Vintage Transports, photos by Friends & Guests (47)

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On a regular basis people sent me photos, to share their enthusiasm for vintage airliners or to illustrate a question. These photos have been lingering in a scrapbook or a discarded box somewhere and/or probably wouldn't find their way to Online-use or publication.
To prevent them from getting lost, with permission of the sender, I like to share them on this page.
Photos already online (personal websites, airliners.net, jetphotos.net, etc) are not meant to be included here.

With the ever growing popularity of Social Media (Flickr, Facebook, Instagram) the barrier has become much lower for people to share their photographs or scans of slides; imperfection to post aviation images is no longer an issue.
I noticed a decline in requests for publication on my website (a decline I welcome, as I struggle with the workflow) on my 'Guest Pages', so now some of these images shared below will be copied from Facebook & Flickr by me. For preservation of their historic value as I see it; always with proper credit to the photographer, of course!

Btw, while I am on social media, picking up on aviation news, I use it mainly for other interests while my website remains my main focus to share my interest in vintage aviation.

 

 

Latest addition to my C-119 Dossier (page 3) is a historic photo sent to me by Gordon Tatro.
C-119 at Logan Airport with damage to rh-engine and -wing.

At some point it seems there were 2 different DC-6s having worn (though only one probably was officially registered) Colombia's registration HK-1776.
Which was which and what happened to them?
One, the original (c/n 45499), is thought to have moved to Mexico (impounded in the early 1990s) and ended with La Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (FAM) as ETP-10025 and put to good use.
The other one, HK-1776(2) is more elusive in terms of pictures, was decorated with tailnumber HK-1776W or HK-1766-W and the 'W' suffix had probably been removed when it made test flights in 1999 and subsequently crashed (damaged beyond repair).
HK-1776(2) LANC

The contributions on my Tangled Histories of HK-1776 and HK-1776W seems to lead to the conclusion that #1 was DC-6 c/n 45499 and #2 crashed in Colombia in 1999 was DC-6 c/n 45220 (ex/N95BL, which was last seen in 1991 and 'vanished'...).

Olivier van Gorp sent me these photos of a Lisunov Li-2, taken on 18Jun2011 at Belgrade airport, Serbia.

Li-2 at Belgrade, preserved (18Jun2011, by Olivier van Gorp)

Li-2 at Belgrade, preserved (18Jun2011, by Olivier van Gorp)
Yugoslav Air Force Li-2 / Li-3, 7011 (c/n 18422308).

The Lisunov Li-2, originally designated PS-84, was a license-built version of the Douglas DC-3. It was produced by Factory #84 in Moscow-Khimki and, after evacuation in 1941, at TAPO in Tashkent. [-Wikipedia]

But this aircraft is often referred to as an Li-3, for the Yugoslav Air Force modified the Li-2 with Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines; however 'Li-2' was never an official designation. And while this YugAF 7011 has been confirmed of having P&W powerplants, some 'Li-3' aircraft were seen equipped with Wright Cyclone engines.

Here is a link to an image on Airliners.net in 2003 and in 2014. The airframe seems to have been repainted at some point for a film shoot. Time and weather brought up a confusing amount of markings as Olivier's photo clearly shows.
And here's a photo on Flickr, in 2013.
I also found a page on Wikipedia on the Belgrade Aviation Museum, including a list of aircraft.

I looked up the location and this is probably now part of the 'Belgrade Aeronautical Museum'; here is a 30Jan2017 screendump from Google Earth:
Belgrade Aeronautical Museum

Neville Webb sent me this nice B&W version of this photo, depicting the remains of Convair RB-36H-25-CF Peacemaker 51-13721; details can be found here NEVILLE WEBB
51-13721
Crash report on ASN

Graham Robson followed up on a thread about the identity of these DC-3 remains on a trailer..

N9663N, all by Graham Robson
This is N9663N; its 2017 location not confirmed ( in the Wings over Miami air museum? EMAIL)

See for more on C-117D N9663N my gallery Searching for Identities...



Graham also sent a series of images of C-123s 54-0661 & 54-0706; see his Gallery on this website for more pics.
C-123 40706
C-123 40661

Received news from Vancouver Island; Dirk Septer wrote me some big DHC-3 parts were noted of an Ethiopian AF Otter.
Other stuff may be in that big blue container...
Ethiopian AF DHC-3 arrived in parts on Vancouver Island

Updates will appear in due course on Dirk's gallery on this website.

The news of C-119 48-0352 being moved recently for preservation from Edwards AFB to the Dover AFB Museum prompted Del Mitchell to send some images he has taken over the years, while 48-0352 was in Edwards' desert storage.
C-119 48-0352, by Del Mitchell
C-119 80352 basking in a glorious sunset at Edwards AFB.
For more on this vintage military transport, as well as a few more photos by Del, visit my C-119 Dossier, page 3.

Phil Brooks did me the leasure of sending these vintage aviation, a sequence of images documenting the arrival of DC-3 'American Flagship' NC17335.

DC-3
Douglas DC-3-178 NC17335 (c/n 1921) on finals into Indianapolis IAP
Phil thought the Vultee V-1 airliner (wikipedia) has former AA markings; the DC-3 certainly has more decorations.
On the left I think I can make out 'NC227'; this website has 2 candidates: a Western Express DH.4B and a WACO ZQC-6 (listed elsewhere as DQC-6).


The timeframe of these photographs is probably 1937 (NC17336 1st flight) - 1948 (damaged beyond repair, Sep.20th)


Phil wrote me: "A friend just gave me these photos, received from the wife of a deceased friend of his. His friend didn’t take the pictures, so the photographer is unknown.
Based on the fact that other photos in this group were at Indianapolis International Airport, and of course visual clues, I can say with some confidence that’s where these three were taken.
This aircraft was delivered in 1937, and damaged beyond repair in 1948, so there’s the date range!
Accident details on h aviation-safety.net.
I will also put them on the Indiana Aviation History Facebook page."

Wayne Stadler published a few months ago a video on YouTube about hiking a trail near Tofino on Vancouver,Island,B.C. to a wrecked Canso Bomber...
Canso Bomber near Tofino on Vancouver island
https://youtu.be/qUz9WiWhQac

I don't know about you, but I find that inspirational, might do that hike myself one day!
More details of this aircraft and the event that lead to this crash can be found on my page Abandoned Wrecks of the North

John H. 'Beechbuzz' posted (jan.2017) on the Beech 18 Yahoo forum the happy news that he was the new owner of N7179C; he attached this image a.o.
Beech AT-11 N7179C, new ownership


John wrote: "I am happy to announce that Fran and I have purchased N7179C from Mr. Pat Carey!
Data tag on tail and registry say it's serial no. 3811, but logs and Army Air Corps tag in nose state it is c/n 900, which is 41-9474." A photo of the serial plate ('AT-11, 41-9474-R, Order no. W535AC15944, date accepted 1-26-42') was also posted.

