Aviation enthusiasts find their bounty at airports; even aviation museums and salvaging companies are often at airports or close by. However, some aircraft survive on remote locations away from airports, as part of a restaurant, hotel or even a chicken coop; these survivors are easily overlooked.
I hope to remedy some of that with this page and would welcome tips & photos and if possible the story of how and why the aircraft was enrolled in its new career.
Note: the webmaster accepts no resposibility for accuracy or actuality of any of the information published here.
This Douglas DC-6B on top of a shop (Pike's Aviator Greenhouse and Sweets on Airport Road) in Fairbanks,AK (photo is from 2004) is former N999SQ (c/n 43274) which used to have employment with Everts Air Fuel. But it also flew with Swissair (as HB-IBA) in the 1950s.
I photographed in June 2012.
This photo was taken on September 13, 2009
The aircraft was used as a fuel hauler by Stratolift, but got damaged by fire 18May89, see http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19890518-0
In nov.2012 I received following update by Dave Marshall: "The photographer is Mr Dan Baldini.
wrote me soon after the above was posted:
This is Douglas C-47B 45-1037 (cn17040/34306) near Haines Junction in the Ruby Mountains, which I photographed on 06Aug03.|
Click on the photo for a link to my report.
Photo from: www.roadsideamerica.com/tnews/NewsItemDisplay.php?Tip_AttrId=14623
SHEFFIELD, Ohio (AP) — A man’s dream to convert an airplane into a bed and breakfast has encountered a little turbulence.
Ed Guidicelli, a 40-year-old antiques enthusiast with a knack for restoration, hopes to transform the 42-passenger Convair into a studio-style, luxury bed and breakfast.
Right now though, the 1948 aircraft looks like it crashed in his back yard, a wooded 4-acre lot in northeast Ohio.
Guidicelli believes the project could help put his economically depressed Lorain County town on the map.
But Guidicelli acknowledges the naysayers — and the possibility that his dream will get shot down.
Township trustee Timothy Mihalcik said he has received many complaints from residents, pressuring township officials to put an end to Guidicelli’s backyard collection, which includes a vintage C&O caboose parked on rails near the plane.
Trustees adopted a zoning ordinance last year outlawing residents from keeping planes, trains and other eyesores on their property. Guidicelli’s plane and caboose will be protected by a grandfather clause.
Township zoning inspector Harold Wilson said for Guidicelli to open a bed and breakfast he must have the property rezoned from residential to commercial — unlikely given the lack of a central sanitation system in the area.
Guidicelli though is unperturbed. He already has begun to refurbish the interior with hardwood floors and new walls.
He said he has given tours of the plane and caboose to more than a hundred visitors, most who have offered encouragement and support.
"It’s a piece of history," Guidicelli said. "And most people are thrilled that I'm saving it. A part of me knew it would be an uphill battle. But if I don’t do it now, I never will."
The plane’s history is rather infamous.
It was once emblazoned with the words "Air Rajneesh" and is believed to have been among several in a fleet owned by former cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who left India in the early 1980s and established a commune of his followers in Antelope, Oregon.
During the several years when the commune thrived, Rajneesh created his own airline to shuttle disciples to and from the remote, arid town.
But after a series of controversies and criminal investigations, the commune dissolved and Rajneesh was deported. The guru died in 1990.
How one of his airplanes ended up in Ohio is unclear.
But when Guidicelli spotted it, disassembled and scattered on some property along the side of a highway in Oak Harbor, west of Sandusky, he knew he had to own it. Ever since he was a child, Guidicelli wanted an airplane.
He made several offers, but the owner seemed intent on selling it to a nearby water park. Guidicelli didn’t think he could outbid a water park, but he persisted. When the owner fell on hard times before the water park was ready to buy, Guidicelli made his move.
Before long, the “Air Rajneesh” — in six pieces loaded onto two semis — landed in Sheffield.
The above text is from http://www.cantonrep.com/printable.php?ID=348098, dated 13Apr07.
Aad van der Voet (of OldWings.nl) added (13Nov07):
James Rachetto wrote in Nov.2007: I went inside N314H, the Oregon guru's plane, when it stopped over at Roseburg, Oregon in the 1980's.
This aircraft was offered for sale again on eBay in July 2009, asking price usd 15,000.00 ('Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping'). It included this photo:
Mark Bradford wrote me in august 2011 about the use for training students at Lewis.
"I can confirm that N314H was part of Air Rajneesh and that she was used in the A&P program at Lewis University in the 90's. I was there from 90-94 and had the opportunity to spend some time with her.
She was no longer airworthy, but we kept her running for training purposes.
In fact, I watched her number two engine catch fire once. The kid on fire duty froze with the bottle sitting right next to him while the instructor pushed the throttle to the firewall and let the prop wash blow out the fire - quite a sight to see!
The interior was as advertised, shag carpet, captains chairs, galley... all very used. The guru liked to party.
