Silver City Airways
|Ceased operations||1962 (member of
British Aviation Services group; taken over by
British United Airways)
|Operating bases||Langley Aerodrome
RAF West Malling
Isle of Man Airport
Le Touquet Airport
|Fleet size||31 aircraft
(4 Handley Page Hermes,
10 Bristol Superfreighter,
5 Bristol Freighter,
11 Douglas Dakota
1 de Havilland Dove
(as of 1962))
|Destinations||scheduled: British Isles, Europe
|Key people||Hugh Kennard,
Eoin C. Mekie,
Air Cdre Griffith J. Powell
Silver City Airways was a private, British independent[nb 1] airline formed in 1946. The name Silver City was derived from the eponymous Australian mining town at Broken Hill, where The Zinc Corporation was headquartered. Silver City's first commercial flight departed London Heathrow for Sydney via Johannesburg in late 1946. The following year, Silver City leased its first Bristol Freighter, moved its base to Blackbushe and participated in the airlift of Hindu and Muslim refugees between Pakistan and India. In 1948, control of Silver City passed from the Zinc Corporation to British Aviation Services. In July of that year, the airline inaugurated the world's first air ferry service across the English Channel between Lympne Airport and Le Touquet Airport. In 1948–49, Silver City participated in the Berlin Airlift. In 1949, it established a French sister airline.
In 1953, Silver City took delivery of its first Bristol Superfreighter. The following year, the company moved to a new permanent home at Lydd Ferryfield, Britain's first newly constructed post-war airport. The same year, Silver City Airways came under the control of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). By the mid-1950s, Silver City had become the biggest air cargo carrier in the United Kingdom while annual passenger numbers at its "Ferryfield" base had reached ¼ of a million. During that time, the airline also inaugurated air ferry services between Scotland and Ireland and from/to the Midlands. This period also saw the launch of a London—Paris coach-air-coach/rail service, with the cross-Channel air portion operating between Lydd and Le Touquet. In 1957, Silver City accomplished its one-millionth Channel crossing. In summer 1958, Silver City's "Ferryfield" base recorded more aircraft movements than any other UK airport. That year, also marked the conclusion of Silver City's first decade of air ferry operations during which the airline operated more than 100,000 flights carrying over 200,000 vehicles and ¾ of a million passengers, with peak-day frequency exceeding 200. In 1959, Silver City took over sister airline Britavia's Handley Page Hermes fleet and Manston base. That year, the airline also began oil industry support flights in Libya.
By 1960, Silver City's 40,000 annual cross-Channel flights transported 220,000 passengers and 90,000 vehicles while network-wide freight haulage reached 135,000 tons a year. The following summer, the airline reached agreement with a French rival to co-finance construction of a branch line linking Le Touquet Airport with the nearby main railway line to reduce surface travelling time from/to Paris. Unsustainable losses as a result of the loss of the Libyan oil industry support flight contract, increasing competition from roll-on/roll-off ferries and the lack of suitable replacements for the ageing Bristol Freighters resulted in growing financial difficulties, culminating in Silver City's takeover by British United Airways (BUA) holding company Air Holdings in 1962.
In 1946, Air Cdre Griffith James ("Taffy") Powell got in touch with W.S. Robinson, chairman of London-based mining company The Zinc Corporation. That meeting resulted in Robinson appointing Powell as the Zinc Corporation's adviser.
One of Powell's first visits in his new capacity took him to Broken Hill, Australia, also known as Silver City. This visit resulted in the decision to set up a new air transport operator to serve the mining industry, to be named Silver City.
Silver City Airways was incorporated on 25 November 1946. British Aviation Services (BAS), an early post-World War II airline holding company and air transport operator, became one of Silver City's shareholders, initially taking a 10% stake. Air Cdre Griffith James Powell was the first managing director of both BAS and Silver City.
Silver City's first base was at Langley Aerodrome.
