Ron Mak's Propliners

page 1 | page 2 | page 3 |page 4 |

Well-known in Dutch and international propliner circles, Ron Mak's history with classic transports goes back a long, long way.
Ron has been particularly involved in the Consolidated PBY Catalina, at some point actually organizing tours with this fascinating flying boat, but his journeys to countries far and wide concerns all vintage propliners and I am proud to be able to share some of his images and recollections here.
Where applicable, Ron has added his comments.

Photos © Ron Mak Collection

FOR LATEST UPDATES --->> To bottom page

Ron Mak noticed on Facebook that the Greek A-26B had been sold to an owner in Germany and this brought back memories to a visit in 1997, to Tanagra AB. And he did not only find the A-26 there then!

A-26 N500MR and Canso C-FPQO (by Ron Mak)
In september 1997 at this Tanagra air base, there was this Canadian Canso C-FPQO (ex/ Quebec Gvmt, Tanker 715).
It was sold to someone in South Africa and staged through Tanagra AB. Ron added ".. Canso left Rand in 2012 and
is in the United States now, as N427CV for Pissed Away (Colorado Springs,CO)".

A few notes from my (RL) database here: Canso A c/n CV-427 - RCAF 11089 - C-FPQO Gouvernement du Quebec, Tanker 715 - C-FPQO for Pro-Air noted @Bromont,Canada 22mar95 - At Athens summer95, 'Athenian Airlift'/ Stelios
Loumakis - For sale by 1997 for sale by Athenian Airlift, std @Tanagra - Bt Mr Marnoux Roque/Aero Air
(S.Africa), end-1998 - Rereg'd to Antares Air Svcs 06aug99 - 07sep99 at Lanseria. Ln 10mar00 at Jo'burg-Rand -
Std Rand 01may01, reg 'PQO' barely visible - photographed by me (webmaster) 19Apr04 at Joburg-Rand without a readable registration - Bt by Steve Hamilton & John Seibold (USA) - In 2009 registration (Swaziland) 3D-PBY
reserved - restoration completed by Aug09, including a painted but 3D-PBY not yet applied - photo on
my Photos by Friends & Guests #23: to fly out Apr2010 - Rr 17May10 N427CV Safari PBY LLC (Reno,NV) -
First flight after restoration 28Nov12 - Noted 01Jan13 at Natal, on its way! - Arrival 16Jan13, see more info
on my SA04.htm, owner now Jim Slattery who flies N427CV from California.

A-26 N500MR in Greece 1997 (Ron Mak copyright)
Douglas A-26B Invader N500MR (c/n 28048) in Greece 1997 (Ron Mak photos)
N500MR was owned by an Athenian Aviatiors Collectors in Greece for use as a flying warbird; it staged through
Prestwick(-PIK) in Scotland in Sep.1995. I have a perhaps outdated ownership on FAA's N-inquiry page (17Mar19):
'Reg'd 23Jun95, Sea Link Aviation, c/o Nicholas G. Karambelas Esq., Washington, DC'.
Scramble #477 (Feb.2019) added that the Greek import was done by one Minos Kyriakou (for AAC).
History (note 'last updated 2002'):
History of A-26B Invader N500MR

A-26 N500MR in Greece 1997 (Ron Mak copyright)

This was plucked from Facebook ('Scramble Magazine'), 22Feb2019:
"New warbirds at Bremgarten!
In just three days the warbird population with MeierMotors GmbH in Bremgarten (Germany) has grown by two.
On 18Feb19 the On Mark Marketeer N500MR (Douglas A-26B Invader 44-34769) arrived. The A-26B was
ferried from Athens (Greece) via Corfu and Perugia to its destination.
Three days later, another guest was welcomed at the Meier facilities: North American T-28B Trojan N343NA, BuNo 138343 (sold by its former owner, Toni Eichhorn). The Trojan, N343NA, arrived in a container and joined its family member, Fennec 51-3647 (ex ZU-FAA) which already had arrived in Germany in January 2018.
Source: MeierMotors GmbH".

Meier Motors GmbH was responsible the pre buy inspection of N500MR, the new owner in Germany will by 'Tina Fly GmbH of Eschbach'.
The On Mark Marketeer is a rare post-WW2 conversion of the A-26 Invader.

While we are at it, more of Ron's Greek 'findings' in 1995:

The previously mentioned Canso C-FPQO was owned at the time by Pro-Air and Athenian Airlift Services (Stelios
Loumakis'). They had another Canso, the 5B-PBY, too. It was at Athens' Hellinikon Int'l Airport which I had
visited in June 1995. I had come in contact with them as the representative for th e Catalina Safari
Nederland group. They intended to set up something similar in Greece to Africa, but that never did work out.

The owner Stelios Loumakis was also a collector of aeroplanes, types included the A-26B Invader, the Canso, a Polikarpov PO-2, a SeaBee and he was working on purchasing a Boeing B-17 as well as a Grumman Tracker!
The collection of Stelios Loumakis sits in a big hangar on the Greek air base Dekeleia Tatoi, not far from Athens.
The air museum of the air force is based here too. Both are difficult to get access too, one needs to obtain a permit. But the collection seems to be for sale (2019), so if you bring enough money...?
The Canso 5B-PBY has been repainted and reregistered as N315KM in the colours of the U.S Navy and is also for sale... [Source (NL)]

See also - World Catalina News

UPDATE Nov.2019: N315KM reported Oct.2019 still for sale but now airworthy. Still in USN c/s, coded 31-P-15.


Ron also shared with me a 1983 photo of SX-ECD (& SX-ECF) stored at Athens (LGAT) airport, relevant
to my gallery Off-Airport Europe, which has SX-ECD these days at a restaurant in town.
DC-3's SX-ECD (& SX-ECF) stored at Athens (LGAT) airport; photo by Ron Mak
Douglas C-47B SX-ECF (c/n 33206) is seen stored here at the now defunct Hellinikon (LGAT) airport.
It is former US Navy 99836, flew under various identities for the FAA (N29, N17 and again N29), before
it was registered SX-ECF for the Greek Civil Aviation Administration. database has it currently (Feb.2019): 'Preserved at LGTT Air Force Museum (moved 8/18 from
CAA HQ at Athens-Hellinikon airport; preserved in 2004).' LGTT is Tatoi AB/Dekelia.

Ellinikon International Airport, sometimes spelled Hellinikon (Greek: Ελληνικόν), was the international airport of
Athens, Greece for 60 years up until 28 March 2001, when it was replaced by the new Athens Int'l Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos. The grounds of the airport are located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of Athens, and just
west of Glyfada. It was named after the village of Elliniko (Elleniko), now a suburb of Athens. [Wikipedia]

Douglas C-47B SX-ECF (c/n 33206) preserved at Hellinikon Airport (1993)¬
Douglas C-47B SX-ECF (c/n 33206); photos by Ron Mak

Douglas C-47B SX-ECF (c/n 33206); photos by Ron Mak

Douglas C-47B SX-ECF (c/n 33206); photos by Ron Mak

Douglas C-47B SX-ECF (c/n 33206); photos by Ron Mak

Ellinikon International Airport, sometimes spelled Hellinikon (Greek: Ελληνικόν), was the international airport of
Athens, Greece for 60 years up until 28 March 2001, when it was replaced by the new Athens Int'l Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos. The grounds of the airport are located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of Athens, and just
west of Glyfada. It was named after the village of Elliniko (Elleniko), now a suburb of Athens. [Wikipedia]


The Hellenic Air Force Museum was founded in 1986 and since 1992 has been located on Dekelia Air Base in Acharnes north of Athens. [Wikipedia]



Museo Aéeronautico de Fuerza Aérea Ecuatoriana

DC-3 77164 at Quito's air museum; Ron Mak photo
Douglas C-47B, FAE 77164 / HC-AUT (c/n 33496/16748) at Quito's air museum
Former identities were CA164, 77164/HC-AUT and 44-77164

DC-6 FAE691 at Quito's air museum; Ron Mak photo
Douglas DC-6B FAE 44691 / HC-AVH (c/n 44691) at Quito's air museum; ex/ 44691, CC-CCE, CC-CLDB

Douglas B-23 Dragon 'TH-344'; photo by Ron Mak
Douglas B-23 Dragon, HC-APV (c/n 2717); ex/ 'TH-344', N4000W, N400W, NC51436, 39-031

B-25J B-NZ9069Z; photo Ron Mak
North American B-25J Mitchell, N9069Z (c/n) 108-47620
On my Photos by Friends & Guests #56 I have a series of photos taken in Oct.2018 at this museum, one
of which shows this B-25 WW2 bomber with additional markings, named 'Apache Princess'.

Consolidated PBY-5A 53602; photo by Ron Mak
Consolidated PBY-5A, 53602 (c/n not identified)

T-28A Trojan 91647; photo by Ron Mak
North American T-28A Trojan, 91647 (c/n 159-159)

North American T-28A Trojan, 49-1545; photo by Ron Mak
North American T-28A Trojan, 49-1545 (c/n 159-57)

List of aircraft present, from Air Britain's Aviation Museums & Collections of the Rest of the World (2008)
Quito's air museum collection


In support of two difficult to identify DC-3s at Charlies Hostel (see my Off-Airport gallery), Ron sent this photo:
RP-C1352, RP-C1353 and RP-C1354 of C.M Aero Services at Manilla (stored); photo Ron Mak
Douglas DC-3s of C.M Aero Services stored at Manilla: RP-C1352, RP-C1353 (c/n 25571/14126) and RP-C1354
C.M Aero Services was formed by Charlie Miller in 1985 and closed shop in 2000.


