It is simple story!
You know all those pictures of that 'old turboprop' hanging in my office?
Way back in 1965 when the companies that were setting up European Overseas
were still planning, it was identified that a fleet would need to be
purchased both quickly and cost effectively. In those days the big
airlines were moving towards jets, even for regional work. Worries over
fuel prices were something of the 70s and onwards. Even so, in the
government controlled and highly regulated market, many airlines had their
back to the wall. As a consequence, EOAC were able to purchase a number of
turboprops (Vickers Vanguards) at reasonable prices in order to launch
their regional division (EAC, the first to fly). The very first aircraft
delivered had "Vantage" painted on the nose and due to the pace
of the purchase and subsequent delivery it at the time was given the call
sign of "Vantage".
The management of EOAC, who had been involved in the ongoing arrangements
for the set up of the airline for over two years were all present as this
first aircraft landed at Filton were so pleased with the great event and
that suddenly things were moving forwards at last, that pictures of the
aircraft were (and still are) hung all over the offices and operational
centres. The name stuck and the initial plans to use the callsign
"Overseas" were dropped.
Since that time there has always been at least one aircraft on the fleet
named "Vantage" - currently a UK registered MD-11-ER ( appropriately
So the story goes (according to the real aviators who remember those days)
the name was originally painted on the nose of that original Vanguard by a
pilot with an interest in sports car racing, who had one a fortune by
placing money in a wild 100-1 bet on a horse ... With his winnings he
purchased an Aston Martin DB-4 Vantage and retired to a farm somewhere in
Ireland. The horse's name was 'Vantage'.
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