Stored at Fairbanks, 2003
Fairbanks IAP is obviously less busy than Anchorage's "Ted Stevens" IAP, but not in terms of movements for propliners. I saw more Douglas transports and Convairs flying than I had seen at Anchorage. But a lot of these legendary transports have been stored here too, awaiting better times or kept for spares. Some were even bought and flown over, just to make use of their engines.
C-118A N12347 (44071/401) had been reported stored here too, without engines/tail/outer wing panels, but it has been sold this summer to someone .... who is going to build a house of it, some 20-30 miles outside Fairbanks ! I hope he'll survive -50 F temperatures during the winter !!
Good thing I had it on film in 1995
and on that page you'll find a 1991 photo as well.
Here are photos from its move to an off-airport location
You'l find a Winter 2017 update on my Off-Airport North America
Former Conair Aviation (of Abbotsford, B.C.) airtanker '49' has found a resting place in Everts' yard.
This Douglas DC6-B (cn 45179/ ln 865) was delivered as N93124 to Western Air Lines on 05sep57. Douglas took it back and had it registered 65-12816. It was converted by Pacific Airmotive from a passenger DC-6A to a cargo DC-6A/B in 1966 and sold that year to the Chilean Air Force as FAC985.
It returned to the USA as N864TA for Atlas Aircaft Corporation in Feb82, to be sold to Conair Aviation 2 months later and reregistered C-GJKT.
By 30sep96 it had 26.441,0 hrs 'true air time' on the airframe.
It was purchased on 13sep00 Air Cargo by Express/Tatonduk Outfitters (rereg'd N60759) and moved further up north, to Alaska. ACE was renamed Everts Air Cargo on 01Sep02.
N60759 has never participated in the commercial activities of Everts Air Cargo, but there is always hope.
Three in a row... We see here Convairs N2409R (C-131F, cn303), N9767Y (C-131F, cn 288) and Douglas DC-6A N615SE (cn43296).
After days of rain we were lucky to get some sunshine today (31Jul03), though the dark clouds kept threatening. Because of the raindelay we had to do this visit more or less on the run, later that afternoon we still had a good distance to cover. A next time I hope to be able to spend more time with Everts Air Cargo & Everts Air Fuel.
Former US Navy transport, Convair C-131F N9767Y was bought by Everts for the engines: they fit on the Douglas DC-6 they operate. There is no intention to operate with Convairs as yet, though as a future project conversions to the larger CV5800 will be considered .|
It was delivered to the US Navy in 1955 and it served the military until 1980, when it was stored in the desert of Arizona. The inactivity lasted for almost 20 years: in 1999 Clifford R. Everts bought it, had it brought to airworthiness sufficiently to get it flown to Fairbanks... where it lost its engines !
N2409R is also a former US Navy transport: 141020, delivered on 17Apr56 and stored at Davis-Monthan AFB,AZ in Feb83. Everts had this one registered to his name on 03Mar99. Hopefully the market will develop as such to warrant a conversion to the CV5800.
Everts Air Fuel operates several of these Curtiss Commandos and this one has seen most of its parts been used the others to keep them flying.
In 1995 I had seen this Curtiss C-46D (cn 22318) too, though the storage area was in another part of Fairbanks IAP by then. Everts headquarters moved when this Reeve Airways property became available and they moved their piggy bank of spare parts with them. Have a look at N54584 in 1995. My hopes in those days of a restoration project on this C-46 seem unrealistic.
This "Commando" was delivered was delivered right after WW2, in Jun45, to the US Army Air Force as 44-78495. In 1955 it was transferred to the Japanese Self Defense Air Force and registered 51-1114. At some point it was stored at Miho Air Force Base and sold at an auction in 1978. Through Wayne Craft and United Commercial Sales it moved to Alaska, registered N54584 for Alaska Rental & Sales Inc. This was probably owned by Cliff Everts as FAA records show his name as the owner since 28Jul78.
Another shot of N54584, to show its sad state of this once proud bird.
The colourscheme is still easily identified as that which was worn during its service with the Japanese. It still carries "14" (as in 51-1114) on the nose. |
In the background one can see N4860V, in no better state.
Hardly worth to keep around, one would say...
