Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Propliners at Kenai (Alaska) 2006

On Monday, June 12th, I was fortunate to be allowed on the ramp at Kenai Airport on the Kenai Peninsula. I had requested this visit prior to my trans-atlantic departure and after a brief introduction and some phonecalls I was allowed to roam free among the propliners present on the ramp.

N1837M on ramp at Kenai N1837M is seen patiently awaiting the fueltruck at Kenai. The co-pilot saw to the refuelling, while the captain was evaluating the weather for his next destination.

For the history of N1837M see the details as described on my visit to Fairbanks in 2003,

N1837M C-46 Everts Air Fuel
Climb aboard!
Let's climb on board, shall we?!
Fueltanks in the cabin
"the Office"
Strictly no nonsense...
Excellent view from the cockpit
former id: CF-FNC
Former identity CF-FNC shows.
awaiting departure
Dark clouds gather...
No.1 fires up
No.1 fires up...
And no.2 fires up
...and no.2..
..and there she goes!
... and there she goes: Hot Stuff !!

"Miss Christina"
N600UA N600UA is one of three Universal Airlines DC-6 classic transports; they were all three present here at Kenai, but one was parked remote and since I had to walk it all, one eluded me yet again. Based in Vistoria,TX they travel to where contracts can be found. Crew and aircraft return here each year for hauling fish.
N600UA is a Douglas DC-6BF, c/n 44894. Former identities were 5Y-BMM and N37570. The history of c/n 44894 is as follows...
Its first tailnumber was N37570, proudly worn for United Airlines (named "Mainliner Hawaii") upon its delivery 24jan56.
After a worthy career with United the next owner became Mars Aviation Inc upon its purchase 19Nov68. I don't know why but this quickly changed to American Air Trav-Alairs, change of operator recorded in Dec. 1968; perhaps mars Avtn wasn't an operator, just a broker. American Air Trav-Alairs sounds like a travel club to me.
Alpha Aviation bought this Six in May 1972. And Mark Aero was next, in Aug74.
Cowlings removed
"Miss Christina"
open air maintenance

N37570 was converted to DC-6B(F) for carrying freight in Dec.1974.
In a few months it found a new operator: St Lucia Airways leased it as VQ-LAW from Feb75; in november it was returned to Mark Aero and registered N37570 again. Edwin R Phelps Jr bought N37370 that month. Petroleum Air Transport leased if from feb78 to Mar80.
ircraft Leasing Corporation became the new owner in Jan81, but it may have been stored without much use at Fort Lauderdale,FL for a long while.
And then Carolina Aircraft Corporation decided to buy it in May86; but Florida Aircraft Leasing Corporation seems to have it returned (or bought it again) in Apr86.
Its historic tailnumber was about to change to N990CA (for Florida Aircraft Leasing Corporation or a client), but this fell thru.
the tailnumber did change though: it became HR-AKW for Servicios Aereos Generales upon a sale in Dec. 1986. But did it actually go to Honduras? because it was changed back again to N37570 for Bauford Marine Services Inc in July 1988...
A year later, in May 1989, Air Taxi International Inc bought N37570. ILPO Cargo Airlines leased it from May89 and it was consequently registered as XA-RMM for ILPO (in Jun90). The lease was terminated in Sep90.
Regal Air leased it from Air Taxi in/from Sep91; and Legion Express Inc did the same in/from Nov96.
5Y-BMM became a new exotic tailnumber, for Sincereways (purchase Sep97). But again it may have stood around mostly, waiting, without much use at Opa Locka,FL.
And then the present owner bought N37570, in August 1998. On 09Oct98 it was reregistered N600UA for Universal Airlines. And long may she fly and earn her daily bread !!

UPDATE!!! John Maxwell sent me a photo, in June 2011, of N600UA involved in a wheels-up landing at Cold Bay HERE.. Will the cost of the repairs mean the end of this classic, sturdy skytruck?!

Maindeck of the DC-6
Let's climb on board, shall we?
That is quite a cabin. Maybe I should have used that bike to cycle up to that 3rd Universal Six...
No. Of Engines:4
Aircraft Type:Propeller
Passenger Capacity (Max):80
Passenger Capacity (Min):52
Range (in Miles):3,070
Cruising Speed (MPH):309
Payload Capacity (in Lbs):12,310
Takeoff Weight (in Lbs):93,200
Cabin Type:pressurized
Instrument panel
Overhead panel

N500UA and on the left, in the distance, another Universal DC-6 (which I did not pursue, N170UA?) .

N500UA is a Douglas C-118A (c/n 44597, linenumber 501). It was delivered with tailnumber 53-3226 to the United States Air Force on 27Aug54; after its career with the Air Force, it was handed over to the boys in blue: as 153691 it went to the United States Navy on 15Jun65.
Its military career ended (I don't know the date) in the desert: the storage yard of Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
Arctic Select Seafoods Inc bought it in march 1987 and registered it as N766WC; but the United States Customs Service saw cause to seize N766WC in Feb88.
Florida Aircraft Leasing Corporation became the next owner, in June 1990; Gulf & Caribbean Cargo leased it from March 1992, ending the lease in May 1997.
Aztec Capital Corporation purchased N766WC in Oct98, on a sale/lease back arrangement with Florida Air Transport. This lasted only until May 1999.
Present owner, Universal Airlines, bought this DC-6 that same month: May99. And N500UA became its new tailnumber for Universal Airlines on 07Jul99.

I had hoped to be able to visit this company on its base at Statesville Municipal Airport,NC during 2005 but found they had moved to Victoria,TX. I was glad I got to most of their planes here at Kenai.
On my 'general' Alaska 2006 page there is another N500UA photo, getting some maintenance.

Updated! N170UA was reg'd to Tatonduk Outfitters of Fairbanks,AK on 23Oct2015. The same for another Universal AL SIX, N500UA, reg'd on that same date.

Many thanks for the hospitality I enjoyed here: Mary (Airport Authorities), Tim & Mannie (Universal) and Barbara (Flight Services).

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