Bristol Freighters from 1981

2 ex New Zealand Airforce Bristol Freighters – B170 /Mk 31 were purchased in 1981 and ferried to the UK for overhaul before entering service. They were operated by Instone Air Line from its Stansted base carrying racehorses to France, Ireland, Germany and Italy. The company also operated scheduled freighter services from Lydd to Rotterdam and Beauvais.

The aircraft were highly successful carrying Europe’s top racehorses for several years before eventually being sold by Instone Air Line and unfortunately eventually meeting rather ignominious ends.


G-BISU was sold to a Canadian company and was used to support mining operations.
It was later bought by a UK based consortium and returned to the UK in 1994. Unfortunately it met an untimely end, crashing whilst taking off on its way to an airshow in July 1996. Although the aircraft was written off, luckily no one was seriously injured.

G-AMLK was also sold to the same Canadian company and was used until being withdrawn from service in 2000 by Hawk Air. It was ferried to Reynolds Alberta Museum in September 2004 where it awaits restoration.

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