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They had semi automatic gearboxes and AEC AV 590 engines, but were geared for 70 mph running with trailers on the M4 motorway, which would surely not be allowed today.
Was luggage checked in at the city terminal- so why not just use a van?
Joe – I think you’ll find BOAC left Buckingham Palace Road in the early/mid 70s.
My 1978 office looked out on to it and I can remember, at one point, it being used for South Western Services on peak days to relieve pressure on the Coach Station itself.
Here is a shot of one of the Routemasters at the west London Air Terminal in 1969 in the original livery: At the same time BEA was still using the one an a half deck AEC Regal IVs from London Transport. BOAC also had their own fleet of vehicles which operated from their terminal close to Victoria Coach Station.
In 1966 they acquired a fleet of Leyland Atlanteans with MCW bodies.
They were fitted with higher backed coach type seats more suitable to long-haul airline passengers.
Photographs may be seen here: BOAC’s fleet pre-dated the Atlanteans and consisted of a fleet of single-deck vehicles, although I am not sure about the technical details.
By the 1960s, the increase in size of airliners meant that the BEA fleet of AEC Regal IV observation coaches of 1952/3 vintage were offering inadequate capacity, and were approaching replacement anyway.
In 1961 an evaluation of the practicability of employing double deckers for the job was undertaken, initially using AEC Regent V, 220 CXK fitted with a Park Royal H38/17F body, the limited lower deck capacity arising from its adaptation to accommodate luggage in the rear portion.
Was there an equivalent BOAC system such as the one BEA operated here, or did one have to make one’s own way to Heathrow?
BOAC operated some Metro-Cammell bodied Leyland Atlanteans during the 1960s between Buckingham Palace Road, London and Heathrow Airport.
A mechanic (and also an enthusiast) at Halifax Corporation with first hand experience of dealing with their five Lolines once wrote a piece in the local bus club’s newsletter (and I am taking the liberty of quoting him here): "The transmission was unusual in that there was a transfer box at the rear of the engine which altered the rotation of the propellor shaft and gearbox, but allowed the propellor shaft to run along the chassis side, thus permitting a low floor level.