I checked FAA's N-inquiry page for this Beech AT-11 'Kansan' and found its registry had expired; here is some of the data still there:
Certificate issued 02Aug1993, expired/cancelled 03May2013. The serial no. is given as 3811 and year of manufactury 1943. The name of the reg'd previous owner/operator was Professional Aviation Training Services Inc of Chino,CA.

This website http://aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=31378 showed more of its history:
Ca. 1943 Taken on Strength/Charge with the United States Army Air Force with s/n 41-9474.
10May57 To Don Rich with c/r N7179C.
16Aug57 To Pacific Air Industries, Long Beach CA.
18May59 Modifications for aerial photography installed by Long Beach Airmotive.
06Jan64 To W. Blain Thompson/Thompson Aero Photo, Pacoima CA.
24Oct67 To Teledyne Geotronics Corp, Long Beach CA.
03Jun74 To Preston M. Fleet/Fleet Enterprises.
16Oct75 To Volpar Inc, Van Nuys CA.
24Feb78 Certificate of airworthiness for N7179C (AT-11, 3811) issued.
27Feb78 To Louis O. Hilton, Greenville ME.
1982 - 1994 To Pat Carey, CA. - Markings added: TC-474, 19474.

Gordon Macadie sent me this in the opening days of 2017, he wrote: "I took these images of BuNo. at Prestwick and I hope they are of interest to you.
It was certainly in beautiful condition then and so sad to see it now (see further down this page -Webmaster)."

BuNo. 128427 at Prestwick
BuNo. 128427 at Prestwick, photographed by Gordon Macadie in May1979.

BuNo. 128427 at Prestwick
BuNo. 128427 inbound again at PIK, this time in June 1981.

Cockpit of C-118 128427

"The night shot of the flight deck shows the leather bound control yoke, and something that may not be immediately obvious: the column is actually carpeted!"

In the dec.2016 issue of Scramble magazine I noticed an interesting news bit, and found the mystery very appealing!
A mystery C-47 at Xiaotangshan Air Museum, ex/ Zimbabwe AF
Screendump from wiki.scramble.nl/index.php/File:Xiaotangshan_sep16_C-47.jpg
Mid-2016 this as yet unidentified ex/ Zimbabwe AF C-47 arrived at the Xiaotangshan Air Museum
Alexandre Avrane offered:"This appears to be in the original Zimbabwe camouflage.
Each C-47 was painted differently so all is needed is a pictures gallery for comparison..."


Apparently this C-47 was bought from the Zimbabwe Air Force in an auction in 2011, crated & shipped to Pakistan (!),  continued overland to Bejing / Xiaotangshan & reassembled and "repainting in full swing.."

Found on www.dc-3.co.za/dc-3-in-africa/zimbabwe.html remarked "Seven ex Air Force of Zimbabwe C-47 Dakotas were put up for auction in September 2011.
The aircraft are all located at Manyame Air Base in Harare, Zimbabwe -17° 55' 45.20", +31° 5' 57.52" click on co-ordinates to open in Google Maps."
And "By July 2014 one of the aircraft had been dismantled and taken away. Details unknown."
"There is a derelict DC-3 at Harare c/n 11970, which is ex ZK-AMR United Nations Organisation."

At first I thought ZK-AMR (cn11970; see my website) a candidate, but according to ATDB.aero it was scrapped at HRE.
I also have the following Zimbabwe AF C-47's as candidates:
3700 (cn13164),
3708 (cn33138),
7036 (cn 25939),
7053 (cn 32759),
7134 (cn 26437)
VP-YZB (ZimAF 7303, cn25312),
7313 (cn 32741), <---------------
VP-YZG (ZimAF 3708, cn33184),
3711 (cn 12049),
3712 (cn 9492),
VP-YZD (ZimAF 7053, cn33547)


On 20Oct2017 I received a jubilent email sent by John Austin-Williams!
"I have solved the puzzle of the DC-3 / C-47 at the Xiaotangshan Museum, it is 7313.
Looking at the photo you (this email originally adressed to one David McCartney -RL) sent of the one in the China Museum, Xiaotangshan, I noticed that the top of the nose cone is white. And also the cockpit 'Hamburger Door' is white.
It also does not have the two aerial rails on top of the fuselage. There is also a small round white 'unidentified something' just below the right cockpit window...
And I then suddenly recalled I had seen photos of the 7 aircraft and I’ve found them!
There was an auction website (www.aaauctionszw.com) where the seven were advertised; an individual web page per aircraft.
At the time I had the foresight to save each page! This auction came to my attention on 01Oct2011, six years ago!
I have compiled the 7 pages into one MS Word document attached.
The last aircraft, 7313, has a white top to the nose cone, no aerial rails on the roof and a small white circle below the right side cockpit window.
If you compare the camouflage scheme of 7313 to that of the Datangshan example, one sees that the camo scheme is very close!
In actual fact if you look at the other six aircraft they all have no-descript colour scheme – almost all-over beige/brown colour, whereas 7313 has a distinctly obvious camouflage scheme – green and brown.
See this website here www.top-news.top/news-12325153.html
And see also wiki.scramble.nl/index.php/File:Xiaotangshan_sep16_C-47.jpg
Further more: wiki.scramble.nl/index.php/Xiaotangshan_-_China_Aviation_Museum
To me the photographic evidence is highly convincing!
Click the link below – I believe the aircraft is parked here: GPS 40°11'00.7"N 116°21'35.7"E (40.183533, 116.359912) - www.google.co.za/maps/place/...China+Aviation+Museum
Datangshan - google maps


Location of intended DC-6 restaurant at Aosta,Italy

In the Dec.2016 issue of Scramble magazine I read that here at Aosta (Italy) airport (N45.73960 E7.35765) a resident (dismantled) DC-6 will be restored in a role of restaurant! I post this GE image as a reminder for periodic checks!
The DC-6 concerned would be ex/ Italian AF mm61922 (c/n 43216, line nbr 165) and the person behind this initiative is a local gasstation owner. I hope it works out!

On 01Jan17, on Google Maps, I came aross a 'DC-3 sighting' at Mallards Landing,GA.
C-47 at Mallards Landing on Google Maps


A video brought a clue for its identity:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7zzVODdk8o 'C-47 take off at Mallards Landing', but I was corrected in assuming this to be Douglas C-47B c/n 20835, registered as N2805J and operating in a camo livery and coded '43-770 / EN'.