The airline's initial fleet comprised four ex-military Douglas Dakotas and three Avro Lancastrians, the 13-seater civil version of the Lancaster Mark 3 bomber. Two of the latter were new aircraft that had been ordered by British South American Airways (BSAA).
Lancastrian G-AHBW operated the company's first commercial flight, from London Airport (Heathrow) to Sydney via Johannesburg in November 1946. This was followed by similar operations to Johannesburg via Karachi and to Malta before the end of the year.
In October 1947, Silver City became involved in the airlift of Hindu and Muslim refugees between Pakistan and India, following the Subcontinent's partitioning. This operation constituted the fledgling airline's first major engagement. Initially, the repatriation airlift was undertaken by four Dakotas. On short journeys, the authorities granted Silver City dispensation to raise the limit on the maximum number of passengers it could carry from 28 to 52 to airlift as many people as quickly as possible.
Also in 1947, Silver City leased its first Bristol Freighter from the manufacturer to replace one of the four Dakotas that had originally been allocated to the repatriation airlift in the Indian subcontinent. Like the Dakotas it had operated on that airlift, Silver City was given dispensation to increase the maximum number of passengers it could carry on the Bristol Freighter above the normal limit of 32. Actual loads on this aircraft type often exceeded 100 passengers per flight, resulting in a total of 1,105 evacuees and their belongings being transported aboard Silver City's single Freighter over a period of nine days. The airline's Bristol Freighter fleet soon expanded to four aircraft. The Freighter would play a major role in the company's development over the coming years. Powell realised that the Bristol Freighter could be adapted to fly car owners with their vehicles from Britain to Continental Europe and the Channel Islands. This "air ferry" would allow British holidaymakers avoid long waits for sea ferries and time-consuming, bumpy rides in rough waters.
On 7 July 1948, a Silver City Bristol Freighter operated the first cross-Channel air ferry service, between Lympne near Folkestone in Kent and Le Touquet on France's northern Côte d'Opale coast, with good road connections from and to London and Paris respectively. The new service, which initially operated on a seasonal charter basis, became a year-round scheduled operation in 1949. In the beginning, there was a flat £32 one-way fare to take a group of four passengers along with their car across the Channel. Once opposition from British European Airways (BEA) to the carriage of passengers travelling without vehicles was overcome, a new fare structure was introduced. For example, a group of four travelling with a small car was charged only £27, while the comparable fare for four people travelling with a large car remained at £32. By the end of 1949, this operation fully utilised five Freighters, which carried 2,700 cars and 10,000 passengers. These figures represented a significant increase over the previous year when only 178 cars and their occupants, as well as some motorcycles and bicycles had been carried until the end of the season in September.
Silver City joined the 1948–49 Berlin Airlift with a single Bristol Freighter in September 1948. Owing to heavy demand for additional civilian airlift capacity, the airline leased a further two Freighters from the Bristol Aeroplane Company. By the time the civil contribution to the Airlift was scaled down in February 1949, the company's three Bristol Freighters were the last twin-engined airliners employed in this operation. When it came to an end, the firm's Freighters had flown a total of about 800 hours.
In February 1949, Silver City established a French sister airline headquartered in Paris to operate vehicle ferry flights from Le Touquet Airport. The new company was registered under the name Société Commerciale Aérienne du Littoral (SCAL). A number of Silver City aircraft were registered to this company. These were transferred onto the French aircraft register. In addition, an agreement was reached to appoint the Automobile Club de France as Silver City's and SCAL's official representative in France. These steps were necessary to secure French approval to turn the seasonal charter flights Silver City had operated on this route into a full-fledged scheduled operation.
By 1950, the number of cars and passengers carried on Silver City's cross-Channel services roughly doubled to 5,000 and 24,000 respectively.
To encourage further traffic growth on its Lympne — Le Touquet cross-Channel car ferry service, Silver City reduced fares with effect from 19 September 1950: the rate for cars up to 14 feet in length was cut from £27 to £19 while the rate for larger vehicles dropped from £32 to £25. This reduction left Silver City's fares only slightly higher than the Dover—Calais ferry fares of British Railways' Southern Region and, together with the service's earlier extension permitting the carriage of cyles and motor cycles, helped establish the airline's ferry services as a serious competitor to the railways.
