Leyland Olympian Double-Decker bus Fairford 2007
This Leyland Olympian was seen at the Royal Air Tattoo in Fairford. This bus was used to transport people from one side of the airfield to another.
The Leyland Olympian was a double-decker bus built by British Leyland/Leyland Bus in the United Kingdom from 1980 to 1993.
The Olympian was built as a result of the Leyland Titan (B15), an integral double deck bus which was ordered en masse by London Transport. At the time there was a demand for non-integral vehicles; operators wishing to remain with more established manufacturers. Thus Leyland created the B45 project, which was named Olympian, in 1979. This was in many ways an update of the popular Bristol VR (Bristol Commercial Vehicles merged with Leyland in 1965), with many VR customers choosing Olympians. Later the Olympian also replaced the Leyland Atlantean.
It was available in 2 lengths, with wheelbases of 4.95m and 5.64m, giving total lengths of 9.56m and 10.25m. Engines were either the Leyland TL11 unit (an 11.1-litre development of the Leyland O.680), or the ever-popular Gardner 6LXB or 6LXCT. Some later Olympians had Cummins L10 engines. One even had a 5LXCT.
For the export market a tri-axle version was built with lengths of 10.4m, 11m and 12m, which was very popular with operators such as Kowloon Motor Bus. Leyland developed the air-conditioned version of Olympian later in 1988, with its air-conditioner driven by the main engine, not a separate engine.
Alexander constructed the bodies for the majority of tri-axle and air-conditioned Olympians.
In 1988 Leyland Bus passed to Volvo, who continued only the Olympian due to its vast number of outstanding orders. 200 air-conditioned Olympians for Singapore Bus Services were the last order of buses to be manufactured under the 'Leyland' brand. The completion of these orders saw the discontinuation of the Leyland Olympian and the closure of the manufacturing plant in Workington, England. The name would live on when Volvo launched the Volvo Olympian, which was built in Irvine, Scotland.
Picture added on 28 December 2007