Click to read more about Classic Cars and other transportation!
Classic Wheels Home

Vintage & Historic Aircraft

Postcards showing aircraft and airlines of yesterday

Classic Wheels is for anyone interested in preserving and reading about yesterdays transport - this section, for aircraft enthusiasts, is a small collection of original postcards dating back to the early 1900s all of which are related to aviation in some way.

There are views of classic 50s and 60s airliners, early jet air transport, and traditional propeller driven aircraft.

Please have a look through the index of rare aeroplane postcards below, and when you're finished have a look at the rest of Classic Wheels in the lefthand menu.

Please note that no postcard view is to be reprinted elsewhere in any form, or linked to directly from other websites, thanks.

Postcard Airspeed Ambassador and Viscount
This is a rare original postcard issued by British European Airways (BEA) in the 1950s - this postcard is franked 1955. Shown is the Elizabethan Class (not long since the Coronation you see!) Airspeed Ambassador and, below, the Discovery Class Vickers Viscount. Interestingly this postcard was written whilst flying along, and the message on the rear explains how '...we are over the sea now, above the clouds and the sun is just setting. Lovely...' and then explains how they nearly missed the flight and had to be driven over the tarmac to the aircraft. They also go on to say how comfortable the flight is, due to being pressurised. They were due to land in Oslo in 1 hours time, from where they posted this card and it was franked.

Postcard BAC Super 1-11 at Ringway
The postcard here probably dates to the late 1970s, and shows a BAC Super 1-11 G-AVMS I think parked up receiving some Esso Jet fuel. The background area, showing here some of the old Fairey hangars, is now home to the Cargo centre and various aircraft engineering facilities. The British Airways 1-11 seen here, and the 2 BA Vickers VC10 airliners behind, are on the then-new Pier C.

Postcard Boeing 707 in BOAC livery
A nice early 1960s postcard showing G-BOAC (hmm never issued on a 707, artistic licence I think!) on a newly purchased BOAC 707, powered by 4 Rolls Royce Conway turbojets.

Postcard Boeing 707 in Lufthansa colours
Here is an early Boeing 707 registration D-ABOS. This postcard was issued by Lufthansa themselves, probably from on board the aircraft during flight. These were known as Intercontinental Jets by Lufthansa (Germany).

Postcard Boeing 707 in Pan American Airlines colours
Here is a 1960s postcard showing Pan Ams promotional aircraft N707PA, the original Pan Am Clipper Jet! This postcard was issued by Pan Am airlines in the early 1960s to passengers on the new jet service.

Postcard Boeing 707 in Qantas colours
This Qantas 707 is in their earliest colour scheme and shows their then-new 707 readied for operation from Australia.

Postcard Boeing 707 in Wardair Canada colours
Pier B again at Manchester (Ringway) airport in the 1970s. A very white looking 707 nearest the cameraman has British Airways ground support kit nearby so was perhaps on loan. Further along is a Wardair Canada 707, a Dan Air Comet 4B, with examples of BOAC and British Airways Boeing 707 further back, a lone BAC 1-11 is in the far distance. The green area to the left has long since disappeared under a sea of concrete, courtesy of the cargo centre and various engineering/overhaul companies that have set up at Manchester.

Postcard Boeing 707 with Aer Lingus
Here we have a great view of Aer Lingus Boeing 707 on the apron at Dublin Airport, complete with a very stylish AEC fuel tanker in the foreground and a Fokker F27 lurking behind.

Postcard Boeing 727 prototype
This card shows the early 727-100 in Boeing factory colours, later versions having a longer fuselage. This classic jet was powered by three Pratt and Whitney turbojet engines and cruised at 600mph.

Postcard Boeing 747SP in Pan American colours
The rarely seen now short version of the Boeing 747, the 747-SP, designed for high capacity short haul flights.

Postcard Bristol 170 Freighters of Silver City
Silver City Airways operated Bristol freighters from the South of England across to Le Touquet in Paris, operating an unusual service to anyone wishing to transport themselves and their cars to the continent. G-AMWB is closest to the camera on this original French produced postcard.

Postcard Britannia aircraft in Britannia Airways colours
A great colour postcard probably dating back to the late 1950s, early 1960s, showing the Britannia 4 engined propliner in, coincidentally, Britannia Airways colours. This airline now fly Boeing 767 aircraft.

Postcard Concorde 002 prototype taking off
An original 1960s postcard showing prototype Concorde 002 taking off, a joint build between Sud Aviation France and the British Aircraft Corporation. This magnificent aircraft flew until 2003 by which time the bean counters decided that there was no need for a ground breaking supersonic service any more, so back to lumbering 747s for the jetset.

Postcard Concorde Air France 1980
A very rare postcard showing an artisticly hazy takeoff of a French-owned Concorde.

Postcard Concorde Air France F-BVFA
This slightly crumpled Air France Concorde postcard was issued by Air France shortly after they began supersonic jet operations. Sadly all Concordes now are lifeless objects parked up forever in museums around the world.

