SAS Vickers Viking history
The Vickers Viking did not last long in the SAS-fleet, even though it was the pride of the DDL-fleet.
Det Danske Luftfartsselskab (DDL) signed an agreement with Vickers-Armstrong Ltd in London on June 17, 1946 for the purchase of five Vickers Vikings for £39.400 each, bringing the total value of the contract to £197.000. The contract originally specified that the first aircraft was to be delivered in January 1947, with the next four being delivered one per month. However, the first Vickers Viking, OY-DLA Alf Viking, was handed over to DDL on 7 March, 1947.
The 21-38 seat Vickers Viking was operated on short- and medium haul routes in Europe, as well as on Danish domestic routes.
The five aircraft were originally planned to be named Alf Viking, Bo Viking, Gam Viking, Orm Viking and Skjold Viking. OY-DLA was named Alf Viking on delivery, but this was later changed to Tor Viking, and the other four all recieved Viking-names starting with Tor; Torleif, Torulf, Tormund and Torlak.
OY-DLA in DDL colors with the name "Alf Viking"
Two Vikings were lost in accidents, ironically both of them went down in Öresund. The first accident happened to DDL Viking OY-DLI Torulf Viking which crash-landed in shallow waters on approach to Copenhagen on 29 December 1947 without loss of life. The second accident happened 13 months later, when SAS lost OY-DLU Torlak Viking, 18 km northeast of Copenhagen Airport. All 23 passengers and five crew were killed in this second crash.
With the formation of ESAS (European SAS) in 1948, the four Vikings were transferred to the SAS-fleet and re-painted in SAS-colors.
OY-DLO Tormund Viking at Zürich Airport. Photo: via Odd Arnestad
As it were, the Vickers Vikings proved uneconomical to operate for DDL, and as SAS wished to standardize its combined fleet and reduced the number of aircraft types, it was deceided to phase-out the Vikings. In April 1949, the three remainding Vikings were withdrawn from use and stored at Copenhagen. OY-DLA operated the very last Vickers Viking service, between Aalborg and Copenhagen as SK 211 on 19 April 1949.
An agreement was signed on 26 July 1949 between DDL and the Egyptian airline Misrair (now EgyptAir) for the sale of the three stored Vikings (OY-DLA, OY-DLE and OY-DLO) for £20.000 each. Delivery to Misrair started in August 1949 when OY-DLO left for Cairo to become SU-AGM, with OY-DLE leaving the next month. The last Vickers Viking to leave Denmark was OY-DLA, which left Copenhagen for Cairo, via Zürich on 12 October 1949 to become SU-AGO with its new Egyption owners.