Curtiss Commando C-46A N4860V (cn30240) in no better state than seen in 1995, I would say.
Interior Airways was the airlift contractor, flying DC-4s and DC-3s from and to Fairbanks, for the DEW-line construction. The aircraft also has "Fairbanks Air"-titles rougly painted on, that name is not familiar to me. The colourscheme dates from its service with Nordair.
Interior Airways begat (1972) Alaska International Air (flying Hercules 4-engined transports) and by merger with Great Northern Airlines became Mark Air (1984). Jim Magoffin, who founded Interior Airways in 1946, wrote a book about his life in aviation: 'Triumph over Turbulence' and is an excellent source to read about these airlines and aviation in Alaska.
Curtiss C-46F N801FA (cn 22600) is another ex/Nordair aircraft. But this one led a more varied life:
Delivered to the USAAF as 44-78777 in Sep45. It was reregistered as N1874C for use by the US Justice Dept, California, in 1955. It crossed the border as CF-NAO for Nordair in 1966. This did not last long as N1874C became its new tailnumber for owner F.W. Rhea of Hialeah,FL (feb70). Maybe it was purely an investment as a few months later, april, Rich International took ownership.
Aircraft Modifications Inc of Miami,FL modified it in Jun70 to a "Super C-46". While this was going on, it was reregistered as N12500 and Rich Int'l seems to have no further business with it. Because after the modifications it was leased to Nordair again, as CF-NAU this time, as from 23jun72.
The 'Commando' was bought by Fairbanks Air Service of Alaska on 17May74, operated by Great Northern Airlines during 1976 and again purchased by Coffee Point Fish Company in Jun78. The smell of fish must have been no problem for Atorie Air Inc., as they bought it in Apr84. Maybe they hauled fish as well, as that was big business those days, getting the freshly caught fish 'asap' to the factories.
Scoben Investments took it over from Atorie Air in Oct85 and Cliff Everts bought it in Apr89, for use of its parts.
Marty Hall of Everts offered me a fine euphemism for these 'wrecks': organ donors!
In May 2017 Tom Singfield showed me a photo of N1837M 'Hot Stuff' with the port wing of former CF-NAU: faded registration still showing! On the photo above we see that wing missing so that replacement must have taken place prior 2003. Full details on Photos by Friends & Guests - 49!
My Alaska 1995 page has a 2009 round up of C-46s in Alaska.
This Six (DC-6B, cn45066/696) has vague markings 5U-AAF on the fuselage, making it N4390X.
It was delivered with tailnumber N93115 to Western Air Lines on 26jun56. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation bought it on 06oct61 (probably in some exchange deal with Western AL).
It left for Europe to become CA+035 with the West German Air Force (bought in Jan62), was reserialled CA+022 during May63 and again reserialled 13+04 during 1967. It returned to civil service as 5U-AAF with Air Niger in May69.
After years in Africa, it returned to Europe, this time as F-ZBAD with the Securité Civile (coded '62') in Jun80 and was found stored, 'without further use' in Marseilles, France in 1990.
Everts Air Fuel bought it in Dec92, hauled it up to Alaska, reregistered it as N4390X and stored it again at Fairbanks.
My FAIRBANKS 2012 page shows it moved to elsewhere on the airport
Douglas DC-6BF N28CA (c/n 45321/934) I had seen in 1995 at Palmer,AK still operational and now this !
Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd of Fairbanks,AK took ownership upon the demise of Woods Air and registered it to its name on 25Sep01. Tatonduk does business as Air Cargo Express, which changed its name into Everts Air Cargo in Sep02.
I have another shot of this aircraft on Check Six
It is supposed to be transferred into an instrument and procedures trainer, but as yet the cockpit looked very incomplete.
C-119G N8504Z (cn11253) of Everts Air Fuel, Fairbanks,AK. Reported in flying condition in 1994, it seems it really did not do much flying. Further reports always refered to it as "stored". As it was in 1995, it has "Know Fear"-titles on the forward fuselage. Information on its (active) past would be welcome.
Upon my JUNE 2012 visit I found it still sitting in the donoryard
This Douglas transport (DC-6B cn43274) started its life with the Swiss: as HB-IBA it was named "Zurich" when it operated for Swissair after its delivery on 24Jun51; was renamed 'Schaffhausen" in 1960.