DC-3 G-AMPO (c/n 33186) of Macedonian Aviation at Southend in 1973
DC-3 G-AMPO of Macedonian Aviation at Southend in 1973; photo Ron Mak
While Macedonian Aviation, a purely England-based operator, only existed during 1972-1974, I was treated
by the founder on an extensive history and Ron sent this photo in support of that history.
See my page Photos by Friends and Guests #57 for some very interesting reading.

Ron wrote me (webmaster Ruud Leeuw) another propliner problem, concerning Douglas C-54 C-FIQM of Kenn Borek
Air: finding no accident report online the big question here is WHY and WHAT HAPPENED?

C-54 C-FIQM of Kenn Borek Air
C-54G C-FIQM of Kenn Borek Air at Tucson IAP (TUS), 06Apr92
C-54 c/n 36088, courtesy database
C-54 c/n 36088, courtesy database
Note the mentioning of 'Antarctic A/W, wet-leased from Kenn Borek Air, leased Antarctic summer'. (ASN) has no occurrences for C-FIQM.

C-54 C-FIQM of Kenn Borek Air
C-54 C-FIQM (ex/ 45-0635, CF-IQM, N4218S) of Kenn Borek Air at Tucson IAP (TUS), 06Apr92

I found a detailed report in Propliner magazine; issues #130 & #131 (2012) have lengthy articles (6+6 pages) by Karl Hayes & Eamon Power on the career of Douglas C-54 'Arctic Trader'. It is powerful reading and includes seizure, aerial firefighting (as Tanker 18), Kenn Borek Air expanding from Twin Otters to Douglas' Big Radials with N4218S for commercial charters by Adventure Network Int'l (ANI; operating as Antarctic Airways) to the Antarctic continent from Punta Arenas (Chile), the return to Canada and its crash which made it redundant and being brought back to continue a flying career against all odds!

Here we are only interested in the accident (no report on ASN), which happened on 29Mar1990.
C-FIQM was registered by Kenn Borek Air on 02Sep88 as C-FIQM, it went through a 2nd season of operations Punta Arenas-Antarctica (Patriot Hills) on a lease basis to ANI. And as such it performed 15 round trips during the 1988/89 season. By Feb.'89 it had returned to Canada.
When Antarctic Airways replaced the DC-4 by a DC-6, Kenn Borek Air decided to retain the Skymaster and by early April 1989 C-FIQM featured the company titles on the fuselage. It was used to support general charter operations in the Northwest Territories and the Arctic.

And so we come to that fateful day... It went for a delivery of 50.000 gallons of fuel to the Arctic Circle Lodge on Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. The lodge owners were instructed to plough a 5.000 ft long by 150 ft wide ice strip at the site. Three inches of snow were to be left on the runway for braking action. The strip bounderies were to be marked by snow-filled vlack bags or trees.
C-FIQM was flying the first of several trips with this fuel from Rae Lakes. Both pilots were highly experienced in Arctic off-strip operations, but the overcast conditions at the site made visual assessment of the snow-covered landscape difficult.

Priot to landing, the crew cicled the lodge site once to visually assess the runway surface condition. The noted that the strip resembled a narrow oval track, approximately 1 mile from end to end, and that it was unmarked except for two yellow pails at the eastern threshold.
The pilots concurred that the runway crew had misunderstood the instructions. The crew elected to land on the left track of the oval, approaching from the east.
At touchdown they hit a four feet high snowdrift with the left maingear, the aircraft veered left and the nose gear 'detached'. The crew were uninjured.
Although repairable but severely damaged and its location very remote, Kenn Borek Air decided to abandon it, expecting it to sink in the summer thaw... But the Government insisted that the aircraft was to be removed, for environmental reasons.
A temp repair was carried out on site and FIQM was ferried to Calgary at the end of May 1990. It was seen at Calgary during June with the legend 'YYC or Bust'. A photo by A.J. Hickey is part of the 2nd article in Propliner magazine #131.
C-54 C-FIQM of Kenn Borek Air
Douglas C-54G C-FIQM (c/n 36088/482) of Kenn Borek Air at Calgary IAP (YYC), 26Apr1991
In this photo it is not so obvious, as the fence obscures the temporary repairs on the nose, but it is in fact stored here or more correctly: now owned by Calgary's Aero Space Museum as a 'fixer-upper'.

As Kenn Borek Air had no further use for the aircraft, and had no intention of spending more on it, C-FIQM was donated to the local aviation museum: Calgary's Aero Space Museum. The museum officilally accepted it during a ceremony held on 04Oct90. It did not have the finances however to fix the aircraft and as such it remained on their ramp for the months that followed.

DC-3 CF-BZI (c/n 13448) had suffered a similar fate: damaged during landing at Somerset Island, is undercarriage had collapsed hitting a snowdrift (May 1971). Temporary repairs on site were carried out and flown back to Yellowknife. 'Buffalo Joe' McBryan acquired it but he flew it down to Edmonton and placed it into storage on a farm, where it was to languish for some years.

By May 1991 Joe McBryan had built up his remarkable Buffalo Airways to a fleet of 6 active DC-3s and just taken delivery of his 1st C-54 Skymaster (C-GPSH; c/n 7458). Determined to expand his fleet further he struck a deal with the Aero Space Museum and McBryan's neglected DC-3 CF-BZI was swapped for DC-4 C-FIQM.
The DC-3 was far more relevant for the museum, for its history with Maritime Central A/W and Northwest Territorial A/W, dating back to 1945.

C-FIQM was reg'd to Buffalo A/W on 03Feb92 and with all 4 engines refitted took to the air for a test flight on Feb.28th, flying with its nosegear bolted down. A 2nd test flight on Feb.29th saw a pump failure and FIQM returned to Calgary. On 01Mar92 it departed for Tucson,AZ where Hamilton Aviation began work on an overhaul of the aircraft on behalf of Buffalo Aws.

At Tucson C-FIQM was fully repaired and also painted in the Buffalo Airways livery, carrying 'Buffalo Freightliner' titles on the fuselage and named 'Arctic Trader'. As such it arrived back at Yellowknife in mid-May 1992.

While I visited Yellowknife in 2006 (PAGE ONE + PAGE TWO) C-FIQM wasn't present at the time. I do have it recorded that it was seen operational at Yellowknife-YZF in May 2011 (as the last Buffalo DC-4 operational) and Sep.2012 ('airworthy'), but in May 2016 it was seen stored at Hay River,NWT and has been there ever since.
Dirk Septer's gallery on my website has several images of C-FIQM over the years.


Another project to determine identity and fate!
C-54D 9Q-CBK
Douglas C-54D, 9Q-CBK; ex Royal Danish Air Force (N-625). @Luik-Bierset Airport, Belgium. 26Jan1978.
Its 'swingtail' conversion is clearly visible.

Ron provided the history of this aircraft (assuming c/n 10730) when he sent this photo:
'Delivered to the United States Army Air Force on 24May1945, as 42-72625; it was sold to the Royal Danish Air Force as K-625 in Jan.'65. Subsequently bought by the International Air Centre in January 1978, reg'd as 9Q-CBK, then reg'd registered as 9Q-CAU in February 1978.
This C-54D was destroyed during landing at Bunia in Zaire, on 28Aug78.' (Note this date is different from ASN's database, see below)

There seems to be a matter of confusing construction numbers for this airframe: both c/n (or msn) 10730 as well as c/n 10452 seems be quoted for it.

My first source for such information is the online database.
ATDB has C-54B c/n 10452 for 9Q-CBK; fate: destroyed (M'Bamou Island, river Zaire at FIH). has for c/n 10452 9Q-CBG (also destroyed while in use with Kinair Cargo, in 1984). Obviously erroneous / incomplete as we will see further down.
Aviation Safety Network has this Douglas DC-4 'Swingtail' 9Q-CBK firmly identified as c/n 10452, damaged beyond repair on 23Aug88 at Île M'bamou (Congo): 'Crashed near Kinshasa'.
ASN has no crash details for the date of 28Aug78, as mentioned in the above quoted TAHS publication.

In my Dec.2007 TAHS publication 'Piston Engined Airliner Production List' (which I think is the last printed edition of this series) it has a significant history of c/n 10452 and noteworthy is the fact that registration 9Q-CBK was issued twice-
"42-72347 USAAF del. 18Nov44; N15845 Douglas Aircraft Company bt.'46; N95407 Northwest Airlines bt.'47; D-ANUK Transavia bt. July'57; OO-VAN C. van Antwerpen bt. July'59; Belgian Int'l Air Services; leased July'59; United Nations Congo leased '62; 9Q-CHB Congolese Gov't bt. 27Mar64; tranferred to Air Congo 06Apr64; 9Q-CBG Air Congo 20May64; converted to DC-4 Swingtail '66; Air Zaire 25Oct71; Zaire Aero Service bt.05Jul76; Kinair Cargo bt'84; 9Q-CBK(2) Kinair Cargo reregistered '85; Crashed M'Bamou Island, River Zaire, Zaire 23Aug88."