But checking its registry online http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=2805J
we see N2805J reg'd on 30Aug2000 for American Flight Museum, Topeka in Kansas!

Aad van der Voet, Roger Botting and Roy Blewett all chipped in with information:
"There are and were several C-47s dressed up as 'Spooky', coded 'EN', which are often confused!
This one is not N2805J (coded 43-770/EN), but N514AC c/n 26558 (coded 45-927/EN)."
"N514AC was based at Mallard's Landing, Locust Grove, GA in 2012 and 2013, when registered to Southern Cross Aviation. But it was reg'd to Collings Foundation in July 2014 and it is no longer there now!
Collings is based at Stow,MA, but they only keep their smaller planes there."

"When Mr. Hinton was alive he used to park the aircraft outside his home, but after his death it was towed to a remote part of the airfield and parked close to a tree line; 6 to 8 months ago it was still at Mallards Landing, which was the last time I noted the aircraft - but it was not looking so good."

"Earlier photo of N514AC here: www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/000984896.html.  Interestingly, it's been registered to the Collings Foundation since July 2014, but latest Google Earth images of Mallards Landing (dated May 2016) show it's still present."
"As far I as know, N2805J is still with the Combat Air Museum at Forbes Field."
"A new house is being built at its old spot, and they moved the C-47 500m to the west. It's now parked close to the trees at 33.3638N  84.1723W."
"It's at that exact same spot in Aug 2015 and May 2016 imagery (for what those dates are worth), so it seems that it hasn't moved for a while. The last imagery that still shows it in its old spot is dated May 2014, which nicely predates the change to the Collings Foundation (may be coincidence).
I wonder what Bob Collings intends to do with it..?"
N514AC at Mallars Landing,GA

Latest location, Jan.2017 as per Google Earth data, of C-47 N514AC ('45-927/EN').

Btw, since Jan.2017 another vintage plane has found a new home at Mallards Landing: Beech E18S N380 (c/n BA-42).
The plane was manufactured in 1955 and the new owner is Christopher Cross.

Dirk Septer sent me this photograph in Oct.2016 but for the date of the image we have to go back decades, I am assuming something to do with the Biafran Airlift, an international humanitarian relief effort during the period 1967-1970.

DC-6 TF-LLA by Dirk Septer
Douglas DC-6B TF-LLA (c/n 44120), in livery of Transavia Holland (delivered from Loftleidir).
While the image came from Dirk's collection, the photographer was Ron Mak (who helped with the date
& location: 27May1969 at Schiphol-East ramp; ex/ PH-TRD).

Other vintage airliner images by Dirk Septer, HERE..

Ron Mak sent me the scan of his image from the original negative to proof he was the original photographer of
TF-LLA seen above, but he also sent an image of PH-TRD a little while later to complete this change of identity!
DC-6B PH-TRD by Ron Mak (1969)
As one can see the name 'Hanneke' has been removed from the nosewheel doors.

More of Ron Mak's vintage propliners on my website see HERE..

DC-6B msn 44120 had the following career: started with Pan Am as N5120V, at some point leased to National Air Lines, became TF-LLA for Loftleidir, was registered as PH-TRD for Transavia Holland, operated by/for Joint Church Aid, returned to Transavia, was reregistered as TF-AAG for Flughjalp and was supposed to be acquired by Fuerza Aérea del Perú - but this never happened and instead it was scrapped at Lima, Peru (still wearing the TF-AAG tailnumber).

Mario Richard sent me this photo, he wrote: "During my holidays at Gran Canaria this year I saw this fine DC-7C parked at El Berriel Aerodrome (GCLB).
This photo was taken on 01Oct2016.
The aircraft has a long history. It was first delivered to Swissair as HB-IBP in 1958. It is the last built DC-7!
Sold to SAS on 06Jan1962 as SE-CCH.
Afterwards went to JAL as JA6306 and later to Spantax as EC-BBT.
Now in the colors of Binter (sadly..)."

DC-7 EC-BBT at Las Palmas
Douglas DC-7C EC-BBT (c/n 45553) by Mario Richard

DC-7C EC-BBT preserved at Gran Canarias


Jacques Hemet did me the great pleasure of sharing this historic print of a French Ju-52, somewhere in Africa.
French Ju52 by J.Hemet

See the Jacques Hemet gallery of vintage aviation images on my website: PAGE 1 | PAGE 2

Dirk Septer sent me this image recently; he wrote: "It's not too often (any more) that you can get seven DC-3/C-47 aircraft in one shot.
Here is a photograph I took at SJU (Luis Munoz International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico) on 12Apr13.
It shows seven of former Four Star Air Cargo Dakotas waiting disposal after this operator went bankrupt in 2009.
I'm wondering where they all ended up?"

Four Star Cargo DC-3 at San Juan (2007)

Four Star Cargo fleet (2006)

I decided to take up on the challenge!
I scanned the fleet information of JP Airline Fleets 2006/07 (the last printed edition I have, my collection dates back to the 1980s though I really don't know why I hang on top them..?).
While the information offers 6 DC-3's and the photo shows 7, I think it is a good start.
I compared the above tailnumbers with data on ATDB.aero online database and (..) is info from my own database.
  • N131FS cn32920: stored at Riverside,CA-Flabob Airp. (Spares used for N103NA. To become static display in park)
  • N132FS cn25778: scrapped at St.Thomas / Cyril E. King Airport,VI.
  • N133FS cn27202: parted out at San Juan (SJU). Little remained in 2015: airliners.net
  • N135FS cn20063: scrapped @SJU, cockpit section purchased 3-2015 by Mark Bruce and shipped to Berlin,MA.
  • N136FS cn10267: destroyed @SJU, wreck remains (pic on Photos by Friends & Guests p.19)
  • N138FS cn9967: stored at Opa Locka,FL. (Reg'd 13Oct15 Alen Enterprises LLC; =Florida Air Cargo?)

    Since N132FS may have been elsewhere at the time of Dirk's photo, we have another candidate for the above grounded Gooney Birds:
    N783T cn4219: derelict at SJU-The Luis Muñoz Marín IAP. Airliners.net has a 2015 image.
    And no.7 is probably N87T cn6148: scrapped @SJU, cockpit section purchased 3-2015 by Mark Bruce and shipped to Berlin,MA. An image of N87T in 2008 is published on Dirk Septer's page.

    Michael Prophet published on his website an update which includes images of DC-3 cockpits for Mark Bruce.
    Btw, who is Mark R. Bruce and why is he so interested in DC-3s? EMAIL

    See also www.warhistoryonline.com/guest-bloggers/hans-wiesman-wwii-built-dc-3-fleet-in-puerto-rico-soon-to-be-trashed-for-making-soda-cans.html
  •  

    Stored DC-3s at San Juan IAP
    Bird's-eye view of SJU's 'corrosion corner' by Carlos Aleman (2013) on Airliners.net
    And this image also numbers 7 DC-3's, but moved around I think since 2007.