And being on a college campus the parties didn't end when the guru was deported...
It is a shame to see what has happened to it after that. She wasn't as sexy as the school's Learjet, but she had character!"
Paul Filmer made an amazing discovery in Denver,CO when he found Douglas DC-7 N6321C (c/n44285) which has been at this location but went unreported for over 30 years!.
Click on the thumbnail for a link to Paul's website (www.skippyscage.com) for a full report on the history of this aircraft and the remarkable move to this location in 1971. Photo © by Paul Filmer and more on his webreport.
Martin 404, tailnumer N255S (c/n 14246), was photographed by Linda Robinson near Paris,Texas in May 2005.
Click on the photo or this link www.southernairways.org/one_martins_fate.htm for more details of that visit by Jim and Linda.
A few details from that website, written by Jim, I reproduce herewith-
"That airplane was N255S, a Martin 404, flown for many years by Southern Airways.And I used to fly THAT airplane!
The owner was Isaac Newton (Ike / Junior) Burchinal, a well-known movie pilot. Some of his credits include; “Flight of the Phoenix,” “Twelve O’clock High,” “Catch 22,” “The Great Waldo Pepper,” and “McArthur.” You might remember a scene in the movie “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad World” in which a Beech 18 flew through a billboard. That was Ike! He also was the pilot for Robert Conrad in the TV series, “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”
N255S is a tired old bird and hasn’t been flown in years. She now serves as home to hundreds of smaller birds. But she still has that proud look. With her tail held high and her black nose pointed forward she appears to have the spirit to fly once more but she would need a lot of help. Ike says that for $60,000 she can be yours. Anybody out there interested? "
Here are 3 photos on Airliners.net
Aad van de Voet contributed the following (Oct.2006):
Photo: © Sean Keating, 2002 (published with permission).
Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter (tailnumber N227AR, c/n 16795) sits on an estate which used to be a farm north of Dodgeville,WI; the property was bought by Don Quinn in 1964 and he converted the farmhouse & barn into a restaurant and hotel.
The property was sold to Roger Defring (present owner); Dodgeville's Mun'l Airport was built on land adjacent to what is now the Inn, but the airport closed circa 1987. The Strat landed here (when exactly?) and it was towed to the Inn.
This vintage transport was once used as a film prop for a of series perfume adds; and it has Farah Fawcett's autograph on the lower front fuselage...
(Source: North American Survivors, 2005; by Roy Blewitt).
This Stratofreighter was built as KC-97G-28-BO for the USAF (tailnumber 52-2764) and later converted to C-97G; when converted for civilian market it was registered N227AR.
Sean Keating wrote (Mar.2006): Here are a few photos from my trip in July 2002. This plane is a giant pigeons nest, lots of them especially in the tail… you will note that the plane is nearly complete inside, just as it left the USAF! And it smells just like an old propliner: avgas and mold..!!!
Sean digged a little deeper an dalso provided the following link: Dodgeville Municipal Airport (55C), Dodgeville, WI (scroll down). It has the following info:
Sean also wrote this at the time (1999): "Dodgeville, Wisconsin is a very scenic land with lush green meadows and a Boeing C-97G parked outside a hotel. The fantasy-suite Don Q Inn is the final resting place for 52-2764 (N227AR) which has an interesting post USAF history.
Withdrawn from use by the California ANG and interned at MASDC by 1971, it was sold along with 3 other C-97’s and four C-133’s to the Long Beach,CA based Foundation for Airborne Relief. It was used for the filming of two Mercury (Ford) Cougar car commercials (see nose art) in 1975, featuring Farrah Faucett (of Charlie's Angels fame) whose painted autograph is still applied to the fuselage. Purchased in 1977 from the by then bankrupt FAR the Strat was flown by pilot Bill Schmidt from Long Beach, arriving at the 2.800ft Dodgeville airstrip on 16th October 1977 with 10,068 hours on the clock.
The strip was next to the Inn and six feet narrower than the wheel track of a C-97, creating a large dust storm on touchdown. This airstrip has since been developed over, giving the aircraft no easy exit but there are no plans to remove this large billboard in the future. Though stored for many years the interior and cockpit remain well preserved creating somewhat of a time capsule." Sean observed that the autograph may be false at it is incorrectly spelled as Faucett.
UPDATE Sep.2015: Rumored going to be dismantled for Museum of Flight in Seattle!
This Boeing Stratofreighter adorns Solo's Restaurant in Colorado Springs (CO), near the Radisson Hotel.
53-0283 was built as a KC-97G, later converted to KC-97L.
Read more on my webpage Stratofreighter at Colorado Springs' Restaurant
Nigel Aylmer sent me this photo in Sep.2006 and wrote: "I have attached a picture of (N9561) UC-45J, taken at the Hawaiian Falls Putting Course at Downtown, Daytona Beach, FL.