The above quoted publication has the following for c/n 10730-
"42-72625 Del. to the United States Army Air Force on 24May1945, as ; to the Royal Danish Air Force (721 Sqdn) as K-625, Jan.'65. 9Q-CBK International Air Center Jan.'78; rereg 9Q-CAU for same, in Feb'78; Destroyed by fire after overrunning runway whilst landing Bunia, Zaire 28Aug78".
So c/n 10730 was never converted to 'swingtail' and this is vital in identifying the airframe on the above photo.


The socalled DC-6 SWINGTAILS explained on my website HERE...

Photos shared on Facebook, by Michael van det Sterren, of OY-KND shoved in Denmark's Flymuseum, prompted Ron to share a 1972 photo of Douglas DC-7C OY-KND (c/n 45211) in better days...

OY-KND at Flymuseum
'Front section of DC-7C is now on display at Denmark's Flymuseum in Stauning.'
Photos by Michael van det Sterren.
Report on the museum's website (in Danish):

History in bits & pieces:
c/n 45211, manufactured in 1957
DC-7C OY-KND, Scandinavian Airlines System SAS, ‘Rolf Viking’
Nose now preserved at Danmarks Flyvemuseum, at Kastrup.
It was broken up B/u Copenhagen-Kastrup Denmark 11.67; nose section meant for Copenhagen Museum
Fuselage used as fire trainer, while the front section went to Egeskov (Copenhagen Museum)

Ron's photo of sistership Douglas DC-7C 'Seven Seas', OY-KNC (c/n 44932)
OY-KND in 1972
DC-7C OY-KNC was scrapped here at Bordeaux

Boeing B-17 vintage-WW2 bombers, in a civilian role in France
B-17 F-BDRS, copyright Ron Mak
Boeing B-17G F-BDRS, deregistered 25Aug1972 from the French Registry, 'Secretariat General A l'Aviation
Civile Et Commerciale / SGACC'.

B-17G F-BDRS 44-83735
Douglas built B-17G delivered on 28May1945. No AAF service, was stored at Syracuse, NY, then to RFC at Altus in OK.
Sold to Transocean Airlines, Oakland, CA, in february 1947 as N68269.
Sold in early 1949 to Col. Andres Soriano of Manila in the Philippines. Soon again sold, in october 1949, to the General Council, Assemblies of God at Springfield, MO.
Sold in July 1951 to Albert Leeward of Fort Wayne, IN, then in 1952 to the French IGN as F-BDRS.
In service until 1972 at Creil Airport in France.
Sold in 1975 to Euroworld at Duxford, UK.
Sold in 1978 to the Imperial War Museum for static display.
The B-17 remains on display at the American Air Museum at Duxford. (See my 2017 DUXFORD IWM REPORT)

Institut Géographique National (IGN)

[Part 1 of 3 on this page]
In 1946 the French Institut Géographique National (IGN) was set up to take over from the previous Service
Aérien des Armies
, which had been disbanded by the Germans during the occupation years
At the end of WW2, a complete listing of the destroyed areas of France was needed for the Ministère de la Reconstruction.
To achieve this, the IGN received some twin-engine NC701 Martinet (the French post-war version of the German Siebel Si 204). But this aircraft type wasn't up to the task.
That same year, 1946, IGN directors asked S.N.C.A.S.E. (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud-Est) to built a photographic version of their latest design, SE 1000. This was to be the SE 1010.
But delays were soon encountered for all the modifications from the original design. The SE 1010 prototype crashed during a test flight on 01Oct50. And IGN dropped the project.

IGN's policies were revised and it was decided to purchase some surplus B-17s, until at least 1950. The crew compromised a pilot, a flight engineer (also acting as copilot), two photographers and one ground engineer.
On 10 and 12 December 1947 the first two machines were purchased and taken on strength, 44-85643 and 44-85718, at Altus,OK. They were issued French registrations F-BEEA and F-BEEC.
In 1947 these first B-17s were bought for a mere US$15.000, including spare engines; and they hadn't even flown 100 hours!
F-BEEA was officially registered on 05July1948, her owner being the Secrétariat Général à l'Aviation Civile et Commerciale (S.G.A.C.C.). On 24Dec1947 44-83729 was purchased, also in Altus, and was to become F-BEED (16Jun48).
And finally, 20Jan48 44-85733 was purchased and reg'd 16Jun48 as F-BEEB. Alas, on 11Mar49 F-BEEB suffered an accident at Douala in Cameroon. The crew of 5 was killed.
So on 19Dec49 43-39304 was bought as a replacement, to become F-BDAT on 21Apr1950.
----------->>> continued further down..

B-17 F-BGSP, copyright Ron Mak
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, F-BGSP (c/n 8246); operated by Institut Geographique National (IGN)

Ex/ USAAF 44-8846, Lockheed-Vega built. Assigned to the 351st Bomb Group and flew 6 missions with the 8th Air Force until 20Apr1945. It did post-war service with aerial mapping units as an RB-17G, until 1954.
Sold to the IGN in December 1954 as F-BGSP. Briefly registered as ZS-DXM in mid-1960s, then again rereg'd as F-BGSP again.
It continued in survey work until 1985, then transferred to Forteresse Toujours Volante as F-AZDX. Until recent years still flying as 'Mother & Country/The Pink Lady'.
Until its retirement in 2010, it was the only flying survivor to have seen action in Europe during World War Two! Her last flight from Melun Villaroche (LFPM), her last base before retirement, was to Cerny-La Ferté Alais (LFFQ; the airfield of Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis) in March 2010.
As of 29Oct2011 she is inside a new hangar where she will wait some years before flying again. [Wikipedia]



Institut Géographique National (IGN)

[Part 2 of 3 on this page]
In 1947, IGN arrived on a disused airfield, north of Paris, not far from Creil, on the territory of the village of Verneuil-en-Halatte.
The site had already been used during WW1 and in WW2 various units were based here, including the famous JG2 'Richthofen' (Wikipedia). Then after the Liberation, the airfield was used as a logistical platform by the US Army Air Force. Douglas C-47s were based here.

On 25Jul50 B-17 44-83757 was bought on the secondhand market. She was registered F-BDRR on 16Sep50. Tragedy struck on 12Dec50, when F-BDAT crashed only a year after her purchase, at Niamey in Niger. Several crewmembers were killed.
After this loss, IGN had a fleet of 4 B-17 deemed airworthy.
In 1952 IGN began expanding the fleet and stock of spare parts. In the United States 130 engines were purchased. On 12Jul52 44-83728 and 44-8889 are bought, becoming respectively F-BGOE on 20Oct52 and F-BGSO on 13Aug54.
On 23Augu50 44-83735 was acquired too, again through the secondhand market. She was reg'd F-BDRS on 30Dec50.
After these new arrivals had been converted for their photographic duties, another batch of B-17s was acquired in 1954.
On 28Sep54, 44-85594 was added and became F-BGSQ (08Oct54). On 31Oct54 B-17 44-85784 was bought, and reg'd F-BGSR on 31Dec54. On 07Dec54 B-17 44-8846 was purchased.
The latter has the distinction of having been bought directly from the U.S. Ministry of Defence, the last one gained from this source. She became F-BGSP.
On 16Apr1955 42-32076 was bought from an American company, while she already had clocked many flying hours. She became F-BGSH, following a lengthy conversion to IGN's needs; dateof registration was 05Mar1956.
French civilian aviation registers show that the maker of this aircraft is 'Briggs', while they were actually only manufacturing the upper turrets!
42-30177 was transferred on 13May55 from the Armée de l'Air to IGN inventory, following an accident in Germany. The Flying Fortress was repaired to enable her to fly to Creil, where she underwent a full conversion to IGN standards; in fact a conversion from F- to the G-model took place.
She was subsequently reg'd as F-GBSG, but IGN apparently had no longer a need for this aircraft and kept it for spare parts...
So this is the peak of the B-17 use with IGN: 12 B-17s altogether of which 11 were in full flying order.
' Flying Fortress' F-BEEC, in France during the early 1950's she was the most unluckiest B-17 of the IGN service; from 1947 to 1984 she had more then 10 accidents while with IGN..., but she was always repaired.

From 1958 the gradual retirement of the B-17s started, commencing with the first purchases in the USA.
F-BDRR was retired 09Sep58 after 8 years of use. It was prepared for long time storage, her engines and the glass nose removed. On 09Jul59 F-BEED was also stored, after 12 years of service.
F-BGSH was next, on 15Jun1961. And F-BGSH was taken out of business after 5 years.
On 22Aug67 F-BGOE ended her 13 years of flying with IGN; some 7 B-17s remained but finding spare parts became increasingly a problem.
On 25Aug69 F-BGSQ was next to be retired.
Newer aircraft were introduced in service, like 8 Hurel-Dubois HD-34, 3 Aerocommander 680FM, and also a few jets in the 1970s. And a helicopter.
In 1970 F-BGOE succumbed to the scrapman.
On 23Jan72 F-BGSH was donated to the U.S. Air Force.
On 02Feb72 F-BDRS was retired after 20 years of service!
The same year F-BDRR and F-BDSQ were scrapped. By that time only 5 airworthy B-17s remained plus 3 in storage.
On 06Jun73 F-BGSR was retired and in August F-BGSG was scrapped, without even having served in a flying capacity...
That same year F-BEED was scrapped, after her nose was put on F-BGSH.
On 07Jun74 F-BGSO was retired.
In 1975 2 B-17s were sold: F-BGSO on 20Jan and F-BDRS on 24 May. F-BEEC also ended its flying career.
--------->> continued further down..