The success of Silver City's Lympne — Le Touquet air ferry service resulted in subsequent introduction of additional routes across the English Channel and to other parts of the British Isles.
Over the coming years, Silver City pursued a policy of continuous fare reductions to fill the additional capacity on its growing air ferry network. This included new car ferry services between Southampton (Eastleigh) and Cherbourg as well as between Southend (Rochford) and Ostend and a DC-3 passenger service linking Gatwick and Le Touquet. Both of the former commenced in spring 1952, while the latter was inaugurated the following year. As a result, the number of vehicles carried doubled from 5,000 to 10,000 between 1950 and 1952 and quadrupled to 40,000 by the end of the following year. The latter was the consequence of an average 40% fare reduction.
BAS's takeover of Air Kruise, an independent charter and pleasure flight operator based at Lympne, in March 1953 brought a fleet of all-passenger de Havilland Dragon Rapides and Douglas Dakotas. This acquisition resulted in formation of Silver City's "Passenger Division".
In summer 1953, Silver City leased a Breguet Br.763 to participate in the second Little Berlin Airlift on the Hamburg (Fuhlsbüttel) — Berlin (Tempelhof) route. A total of 127 round trips carried 4,000,000 pounds (1,800 t) of freight with up to three round trips being made in a day, each leg taking 52 minutes' flight time.
In 1953, Silver City also took delivery of its first stretched Mark 32 Bristol Superfreighter, the first of six. The Superfreighter's elongated nose enabled it to accommodate three cars or to be fitted with 60 seats in an all-passenger Super Wayfarer configuration. The new Superfreighters joined a fleet of nine standard Mark 21 Freighters. Other freight charter work at this time included flights to the Suez Canal Zone supporting the UK military forces then stationed there.
As operations expanded, the small grass airfield at Lympne became increasingly inadequate. The search for a suitable location to site a new, purpose-built airport began in 1953. Interim moves to Southend and West Malling were followed by final selection of an area covered by grazing land on the edge of the Dungeness shingle desert on the Kentish coast close to the village of Lydd. This site would host Britain's first newly constructed post-war and first privately owned airport. It would feature two runways, a control tower, passenger terminal with a restaurant, maintenance area and petrol station. The new airport — named Ferryfield — opened on 14 July 1954, after six months' work costing £400,000. However, it took almost another two years for the official opening ceremony to be performed at Ferryfield, which occurred on 5 April 1956. On that day, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Ferryfield just before 11.00 am on board the Royal Heron. The occasion marked the Duke's first visit to a private British airline at an all-new, privately owned airport. Following his tour of the airport's facilities, the Duke boarded one of Silver City's scheduled air ferry services to Le Touquet on Superfreighter G-AMWD. During the 19-minute flight, the Duke flew the aircraft at its scheduled en route height of 1,000 ft. The Duke's reception at Le Touquet Airport was followed by an informal lunch hosted in his honour by the president of the French Aero Clubs in the airport restaurant. The Duke then departed, flying the Royal Heron to London Airport.
By 1954, the Silver City cross-Channel network comprised five routes: Gatwick — Le Touquet, Lydd — Le Touquet, Lympne—Calais, Lympne—Ostend and Southampton—Cherbourg.
Following the opening of Ferryfield in mid-1954, Silver City initially split its operations between the new airport and Lympne. For a short while, Le Touquet flights operated from the former while Calais and Ostend services continued to use the latter. The last of 33,000 Silver City flights, which had carried a total of 54,000 cars and 208,000 passengers since 1948, departed Lympne on 3 October. From then on, vehicle ferry services were concentrated at Ferryfield.
Also in 1954, control of Silver City passed to P&O via General Steam Navigation, which had acquired a 70% stake in BAS, the airline's parent company. It was also the year Silver City complemented its Gatwick — Le Touquet all-passenger operation with a vehicle ferry service.