Here is a 1956 (presumably) photo of HB-IBA, made by Terence Goodrich.
It was bought by Danish operator Sterling Airways on 23Aug62 and its service there lasted until Apr73, having operated on leases for Trollair and United Nations as well. During this time its tailnumber was OY-EAO.
In April 1973 it was bought by Concare Aircraft Leasing and registered as N515AO, shortly after (16Apr73) to be reregistered N515EA. Seminole Aviation did not lease it, but bought it in June that year. Three years later, in january, it was taken over by Sis-Q Flying Service and registered N999SQ and begat its "51" tanker number. Almost 10 years later, May 1985, it was bought by Macavia Int'l Corporation.
Thus came the 1990s and in Feb91 T&G Aviation bought it, but T&G seems to have had little use for it, as it was stored at Chandler,AZ. Next Pacific Harbor Capital invested in it, Feb93, and sold it on to Barron Thomas Aviation in Nov93. By then it was Everts turn and he bought it Feb94, where it again found itself stored, as to this very day, at Fairbanks,AK.
It did go airborne again, in a way, as it found its way to a rooftop of a shop..!
Read more HERE
I photographed it in June 2012
This DC-6 (cn43004, line nbr 40) was added to Everts' Air Fuel fleet in Feb94 and was banned to the storage yard from day 1 too.
Marty Hall pointed out to me that if it ever get the engines back, it would become the oldest existing operable DC-6 in the world...
It could happen!
It started life on 13Jun47 with its delivery to United Airlines as N37515; it proudly flew the skies as 'Mainliner Rhode Island' until the 1960s. On 03Oct68 it was bought by Mars Aviation, but it was repossessed by UAL in december that year. The next owner was Frank V Amaral (25Feb69). This did not last long either: Florida Aircraft Leasing bought it in 1970 and sold it in Feb72 to Rosenbalm Aviation Inc.
Sis-Q Flying bought this DC-6 on 28Jan74 and had it registered as N666SQ, applying tanker number "47". Macavia Int'l Corporation bought it May85 but its airtanker days seemed to be over when it was stored at some point at Santa Rosa,CA.
T&G Aviation bought it in Feb91, but I don't know if it flew on any contract. Anyway, T&G sold it to Pacific Harbor Capitol (you see the same history developing as N999SQ) in Feb93, which sold it on to Barron Thomas Aviation in Nov93.
Everts bought it together with N999SQ. It seems in remarkable condition, judging from the exterior.
Ralph M. Pettersen wrote on the Classic-Propliners (Yahoo) forum an update in Aug.2009:
"I visited Everts in Fairbanks last week and asked about DC-6 N666SQ.
Apparently there was no way for Everts to make money flying the 'Baby
DC-6'. It couldn't haul the loads that the larger DC-6A/DC-B/C-118 are
capable of hauling and the cabin was too short for many of the loads.
There was an attempt to get the CAF and other organizations to take her
because she would have been the oldest operating DC-6 in the world. In
the end, Rob Everts donated the aircraft to the Vietnam Veterans
Motorcycle Club for their clubhouse in North Pole, AK."
For the time N666SQ was moved to Everts' storage on Dale Road. See photos on Flickr.com
More on its 'where and how' see my page June 2012 FAIRBANKS
In April 2018 Dakota Sharpe sent me a photo of N666SQ having moved into the town of Fairbanks: LINK It has the latest on its 2019 location.
Another "Six"; DC-6A N615SE (cn 43296/200) or what remains of it...|
Delivered in Sep51 as N90807 to Slick Airways ("Miss Judy"), it was bought 2 years later by Japan Air Lines and registered as JA6201, named "City of Tokyo". It was reportedly leased shortly by Transavia Airlines in the Netherlands, with registration PH-TRI, during aug68; the owner by then would have been the Onyx Corporation and it was operated in JAL colors. This lasted only for 2 months. Germanair purchased it in Sep68 and assigned D-ABAZ to it; in Jan70 it was parked and stored at Basle, Switzerland.