    Dirk Septer's gallery on my website HERE.. and HERE..

    C-47 Biak memorial at RoermondOn 02Jan1961 A Dutch Dakota (079) crashed in the sea in New-Guinea. All five occupants perished.
    Dutch MoD was sparse with information on the circumstances to the relatives, it was recently revealed.
    Recently, 13Nov2016, a plaque commemorating the crew was offically unveiled in Roermond, Netherlands, near the national monument for the Dutch Indies.
    An offcial apology was made during the ceremony for withholding information over the years.


    This news was remarkable also in the light of other news. During the Battle of Java Sea in WWII several Dutch warships were sunk. Very recently initiatives were undertaken to place a memorial with the ships resting on the seabed of which a film was to be made and other initiatives would be connected to this.
    But when divers went down, they found two ships (HMS. De Ruyter & HMS. Java) had completely gone while only a little of no.3 (HMS. Kortenaer) remained.
    The painful thing is that the seaman's graves disturbed and removed forever. This is quite contrary international law.
    All indications point to the wrecks having been salvaged and transported to Surabaya where it was cut up and sold as scrap metal.
    Should we be surprised by this conduct of Indonesia's officialdom?

    Best to keep memorials within own borders where we know the dead will be respected.

    It is always very gratifying in my opinion when I get response to pages made many years ago!
    Bob Anderson wrote me (15Nov16):"I took a picture of a B-17 at Tulare,CA when I was training in KC-135s at Castle AFB, in December 1966. My wife took this photo of me and Boeing B-17 'Preston’s Pride' when we were on our way to L.A., on Christmas leave that month.
    As you can see, at that time 'Preston’s Pride' was surrounded by a chain link fence, very likely the same one mentioned by 'Ron' on your website, USA 2008.
    I am glad to learn that, after nearly fifty years the old B-17 still survives."
    B-17 Preston's Pride at Tulare,CA in 1966 - by Bob Anderson

    While browsing my database (16Nov16) for random updates I came across, while googling, images that served as an update for a Douglas DC-3 (C-47D 43-49403, c/n 26664/15219) wreck near Gustavus, Glacier Bay in Alaska.
    C-47 wreck at Gustavus, Glacier Bay, Alaska

    The plane crash was on the 23Nov1957, four people died, seven survived.
    The photos included following information:'Location: Gustavus,Glacier Bay,Alaska,USA' and 'Date taken: 9th July 2011'.
    Link (for images for sale): www.alamy.com/stock-photo-1957-dc-3-plane-crash-gustavus-glacier-bay-alaska-usa-41261601.html

    Crash report on Aviation Safety Network.


    Interested in more wrecks scattered in the Arctic North? Visit my Abandoned Wrecks of the North

    Chris Spear published this on Facebook, on the WIX page. That is he published an image of this C-118 and another single engine plane, both without identification of type, owner, or location. As is my objection to most items published on social media.
    But I was fascinated by the C-118 and started a search on the internet...
    C-118 427 at Zuehl,TX


    Soon the combination of C-118 and 427 led to BuNo.128427. All online hits had it still located on MCAS Cherry Point, NC - part of a museum that never got off the ground it seems.

    Joe Baugher's website showed a nice detailed history:
    "128427 (MSN 43210) - converted as staff transport, fitted with VIP kit for use of Commander in Chief of Pacific Fleet.  Redesignated R6D-1Z.  Assigned to VR-21, code RZ-427.  Redesignated VC-118B.
    To MASDC as 8C0026 Feb 16, 1982. 
    To civil registry as N427D Sep 9, 1986 to Lan-Dale Co, Reno, NV for exhibition and now on display at NAS Cherry Point, NC 
    Registration N427D cancelled Jul 8, 2013. The museum has not yet been built and the aircraft has not been restored or displayed.  Now derelict and available for sale."
    In general: "Douglas R6D-1 Military version of DC-6A.  Some transferred to USAF to increase airflift capacity between USA and Korea.  Later returned to Navy and USMC.  Survivors in Navy and USMC service redesignated C-118B and VC-118B in 1962."
    www.joebaugher.com/navy_serials/thirdseries14.html

    This website has besides the history also a 2015 'walk through' of the interior, which is quite remarkable:
    www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=49395

    The airstrip 'Zuehl' is the base of someone who goes by the name of Nighthawk and he has more aircraft there, but I am not quite sure what his purpose is, as an investment or is he a collector?
    To think I was so near during my Nov.2015 trip to Texas is quite galling!

    There is probably another, complete, DC-6 there- N578AS (DC-6A c/n 43681): "Seen @Oakland 06Aug95 for shows in old United c/s still owned by Nighthawk Radial Reminiscence Preservation Group; during early'98 intended for film but restoration stopped by then (lack of funding); in Jan97 mix up with 44650 seen Stinson Field,TX; reported 05Mar05 as mostly bare metal in service with Nighthawk (repo as operator); 27Jan07 noted as parked at Marion Zuehl AP,TX."
    Source: www.planelogger.com/Aircraft/Registration/N578AS/632627

    Nighthawk Air Systems also operated N444SQ (DC-6B c/n 45320), of which I have an image on Bill Hill propliners gallery, as SU-ANO of United Arab Airlines. The front section has been preserved in California, see my visit to Western Aerospace Museum in 2008.
    So there is money in it even when broken up and that would perhaps explain N427D's transfer and salvaging at Zuehl.
    Nighthawk Air Systems, if I recall correctly, was operating from Willow Run Airport, MI near Detroit and owned by James 'Jim' P. MacIvor.
    I read this post on WIX forum, dated 04Sep2012: "I can remember Mr. Macivor flying this aircraft into Tamiami Airport (TMB) on occasion. Macivor Field use to be located at his house in Southwest Dade County. No longer on maps. He use to have a Lodestar there at one time. This is the same Macivor with the DC6 located at Zuehl Airport Texas. Believe thats where he calls home today."

    The Facebook thread what got this all started mentioned & identified several other aircraft located at Marion-Zuehl airfield, e.g. Robert Chandler wrote: "I am the former owner of the 1944 Howard DGA-15P , N5553N. I flew it for 25 years. I sold it in 2015 to the owner of NIGHTHAWK, an excellent guy."
    FAA N-inquiry website has N5553N as reg'd to Nighthawk Air Systems Inc of Marion,TX on 15Dec15; msn 978.
    Nigel Hitchman wrote: ".. in the current (13Nov16) Google Earth view, next to this DC-6 are the two Beech C45Hs that are in the background in my photo, N9NK and N9549Z. And also a Grumman Tracker, presumably N31972, also registered to Nighthawk Air Systems; was presumably in the hangar when I visited.
    And also what looks like a Grumman Widgeon or similar, anyone know what this is? [Webmaster: at some point a Percival Pembroke was attributed to James P. MacIvor, perhasp it was moved from Anoka to Zuehl?]

