
In its time, G-AVFE was one of only two Tridents to act as a royal transport, flying the Queen and Prince Philip on an official tour.
Tony and Matt first visited the aircraft on 5th February 2010 to assess its suitability as a parts source for our own aircraft (since many parts are interchangeable between Trident 1C and 2E models). We were treated to fantastic hospitality by the Fire Service crew there, and we arranged to come back at a later date.
We did that on 20th May 2010, with Tony, Matt, Neil and Peter visiting. Neil and Tony took a van across on the ferry, whilst Matt and Peter flew across from Newcastle. We spent a great day (again, with fantastic hospitality from the fire service) stripping parts from the cockpit, cabin and exterior of the aircraft. All of these will be refurbished and used in the restoration of G-ARPO.
Here are just a selection of photos from the two trips, and of G-AVFE in its heyday.