Boeing B-17 F-BGSQ, with its rudder missing, at Creil (France) in 1970; photo by Ron Mak

Boeing B-17G, F-BGSQ / 44-85594
Vega built B-17G accepted on 29Mar1945. AAF / USAF service as an SB-17G and TB-17G.
Transferred to the IGN on 07Oct1954, and issued the French registration F-BGSQ. 
Remained in service until 1972 when scrapped at Creil.
[From the B-17 book 'The Final Cut', by Scott A. Thompson]


Boeing B-17 F-BEEC at Creil in 1970; photo by Ron Mak
Boeing B-17 F-BEEC at Creil in 1970; photo by Ron Mak

Boeing B-17G, F-BEEC / 44-85718
Vega built B-17G accepted on 08May1945. No AAF service. Stored at Syracuse, NY, until november 1945. Then sent to Altus, OK, for disposal.
Sold as surplus to the IGN in late 1947, reg'd as F-BEEC. IGN service continued through 1984, then sold to British aircraft collector Doug Arnold as G-FORT.
It was subsequently sold to collector Stephen Grey, then again sold in June 1987 to Robert Waltrip of Houston,TX as N900RW.
Transferred to the Lone Star Flight Museum in november 1987; the museum since moving from  Galveston,TX.
It was transferred to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame in 1999.
It remains in airworthy condition.
The museum moved to Ellington in 2017. [From the B-17 book 'The Final Cut', by Scott A. Thompson]

[Part 3 of 3 on this page]
In Oct.80, F-BGSP (44-8846) was in storage at Creil, but she went back into the air in 1984: to fly over the Champs Elysées on the 14th July parade.
On 08Sep(no year) F-BGSO made her last flight, to the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace du Bourget.
On 27Aug79 F-BGSP was also retired, but was maintained to an airworthy condition.
On 10Apr87 F-BEEC was sold, registered in U.K. - but ferried to the United States.
By then IGN has only 2 B-17 in use.

F-BGSP was put back in flying order and made a flypast over the Champs-Elysées for the 14July84 military parade. A 1.500 manhours effort had been required for a 45 seconds flypast over the famous Parisian avenue...
In 1985 'GSP was registered as a vintage aircraft, later becoming F-AZDX. Two years later she was given to Association Forteresse Toujours Volante, which was to keep her airworthy and put her on display.
At the same time, IGN kept F-BEEA, her very first B-17.
In 1989, F-BEEA joined F-AZDX in England, to take part (with another flying B-17) in the making of the Hollywood movie 'Memphis Belle'.
Soon after the start of filming, F-BEEA took off alongside F-AZDX, but suffered from the turbulence of the latter and then made a violent forced-landing at RAF Binbrook. The B-17 burned fiercely on the ground and was totally destroyed; luckily with no loss of life. She amounted some 42 years of flying.

This loss marked the end of the IGN use of the B-17. The B-17 had been purchased as a stopgap measure for a period of 4 or 5 years, but eventually these B-17s were used for 40 years - and despite the growing lack of spares! Since the end of the 1980s the task is carried out by Spot, a satellite...

The above information, on B-17s with IGN, is based on the text on
More on IGN:

UPDATE: N900RW 'Thunderbird' has been acquired by the Mount Pleasant,TX-based MAFM per 19Dec20!
It is expected to fly to its new home in spring 2021.

B-17 line up at Creil, copyright Ron Mak
A beautiful line up of B-17s, at Creil Airfield (France), operated by IGN.
About F-BGSO (c/n 8289 ): this Flying Fortress was delivered to USAAF in January 1945 and assigned to 8th
Air Force in England. Sold to the French IGN for aerial mapping in 1954 and finally WFU in 1974 and given to
the Musée de l'Air at Le Bourget - where it remains stored in a non-public aerea.

Boeing B-17 F-BGSO at Creil in 1972; photo by Ron Mak

Boeing B-17G, F-BGSO / 44-8889
Vega built B-17G delivered on 27Jan1945. Sent to England and may have been assigned to the 91st BG though service is doubtful.
Post-war service as an RB-17G until 1954.
Sold to the IGN in December 1954, reg'd as F-BGSO. Served until 1976 when turned over to the Musee del 'Air at Paris Le Bourget Airport.
It remains in storage.
[From the B-17 book 'The Final Cut', by Scott A. Thompson]


B-17 F-BEEA at Creil
Boeing B-17 F-BEEA at Creil in 1972; photo by Ron Mak
The nose has 'Chateau de Verneuil' written on it. And I suspect something with '..aériennes' on the fuselage? Which
would be different from the 'Institut Geographique National'-titles seen on it in 1980 (further down).

Boeing B-17G, F-BEEA / 44-85643
Vega built B-17G, accepted on 19Apr1945. No AAF service. Stored at Syracuse, NY, then sent to the RFC at Altus, OK, for disposal.
Sold as one of four new B-17Gs to the IGN in December 1947. French registration of F-BEEA issued.
IGN service through 1989.
It was destroyed in July 1989, at RAF Binbrook during the filming of 'The Memphis Belle'.
[From the B-17 book 'The Final Cut', by Scott A. Thompson]

B-17 F-BEEA visiting Schiphol
B-17G F-BEEA visiting Amsterdam's IAP, Schiphol.

Can't make out the tailnumber on this photo but I'm sure this is F-BEEA (Institut Geographique National-IGN)

A fine air-to-air photo of this Flying Fortress F-BEEA in its civilian role:

F-BEEA, Chateau de Verneuil.
From 'B-17G Flying Fortress, c/n 8552 (-VE), delivered to USAAF as 44-85643;
reg'd as F-BEEA 22jun89, flew as Chateau de Verneuil, used for aerial survey work in Europe, Africa and Papua-
New Guinea; used in movie 'Memphis Belle', june 1989; painted as 'Baby Ruth'; crashed on take-off & burned at
RAF Binbrook (UK) on 25jul89 (no fatalities).



Boeing B-17 F-BEED at Creil in 1972
Boeing B-17 F-BEED at Creil in 1972, for spare parts supply; photo by Ron Mak

Boeing B-17G, F-BEED / 44-83729
Douglas built B-17G accepted on 28May1945. No AAF service. Stored at Syracuse, NY, then to RFC at Altus, OK.
Sold by the WAA to the IGN on 24Dec1947, for survey work in France. Assigned the French registration of F-BEED.
It remained in service until 1962 when scrapped at Creil in France.
[From the B-17 book 'The Final Cut', by Scott A. Thompson]



B-17 485784, copyright Ron Mak
Boeing B-17G, 44-85784 - 'Sally B'

Boeing B-17G 'Sally B'
Boeing B-17G 'Sally B', photographed by Ron Mak in 1985

Boeing B-17G 'Sally B'
B-17 'Sally B' yet again but photographed by Ron Mak in 2002; a distinct improvement I would say.

Built as a B-17G-105-VE, delivered as 44-85784 from the Lockheed's Vega factory at Burbank,CA as
part of the final batch of 100 aircraft. After AAF and USAF service as a TB-17G and ETB-17G with various
test programs.
Surplus afther 1954, on 28Oct54 struck from the USAF inventory after transfer to Institut Geographique National (IGN) as F-BGSR.
In 1974 it was withdrawn from IGN service and sold to Ted White and Don Bullock of Euroworld Limited (London,UK). There was some owner dispute and registered Jan.'75 as N17TE, but after 1976 was based at Duxford as G-BEDF, transferred to the 'B-17 Preservation Ltd' in 1979.
It remains airworthy to this day and is still based at Duxford; the name 'Sally B' was applied to the airplane.


B-17G F-BGSR, later to become one of the most well know preserved B-17s: 'Sally B'.


B-17 42-38050
Boeing B-17G 'Flying Fortress', 42-38050/U/2 'Thunder Bird' in 1987
B-17 42-38050 'Thunder Bird'
B-17 42-38050 'Thunder Bird'

B-17 'Thunder Bird'
B-17 'Thunder Bird'
B-17 42-38050 'Thunder Bird'

I came across this very same B-17 in 2015, at Galveston's Lone Star museum!


B-17 42-31983
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress '42-38133' (ex/ F-BDRS; c/n 32376) photographed by Ron Mak in 1987.
Last year, in 2017, I came across this very same B-17G while preserved at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.


B-17 Memphis Belle
Boeing B-17G 'Memphis Belle', as seen in 1991 by Ron Mak

I had the distinct pleasure to witness it doing an air display at Duxford's 'Flying Legends 2017'
You'll also find its history in detail written out there.



Ron Mak shared this photo of Grumman HU-16 N4796U, in better days, after seeing it reported on my USA 2017

HU-16 N4796U by Ron Mak (1986)

N4796U has been a stored resident of Globe (AZ) now for years and I passed it in October last year.