Postcard Concorde G-BOAC in early BA colours
A 1970s view of Concorde G-BOAC shortly after being launched into passenger carrying service. G-BOAC is now preserved at Manchester Airport.

Postcard Concorde G-BOAC in flight
Looking down on G-BOAC, the flagship of the British Airways fleet, as it flies over the UK countryside. The hysterical rantings from sections of the American public in the 1970s all but killed sales of the Concorde, from which the project never recovered. Ironically in 2003 they were very keen to get examples to display in their museums. G-BOAC is now on display in the aviation park at Ringway airport, nr Manchester.

Postcard De Havilland Comet 4 BOAC colours
An original late 1950s postcard showing the sleek Comet airliner in BOAC colours. The Comet was powered by 4 Rolls Royce Avon jet engines, and cruised at around 500 mph.

Postcard De Havilland Comet 4C UAA
This rare and slightly out of focus postcard shows the DH Comet 4C, here operated by United Arab Airlines. This postcard was handed out by UAA when they flew the Comet aircraft in the 1960s.

Postcard Douglas DC3 Dakota with BEA at Liverpool Speke airport
An old sepia colours postcard showing a British European Airways (BEA) DC-3, reg G-AGZD, outside the old 1930s terminal building at Liverpool Speke airport.

Postcard Douglas DC8 with Air New Zealand
This postcard was issued by Air New Zealand in the 1960s and features the DC-8 airliner. According to the text on the rear of the card, the symbol on the tail fin is the Koru, which had its place on the sternposts of Maori canoes that sailed the Pacific ages back.

Postcard HS Trident 3 in BEA colours
Here is a late 1960s view of a HS121 Trident 3B, G-AWYZ. The 3B was the lengthened and uprated version of the earlier Trident 1s and 2Es, all of which were subsequently repainted in British Airways colours and operated through to the early 1980s.

Postcard Lockheed Electra
Printed in California, this old 1950s era postcard shows a classic Lockheed Electra propliner flying over the Golden Gate bridge

Postcard Percival P3 Gull Six
A very 1950/60s postcard issued by a company at Biggin Hill, showing a Percival Gull, 'Jean'. The nacelle features information on various record breaking timed flights undertaken in this aircraft. Times featured are 1935 England to Brazil in 2 days 13.5 hours, 1936 England to Australia in 5 days 21 hours, England to New Zealand 11 days 4 hours, and finally 1937 Australia to England 5 days 13 hours. The cars in the background date this postcard to sometime in the mid 1960s, with example of Mini van, HA Viva, Ford Corsair, Beetle, 103E Pop, A35 and more all in attendance. A search on the net tells how G-ADPR was donated to the Shuttleworth Trust in 1961, which is probably where it was seen here, and was operated by Jean Batten, a renowned NZ aviator. It was bought by Auckland International Airport in the late 90s and now hangs in their foyer.

Postcard Pioneer Aviators Flight of Delagrange
This is one of a small set of very early 20th century aviation postcards, and nearly 100 years old now. This example shows M. Delagrange on an early flight with a crowd of onlookers watching in amazement.

Postcard Pioneer Aviators SF Cody
Colonel S.F. Cody features in this very old postcard, one of a set showing powered flight at its earliest time.

Postcard Pioneer Aviators Wright Brothers
Another very early 20c postcard here showing the Wright Flyer biplane on an early hop.

Postcard Sud Aviation Caravelle Air France at Manchester Airport
An English postcard showing an early-colours Air France Caravelle at Ringway airport alongside Pier B.

Postcard Vickers Super VC10 in BA livery
British Airways Super VC-10 G-ASGH seen here coming in to land probably in the early 1970s. Most of the BA VC10s, when no longer needed by BA, were acquired by the RAF and, after conversion, were used for in flight refuelling duties.

Postcard Vickers Super VC10 in BOAC colours
Here is a Super VC10 in BOAC colours. The merger of BEA and BOAC, resulting in British Airways in the early 70s, resulted in all VC10s being repainted in the well known BA colour scheme.

Postcard Vickers Vanguard at Ringway
Its the late 1960s and a lone British European Airways Vanguard waits for new passengers in front of the control tower and spectator terraces at Manchester, Ringway.

I am not aware of any copyright on these images but if any images are under copyright, please get in touch and I will remove it, or credit it accordingly, asap. Thanks

Please note that everything on this site is Copyright to R Jones, the site author (unless stated otherwise). All advice is given in good faith only, based on my experiences of the subject. Anything relating to legal issues should be clarified with the relevant bodies, I do not take responsibility for any losses, damages, hair loss or otherwise arising from advice found on this site, given as it is in good faith only. Articles submitted by others and published here are reproduced in good faith and don't necessarily reflect the views etc of anyone at Classic Wheels. If you'd like to see your classic car featured here, by all means send me details and a photo of it - articles about other historic or antique vehicles are also very welcome. Privacy policy, cookies & disclaimers.