    While googling I came across this post of 128427 in better days:
    C-118 128427
    C-118 128427 (posted) by 'Watson', @Prestwick in 1981.

    Further up this age you will see several images taken and shared by Gordon Macadie, also of visits to PIK - Prestwick.

    Brian Murray noticed the C-119 dossier on my website and contributed this image.
    C-119 234 during 1950s somewhere in Germany
    C-119 234 during 1950s somewhere in Germany

    Brian wrote:"Hi, thought you might be interested in this photo, taken somewhere in Germany late 1950s friend named Lee used to work on maintenance crew on this aircraft."

    Someone steered me to this website, proclaiming a DC-3 was 'recently' found in Siberia with hopes of recovery and perhaps even restoration.
    But I had seen it before, it dates from 2012. As an afterthought I decided to add it here anyway, with a link to the website, as the many images are excellent and this wreck is easily overlooked and even forgotten!
    And then Michael Prophet (Vintage Aviation Pictures) updated me that this C-47 had indeed been airlifted out this year!
    Li-2 Lisunov derelict in the tundra of Siberia
    Douglas C-47, tailnumber 232892 (42-32892, c/n 9118)
    Visit the website for more and larger images.
    The website provided the following details on its history:
    "Using the tail number 232892, 'Live Journal' user 'nordroden' was able to dig up some information on the history of this airframe.

    This Douglas C-47-DL, serial number 42-32892, factory (msn or c/n) 9118 was delivered to the US Air Force on 24Feb1943.
    It was then handed to the Russian's Air Force on 12Mar1943 under the lend-lease programme, where it was given the ID 'USSR-H-328'.
    It was sent to the 7th Arctic Aviation Regiment of the 1st Air Division.

    According to order number OK/071 of 16Apr1943 it was enlisted by the Office of Polar Aviation to conduct ice reconnaissance.
    From 22Oct1943 01Nov1943 it explored the Kara Sea under the command of the pilot, MA Titlova.

    From 3th June to 24Jul1944 it made further sorties from bases in Anderme for further reconnaissance of the Kara Sea.
    In 1945 it was sent to the Chukotka Polar Air Arm where it was given the number A-3072.

    In Vadim Denisov's book 'Неведомый Норильск' (The Unknown Norilsk), he describes the final fate of this aircraft:
    Emergency, Saturday April 13th, 1947 in the area of the river Dudypty, North of the village Volochanka. Failure of the left engine.
    Successfully made a landing and sat for around twenty days, until discovered by the crew of F. Shatrova. 28 people survives, some with minor frostbite on their hands and face (mostly children).
    Commander Tyuikov, airborne radio operator Smirnov and seven passengers were missing - they had gone in search of help in the snowy tundra and never returned
    ..."

    DC-3 232892 in Siberia

    Michael Prophet updated me that this C-47 had indeed been airlifted out recently.
    The above screendump is from Siberiantimes.com
    "'The story is that there were five amnestied prisoners among the passengers. Initially father did not want to take them onboard. And after the landing, they started to get resentful and threatening, demanding a search for help. 
    'So three members of the crew, headed by my father and some passengers, went to search for a settlement.' In truth, they did not know their location. 'My father took the map and the compass,' she said.
    'He left the flare gun to the second pilot, Sergey Anoshko (aged 24) who stayed with the main part of passengers near the plane.' She said: 'When papa's group went out, a blizzard started and did not stop for about ten days.
    So they were lost there.'

    Flight route of C-47 232892; and crash site
    Flight route of C-47 232892; and crash site..

    See also siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/f0248-if-i-can-touch-this-plane-then-my-life-is-not-lived-in-vain/ and even CNN reported on this - how could I have missed! -
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/16/aviation/douglas-c47-salvage-mission-siberia-russia/index.html
    'Wrecked Douglas C-47 brought in from Siberian cold' - By Miquel Ros, for CNN (Updated 14Oct2016)
    "The Douglas C-47 will eventually go on display at the Museum of the Exploration of the Russian North."

    Michael added that he noted American Glen Moss, son of living-propliner-legend, in the photos, playing a role in this rather unique recovery and bringing some expert know-how to the scene. A fine job!

    Juha Kostermaa wrote me in Oct.2016 requesting help in identification and fate of a C-47 on a postcard.
    C-47 postcard

    Juha wrote: "I found a postcard showing C-47 on three poles. The card has been published by the Victory Memorial Museum at Arlon, Belgium."
    Soon followed by: "Meanwhile I found some pieces of information about the C-47 that was mowed to The Wings of Liberation Museum because of terminated operation of The Victory Memoria Museum on 1998.
    I think it must be C-47B, c/n 16371/33119, found from your website!"

    And yes it is. Karl E. Hayes wrote an article on C-47s found at Wings of Liberation Museum, remembering a flight he was on flying one-day-old chickens from France to Marocco on F-BAIF as the above C-47 was then registered.

    My page DC-3s at Best has an extensive history on F-BAIF a.k.a. 'L4/B 2100847' with links to other webpages both on and off my website.

    So while it was damaged and in pieces during roadtransport from the museum to Valkenburg and for 3 years had a function more or less as a 'garden ornament', how did it end up?

    See images by Rob Dragt on www.airnieuws.nl/phregister/488/luchtvaartnieuws.html
    In May 2013 it became known that while this C-47B had served a purpose as a prop outside the theatre (performing 'Soldaat van Oranje') for three years, it would again be used as a prop but this time in a film, titled 'Oorlogsgeheimen' (=War secrets). The film was to be shot in Belgium, in the Ardennes.
    After the filming was completed (by end-2013, I did not follow its release), this veteran may live on as a DC-3 airplane simulator!

    Also a book was written on C-47B c/n 33119, by Suzanne van Leendert!
    This was followed by a documentary (available on dvd), so this vintage warbird lives on, in more ways than one.