These two were added in Dec.2017. Photod take by Ron at Malta-Luqa Airport on 27 & 28 October 1970.
L.1049G 5T-TAF, by Ron Mak
5T-TAF has c/n 4618 and this L.1049G participated in Biafra's humanitarian airlift.

Delivered to Transportes Aereos Portugueses (TAP) September 1955 as L1049G CS-TLC
Named 'Cago Coutinho' in 1960's
Made TAP's final Super Constellation flight on September 13, 1967 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Lisbon, Portugal)
To International Aerodyne Inc November 3, 1967
To North American Aircraft Trading Company (Hank Wharton) November 8, 1967 for use on the Biafran Airlift with false registration 5T-TAF
Impounded at Luqa, Malta February 16, 1968 with a load of aircraft tires
Abandoned at Luqa and sold at auction November 6, 1972 to Salvatore Bezzina & Sons, Ltd for £M3,000
Towed to site near village of Kirkop January 9, 1973 and ownership officially transferred on January 10, 1973
To BFB Ltd and converted to a restaurant/bar June 1974 at a cost of over £M10,000
Cockpit, engines and instruments kept intact
Restaurant closed ~1988 and aircraft abandoned
Malta Aviation Museum Foundation founded 1992 and was interested in restoring the aircraft
Burned by vandals January 30, 1997.
Foundation purchased the remains which included the wings , undercarrage and enginesview.

Info from Ralph M. Pettersen's Constellation Survivors and provided by Ron Mak

DC-4 5H-AAH, by Ron Mak
Douglas DC-4-1009 5H-AAH (c/n 42931), manufactured in 1946
Operated by Williamson Diamonds Mines

Delivered to DDL as OY-DFI 06-05-1946
Mgd with SAS 01-08-1948
Bought by Air Charter as G-AOXK 08-10-1956
Mgd with British United Airways 01-07-1960
Bought by Aviation Traders Ltd 07-1963
Bought by Williamson Diamond Mines 07-1963, as 5H-AAH
Sold as N39430 owner ? 03-1977
Bought by Zaire Air Service 03-1977, as 9Q-CPM.
w.f.u / stored ? 1980

Info DC4 An Airline Publications Production, by John and Maureen Woods &
TAHS, Piston Engine Airliner Production List, by A.B. Eastwood & J.Roach.

History by, aviation's online database
History 5H-AAH by ATDB


This is an update of Oct.2017 and depict a visit by Ron to Las Palmas, Gran Canarias, Spain in 1970
DC-3 derelict at Las Palmas in 1970
DC-3 derelict at Las Palmas in 1970
Ron wrote: "An unidentified DC-3 op Las Palmas-Gando Airport. I searched for its identity (e.g. Aviation Safety Network and ATDB), but without result. Spantax flew a considerable amount of DC-3's, and a surprising number
found their demise at Tenerife but I could not find one of theirs ending at Las Palmas..?"

Juergen Scherbarth wrote (30Oct17): "The DC-3 on Ron Mak’s photo shows ex British Westpoint G-AJHZ, which was scrapped at LPA by that time… Juergen sent a Aug68 photo with G-AHJZ in the same position, HERE..
See photos on:"

Looked c/n 12421 up in Air-Britain's 'The DC-3, the first 70 Years" and quote the history from where it became EC-ASQ TASSA leased 24May62 to 10Mar64 -- G-AJHZ Trans World Lsng Ltd, Luton reg'd 15Feb65 -- wfu Luton May'66 -- Canx 14Sep66 as 'abroad' -- CoA expired 03Apr67 -- Derelict Lisbon 1968.
The statements 'wfu' and 'derelict' were found to be a little bit unduly!

Alexandre Avrane (ATDB) added: "G-AJHZ used in Aug.66 in RAF colours for the movie 'Where the Bullets Fly'.
Terry Lee wrote: "I remember 'JHZ very well when with British European Airways (BEA) in the late 50s and early 60s on regular scheduled passenger flights into Birmingham (UK).
She disappeared off the UK register in 1966, believed to Spain."
Juergen Scherbarth sent a Aug68 photo with G-AHJZ in the same position, HERE..


DC-3 EC-AQF of Spantax
DC-3 EC-AQF of Spantax SA
History by ATDB aero: C-47B c/n 26465: USAAF 43-49204 -- Swissair HB-IRF -- Spantax EC-AQF --
ADCO AL / Air Mannia N99873 (unused?) -- Ethiopian AL ET-AGK (shows on my Photos by Friends & Guests 17)
Destroyed 15OCT1978 at Soddu a.k.a. Sodo-SXU (hulk to ADD as wingless ground trainer).

DC-3 EC-BEC Spantax
DC-3 EC-BEC of Spantax SA
History by ATDB aero: DC-3C c/n 43089 - Spantax EC-BEC (converted) -- SN Brussels AL OO-DVG --
Academy AL N3433Y -- Meridian AC N4333Y -- Transwest Air Express N4333Y -- Air Alaska Cargo
(Salair?) N3433Y Destroyed 18Mar1994 at Spokane,WA-GEG

C-54 EC-AUY Spantax
DC-4/C-54 EC-AUY Spantax SA
History by ATDB aero: C-54D c/n 10792 USAAF 42-72687 -- Airlift Int'l N6685N -- Interocean AW
LX-TEL -- United Nations Organisation (wet-leased from Interocean, opf ONUC in Belgian Congo) -- Spantax
EC-AUY -- Aviaco EC-AUY (leased and returned ft/to Spantax) -- Scrapped

DC-6 EC-BBK Spantax; by Ron Mak
DC-6 EC-BBK Spantax; note that background! And a survivor to this day!
DC-6 EC-BBK Spantax; by Ron Mak
DC-6 EC-BBK Spantax; a better attitude of EC-BBK
History by ATDB aero: DC-6B/F(ST) c/n 44434 - Western AL N91310 -- Los Angeles Dodgers N1R --
Los Angeles Dodgers N180R -- Taxader HK-1029 -- Spantax EC-BBK -- converted DC-6B in 6/68 by SABENA at Brussels -- temporary operated for 'Ford Force' in mid-1968 -- Zantop Int'l AL N434TA -- Trans-Air-Link
N434TA leased from Zantop -- Northern Air Cargo N434TA - Buffalo Airways C-.... stored at Hay River

N434TA features several times on my (RL) website, even saw it being in use: DC-6 Swingtail --
Douglas DC-6 -- Propliners at Fairbanks, 2003 -- Yukon, Anchorage and Seattle --
Skytrucks at Fairbanks, 2012 -- Photos by Friends & Guests #37 -- Dirk Septer's propliners

DC-7 EC-BSP Spantax; by Ron Mak
DC-7 EC-BSP Spantax S.A.
History by ATDB aero: Douglas DC-7C/F c/n 45158 - SABENA OO-SFB (converted DC-7C in 1963; temporary
reg'd as EP-AEP) -- Persian Air Svcs EP-AEP -- Spantax EC-BSP -- Talingo AL HP-868 -- Int'l Air Response
N3775U -- Aerotim Cargo N3775U -- Aerotim Cargo HI-619CA -- Aerotim Cargo HI-618SP --
Destroyed 06Nov92 Ft Lauderdale, Dania Beach.

DC-7 EC-BEO derelict; by Ron Mak
DC-7 EC-BEO, derelict.
History by ATDB aero: Douglas DC-7C c/n 45551 - Alitalia I-DUVU -- Martinair Holland PH-MAK --
Trabajos Aéreos y Enlaces (TAE, 1967-1981) EC-BEO -- Scrapped at LPA


Ron Mak shared this photo from his archives in august 2017.
VP-WAW by Ron Mak (1968)

Ron wrote: "Photo taken at Woensdrecht (Netherlands) in Januari 1968 at Aviolanda, Lockheed L-1049G VP-WAW
(c/n 4685) of Air Trans Africa. Seen here for maintenance.
Originally ordered by QANTAS as VH-EAU, but the order was cancelled. It went to Varig instead, reg'd as PP-VDF
on 21Jan1958. It was passed on to Norte Importadora Ltda, date 01Mar1967.
And immediately sold on to Air Trans Africa ass VP-WAW (that same date).
For about 2 months it was leased to Protea Airways (ZS-FAA), starting around 12May1967.
The L-1049G was returned to Air Trans Africa (rereg'd as VP-WAW in juli 1967) and used for flights to Biafra.
In that bitter conflict it was re registered in Sep. 1968 als TR-LNY (for Air Trans Africa).
And rereg'd for Afro-Continental in 1970, as VP-WAW.
It reached the end of its useful life on 28Sep74 at Salisbury Airport in Rhodesia (present Harare, Zimbabwe) and
was used as informal hang-out for the ATC staff of Salisbury.
VP-WAW was broken in 1990.
[Info: TAHS and Air Britain]


Ron mentioned a link with Hank Wharton to this airframe. I checked database:
History L-1049G VP-WAW
ATDB mentions 'Jack Malloch' so I searched and found...

From 'Soldiers of Fortune - Mercenary Wars'

"We as ATA were flying all types of goods to Biafra from Gabon, Ivory Coast, S.A. and Portugal, starting in 1967. (This is all detailed in my Autobiography), Because we were flying as an airline and all of our aircraft, when scheduled, were ferried into Holland. This was to a maintenance base in Woensdrecht for our technical needs.