It was managed from Jan71 to Jul71 by Transportflug (other sources speak of Apr69). In 1971 Elbeflug took ownership but it was repossessed by Jet Aviation in Nov71.
A Suisse registration, HB-IBW, was assigned to it for Jet Aviation on 23Dec71.
As such it operated relief flights for the Int'l Red Cross in Feb72. It went back to the US for a new owner, Span East Airlines, in 1973 and N615SE became its tailnumber; it operated for Guyana Airways on a lease then. This was made official with registration 8R-GEC for Guyana Aws on 24Mar74, but was returned to Span East 31Jul76.
A period of inactivity started when it was parked at Miami,FL in 1976 until N615SE became property of Jerold Fever 22May78. F.A.Conner took it over a few days later. This did not last long as Trans Continental Airlines bought it on 16Oct78, which seems to have lasted until 1992.
Airtrust Ltd purchased N613SE Jan93, by which time it was reported stored at Detroit-Willow Run (YIP). It moved north where it was reported at Fairbanks on 28jun98.
It had been registered on 10apr98 to Tatonduk Outfitters Ltd (dba Air Cargo Express, which changed to Everts Air Cargo in Sep02). Again, it was not for any commercial duties, but to support the fleet by its parts.
N9148F is a Douglas C-118A (US Air Force variant of the DC-6A), with construction number 44669 and linenumber 636.|
It served the USAF from its delivery on 26Nov55 until it was stored in the desert of Davis Monthan AFB, in Arizona in Feb75. It's militairy serial was 53-3298.
Everts Air Fuel bought it in Nov95 and leased it to Air Cargo Express (Everts Air Cargo as from 01Sep02) from Jul00 until Dec00. But it probably has been inactive and stored all the time as it still carries "United States Air Force"-titles and military roundels, I don't see it having delivered cargo around Alaska like this.
And with the engines and many parts removed I doubt whether it will ever taxi to the runway again.
Still very much in the same state I found in JUNE 2012 FAIRBANKS
Always nice to find an aircraft with a CIA past....|
This Curtiss C-46F Commando is a fairly recent addition; N23AC was bought in Sep02 by Tatonduk Outfitters (doing business as Everts Air Cargo).
This airframe with construction no. 22451 started life as 44-78628 on 21Jul45 and was sent by the US Army Air Force to South East Asia where, thru a lend-lease deal, it went to China. The XT-... number is still a mystery and it probably flew with China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC).
It remained in Asia where it joined the fleet of Civil Air Transport (CAT, founded by General Chennault in 1946) in Dec49 as N8369; at some point its registration was altered to B-850. After this it served with Air Asia. In July, 1950 CAT became under the control of the American Airdale Corporation, which was a CIA holding company. In Oct57 the American Airdale Corporation changed its name to the Pacific Corporation to hide its CIA involvement in CAT. The Pacific Corporation became the holding company for Air Asia Company.
B-850 found its way to South America in 1960, where it was reregistered as HP-316 for Hermanos Sebastian y Gomez SA. But this was cancelled on 09Mar61 and was reported as "repossessed"; by whom: the CIA ? Possibly, as it flew as '857' in the Bay of Pigs operation in Sep61, carrying a small Fuerza Aérea Guatemalteca insignia.
From there it went, as N74811, to Southern Air Transport (another CIA company) on 14Sep61. Intermountain Aviation Inc, another CIA flying operation, based in Marana,AZ became the new owner on 11Jul69. In 1976 CIA folded its commercial airline operations. Here
is a good article about that: 1988 article from "The Oregonian".
Rosenbalm Aviation Inc of Medford,OR became the new owner (lend-purchase deal) on 24Nov73, who sold (again, lend-purchase deal) it to Int'l Airlines Academy Inc at Ypsilanti,MI on 02Sep75 and a few months later, Feb76, Trans Continental Airlines became the new operator. F A Conner bought it on 11Aug78 as an intermediate as it was registered that same date to Cryderman Air Services, "dba" Century Airlines.
It was sold to Air-Tram Leasing Inc of, Bossier City, LA on 31 August 84, registered on 25Oct84; then sold to American Airfreight Company Inc in July 85; rereg'd N777AF in November 85 and again sold to Military Aircraft Restoration of Anaheim, CA on 29 March 90.