    C-47 Broken Dreams
    From: www.vanoschfilms.nl/docs/broken-dreams
    See www.facebook.com/BrokenDreamsDocumentary

    From aviationbookreviews.com/103rd-review-broken-dreams-story-unique-dakota-told-old-lady-suzanne-van-leendert-barry-mccabe on 'Broken Dreams'
    "For the writers of this book, that fatal accident with the C-47 was the starting point for a dive back into history that has produced an extraordinarily beautiful and RolandHansValkenburgoriginal book as well as a documentary. The 120-page book is written in English in an A4 format and brings the history of this particular aircraft back to live in a very nice way. And it is all written in the first person! … told by the old lady herself!
    The book consists of 13 chapters, and an epilogue, in which the C-47 tells her own history. The story starts in a Douglas factory in Oklahoma, where the aircraft was built in 1944."
    ...
    "By 1978 her flying time was limited. However, while parked at Toulouse Airport, a heavy storm in 1981 destroyed her severely, bringing her flying days to an end. The Victory Memorial Museum in Arlon, Belgium took possession of the plane in 1987 and the aircraft remained there until January 30th 2002 – stuck up on a pole alongside the highway. You may well have seen her if you were on a trip from the Netherlands or Belgium to France! The aircraft lay there from 2002 to 2010 but what came next was all over the news! You wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy… or any plane! However, parts of the plane live on in the form of tables and amazingly a DC-3 airplane simulator. The only one of its kind in the entire world!"

    The restoration of the cockpit section is being done by Dutch Dakota Airlines (DDA) and Paul van den Berg provided a status update (03Nov2016):
    "A lot of progress has been made!
    The Sim is totally functioning, although still some tweaks have to be done.
    Prior to the last flying season, all our DDA-pilots have trained (emergency) procedures and IFR flying on it. All were very positive about it. Especially going through all the emergency ‘drills’, like engine fires, emergency landings/evacuations, hydraulic failures, etc.. is very usefull. 

    The Sim is placed under a state of the art 200 deg. visual dome.
    Original intention is/was to fully certify the Sim so that flying hours on the Sim actually ‘count’ as aircraft training hours (like modern Sims) , but that may be not possible due to the complexity of it all. 
    But who knows what the future brings. The thing is still under development and is, as said,  surely a huge aid for procedure training."

    Coert Munk advised me of the website of the firm (Multi Pilot Simulations is located in Groenekan,NL) that has the simulator in use: www.mps.aero/dc_3/recent_posts
    C-47 simulator at MPS
    In 2015 Anne-Cor Groeneveld, founder of DDA Airlines, christened this DC-3 simulator "Prins Bernhard" in a formal ceremony.

    Finding DC-3 N84KB for sale...
    Below screendump, made 03Nov2016, is from Kevin Armstrong's www.neidsproducts.com/page3

    DC-3 N84KB for sale (Corvallis,OR)
    Details on a rather unique DC-3

    The location is Corvallis,OR but more exact details can be found on my page Photos by Friends & Guests (42)

    Phil Brooks forwarded me this KLM vintage flight coupon made 'Animal Attendant Ticket'; see his remark below.
    It is clearly a vintage document as these days an animal attendant will need some form of company identity to be included on ship's documents (e.g. gen dec), a pre-clearance to be allowed to ride the flight (e.g. for APIS), a briefing on flight safety and other procedures on board and some official form of identification to pass though customs and immigrations at all stations, etc.
    Life was much simpler way back when...

    ANimal Attendant ticket KLM

    Animal Attendant air ticket - KLM vintage
    Stamped 23Nov.1953 !


    Phil wrote:"I scanned this from my friend’s widow’s collection.  Dick and Rosmarie met (and later married) on his return trip to the States, on TWA between Rome and Zurich, via Athens. 
    I love how they charged him a fare that was weight-based!  Must have been his body weight plus baggage? 
    He was escorting a shipment of baby chicks to Cairo.  Wonder if their descendants are still clucking?"

    Animal Attendants ride to this day of socalled 'Full Freighters' (cargo only aircraft) and Combis (a dying breed, half cargo and half passengers). The shipment can concern one-day-old chickens, full grown chickens, horses, alpacas, a rhino, pandas or an orca - to name but a few. The animal attendent is there for the well-being of the animals but also to take (possibly drastic) action if an animal cause a danger to the flight.
    It is not unheard of that the flight makes a scheduled stop and unload a sick animal, just like with a serious sick passenger.

    More memories, here shared by Art, whom Phil copied in his message:
    "My name is Arthur (Art) Smit-Roeters.
    I worked as a steward for Garuda Indonesian Airways during 5 years in Indonesia, 1951 - 1956. This was on Catalinas, C-47/DC-3s, Convair 240/340s and a DH Heron (special charter).
    Getting in a 100 flight hours was not uncommon in those days!
    Garuda was on life-support by KLM in the early-1950s.
    In 1960 I moved to the U.S. and I have worked for quite a few airline companies. I treasure the memories!"

    From time to time I dip in the bulk of images sent to me by Richard Nash, images by him but mostly by Bill Hill.
    Here are two but the 27Oct16 update saw 11 images and can be found HERE..

    Vintage images by Bill Hill
    Lockheed L.1049H Super Constellation of Nordair

    DC-4 5H-AAH
    Douglas DC-4-1009 5H-AAH (c/n 42931) operated by Williamson Diamond Mines

    Terry Fletcher shared some of his images of his 2016 Down Under trip: "Two images from my visit on 19th March 2016 to Air Force Museum of New Zealand , Wigram , Christchurch (New Zealand)".

    Aviation museum, Wigram,NZ (A.o.) Avro 626, NZ203 / ZK-APC

     

    Aviation museum, Wigram,New Zealand

    Airspeed Oxford I, PK286 / G-AIKR

    Terry also visited the 'Warbirds over Wanaka' event, which this year was held on 25th, 26th & 27th of March.
    He sent me this remarkable shot of former RCAF Canso A PBY-5A ZK-PBY (c/n CV-357), which went through an extensive restoration overhaul and made its return to the skies only the month before the 'Wanaka air show'.
    PBY-5A ZK-PBY


    From Catalina to Ag Cat...
    This one may be a bit out of context, but of some interest at least if only for the possibility of some flightseeing!

    Grumman G-164A ZK-CAT
    Terry wrote: "One can find ZK-CAT during summers at the remote Pukaki airstrip for scenic flights, and winters it
    is at Ashburton.
    www.redcat.co.nz/Biplane_Flights_Scenic_Flights.html

    The Grumman G-164 Ag Cat is a single-engine biplane agricultural aircraft, developed by Grumman in the 1950s.
    The Ag Cat was the first aircraft specifically designed by a major aircraft company for agricultural aviation.

    At this time, the Grumman G-164 did not have a name. Leroy Grumman suggested "The Grasshopper." However, Dick Reade suggested "Ag-Cat," following Grumman's naming tradition using the suffix "-Cat" in aircraft names (e.g., F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat). Mr. Grumman agreed and the Grumman G-164 became the "Ag-Cat."
    From: Wikipedia, more..