On Jan 17th 1968 I was scheduled to fly our L-1049-G, VP-WAW into Woensdrecht Holland for a maintenance check. At the same time Jack Malloch was ferrying a newly purchased DC-7C aircraft from Europe to Biafra via Lome, (TOGO). Unfortunately the crooked politicians in Lome confiscated the DC7-C and placed Jack Malloch and the crew into jail so they could steal the millions of Biafran currency that were on board and also to keep the aircraft for themselves.

Whilst in Holland we were informed about Jack and his crew being in jail with no signs of release. In fact we heard that they might be executed for treason. When our money ran out we were completely stranded in Holland and also had our ATA, DC-4 VP-YTY aircraft at Woensdrecht undergoing maintenance. This meant we had two full crews in a Hotel right in the middle of a bad winter with absolutely no money.

We sold anything of value to survive, even to sending messages back to Rhodesia for financial assistance. Eventually after many good and bad experiences we decided that we had to get out of Holland somehow and leave the aircraft in Woensdrecht, because we could not pay the bills. The two Captains and F/Os left to go back to Rhodesia via UK and the other F/E Bill Brown and myself managed to get to Lisbon to approach Hank Wharton for a job flying his
L-1049G airplanes. This is because we had heard that he wanted experience crews badly. (Hank Wharton operated and ran his so-called business from a Hotel in Lisbon)."
"When I started flying for Hank Wharton, all his crews were part timers during leave of absence from their airlines in the US. Although generally they were very competent they were also rusty because some had not flown Constellations for quite a while. Some also found it very difficult landing in Biafra on roads cleared for us with no more than 17 ft of tarmac either side of main wheels."
"After each completed full round trip we got paid by Hank Wharton in US dollars placed in our hands at his hotel in Lisbon, no cheques. We would not fly another trip until we got paid for the last trip because there was not a lot of trust."

Mention of Hank Wharton can be found on my website 'Ian MacFarlane's propliners', C-119 dossier-page 3, Richard Nash collection, Bill Hill collection and further down this page (C-119 3C-ABA).


Ron Mak sent me this image, of DC-4 N3802, as a possibility for an identity of a DC-4 at Brownsville,TX (1983).
DC-4 N3802

Ron wrote (webmaster's translation: "N3802 DC-4 I saw at at Fort Lauderdale on 30Oct1978 and a year later again,
on 27Oct1979, when I took this slide. Seems to fit: a lot of blue and the tail looks similar."
Yes, N3802 seems to have the same tail, as if a different tail has been fitted on the fuselage.
Compare nov.1976 and oct.1977 images on They all show a similar scene: "the left hand outboard
wing on the ground in the very same spot. But it had to be refitted of course, to make it to Texas by 1983.
But the '02' on the nosewheeldoor had been lost by then.

History of N3802 (c/n 10362): dlvd to USAF (42-72257), Pan Am (N88923), Avianca Colombia (HK-178), Notre-Dame Air Transport (CF-JIR), Wheeler Airlines (CF-JIR), Nordair (CF-JIR), Eastern Provincial A/W (CF-JIR), Florida Caribbean Airlines (N3802) - ultimate fate obscure, suspected drugsrunner.
Well, Brownsville,TX had a reputation for clandestine border crossings....

Unidentified Big Doug at Brownsville, TX (1983)
At first I thought to read N320, but N3802 seems a possible candidate. Photo (1983) by Ulco Kalt.
Others suggestions offer detailed doubts and one offers N32DR as the mystery aircraft.
See Search for.. the complete details offered on this quest.


CL-44 HC-AZH at Quito 1977, by Ron Mak
CL-44 HC-AZH captured on film by Ron Mak at Quito's Int;s Airport in 1970.

Canadair CL-44 HC-AZH (c/n 13)
From my files: Ex/Andes Airlines, stored since 1986 at Guayaquil with HC-AZS (c/n 6).
Used by Andes until 1986.
Last noted Guayaquil-GYE sep97. After becoming obsolete and endured lon time storage it was donated to City of Guayaquil Aviation Museum and ended up in town as the 'Mayday nightclub', Los Totems, @Cuenca.
See my report OFF-AIRPORT LATIN AMERICA and an interesting photo on my Photos by Friends & Guests (40)


N67018 at Mesa Falcon Field, by Ron Mak (1978)
Douglas C-54D N67018 (c/n 22196/648) at Mesa's Falcon Field, by Ron Mak (1978)
The history of this C-54Q (modified -D model; ex/ 43-17246 USAAF and US Navy BuN 56544) is described on
my Alaska & Canada 2003 page
. It moved to Alaska for Brooks Fuel, was stored/parted out (still there afaik, 2017)

N67017 at Mesa Falcon Field, by Ron Mak (1978)
Douglas C-54B N67017 (10438/169) at Mesa Falcon Field near Phoenix (AZ), by Ron Mak (1978)

I have come across this N67017 a few times (2008 at Mesa's Falcon Field and at Greybul 2014), but before
2008 this damaged forward fuselage must have been replaced and I wondered which aircraft was 'the donor'!

N67017 in Oct.1982 - by Malcolm Nason
Malcolm Nason
wrote me (june 2017): "N44913 was the donor - incident date not known but prior to October
1982, when I took this photo at Mesa of N44913 fitted with the damaged nose of N67017!
- obviously they did a test grafting with it.
Link to image on Flickr or



A thread on my Photos by Friends & Guests (48), started by Rolf Larsson for finding the fate of Convair CV340
SE-GTE (c/n 99) prompted Ron to send me these fine photos on 20Mar17 in support of msn 99's history & fate.
CV340 LN-FOF at Schiphol, by Ron Mak
The history (and fate!) of this Fred Olsen transport is detailed on my page Search for Plane Identities

And sightings of this very same 'propliner' later in life, as N14CD at Ft.Lauderdale:CV340 N14CD at KFLL, by Ron Mak

CV340 N14CD at KFLL, by Ron Mak
Sometime after 27Nov1981 N14CD was scrapped, but a more exact date is missing. EMAIL


This update was made 17Mar2017:

C-119 line up
The Flying Boxcars formed the main transport element of the Belgian Air Force from 1951 to 1973.

With the arrival of the C-119G Flying Boxcar for 15 Wing a 3rd squadron was formed to share the type with 20 Smaldeel, and this was established on 01Apr1954 as 40 Transportsmaldeel, based at Melsbroek.
Following the pattern set by the other 2 squadrons of 15 Wing, a Sioux indian head was adopted as the unit insignia, but circled in green.
40 Smaldeel remained in commission only until June 1954 when it was disbanded as an economy measure and the Boxcars re-grouped under 20 Smaldeel.
Between 1957 and 1960 the 'green' Sioux was used by the Transport Flight at Kamina, Congo, but 40 Smaldeel was re-formed in June 1961 and once again claimed the insignia.
With the arrival of the Hercules, the Boxcars were placed in storage and 40 Smaldeel disbanded on 31Jun1973.
The unit was later made a helo Smaldeel under a different insignia.
From: 'Belgian Military Aviation', by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties Publications, 1977)


C-119 CP-11 OT-CAK (c/n 10685) served Feb.1961 - Oct.1975, scrap parts used for the CP-10 at Melsbroek.
Its registration would be CP-11 while 'OT-CAK' would be its radio callsign. It was ex/ USAF 51-2702 and went, supposedly, to Norway after its phase out (which is in contradiction to Ron Mak's information - but see below).

Joe Baugher's website has c/n as 10691 for 51-2701 and : "....CP11, radio call sign OT-CAK. Returned to USAF
12Sep1955. Converted to C-119G by SABENA. To Royal Norwegian AF as 12702/BW-H 'Hiawatha'.
Ret to USAF in 1969. To MASDC as CJ308 18Jul1969. Declared excess 26Dec1973. Scrapped in 1976."

But.. Joe Baugher has on that same page another CP11/OT-CAK!
51-2696 (msn 10685) to Belgian AF 13Oct1952 as CP5, radio call sign OT-CAE. Returned to USAF 12Sep1955. Purchased by Belgian government 21May1959. Converted to C-119G by SABENA between 1955 and 1957. Transferred to Spanish AF in 1956 as T.9-4 but not accepted and returned to USAF at Chateauroux, France
that same year.
Moved to Brussels for storage and transferred back to Belgian AF 20May1959, being reserialled CP11, radio call sign OT-CAK.
Struck off charge Jan. 1975 and broken up at Neuville, Belgium

Anyone an idea which CP-11 we are looking at here? I have a feeling it is c/n 10691 51-2701... EMAIL


The batch 51-2690/2717 were C-119F-FA Flying Boxcar of which some were converted to C-119G.

Fairchild C-119G CP-22 OT-CBB (ex/USAF 52-6023; c/n 10953)
Joe Baugher has: "52-6023 (msn 10953) to Belgian AF Feb 23, 1954 as CP22, radio call sign OT-CBB.
To storage at Koksijde 02May1972. Returned to USAF July 1974. Scrapped at Koksijde 1977-78.

Melsbroek, some history of the 15 Wing.

