Length: 31ft 8in / 9.7m
Height: 14ft 6in / 4.4m
Wing Span: Width: 8ft 2in / 2.5m
Service Ceiling: N/A
Max Speed: 70mph / 110kmh
Max Weight: 20,570lbs / 9,331kgs
Seating Capacity: 74 Passengers seated plus 5 standing
Engines: Gardner 8.4 ltr diesel
Our Double-Decker Bus
The Air Leyland Fleetline FE30 GRU162V (c/n 79022324)double-decker bus was built by Leyland at their Farington factory and delivered to Bournemouth Corporation in April 1980, joining their Yellow Buses Fleet as No 162. It was fitted with bodywork by Walter Alexander & Co, Falkirk and used a Gardner diesel engine. GRU162V served most of the Corporation’s routes around the Bournemouth. It was sold in 2000 to Thamesdown Transport of Swindon as a ‘Student Bus’ retaining its Yellow-Buses paint scheme. In 2005 it was sold to a private collector.
It arrived at the Bournemouth Aviation Museum in February 2009 with Thamesdown titles, but still retaining its Yellow Buses destination blinds. Although not associated with aviation, the Fleetline has proved a popular attraction in the Museum, providing an excellent view for visitors across the airport from its top deck. It is now available for birthday parties as it has an upstairs capacity of thirty-two with seating and tables.
The Fleetline was designed and built by Daimler Motors at their Coventry factory from 1961, which at the time was the major supplier of buses in the country. Daimler became part of British Leyland in 1968, although the buses initially retained their Daimler name. However, in 1973 production moved north to British Leyland’s Farington factory and the buses were produced as Leyland Fleetlines. Production ended in 1981, with over 6,000 produced, so the museum’s example is a late production version. The original Fleetlines were powered by a rear mounted 8.4 litre Gardner 6LW diesel engine, but with the takeover by British Leyland a Leyland engine was also offered. Early Fleetline users were Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Birmingham Corporation and Midland Red. Large numbers were purchased by London Transport and used in service from 1971 to 1979. The type was also exported to Hong Kong for use by China Motor Bus and Kowloon Motor Bus. In later years Fleetlines found a ready second-hand market in the UK.