(United Kingdom)

After a change in the government policy for civil aviation, British Caledonian Airways, the second force in the UK during the 1970s and 1980s, became the sole carrier to serve the routes from Britain to West and Central Africa. These routes, especially to Accra/Ghana had a high passenger increase and the 707 needed replacement - so British Caledonian came to its first widebody aircraft and unlike its main competitor British Airways, the DC-10-30 was chosen and an order for two aircraft was placed in 1976. The first DC-10-30 was introduced on March 20th 1977 and were not only common on BCAL’s network but also operated for several carriers in the Caribbean on services to Europe. In some cases, these aircraft were in competition with British Airways’ jumbos and offered high flexibility. Later DC-10-10 were added for its charter subsidiary Cal Air (later Novair). British Caledonian became so the first British airline to introduce the DC-10 and operated them until 1988, when the airline was absorbed by British Airways. At this point, British Caledonian operated 747s, DC-10-30s and BAC 1-11s. Orders for MD-11s (British Caledonian was the launch costumer!) and A320s were inherited, but the MD-11 order was canceled by British Airways. The DC-10 - fleet became one of the largest in Europe with twelve aircraft. British Caledonian Airways had a Scottish touch and not only the flight attendants weared Scottish kilts, but also the DC-10 were named after Scottish personalities. Note that beside the Airbus A310, the DC-10 became the only aircraft to wear the BCAL logo together with a shield on the wing-mounted engines.

Right: British Caledonian Airways DC-10 - BY DOUGLAS (Boeing)
Left: British Caledonian Airways DC-10 (G-BEBM) - BY Jos van den Broeck

Following aircraft were operated by or for British Caledonian:

RegistrationAircraftFleetnr./NameOperated from - toWhere is it now?
G-BEBL46949/ 179Sir Alexander Flemig - The Scottish Challenger31.03.1977 - 14.04.1988VarigLOG
G-BEBM46921/ 214Robert Burns - The Scottish Bard23.02.1977 - 14.04.1988VarigLOG
G-BFGI46590/ 266David Livingstone - The Scottish Explorer22.01.1979 - 30.01.1987Avient
G-BGAT46591/ 287James Watt - The Scottish Engineer08.08.1979 - 05.06.1987SCRAPPED
G-BHDH47816/ 316Sir Walter Scott - The Scottish Explorer30.04.1980 - 14.04.1988Centurion Air Cargo
G-BHDI47831/ 327Robert the Bruce - The Scottish Warrior21.07.1980 - 14.04.1988Arrow Air
G-BHDJ47840/ 337James S. Mc Donnell - The Scottish American Aviation Pioneer16.10.1980 - 14.04.1988Centurion Air Cargo
G-BJZD46970/ 26922.02.1982 - 01.03.1983FedEx
G-BJZE46973/ 27222.02.1982 - 01.03.1983FedEx
G-DCIO48277/ 354Flora McDonald15.04.1981 - 14.04.1988WRITTEN OFF
G-MULL47888/ 291Ian Ritchie - The Caledonian Airline Executive21.03.1985 - 14.04.1988Centurion Air Cargo
G-NIUK46932/ 15809.06.1985 - 14.04.1988Gemini Air Cargo

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