In 1950, the 15th Wing of Evere moved to Melsbroek where the buildings and runways, established during the occupation by the Germans, lend themselves for development of a modern airport and which could be adapted to the needs of the increased flight operations. The infrastructure in Evere had become inadequate, not least due to the lack of a paved runway.
That year 2 DC-4's were acquired to be used for flights to the colonies.

On 24Sep1952 the first C-119 Fairchild Packet ('Flying Boxcar') arrived in Melsbroek. They were the first of a total of 46 aircraft in use for tactical airlift of 20 Squadron.
For this purpose, a third squadron, no.40 was established; it had been dissolved in 1955, but was again re-installed for operations between 1960 and 1972.
The remaining DC-3 Dakota was operated by 21 squadron.
When the Oxfords and Ansons were to be replaced in 1953, the 21 Squadron received 12 Percival Pembrokes.
These aircraft (especially the ones with a glass nose) were put to good use for aerial photography and calibration, in addition to the transportation of light cargo.
Meanwhile, it was found that the DC-4 were insufficiently equipped for the task for which they were purchased, connecting Belgium with its colonies.
Thus in 1958 two DC-6 were acquired from the USAF and in 1960 another two from Sabena.

The Flying Boxcars were decommissioned between 1971 and 1973 and disposed at the aircraft park of Koksijde.
The DC-4's had been phased out in 1971. The career of the DC-3 in the 15 Wing ended also at Koksijde,  flown over for storage in 1976. And the Pembrokes and DC-6 were phased out that year too.
From: (translation by webmaster, RL)

See various C-119 pages I have on my website C-119 Index Page


Fairchild C-119G CP-38 OT-CBR (ex/ USAF 52-6051; c/n 11119)
Joe Baugher has for 52-6051 (msn 11119): "to Belgian AF 21Feb1954 as CP38, radio call sign OT-CBR.
To storage at Koksijde 01Dec1972. Returned to USAF July 1974. Scrapped at Koksijde 1977-78."

C-119 CP-32 OT-CBL (ex/ USAF 52-6045; c/n 11084) served from Feb.1954 - July 1974.
Joe Baugher has for 52-6045 (msn 11084): "to Belgian AF 14Feb1954 as CP32, radio call sign OT-CBL.
To storage at Koksijde 10Feb1972. Returned to USAF in July 1974. Scrapped at Koksijde 1977-78."

Fairchild C-119G 46-22; ex/ USAF 52-6037 (c/n 11076)
C-119G-35-FA 46-22 Italian Air Force (ex/ USAF 52-6037); it crashed at Kwamouth, Congo on 02Feb1961.
Joe Baugher's USAF 1952 Serials offers: 52-6037 (MSN 11076) to Italian AF as MM52-6037.

ASN Crashreport C-119 Italian Air Force 46-22

The Aeronautica Militare Italiano operated a total of 65 C-119's between 1965 and 1979. No.46 Stormo had been established in 1940 as a bomber unit.
C-119s were introduced into the Italian Air Force on 19May1953 and based at Pisa (San Guista). The No.2 Gruppo became the 1st squadron to be equipped with C-119s.
A USAF training unit was in place there to assist with the transition of No.46 Stormo.
The airplanes were finished in aluminized paint; the USAF roundel were removed and replaced by the Italian AF roundel. Codes for No.46 Stormo were applied to either side of the roundel. The USAF serials were retained
on the vertical fins.

In 1954 the 46e Stormo was redesignated No.46 Aerobrigata Transporti Medi (Medium Transport Brigade).
No.50 Gruppo was formed late-1960s when the C-119J's came into the inventory.
In 1963 the C-119G's received a camouflaged scheme, followed in 1965 by the C-119J's. A green/grey paint was applied. Dayglo orange (later yellow) bands were applied to the nose, wingtips and booms.
Smaller USAF-style serial numbers were applied to the fins with an 'MM' -prefix, representing Matricola Militaire or military serial.
While the nose colours remained for each squadron, the codes were changed to provide squadron identity as follows: No.2 Gruppo 46-20 thru 46-39, No.50 Gruppo 46-50 thru 46-69, No.98 Gruppo 47-80 thru 46-99.
Four C-119s (46-55, 46-62, 46-30 & 46-68) were used in a VIP -transport capacity.
Three C-119s were converted for use in the ECM role, by 71 Gruppo / 14 Stormo (46-30 ex/ VIP, 46-35, 46-63).

From: 'Fairchild C-82 and C-119' by Alwyn T. Lloyd (Aerofax, 2005) - the only authoritative C-119 publication in print!

See my C-119 dossier on my website PAGE ONE - PAGE TWO - PAGE THREE - PAGE FOUR



This update was added 25Feb2017:

Fairchild C-119K 917 (c/n 11171), Debre Zeit unit, Ethiopian Air Force
Fairchild C-119K 917 (c/n 11171), Debra Zeit unit, Ethiopian Air Force.
Joe Baugher has this Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar as 'USAF 53-3160 (msn 11171) converted to C-119K.
To Ethiopia as 917. Abandoned at Debrezit [sic] in 1996.' Googling 'Debre Zeit' I came to Harar Meda Airport
but Google Earth did not show a twin-boomed transport as far as I could see. Probably scrapped.

Note that this Dutch air base was always known as and officially named 'Twenthe Air Base'; why the 'h' was added
is unclear, the area is known as 'Twente'. When the airbase was demilitarized the name was corrected to Enschede Airport Twente (Wikipedia EN - Wikipedia NL). In my 'military days' (1970s) it had nos. 313 & 315 squadron based.

C-119 3C-ABA, a Hank Wharton plane
Fairchild C-119G Flying Boxcar 3C-ABA (c/n 10689) at Manston in 1982.
By an image on I found the following information:"Ex: 51-2700, CP9/OT-CAI, conversion C-119F
to C-119G. To: G-BLSW, N2700, scrapped 1994 at North Weald."
Here is an image on ('late 1980s') showing msn 10689 wearing both registrations: G-BLSW and N2700!

One immediately wonders who had this unmarked C-119 registered in Equatorial Guinea? Well, that was the infamous
Hank Wharton and the outfit was Bata Int'l. Apparently that operation lasted from 1981 - 1983 and also operated
Boeing 707s 3C-ABH and 3C-ABI. I doubt if 3C-ABA ever flew and commercially operated as such outside the UK...?

Hank Wharton makes up for some interesting reading!
Like here on
His real name was Heinrich Wartski and he was born in Germany in 1916. He came to the USA in 1937.
Wharton (or Warton) operated under several diffent company names, e.g. North American Aircraft Trading Co (a.k.a. 'Biafra Airways', with all 5T- registrations being fake!) and ARCO Bermuda in 1969-71. That last one was based at Sao Tomé, Basle and Stockholm.
Mike Zoeller did an excellent write up on

Wharton is mentioned again, look up on this page, in relation to L.1049G VP-WAW.

The above airframe history would make it the same airframe as the Belgian Air Force C-119 CP-9 below!

C-119 CP-9 by Ron Mak
51-2700 / CP-09 OT-CAI / 3C-ABA / G-BLSW / N2700; was scrapped at North Weald in 2003.
It is the same airframe as 3C-ABA depicted above.

See what I wrote on a UK 2003 propliner trip.......

C-119 N2700 scrap at North Weald Little remains of this Fairchild C-119F N2700 (c/n10689). I don't know in which movie this airframe played a part, if ever, but it must have been quite some time ago.
It lies disgarded against the hangar.
This Flying Boxcar served the US Air Force as 51-2700 and went to the Belgian Air Force as CP-9.

It entered UK's civil register as G-BLSW (after being modified from C-119F to C-119G) and was later reregistered as N2700.

Info by Joe Baugher's USAF serials
A fine photo by Dré Peijmen as 3C-ABA at Manston,UK 26Jun83 can be seen at

The cockpit is in even worse condition.

During Sep.2007 it moved to Redhill:
"During late September ex North Weald based C-119 cockpit section was rescued from the threat of potential scrap by members of the Wings Museum which is based at Redhill Aerodrome in Surrey.
The relic became threatened by ongoing pressure from the local council to 'tidy up' the outside aprons around the hangers at North Weald Aerodrome.


s quarterly magazine 'Aviation World' published a detailed history on the 'British Boxcar in their Spring 2010 issue, see this Acrobat Reader .pdf document

C-119 53-7871 Royal Maroccan Air Force
C-119G 0-37871 (53-7871; c/n 11296) of the Royal Moroccan Air Force (CNA-MI or CN-AMI)
And two more B&W photographs of the same airframe:
C-119 53-7871 Royal Maroccan Air Force
C-119G 871 in some serious maintenance at Brussel's Zaventem Int'l Airport

C-119 53-7871 Royal Maroccan Air Force
Fairchild C-119G 53-7871 of the Maroccan Air Force seen in 1970 by Ron Mak at Brussel's Zaventem IAP.

C-119 53-7857 Royal Maroccan Air Force
Fairchild C-119G 0-37857 (53-7857; c/n 11278) of the Royal Moroccan Air Force (CNA-MK or CN-AMK)

I have compiled a dossier on the Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, see my pages ONE + TWO + THREE




Ron Mak sent me these 2 images taken at Managua IAP, Nicaragua in 1980; he wrote: "I've sent you 2 images of DC-6s which I photographed on 04Nov1980. I am unable to find anything on these Sixes. Quite possibly the tailnumber AN-MEG was fake, but I think YN-BWZ could have been the real thing - yet I cannot find anything on it.
Perhaps one of your readers is able to shed any light on the identities, the operator, their fate..?!"