Time to get commercial again: Erickson Aircrane bought it on 06Apr95 to haul large helicopter parts and it was registered on 13Jul95, to be rereg'd N18AC in Oct95; ownership was revised on 26Feb97 in name of Erickson Air Crane Co LLC, Central Point,OR. It was reregistered to its present tailnumber N23AC in 15Oct97.
During 2000 it was offered for sale by Airtime Corporation and Everts Air Cargo picked it up 2 years later. Where its fate was to sit in the socalled 'donor yard'.
Fate changed when it was crated end-2016 and shipped to Israel to find new purpose in an educational center. More details on USA 2012 Fairbanks revisited.
These are Everts' stored airframes:
||"Know Fear"-t/t on forward fuselage, in storage yard|
|N60759||Douglas DC-6B||tanker 49, in storage yard|
|N999SQ||Douglas DC-6B||"Macavia", tanker 51, in storage yard|
|N666SQ||Douglas DC-6||"Macavia"-t/t, tanker 47, in storage yard|
|N615SE||Douglas DC-6A||"Trans Continental"-t/t, tailsection removed, in storage yard|
|N28CA||Douglas DC-6BF||nosesection in hangar for instructional purposes, in storage yard|
|N9148F||Douglas C-118A||in storage yard|
|N810CS||Douglas C-118B||ex/131604, +"Trans Continental"-rudder, in storage yard|
||metallic, no markings, in storage yard (ex/N60759, FAI 2012)|
|N9767Y||Convair C-131G||BuNo 141005 USN "Roosevelt RDS", in storage yard|
|N2409R||Convair C-131F||in storage yard|
|N4860V||Curtiss C-46A||ex/Interior Aws (minus tailsection), in storage yard|
|N801FA||Curtiss C-46F||ex/Interior Aws, in storage yard|
|N54584||Curtiss C-46D||ex/JASDF,"14" on nose, in storage yard|
|N23AC||Curtiss C-46F||metallic, no props, in storage yard|
|N1651M||Curtiss C-46F||no.2 engine removed, std nr old Everts Air Fuel hangar|
|N2034L||Convair C-131B||"U.S.Air Force"-c/s, std nr old Everts Air Fuel hangar|
|N9056R||Douglas DC-6B||stored ? nr old Everts Air Fuel hangar|
|N951CE||Douglas C-118A||US Navy c/s, std nr old Everts Air Fuel hangar|
|N3050P||Douglas DC-6A||Conifair t/t + c/s, std nr old Everts Air Fuel hangar|
|N3047V||Douglas C-118A||Conifair t/t + c/s, std nr old Everts Air Fuel hangar|
C-118A N830CS (c/n 43711/357) has also been reported as stored for Everts Air Cargo, but is still located in Arizona; it has been reported
as "on scrapyard near AMARC, as 131608".
Have a look at the recently sold DC-6 N12347 in 1995
These former Conifair 'Sixes' sit at the former ACE ramp as the storage yard seems to be full... Douglas C-118A N3047V (cn 44658/625) is seen here on the left while N3050P (cn 44073/406) sits on the right. They were former C-GBYS and C-GBYB resp. Conifair went bankrupt in Nov.2001.
Initial history starts with the military again: delivered 07Oct55 to the US Air Force as 53-3287. This Douglas C-118A was put in storage in Arizona's boneyard in Sep74. A name pops up which we read in N23AC's history: Cryderman Air Services bought this transport on 12 May76 and subsequently converted it to DC-6A.
I have a page which explains the various DC-6 variants and specifications.
Next N2904F was assigned as tailnumber for K & C Corporation on 25Jan78, which leased it to Mark Air Transport Oct78-Jul79. N656DG was supposed to be the next tailnumber but it was not taken up. Jet Way started a lease in Oct79 and liked it so much, it purchased N2904F in Mar82.
It moved to Canada for Conifair as C-GBYS (sprayer, coded "08") and served there for a long time, until Oct96 when it was stored at Quebec City, QUE. N3047V was bought by Everts 15May02.
Nick M. pointed the following out to me: "C-GBYB featured in the UK television series "Pole to Pole" with Michael Palin. He flies on the plane from Punta Arenas to the Antarctic (Patriot Hills) in the last part of his journey. There are several minutes of the journey on this plane, and the landing on ice is particularly interesting."