    "In reference to the article by the late Gil White (DC3 ZK-CAW-history), a couple of updated shots (external and internal) of the aircraft as we visited Taupo , North Island , NZ (10Mar2016)!"

    DC-3 McDonald's Restaurant, at Taupo - New Zealand

    DC-3 McDonald's Restaurant, at Taupo - New Zealand

    After enjoying my ice-cream at the McDonalds C-47 at Taupo - we paid a brief visit to Taupo airfield,
    which is a busy skydiving centre.
    Modern Cessna Caravans and PAC 750XL aircraft in use - but Taupo Tandem Skydive still keep GAF Nomad 22C ZK-SNZ c/n 104 ex VH-SNZ stored in reserve for when the modern aircraft are on maintenance.
    Visited on 10th March 2016.

    Nomad ZK-SNZ at Taupo - by Terry Fletcher
    GAF Nomad 22C ZK-SNZ (c/n 104; ex/ VH-SNZ)

    Norman Smith sent me a few 'mystery planes' in Oct.2016, taken June this year at the storage area of Winnipeg's Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada which is at nearby St.Andrews airfield.; some of these mystery planes are shared on #46, some here... Hope you can help out! EMAIL

    Planes stored at St.Andrews
    Republic SeaBee C-..CD
    Terry Fletcher advised this to be CF-FCD c/n 352; www.seabee.info/rc3_352.htm
    The info includes "1981-10-31: Fuselage picked up at Thunder Bay, Ontario, by WCAM
    volunteers Robert W. Arnold and Bruce Emberley for the WCAM."
    Photos on that website also show the photo on top to be the same aircraft, as the one immediately below.

    Planes stored at St.Andrews
    REPUBLIC RC-3 SEABEE CF-FCD (c/n 352)

    Bolingbroke ? At St.Andrews storage
    Pity the number is too faded to make out.

    Bolingbroke at St.Andrews, storage of Winnipeg air museum

    Beech 18 at St.Andrews, stored
    Besides remnants of a Bolingbroke there's this Beech 18..

    Roy Blewett corrected me here fortunately, he wrote "That 'Beech 18' is Lodestar CF-OZO
    Good link to an earlier report from the yard here: https://canavbooks.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/norseman-volume1-manitoba-odyssey-2013/.  Sadly, though, no sign of the ST-27 that used to be present there."

    From that webpage, written by Larry Milberry (famous for his fine CANAV book publishing, even has a page on Wikipedia dedicated to him!) I copied the text:
    "..the famous Canadian Lodestar CF-OZO. In the 1990s this is what I wrote about 'OZO' in Air Transport
    in Canada
    : "Aero Survey Lodestar CF-OZO at Uplands, while serving with Geoterrex. In 1985 it was damaged
    while landing at Nanisivik.
    Later it went by sea to Mulgrave, Nova Scotia, thence to Montreal. It continued up the Great Lakes to Thunder Bay aboard the laker Kingdoc, arriving in November 1986. Finally, a team led by Bob Arnold hauled OZO the 300-odd miles to Gimli to be stored for the WCAM."




    Norman wrote: "Think you should look at the attached photo's as I think there are 3 Seabee's in storage. 2 are just frames. I also think there are at least two Bolingbrokes in the store, could be three..."

    One, not included in the photos above, looked like a Fairchild Canada F-11 Husky, the -out-of-focus registration reads as CF-MAN. See below link to Tim Chaloner's 2014 photos.
    Of the above Seabee (top) the last two etters of the registration are CD (C-..CD).
    Superior Airways has a wiki on Wikipedia, but this wreck may have more to do with the 1940-1981 Superior Aws based in Thunder Bay,Ont. Not sure what type this one is..?

    On the subject of the Bristol 149 Bolingbroke IV, you may want to check out my visit to a rather unique location near Brandon,Man in 2007: HERE..
    And Tim Chaloner also shared images taken at St.Andrews (in 2014) - Photos by Friends & Guests (48).

    www.royalaviationmuseum.com a.k.a. Western Canada Aviation Museum (WCAM)

    X marks the spot of the storage yard; Norman advised the map coördinates as: Lat 50.055057; Lon -97.050601
    Location planes storage at St.Andrews

     

    The Uiver Memorial Community Trust published this on their Facebook page.
    "The DC-2 was towed out of the restoration hangar briefly this week to move stuff inside the hangar & also to re-position the plane when it went back in the hangar after these photos."
    The posting was done on 20Oct2016, no mention of the name of the photographer.
    PH-AJU Uiver in Albury, Australia

    I visited Albury in Australia in 2005 and did a write up about it: HERE... Glad positive action is going on regarding the preservation of this vintage airliner!

    In Oct.2016 I learned that the 'Cosmic Muffin' had changed owner and location, from Ft.Lauderdale to Lakeland,Florida.
    www.planeboats.com

    My search for an update on this unique 'planeboat' brought a find on eBay and a latest sighting in 2012:
    "Cosmic Muffin's "Stratospheric Price! Howard Hughes' 1939 Boeing 307 Stratoliner Private Yacht, once owned by Jimmy Buffett is on Ebay for $9,000,000.00 --- (This ebay auction ended on 25Feb05)
    Posting on 04Jul2012 at 6:33 am "We saw it yesterday from the Jungle Queen boat tour in Fort Lauderdale in a side canal from the New River."
    It's Ft.Lauderdale location, kindly provided by Roy Blewett, was: "..off SW 17th Street in the River Oaks suburb.  It's visible in the latest Google Earth images of the area (dated Jan16) at co-ordinates 26.099917 -80.159517."

    The Cosmic Muffin
    The above images are a compilation of screendumps of a video made by Albert W. Starkweather featuring the ...
    'Cosmic Muffin'!

    The video was published on 29Sep15, The Cosmic Muffin: A Boat Recycled From Howard Hughes’ Plane
    "Dave Drimmer’s Cosmic Muffin, the iconic ‘plane-boat’ made from Howard Hughes’ prized Boeing B-307, has to be the quintessential example of a plane-turned-houseboat.
    Deemed un-flyable in 1969, Howard Hughes’ former ‘flying office’ was rescued from the landfill...."
    Video on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg4WjlPBcFc

    The registration of this Boeing SB-207B Stratoliner, when bought and flown by Howard Hughes, was NC19904 and its construction number (c/n or msn) is 1997.
    Only one other S-307 survives and that one is NC19903, preserved at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center / National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly-Dulles IAP,VA) as 'Clipper Flying Cloud'.


    More from another, more extensive video on YouTube www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg4WjlPBcFc
    Plane turned houseboat, Csmic Muffin

    Dave Drimmer wrote me on 17Oct2016: "The wood hull of the planeboat has been comprimised by termites and wood rot.
    I will not be fixing it and I will be donating her to the FL Air Museum in Lakeland, FL.
    It will be part of their Howard Hughes aviation collection."


