Roger Soupart sent me this photo, in search of identification. He wrote:
"While scanning some slides I came across this one, taken somewhere during the late-1970s or early-1980s (I think) in Spain.
This was, in my opinion, a KC-97 which had been delivered to Spain for use of parts and is not one of the three which are still around in Madrid and San Cugat.
I think this one was burned at some point, but of that I am not certain either.
Perhaps you can help solving this little mystery?"
|Aad van der Voet (of OldWings.nl) was the first to respond:
"Apart from the three well-known C-97s they operated, the Spanish AF also purchased two additional C-97G aircraft for use as a spares source at the air base at Albacete.
These were sold off when the three main aircraft were withdrawn from service (which was in Sep-1976). One of those spares aircraft was 53-275 c/n 17057. This was sold to a scrap dealer and broken up at the Albacete air base, I assume around 1977 or 1978.
The other aircraft was 53-241 c/n 17023, and this is the aircraft in Roger's photo. It was transported from Albacete to Sotillo de la Adrada (about 75km west of Madrid) and converted to a cafetaria / discotheque. This must have been around 1977.
As Roger suggests, this aircraft was indeed completely destroyed by fire, on 02-Feb-1985.
| Jörg Windmüller provided the following information thru the AB-IX
forum (quoted from Mike Bursell: "European Wrecks & Relics", 1st Edition, Earl
Shilton/Leicester 1989; pdf file):
- SOTILLO DE LA ADRADA (discotheque): This ex-New York ANG Boeing C-97G (USAF-s/n 53-0241, no wings) was delivered to Albacete AB as a spares source for the KC-97 fleet. It was moved to Sotillo de la Arada - west of Madrid, alongside the M-501 motorway, after it was of no more use. It served as a discotheque until Feb 2, 1985, when it unfortunately burnt out. The remains were scrapped.
Other C-97s in Spain:
- ALBACETE -> BARCELONA (playground -> discotheque): This Boeing KC-97L 'TK.1-1/123-01 (USAF-s/n 53-0172) was preserved in a playground about half the way between the airbase and the city, alongside the M-3211 [CM-3203 ?]. The aircraft was removed by 1985 and reappeared by late 1988 ... (s.a.)
Another one is currently preserved at Museo del Aire/Cuatro Vientos AP ('TK.1-3/123-03', USAF-s/n 53-0189,), which was moved from its gate guard position at Albacete AB (noted 1979-1984) in Apr 1987.
Another spares source C-97G (USAF-s/n 53-0275, no wings) was scrapped at Albacete AB.
|Jörg Windmüller wrote: I personally think, the photo at
shows '123-02' at Taracón, before it moved to Barcelona!
(Graham Robson: "I think you will find that the C-97G had auxiliary fuel tanks fitted to the
same hard-points under the wings that KC-97Ls utilised for the J-34s, so the
theory that this could not be a C-97G is probably not correct"
Aad van der Voet responded to this:
Michel Lozares Sánchez (of Asociacion de Amigos del Museo del Aire) offered his help:
Michel is an aviation historian & -enthusiast and published in 2007 a book on the PBY-5A Catalina in Spanish service; details on my webpage dedicated to a 2004 visit to Museo del Aire at Cuatro Vientos.
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