Here is an account on the Web: Michael Palin's travels
Everts must have quite a team, succeeding every time in rejuvinating these stored transports back into the air. And now what, to the boneyard again...?
Nicolai Musante wrote me in Dec.2014:
"I just learned that the mentioned Michael Palin TV show is available via Youtube. Perhaps you would like to include these two links to your page about C-GBYB.
The operator seems to be 'Allcair', never heard of them before...?"
This one (cn 43696/328) was delivered to the US Navy as 131593 on 24Mar53; in those days it was designated R6D-1, later to be designated C-118B. The USAF took use of it, 1958 - 1964. It was retired from service in Apr82 and found a parking spot in Davis Monthan's "Military Aircraft Disposition Center" (MASDC).|
N951CE was assigned to it for CE Aviation Resources in May90, which sold it to Everts that same year, in December. But I wouldn't be surprised if CE Aviation Resources has something to do with Cliff Everts, too much of a coincidence.
But it remained in Arizona for a long time, good place to keep it there if you have no immediate need for it. In 2002 work was started on it and it departed Tucson on 12Apr03 for Fairbanks. It is also parked near Everts' old hangar and it's not a pretty sight, is it ?
Even though it looks really smart, this may even have been a greater accomplishment, to get it flying to Fairbanks...|
Convair C-131B (cn263) was delivered as 53-7811 to the USAF in Jun55. It was preserved for display at Kelly AFB, TX with the Kelly Field Heritage Foundation Museum on 28Apr89. And it was there for ages. Eventhough, people of Everts went "outside" and brought it to Fairbanks during 2002 (it had been registered as N2034L to Tatonduk Outfitters on 31Dec01). The Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99W Double Wasp engines seem to fit the DC-6s. But it looks great, doesn't it ? ... while it's still complete.
Mike Land shared the following memories: "That C-131 belonged to the 147th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard in Houston,TX prior to being decommissioned. I was an electrician in that unit and worked on this C-131 many times. The tail flash with the wording Texans was initiated after the unit was successful at William Tell on Tyndall AFB,FL in the early 70s. This is also the unit where Lt. George W. Bush was a member at approximately the same time."
Thanks Mike !
In less than 10 years Air Cargo Express / Everts Air Cargo grew to be a major player in Alaska and this must have hurt Northern Air Cargo's business; while in 1995 I had seen no stored 'Sixes' of NAC at Fairbanks, now I found several. Maybe it has nothing to do with Everts, maybe it has to do with NAC's introduction of Boeing (727) jets; at least these Big Props seem all in shape for restoration some day.
NAC now operates 12 aircraft, including nine DC-6/C-118 aircraft and three 727s. The DC-6s are able to carry 28,000 pounds, while the 727s can carry up to 41,00 pounds.
DC-6B N7919C in the forefront seems perfectly operational, but behind it sits DC-6B/ST "SwingTail" N434TA (44434/515) and that one is stored. N434TA needs a major and costly overhaul and NAC seems to have the capacity for the present market demand. Still, a 'swingtail' has certainly its advantages and hope is not lost for this unique aircraft. By Jan99 it had accumulated 43.362 hrs.
Check N434TA out in 1995, Fairbanks in full operational glory.
In august 2009 Ralph Pettersen wrote this update: "The sole
remaining intact NAC DC-6 parked at NAC's Fairbanks's facility is DC-6B 'Swingtail' N434TA.
NAC has declined to sell it to Everts or the tail
section from swingtail N867TA, which is also stored in Fairbanks by NAC."
UPDATE (FEB.2017): After N434TA had arrived in Hay River in 2013, it was subsequently stored at Hay River for Buffalo Airways; see this Flickr link to a 28May 2016 photo.
N1036F is C-118A c/n 43581/295 and sits forlorn in the weeds.|
The history is rather uneventful: delivered as 51-3834 to the USAF on 09Dec52 and its service life lasted until Dec74, when it was parked among other old tired iron in the desert of Arizona.Robert G Sholton bought it on 12May76 and had it registered as N1036F on 19Apr79. It was transferred to NAC in Jun81.
