Sometimes you can get lucky at flea markets, and today was one of those times for me: a Dinky die-cast metal Vickers Viscount airliner model, circa 1950, a bit worn but looking good after 64 years.

Making its maiden flight in 1948, this aircraft was the first of its kind: a medium-range airliner using a turboprop instead of a conventional piston engine. After entering service, it soon became a mainstay of British European Airways, becoming the first turboprop airliner to fly a scheduled service in April 1953 and by 1959, nearly 3 million passengers had flown aboard the classic lines of the Viscount.

I still remember the distinctive sound of the four Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops flying over the house as they flew over to land at Turnhouse, and going there with my father and brother just to watch the Viscounts, Vanguards, Tridents and all the other aircraft land and take-off at the airport.

Halcyon days for civil aviation.

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