The ATL-98 Carvair: A Comprehensive History of the Aircraft and All 21 Airframes
The ATL-98 Carvair is a truly unusual aircraft. Converted from 19 C-54 World War II transport planes and two DC-4 airliners into a small fleet of air ferries by Aviation Traders of Southend, England, the Carvair allowed commercial air passengers to accompany their automobiles onboard the aircraft. The planes were dispersed throughout the world, operating for 75 airlines and transporting cars, royalty, rock groups, refugees, whales, rockets, military vehicles, gold, and even nuclear material. After more than 45 years, two Carvairs were in 2008 still in service. This comprehensive history of the ATL-98 Carvair, begins with corporate histories and profiles of key players, including William Patterson, Donald Douglas, and Freddie Laker. Four chapters illustrate the evolution of the car-ferry as a viable aircraft, the history of Aviation Traders, engineering details incorporated into the Carvair’s production, and major Carvair operators. Chapters on each of the fleet’s 21 planes provide individual histories and anecdotes. Seven appendices provide several kinds of data and the book is fully indexed.
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The ATL.98 Carvair... the aircraft that single handedly revolutionised cross-Channel car ferry services between the UK and the Continent for more than a decade. As a former Southend resident and an avid aviation enthusiast, William Dean's book is a breath of fresh air in world of rather lacklustre jet aviation, not to mention a fitting tribute to this ungainly looking beast that so many of us still retain a soft spot for.
An in-depth history of the aircraft and its development is covered in meticulous detail, this being extended further to cover each individual airframe. Indeed, as far as aviation books go, I would most certainly say that this is one of my favourites and one that I am always referring back to time and time again.
DC4 Owners and Operators