Robert “Bobby” Sholton and Maurice Carlson founded NAC in 1956. NAC was originally a charter air freight service with two C-82 “Flying Boxcars.” Early work included delivery of generators and vehicles to remote DEW Line sites, miners and settlements; delivery of freight to rural communities on a charter basis; and assistance with special and emergency situations, including the Good Friday Earthquake in 1964.
Sholton died in 1982 . Today, NAC’s board is overseen by Rita Sholton, Sholton’s widow.
N4206L (43709/355) is another former military C-118B, having been delivered to the US Navy as 131606 on 22Apr53. Its service life ended in Dec76 with its retirement to MASDC/AMARC of Davis Monthan AFB,AZ.|
It was registered as N4206L for Mr A.W.McDonnell on 24Mar81, but it was bought by NAC only a few months later, in Jun81. This DC-6 seems to have been stored by NAC since Dec.2000.
NAC is an Alaska owned and operated, privately held company, counts has 240 employees and earned $40 million in revenues in 2000. Its headquarters are in Anchorage at 3900 W. International Road with a second office in Fairbanks at 5385 Airport Road. NAC has 19 contract stations throughout Alaska, including Anchorage and Fairbanks for loading and unloading aircraft. Oil and gas companies have long been customers of NAC.
NAC is still the world’s largest DC-6 operator, but with 4 out of 9 stored, Everts Air Cargo is closing in fast... (Upon my 2006 visit to Anchorage I learned NAC was winding down its propliner operations).
This C-118A (43580/294) was delivered to the USAF as 51-3833 on 11Dec52 and retired for storage at Davis Monthan AFB in 1974. Robert G.Sholton bought it on 12May76, had it registered as N1027N on 19Apr79 and leased it to his company NAC for which ownership was registered in Jun81.
When it was stored at Fairbanks I do not know.
One must consider the 20+ military service and then one can understand that these aircraft need a lot of "tender loving care" to be able to operate under present strict maintenance regulations and costs of these maintenance have to be take in account when business get slow. It's all about making money, no nostalgia is involved, but these "legendary transports" still have what it takes.
A summary of Douglas DC-6 propliners with Northern Air Cargo can be found at: NAC Aug.2003
I found the DC-6 / C-118 designation confusing and Marty Hall (of Everts Air Cargo/Fairbanks, but also the FAA Designated Engineering Representative -DER-) came to the rescue with the following explanation: |
"ex-Navy and Air Force C-118's are not the same as DC-6A's. The Type Certificate says they are "most like" a DC-6A, but not the same.
The Navy R6D became the C-118B which I had to certificate as C-118A's only because the B wasn't listed on the Type certificate.
Of course, there were some Air Force A-models which the Navy operated as B-models, which I certificated as A models. There really wasn't much difference between the two; the A or B designation only meant who was operating the plane (resp. Air Force or Navy). However, going back to the beginning when they were C-118A's and R6D's, there was some difference in radios and passenger comfort items.
Towards the very end of the Navy Reserve operation of originally Air Force operated C-118's, they didn't redesignate them as B's or give a Navy Buno. N351CE (above) is an example of that. It was originally an U.S.A.F. plane that the Navy knew they were only going to operate for less than 2 years, so it flew for the Navy with the A designation and the Air Force serial number! N251CE (below), on the other hand, is the other example. The Navy knew they were going to operate her for a number of years so she got the Navy Buno of 153693 and the B designation...."
Click on the photo to see a nice aerial view of the storage yard at Everts Air made by David Atkinson in 2004 and published on JetPhotos.net.
Douglas DC-3 by J.M.G. Gradidge (Air-Britain, 1984)
Douglas DC-3 Survivors, Vol.2 by Arthur Pearcy (Aston Publications, 1988)
Convairliners by J.M. Gradidge (in coop with John M.Davies, Douglas D.Olson, Dr.John A.Whittle) Air-Britain 1997.
Lockheed Hercules, Production List by Lars Olausson (1954-2004, 21st Edition)
Curtiss C-46 Commando, published by Air-Britain (1978).
Aircraft of Air America, for the history of N23AC
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Created: 21-10-03 Updated: 22-10-07