By 1955, Ferryfield handled 250,000 passengers annually. This made it busier than Gatwick.
Also in 1955, Silver City launched its first air ferry services between Scotland and Ireland and its first such service from the Midlands. These linked Stranraer with Belfast and Birmingham with Le Touquet. In addition, the airline opened a new service from Southampton to Deauville.
In 1956, Silver City commenced London—Paris coach-air-coach/rail services via Lydd (Ferryfield) and Le Touquet/Étaples. As Le Touquet Airport was not linked to the French railway network at the time, the journey between the airport and Paris involved an additional change between coach and train at Étaples. DC-3s initially operated these all-passenger services, which were marketed as Silver Arrow in the UK and as Flèche d'argent in France. Silver Arrow/Flèche d'argent was a joint operation between British Railways, Silver City and Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer français (SNCF).
Also in 1957, Silver City completed its one-millionth Channel crossing since its inaugural Lympne — Le Touquet air ferry service took to the air in July 1948.
That year also saw Silver City become involved in supporting the oil industry in Libya, flying geologists and supplying desert camps with a fleet of DC-3s and a single DC-2 from bases at Tripoli and Benghazi. The airline's sole DC-2 was originally operated by Swissair and subsequently sold to new owners in South Africa, who leased it to Silver City.
By 1958, Ferryfield had become one of Britain's three busiest airports. It recorded more aircraft movements during the peak summer months than any other airport in the UK, and only Heathrow and Northolt were busier in terms of annual air freight volume.
That year also marked the conclusion of the first decade of Silver City's air ferry services. During that period, the airline completed 125,000 ferry flights. These carried 215,000 vehicles and 750,000 passengers. At its peak, Silver City operated 222 daily ferry flights across the English Channel, as well as between Scotland and Ireland and to/from the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Cross-Channel flights to France operated between 7.30 am and 11.00 pm. The average fare was £25 per car and £4 per passenger. This was furthermore the time the Air Kruise cross-Channel services, as well as all Dragon Airways, Lancashire Aircraft Corporation and Manx Airlines operations from Newcastle upon Tyne, Blackpool and the Isle of Man were transferred to Silver City's new Northern Division to streamline BAS's fragmented airline operations. It was hoped that these measures would improve BAS's financial performance.
In 1959, Britavia transferred its five-strong Hermes 4A fleet to sister airline Silver City, as a consequence of the loss of a trooping contract to Eagle. The Hermes were based at Manston, from where they operated Silver Arrow all-passenger services to Le Touquet and inclusive tour charters to European destinations until parent company BAS's acquisition by British United Airways (BUA) parent Air Holdings in 1962.
By the end of that decade, Silver City advertised £8 18s day-return fares for its London—Paris Silver Arrow/Flèche d'argent service.
By 1960, Silver City made 40,000 yearly Channel crossings, carrying 90,000 vehicles and 220,000 passengers. During that year, it also moved 135,000 tons of freight across its network. This represented an increase of 35% over the previous year.
In summer 1961, Silver City agreed with rival French air ferry operator Compagnie Air Transport (CAT) for the latter to finance the construction of a two-mile rail spur into Le Touquet Airport from the nearby main line to reduce the travelling time between the airport and Paris by cutting out the coach/rail change at Étaples. In return, Silver City transferred three of its Superfreighters to CAT along with the traffic rights to operate the Ferryfield — Le Touquet and Bournemouth (Hurn) — Cherbourg routes. This arrangement gave CAT a 25% share of the car ferry market between Britain and France.
Having been outbid by Belgium's flag carrier Sabena for the Libyan oil industry support flight contract that year, Silver City's losses became unsustainable. This necessitated the sale of three Superfreighters to CAT for £192,300.
