Saturday 24 July 2010

Another Bristol exposed

Bristol 170 Freighter 31M , c/n 13156 , was listed to the Bristol Aeroplane Co Ltd on 22-12-1953 using their manufactures test registration of G-18-148. It went to the Pakistan Air Force and was allocated the S4403 serial and carried the code letter "A".
It was acquired by Straits Air Freight Express Ltd (S.A.F.E.) and arrived in Auckland still in its camouflage paint scheme on 01-06-1966. It then went on to Woodbourne for its NZ certification.
Two views of S4403/ZK-CLU during conversion at Woodbourne. Taken late June of 1966.
It was registered as ZK-CLU to S.A.F.E. on 01-06-1966 and allocated the name Merchant Buccaneer.
On 31-10-1967 the Company was renamed SAFE Air.
Picture above of ZK-CLU in its early S.A.F.E. scheme taken about mid 1967.
The view below shows her at Woodbourne on 27-12-1979 in the Safe Air markings. A close look at the registration letters shows a smaller earlier edition over painted.
A view in the office below and shutting the doors above at Wellington on 29-11-1985.
ZK-CLU was withdrawn from freighter service on 30-09-1986 and its last flight was from Woodbourne to the Whakapuaka Sandflats at Nelson on 20-11-1986 for delivery to the Nelson Founders Museum where it rests to this day. It had a total of 21314 airframe hours and 25,978 landings to its credit.
A view above of her at the Nelson Founder Park taken on 16-02-1990.


  1. Hmm . .
    I have the date of the Woodbourne-Whakapuaka sandflats flight as 15Jun86?

  2. Hmmm.. deed

    Now there's a how de do !

    What do we do now then ?