Manufactured by Convair Division, General Dynamics at San Diego in America. Rolled off the production line on 21/9/1948. Purchased new by Trans Australia Airlines and delivered to company on 8/10/1948 and registered VH-TAS. Crew for the delivery flight were Captain R Meates, First Officer P Wilson and Navigator H Cast. Arrived at Essendon after the delivery flight on 24/10/1948 in company with VH-TAR. Whilst in service with company aircraft was named 'James Cook'. Its first revenue earning service for the company was flown on 3/11/1948.
On 27/3/1954 whilst on a flight from Melbourne to Hobart broke a civil aviation speed record for its type when it flew the distance in a time of 1 hour 14 minutes. This flight was under the command of Captain J Hickey.
On 23/6/1956 aircraft was withdrawn from service with the company. Sold to Pakistan International Airlines on 4/5/1956. Known crew members for the ferry flight to the new owners were Captain Fitzgerald, First Officer R Wemyss and Radio Operator Hobbs. Struck off the Australian civil register on 13/7/1956 as it had been reregistered AP-AHS. Departed Melbourne on 13/7/1956 and routed via Alice Springs, Darwin, Sourabaya, Singapore, Bangkok, Rangoon, Calcutta, New Delhi and arrived at Karachi on 8/7/1956. Crew for the ferry flight to the new owners were Captains M Fitzgerald, R Weymss and Radio operator Hobbs.
Sold to N V Fokker as a trade in on Fokker F.27 Friendships on 17/10/1959 and reregistered PH-NLP. Operated by Euravia Air Charter N.V. and whilst in their service aircraft was named 'Lean Pot'. Allocated the registration of PH-EUT with the company but this was not taken up. Sold to Beldex Corporation on 6/7/1960 and reregistered N559R. On 7/7/1960 ferried to St Louis and on arrival entered the Remmert-Warner hangar where it was fitted out as an executive aircraft.
Sold to Peabody Coal Company of St Louis on 6/1/1961. Sold to Louis Larramore of Whittier in California on 30/9/1961 and reregistered to the owner as N559L on 28/2/1962. Resold to Beldex Corporation on 11/5/1962 and reregistered N568R on 23/5/1962. Sold to Stephens Inc of Little Rock in Arizona on 14/2/1963. Sold to Little Rock Airmotive on 21/9/1970 and resold to Faberge Inc and reregistered N396CG. Reportedly used to Transport Cary Grant around when required. Sold to Western Commander Inc on 22/8/1972. On the next day ownership of aircraft was transferred to Western Leasing Corporation.
Sold to Summa Corp (this was one of the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes companies) on 21/8/1974. Later withdrawn from use and parked in storage at Van Nuys Airport in California. Sold to Kings Point Corporation of Las Vegas in Nevada on 25/2/1977. Sold to Gemini Management Corporation of Tulsa in Oklahoma on 9/11/1977. Sold to H A Cousins of Bloomfield Hills in Michigan on 24/7/1980. Struck off the American civil register on 20/2/1981. From 1982 until 1986 this aircraft was held in storage at Pontiac Airport in Michigan.
Sold to C & M Airways Inc., which was based at Longview in Texas on 25/8/1989. Resold to Garr Aero Inc of Stillwater in Oklahoma on 29/11/1989. It was again resold to R Stevenson of Haskell also situated in Oklahoma on 5/1/1990. Sold to Gunnell Aviation Inc. of Santa Monica in California and registered to the company during June 1991. Sold to E A Schnepf of Tuscon in Arizona and registered to the owner on 29/10/1993. During the time it was in service with the last owner aircraft was used to transport the singer Glenn Campbell when required. Since 1999 aircraft has been stored at Camarillo Airport in California in an unflyable condition.
Reportedly held in a Museum at Camarillo since June 2003.
© Gil White (2004).
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"It has been a great pleasure to have known you all, but my days are now numbered." -24Jun06.
Gil White passed away on 27Jun06. He will be remembered by me as a enthusiastic (Ansett) historian and a courageous person; may he rest in peace.