    Text from Planeboats.com:
    "While many boats over the years have pridefully claimed to be distinctive and unique, the plane boat can truly be considered an historic one-of-a-kind amalgam of a rare aircraft and novel vessel. This most unusual plane-boat has created its share of interest and amazement over the years and even some car accidents.
    No other watercraft, before or since, has ever been constructed from a land-based airplane, especially one with such a rich legacy as an historic aircraft owned by a true legend, Howard Hughes.
    The craft has been extensively restored by current owner Dave Drimmer and Jeff Gibbs."

    Also from Planeboats.com:
    "The plane-boat started its improbable journey as a Boeing 307 Stratoliner originally owned by industrialist and aviation pioneer Howard Hughes who acquired the plane in 1939 as part of his purchase of TWA. The 307 was the world’s first commercial pressurized aircraft that was a variant of the B-17 Flying Fortress. Only ten were built in the late 1930s as production was discontinued by government order at the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. (One 307 has survived fully intact and has undergone a complete restoration by Boeing in Seattle for its owner, the National Air & Space Museum).

    In 1938, Hughes shattered the around-the-world flight record in a twin-engined Lockheed 14 for which he received a tumultuous hero’s recognition. In an apparent effort to beat his own record he prepared the 307 with extra fuel tanks, but was forced to cancel the attempt with war in Europe. After denying use of the plane to the military, in 1948 Hughes had a new interior built by industrial design pioneer Raymond Loewy, with decor suggestions from Rita Hayworth to become one of the first conversions of a commercial airliner into a plush executive transport.
    Howard Tobard Hughes and Raymond Loewy on Wikipedia.

    The Model 307 Stratoliner was the world’s first high-altitude commercial transport and the first four-engine airliner in scheduled domestic service. With names like Rainbow, Comet, Flying Cloud, and Apache, the Stratoliner set new standards for speed and comfort.
    Its pressurized cabin allowed the airplane to soar above rough weather at an altitude of 20,000 feet — higher than any other transport of its time. Its circular fuselage provided maximum space for the five crew members and 33 passengers. The nearly 12-foot-wide cabin had space for comfortable berths for overnight travelers.
    Boeing built 10 Stratoliners.
    In 1940, the 307s started flying routes to Latin America and from New York to Los Angeles.
    Production stopped at the onset of war, and five were drafted into the Army Transport Command as C-75 military transports.
    Boeing 307 Stratoliner on Wikipedia.

    Now this unique planeboat has move to a new home! Thanks to Roger Soupart for sending me the link:
    Cosmic Muffin planeboat arrives at Lakeland Oct.2016


    The museum wrote: "The Cosmic Muffin, a boat recycled from Howard Hughes Boeing B-307, joined the unique collection of memorabilia at Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum this morning. The plane-boat was purchased in 1981 by Dave Drimmer, and he lived in the boat until 2000. The plane now rests with Howard Hughes’ Personal Aviation Collection, another facet of Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum. Drimmer donated the plane-boat to Aerospace Discovery at the Florida Air Museum and knows his piece of history will be well taken care of in Lakeland,FL."
    The date referred to, as the arrival at Aerospace Discovery, Florida Air Museum, is probably 18Oct2016.

    More Muffin...

    The Boeing SA-307B Stratoliner NC19904 was manufactured in 1939 (FAA N-inquiry). After ownership by Howard Hughes N19904 moved to Texas.

    Glenn McCarthy (1907-1988, see wikipedia) was the prototype for the hard-drinking, barroom-brawling Texas oilman. He discovered 11 oil fields and expanded others. In 1949 he built the $21 million Shamrock Hotel in Houston, spending $1 million for the gaudy party when it opened, but in 1955 lost it to the Hilton chain.
    As part of his Shamrock Hotel grand opening in March 1949, he bought the Hughes 307 to bring Hollywood celebrities to the event.
    The plane, dubbed 'The Shamrock' by McCarthy, was sold in 1962 to Florida Jet Research in Fort Lauderdale, renamed The Flying Penthouse, with the flight from Houston almost ending in disaster when a cockpit electrical fire over the Gulf of Mexico forced an emergency landing in Gulfport, Mississippi.
    Then in 1964 Hurricane Cleo roared through Broward County, Florida, causing wing and tail wheel damage to the 307, ending its flying days forever... It had logged a remarkably low total of 500 flight hours over 25 years, only to become an abandoned derelict, stripped of its useful parts and waste away!

    Apparently destined for the scrap heap, the 307 was rescued by Fort Lauderdale realtor and pilot Kenneth W. London in 1969.
    Unable to make the plane airworthy again, he cut the wings and tail off, trucked the remaining fuselage to a nearby marina and spent the next four years converting airliner into a sleek and uniquely sensational motor yacht. Launched in July 1974, the Londonaire was seen throughout south Florida.
    The 'plane-boat' featured twin V-8 inboards incorporating the original aircraft cockpit controls that were used to fly the plane, propelling the vessel over 20 mph. Electrical, plumbing, sanitation and air conditioning systems were installed along with a new interior that included restored chairs and bar.

    Stratoliner / planeboat 'Londonaire'

    The boat was bought by Dave Drimmer in 1981 as a 'liveaboard' and extensively remodeled and rebuilt after he discovered the original hull was barely keeping the plane fuselage afloat. He later named it the Cosmic Muffin after publication of Jimmy Buffett’s novel Where is Joe Merchant?

    In 1994 Dave Drimmer created Plane Boats, Inc. (PBI) to develop and operate the vessel as an historic/educational attraction that is available for charter and corporate sponsorship as an advertising and promotional medium. With a completely rebuilt hull, interior, new motors and restored cockpit, the plane boatis ready for a new life.

    The vessel has been featured in many local, national and international publications and television shows that include Oprah, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, Associated Press, HGTV’s Extreme Homes, Motor Boating & Sailing and Wings, among many others.
    The above from www.planeboats.com, though that website has more details than copied above.

    Stratoliner 'Cosmic Muffin'

    PlanePictures.net has images by Daniel R. Camiero (dated 21Jun2005)

    'The Stratoliner was the first of several Boeing aircraft to use the strato prefix in its name. Strato is derived from the second-from-the-surface of the earth’s atmospheric layers, the stratosphere, which begins at around 30,000 feet of altitude. TWA highflying model SA-307B’s were shy by about 4,000 feet of being able to reach that height. Some early 707 turbojet airliner models were for a time also named Stratoliner -- they cruised comfortably in the stratosphere.'
    More on www.historylink.org/File/3598

     

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    Created: 20-Oct-2016