Of the SNB-2 Navigator 240 airframes were built between 1942-1943, while 117 more were acquired by the US Navy during 1945-1946, for a total of 357.
Phil Rademacher sent me this image in April 2012; he wrote:"Here is a new picture I took of Beechcraft UC-45J (C18S) N9561 at the Hawaiian Falls Minigolf Course in Daytona Beach on 25Mar2012; it is still there but received a new paint."
This Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon (tailnumber N72707, c/n 15-1458) can be found preserved at the entrance of the "Mayday mini-golfcourse" on the north side of town in North Myrtle Beach,SC since Dec98.
The garish yellow colour scheme with "Air Tropic, Island Charters"-titles is a pityful makeover by this golfcourse for this once proud transport.
Read more on its history on my page US Eastcoast 2005
On 02Mar2012 I received news, from Brian Maddison, that the PV-2 at Branson,MO had completely been destroyed by Tornado activity. A nearby P-51 Mustang (replica) suffered a similar fate, of which I did find an image (screendump from 5KDSK.com, photo by Cliff Sain):
|Certainly not a 'Propliner' but fun to add anyway... I don't know what it is supposed to resemble, been fixed rather rudely, but the effort warrants a report here!
"This is located at the Collegeville Pit Stop, Mini Golf, Go Carts and Arcade. Located at 3960 Germantown Pike, Collegeville, PA 19426"
An article on www.landings.com made note of a Convair T-29 "Flying Classroom" converted into a hot dog stand at Tulare,California.
Thanks to Andy Martin for this contribution.
Graham Robson offered: "this must be the former T-29A 50-0193/N1184G that languished at VNY for years. The fuselage remained complete at Adelanto all those years but was not there in April last year - that I could see anyway."
Graham Robson offered this off airport item (published with permission): "This On-Mark Marksman N26GT is preserved at Southy Mountain High School, in southern part of Phoenix,AZ. Donated by Allied Signals (the former Garrett Air Research) after it was replaced by an ageing Boeing 720, as flying engine test-bed.|
This marvellous aircraft, one of the very few remaining Marksman C variants (fully pressurised cabin and modified flight-deck incorporating DC-7 windshield) with the 'high cabin' profile was used extensively by Garrett in the development of their highly successful TPE-331 engine, used on the Jetstream 31 and 41 variants, amongst others.
This is possibly the only surviving example of this Marksman variant intact, others that I know of in derelict state are ZS-CVD (fuselage only) in compound at Waterkloof AB, Pretoria stored with the SAAF museum; and N99426, the one time 'Hustler' which was stored at Tamiami,FL. for many years before being badly damaged in a hurricane, which removed its tail feathers. The hulk was then sold to Australia and shipped to Queensland for potential re-build. It never progressed and was eventually returned to the US, by Matt Jackson and is currently still sitting inside the shipping container outside Matt's hangar at California City, Ca. Matt tells me he plans to hang a pair of R-350 engines on her one day and take it to race at Reno....."
Andreas sent me this photo in Oct.2006, he wrote:
Bob Parmerter had the following info to offer:
Paul Filmer came across this wreck too (14Mar2013) http://www.skippyscage.com/aviation/nv/offairport/index.php
Sean Keating sent me these photos in August 2006; he quoted a message by someone who had passed it on-
"I managed to acquire an HS 748, that was retired from duty last year in Saskatoon. I towed it to my acreage and am restoring it the best I can - for a giant playhouse for me and my two young boys!"
C-FQVE Hs.748 Srs 2B c/n 1792
Read more about TRANSPORT
Beech Expeditor 3NM (Beech 18), CF-WUH (cn A-872 / CA-222)
Photo by Alain Rioux, click on the thumbnail for a larger image at Airliners.net
Alan wrote: "No, this is not a river or a lake but it is a pond. This Beech is now a large roadside attraction on the Trans Canada Highway in the small town of Ignace. It does not carry a registration."
Photo dates from 12Jul06.
Alan has quite a selection on Airliners.net, check it out.
Aad van der Voet added that this Beech has been here on display since 1994.
I visited this spot myself, in Oct.2007: see my page on Ignace 2007
Alain Rioux found this off-airport Beech 18 at the Ear Falls District Museum (Ontario,Canada) and displayed it on Airliners.net; click the image for a link to a larger image on Airliners.net. Here is what he wrote:
When I dould not find the construction number, Aad van der Voet came to the rescue:
Jeff Rankin-Lowe added:
Bob Parmerter added to this:
In 2007 I came across CF-EAR at Ear Falls myself, CLICK HERE...
Alain Rioux photographed this Noorduyn Norseman CF-DRD at Red Lake on 10Jul06 and published it on Airliners.net
Red Lake, Ontario seems to have an annual gathering of these impressive vintage floatplanes: www.norsemanfestival.on.ca.
Through the website of the Red Lake Museum I stumbled upon their Aviation Photo Archive, something to explore further...