Re: HS Trident

Date:         29 Jun 97 16:47:06 
References:   1
Followups:    1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

Dimitrios Tombros wrote:
> Are there any HS Tridents still flying (airliner or military)? Why did
> this aircraft which was so similar to B727 have so little success? Was
> it some kind of construction or operational problem or just bad
> marketing?

Many have already responded to this question.  I'll just add what I recently
read in T.A. Heppenheimer's book, "Turbulent Skies (The History of Commercial
Aviation)".  [If you haven't seen it, the book covers major developments in
commercial aviation (aircraft, air safety, engines, airline business and
bosses) and weaves them into a fairly good story.]   [[John Wiley & Sons

The Trident received only 3 paragraphs:

". . . Europe's subsidized aviation firms have had long experience in getting
things wrong, for with government ministries running aircraft projects as
jobs programs, Europe's planebuilders have often built airliners largely to
please themselves.  The Concorde stands as a case in point.  Another lies in
the de Havilland Trident, a three-engine airliner of the early 1960s."

"The Trident was potentially a good airplane, but the British designed it for
one airline and one man:  Lord Sholto Douglas, chairman of British European
Airways.  To fit the needs of his airline, he insisted that the Trident
should offer eighty-passenger capacity and a one-thousand-mile range.  That
meant it would amount to a Caravelle with an extra engine, having negligible
appeal to other carriers."

"U.S. planebuilders, accustomed to answering "How high?" whenever a customer
said "Jump," found Lord Douglas's attitude astonishing.  But BEA had income
from the Crown, as did de Havilland, which meant that Lord Douglas could feel
quite comfortable about the whole thing.  As he put it, "They don't change
one hair of that airplane without my permission . . . "
[The chapter then gets into the development of Airbus.]

Sorry for the long post, it's my first to this list.  It brought back a
memory of my only experience on a Trident.  I was a twelve year old traveling
with my brother and sister from London Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda in the
summer of '76.  A BA flight attendant that was traveling off-duty sat next to
me and kept leaning over me and touching me to help me adjust my seat,
seatbelt, tray table, etc.  If you remember being 12, you know how erotic
that was. . .

Go Trident!