Following growing financial difficulties, Silver City was taken over by BUA parent Air Holdings in 1962. The takeover was officially announced in January of that year. Air Holdings were the owners of Channel Air Bridge, a rival air ferry operator based at Southend in Essex, which operated similar services from Southend to the Continent. The BUA-BAS merger removed BUA's last remaining independent competitor in the air ferry business. The addition of Silver City's 650,000 annual ferry passengers increased the yearly combined total to just under one million, accounting for two thirds of BUA's total passengers. However, the change in ownership failed to staunch the airline's losses. These amounted to £650,000 during the first half of 1962. By the end of the year, the Silver City name ceased to be used as all aircraft had either been repainted in BUA colours or retired.
Despite the poor financial performance, 1962 turned out to be the busiest year in Silver City's 16-year history. During that year,[nb 2] the airline and its French partner CAT carried 96,272 vehicles and 238,748 passengers on 43,064 flights, representing increases of 10%, 6% and 12% compared with 1961.[nb 3] In addition, over 43,000 tonnes of cargo were carried. However, these record-breaking traffic statistics did not alter the fact that the airline's air ferry operation was no longer economically viable. With the advent of new, high-capacity roll-on/roll-off ferries and hovercraft that were faster and more reliable than traditional ferries, competition intensified. Established aircraft manufacturers were not interested in producing reasonably priced replacements for the ageing Bristol Freighters/Superfreighters that were suffering from wing fatigue. The airline's long-standing policy of stimulating the market by continuously reducing fares had resulted in uneconomic yields in the absence of a corresponding reduction in costs. The Hermes fleet had continued in operation serving several UK airports, mainly on inclusive tour flights, with the last example being retired from service in late 1962.
Silver City operated the following aircraft types during its 16-year existence:
- Airspeed AS65 Consul
- Avro 691 Lancastrian 3
- Breguet BR761S Deux-Ponts
- Bristol 170 Mark 2A/21/21E Freighter
- Bristol 170 Mark 32 Freighter (Superfreighter)
- de Havilland DH86 Express
- de Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide
- de Havilland DH90 Dragonfly
- de Havilland DH104 Dove 1/2
- de Havilland DH114 Heron 1B
- Douglas DC-2-115B
- Douglas C-47/47A/B/53D Dakota
- Douglas C-54B Skymaster
- Handley Page HP81 Hermes 4
- Hurel-Dubois HD-34
- Lockheed L-12A Electra Junior
- Lockheed L-18H Lodestar
- Percival P34 Proctor 3
- Vickers Viscount 708
- Westland-Sikorsky WS-51 Dragonfly
Fleet in 1950
In 1950, Silver City operated 16 aircraft.
|Bristol 170 Mark 21/21E Freighter||5|
|Douglas C-54 Skymaster||1|
|de Havilland Dove||3|
|de Havilland Dragonfly||1|
Fleet in 1954
|Bristol 170 Mark 32 Superfreighter||9|
|Bristol 170 Mark 21/21E Freighter||6|
|de Havilland Dove||1|
|de Havilland Dragonfly||1|
|Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior||1|
Fleet in 1958
|Bristol 170 Mark 32 Superfreighter||14|
|Bristol 170 Mark 21/21E Freighter||7|
|de Havilland Heron||2|
|de Havilland Dragon Rapide||1|
|de Havilland Express||1|
|de Havilland Dragonfly||1|
Fleet in 1962
|Handley Page Hermes||4|
|Bristol 170 Mark 32 Superfreighter||10|
|Bristol 170 Mark 21/21E Freighter||5|
|de Havilland Dove||1|
Accidents and incidents
The worst accident in company history occurred on 27 February 1958. Bristol 170 Mark 21E Freighter registration G-AICS operating a charter flight from the Isle of Man to Manchester on behalf of Manx Airlines crashed in bad weather on Winter Hill near Bolton, Lancashire, destroying the aircraft and killing 35 of 39 passengers (all three crew members survived).
The aircraft was chartered by the Isle of Man motor trade to take members to the Exide battery factory in Clifton Junction, and it hit the northeast slope of Winter Hill in thick fog at a height of approximately 1,460 ft and burst into flames, as a result of a navigational error committed by the first officer.
The second fatal accident occurred on 1 November 1961. Bristol 170 Mark 32 Superfreighter registration G-ANWL operating a scheduled service from Cherbourg to Guernsey crashed after losing height during a missed approach to Guernsey Airport, damaging the aircraft beyond repair and killing two out of three crew members (all seven passengers survived).
Having failed to gain height following a power increase to go around, the aircraft struck the ground with its starboard wing and cartwheeled due to a malfunctioning automatic pitch coarsening unit of the starboard propeller.
The non-fatal accident occurred on 19 January 1953. Bristol 170 Mark 21 Freighter registration G-AICM operating a non-scheduled cargo flight from West Berlin crash-landed near Tempelhof Airport as a result of fuel starvation when bad weather at the destination forced it to return to Berlin. Although the accident damaged the aircraft beyond repair, both pilots survived.
Air Holdings, which had retained the rights to the Silver City name following the merger between Silver City and Channel Air Bridge to form British United Air Ferries a decade earlier, resurrected Silver City for a short period during 1973.
The airline's second incarnation was as a specialist livestock carrier transporting cattle between Norwich and Germany. This operation utilised three of five Vickers Vanguards owned by Air Holdings, which had been leased to Invicta International Airlines. That airline's failure to pay for the leases had resulted in Air Holdings repossessing the aircraft and starting its own air freight operation.
Air Holdings' lack of success with its German cattle charters led to a decision to put the aircraft up for sale in October and to close down the airline the following month, with the Silver City name being de-activated by the end of the year.
- independent from government-owned corporations
- 1961-62 financial year ending 31 March 1962
- 1960-61 financial year ending 31 March 1961
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- From all quarters, Another air-sea merger, From all quarters, Flight International, 19 February 1954, p. 158
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- Silver City Airways — The Company: Aid to Berlin
- Silver City Airways — The Company: The End of the Adventure
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- Silver City Airways — The Company: The Superfreighter Arrives
- Ferry fares cut again, Civil Aviation, Flight International, 1 January 1954, p. 23
- Duke of Edinburgh with Silver City — First Visit to a British Private Airline, Flight International, 13 April 1956, p. 409
- High Risk: The Politics of the Air, Thomson, A., Sidgwick and Jackson, London, 1990, p. 74
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, pp. 40, 42/3, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- Silver City Airways — The Company: A New Home
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, p. 43, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- Silver City Airways — The Company: A Year of Change
- Fly me, I'm Freddie!, Eglin, R. and Ritchie, B., Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1980, p. 75
- A Bigger British United, Air Commerce, Flight International, 1 February 1962, p. 158
- A Bigger British United, Air Commerce ..., Flight International, 1 February 1962, p. 159
- Silver City Airways — The Company: Onwards and Upwards
- News Report — Government blocks plans, South East Business, May 2010, p. 13
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, pp. 40, 42 Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, p. 40, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- Aeroplane — Matters of moment: B.U.A. Link with Silver City, Vol. 102, No. 2623, p. 8, Temple Press, London, 25 January 1962
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, pp. 42/3, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
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- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, pp. 40/1, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- The ATL-98 Carvair: A Comprehensive History of the Aircraft and All 21 Airframes — 1: Corporate History - Channel Air Bridge, Dean, W.P. and O'Callaghan, M., McFarland & Co., Jefferson, N.C., USA, 2008, pp. 19, 35
- The ATL-98 Carvair: A Comprehensive History of the Aircraft and All 21 Airframes — Part I: Getting off the ground, Dean, W.P. and O'Callaghan, M., McFarland & Co., Jefferson, N.C., USA, 2008, p. 12
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, pp. 40, 44, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- Bristol 170 Mk IIA G-AHJC on the Berlin Airlift (photo)
- Fleet List 4 - Société Commerciale Aérienne du Littoral (SCAL) and Compagnie Air Transport (CAT)
- Airliner Classics (Silver City Airways ... Scheduled Services), p. 90, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, July 2013
- From September 19th Silver City Airways ..., Brevities ..., Flight International, 31 August 1950, p. 251
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten ... SILVER CITY), Vol 43, No 3, pp. 40—43, Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, January 2010
- Silver City Airways — The Company: Silver City Looks East
- Silver City Airways — The Company: The Air Ferry Emerges
- Air Kruise Douglas Dragon Rapide (photo)
- Air Kruise Douglas Dakota G-ANLF (photo)
- Hirst, Mike (2009). "Double-Decker Déja-vu". Aeroplane (December 2009): pp. 72–76.
- Bristol Superfreighter in its Silver City delivery colours (photo)
- Lympne Airport in 1953 (photo)
- Ferryfield operational in 1954 (aerial view)
- Flight International, 3 May 1957, World Airline Directory ... British private-enterprise operators ... Britavia (British Aviation Services Group), p. 590
- World Airline Directory ..., Flight International, 18 April 1958, p. 527
- The ATL-98 Carvair: A Comprehensive History of the Aircraft and All 21 Airframes — 1: Corporate History - Air Holdings, Dean, W.P. and O'Callaghan, M., McFarland & Co., Jefferson, N.C., USA, 2008, p. 15
- British United Air Ferries, Air Commerce, Flight International, 26 July 1962, p. 117
- Golden Gatwick — 50 Years of Aviation, Chapter 9
- Aeroplane — World Transport Affairs ...: Silver City Airways has a busy year, Vol. 103, No. 2637, p. 14, Temple Press, London, 3 May 1962
- Fleet List 3 - Silver City Airways Ltd
- Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United Kingdom > Silver City Airways
- Aviation Safety Network > ASN Aviation Safety Database > Operator index > United Kingdom > Manx Airlines
- ASN Aircraft accident description Bristol 170 Freighter Mark 21E G-AICS — Winter Hill, UK
- Survivors relive Winter Hill crash horror, Lancashire, Bolton Evening News, 1 January 2005
- ASN Aircraft accident description Bristol 170 Superfreighter Mark 32 G-ANWL — Les Prevosts, Guernsey, Channel Islands
- ASN Aircraft accident description Bristol 170 Freighter Mark 21 G-AICM — near Berlin Tempelhof, Germany
- The ATL-98 Carvair: A Comprehensive History of the Aircraft and All 21 Airframes — Part I: Getting off the ground, Dean, W.P. and O'Callaghan, M., McFarland & Co., Jefferson, N.C., USA, 2008, p. 14
- AeroTransport Data Bank — Profile for: Silver City Airways
- Merton Jones, A. (1976). British Independent Airlines since 1946, Volume One. UK: Merseyside Aviation Society & LAAS International ISBN 0-902420-07-0.
- British Civil Aircraft since 1919, Volume 1, A.J. Jackson, Putnam, London, 1973, ISBN 0-370-10006-9
- The Bristol 170 Freighter, Air-Britain, Tonbridge, 1977, ISBN 0-85130-054-5
- Eglin, Roger, and Ritchie, Berry (1980). Fly me, I'm Freddie. London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-77746-7.
- Air Commodore "Taffy" Powell (1982). Ferryman (1st ed.). Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife.
- Dean, W.P., and O'Callaghan, M. (2008 [2nd printing]). The ATL-98 Carvair: A Comprehensive History of the Aircraft and All 21 Airframes (1: Corporate History - Silver City, pp. 11/2). Jefferson, N.C., USA: McFarland & Co. ISBN 978-0-7864-3670-5.
- Morrin, Stephen R. (2005). The Devil Casts His Net: The Winter Hill Air Disaster. Stockport, UK: Stephen R. Morrin. ISBN 0-9534503-1-7.
- Flight International. Sutton, UK: Reed Business Information. ISSN 0015-3710. (various backdated issues relating to Silver City Airways, 1946–1962)
- Aircraft (Gone but not forgotten: British Island Airways). Hersham, UK: Ian Allen Publishing. January 2012. pp. 66–70. ISSN 2041-2150. (Aircraft online)
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