YN-BWZ DC-6 in Nicaragurua 1980 by Ron Mak
DC-6 YN-BWZ, @Managua (1980). That round badge which has been removed may hold a clue?
A good theory of that scrubbed logo can be read below, made by Alexandre Avrane.


AN-MEG DC-6 in Nicaragurua 1980 by Ron Mak
DC-6 AN-MEG, Nicaragua (1980)

The online database has a listing of both YN-BWZ & AN-MEG, but with few details.
Aeronica (=Aerolineas Nicaraguenses, based Managua and operated 1981-1992) was listed to have operated 1 Douglas DC-6A (YN-BWN c/n ?) and 3 DC-6B/F's (YN-BFO c/n 45324 - YN-CBE c/n ? - YN-BWZ c/n ? 'to Trans Dominican Airways TRADO and fate as 'disposed').

And AN-MEG does have a listing at, but c/n ? and operator 'private users in Nicaragua'; which raises suspicious thoughts about its use in my cynical mind! No 'fate' except 'disposed'; could have been ditched during an illegal transport, rotting at the bottom of the sea or at some hidden airstrip in the jungle...

Eduard Sorokin was first to reply:

1) I consider, both planes - YN-BWZ and AN-MEG - to have valid registrations.
2) Their owner is not AERONICA (which was only established in 1981), but LANICA CARGO (Líneas Aéreas de Nicaragua) airline (both DC-6s are cargo versions, almost without passenger windows).
And YN-BWZ has the 'Cargo' title on fuselage.

My conclusion is confirmed by this plane list:
Note the upper part of far left column, it mentions both these aircraft I consider, this is the list of planes, shown in videos from this DVD:
Possibly, there are more details on those planes in this videos.
(Note: the video was compiled from work both by Ron and his brother Chris Mak and the footage may well depict these images we have as subject-Webmaster)
Evidently these DC-6s belonged to LANICA CARGO.

Here is some more infirmation:
- By March 1975, LANICA's fleet consisted of two Convair 880s, three C-46s and four DC-6s that served a route network including domestic services, as well as international passenger and cargo services to Mexico City, Miami and San Salvador. See also the Wikileaks document of 19Aug1976, below.
- At May 1981, the airline had a fleet of two Boeing 727-100s, three C-46s and one DC-6 (other DC-6 was probably crashed, or written off, or sold somewhere).
This document mentions "TWO CARGO DC-6'S"; these could well be YN-BWZ and AN-MEG.

I also found 2 Ebay auctions with LANICA DC-6 aircraft (sadly, not titled 'CARGO') images today:
- DC-6B AN-BFM, February 1975
DC6 AN-BFM Lanica
Lanica DC6 AN-BFO

Based on the above reaction I checked and found for Lanica Cargo:
DC-6 N74841 (c/n 43056, leased from private users in USA - fate: destroyed)
DC-6/F AN-AMI (c/n 43058, ex/ N90894, to Hemisphere Aircraft Lsng, fate: scrapped)
DC-6B/F YN-BVI (c/n 44117, ex/ CC-CDH - fate scrapped in Panama, 1983)
DC-6B AN-BFM (c/n 45175, ex/ N93120 - rereg to N9920A, fate obscure)
DC-6B/F AN-BHB (c/n 45216, ex/N6580C - to Altas Modas, scrapped)
DC-6B/F AN-BFN (c/n 45322, ex/N93126 - to Altas Modas, destroyed)
DC-6B/F AN-BFO (c/n 45324, ex/N93127 - to Altas Modas, destroyed)

With AN-BFM and AN-BFO accounted for and in above images not resembling Ron Mak's Sixes, we have remaining as candidates:

  • DC-6 N74841
  • DC-6/F AN-AMI
  • DC-6B/F YN-BVI ((but cancel YN-BVI due to below update by Ron Mak)
  • DC-6B/F AN-BHB (but cancel AN-BHB due to below update by Ron Mak)
  • DC-6B/F AN-BFN
  • Lanica (Lineas Aéreas de Nicaragua) based Nicaragua, Managua; operated 1946-1981.

    Alexandre Avrane ( offered the following:
    "Ref DC-6 YN-BWZ, I would hazard that the scrubbed logo on tail is from Exaco, e.g.:
    Lanica Cargo DC-6 mystery

    [Source: or ]

    "Exaco used TI-ALS (45059) and TI-ALW (43530), but could have operated more: TI-AOQ (44259/475), TI-AQQ (45059/704) and TI-ARM (44652/610) are unconfirmed candidates.
    Ref DC-6 AN-MEG, can someone with better knowledge than me tell if this is a DC-6A or a C-118?"

    Some fleet information I found among my books:

    Lanica World Airline Fleets 1979

    Lanica World Airline Fleets 1981

    Ron Mak sent me two images of DC-6 AN-BHB (c/n 45216), to be discounted too as candidates for above 'mysteries':
    DC-6 AN-BHB at Antigua by Ron Mak
    DC-6 AN-BHB at Antigua Int'l Airport 04Jun1980

    DC-6 AN-BHB at Antigua by Ron Mak
    Douglas DC-6 AN-BHB at Antigua Int'l Airport, 12Nov1981; by this time AN-BHB had been seized.

    DC-6 YN-BVI aog at Panama (wfu) by Ron Mak
    YN-BVI is another Six we can cancel from the candidates, as Ron noticed it a short while later
    at Panama Tocuman Airport, 13Nov1980, showing the result of some misfortune.

    So we should now consider this shortlist:

    • DC-6 N74841 - this DC-6 was damaged beyond repair on dinsdag 24Jan1967, Oakland,CA (ASN report)
    • DC-6/F AN-AMI - image but is date unknown (@Managua airport). C/n 43058 career: N90894 - VH-INW - AN-AMI - N90894 - YS-03C (and reportedy scrapped as such in 1975 [source]). YS-03C AESA 1974 image. This image seems to lack the number of windows for c/n 43058 to be a candidate for AN-MEG.
    • DC-6B/F AN-BFN - image 1976. In 1979 c/n 45322 overran runway the runway at Charleston,WV while the aircraft was carrying about 20000lb of marijuana on board. No doubt it was seized, then what ? Two images of AN-BFN does show the (Lanica) cheatline changed from red to blue: 1976 (blue) & red (1970). Bob Garrard has an image on Flickr and wrote the following: "Douglas DC-6B(F) (cn 45322/939) Returning from an engine run up, this aircraft was destroyed in a crash in West Virginia on 6/6/79 with a later operator. Taken 5/76." So it can also be discounted as a candidate for Ron's images.

    • In short we have exhausted our candidates which are commonly known as Lanica's aircraft!

    Help if you can! EMAIL

    Ron Mak sent me this photo, accompanied with a query:
    Beech 18 EC-ASJ

    This Spantax Beech 18 EC-ASJ was seen at Las Palmas on 10Dec1970.
    The question is: is this the same Beech 18 that is parked these days at Malaga? That one has a different looking nose and different radar equipment, but carries tailnumber EC-ASJ plus Spantax S.A. titles. Compare..
    by John Bennett on the Beech 18 Yahoo forum:
    "These are two different aircraft, the original EC-ASJ is c/n AF-752 and is currently with the Fundacion Infante de Orleans at Cuatro Vientos in Spain.
    The ‘EC-ASJ’ preserved at Malaga is c/n BA-6 in false marks, which was originally N3600B, CN-MAQ (Royal Moroccan Air Force), PH-LPS, N9886A."

    By Aad van der Voet on the Classic-Propliners Yahoo forum:
    "The 'EC-ASJ' on display at Malaga is Beech E18S N9886A c/n BA-6, painted as EC-ASJ.
    The real EC-ASJ, as seen in 1970, is Beech C-45H Expeditor c/n AF-752, currently based in airworthy condition in Spantax colours at Cuatro Vientos, with the Fundación Infante de Orleáns. It was first registered as EC-ASJ on 04 May 1962, initially with Trabajos Aéreos Insulares.
    It has kept that registration ever since.


    Beech 18 at Addis Ababa 1988

    Beech 18 at Addis Ababa's Int'l Airport Bole on 21Jan88.
    Ron wrote: "According to my research this is ET-ABM (c/n 3333), a Beech AT-11-BE Kansan a.k.a. C18S Expeditor; this is a former USAAF warbird, adorned the serial 42-36953.
    As N73533 it was owned / operated by John W. Mecom Oil Company, Aden and based at Salif; registered to Ethiopian Airlines 31Mar1965.
    It crashed on 01Mar1967 at Gondar, when it ground looped in a 15 knot cross-wind while landing on a training flight from Dire Dawa...
    Pilot J. Fulchron and two trainee pilots escaped uninjured.
    Registration was cancelled 28Aug1967, but the aircraft moved to Addis Ababa and was used in AMTS, as an instructional airframe."
    [Info from 'Bringing Africa Together, The Story of Ethiopian Airlines'].

    Bob Parmerter, author of the authoritative 'Beech 18: A Civil & Military History', contributed the following history of this airframe:
    'c/n 3333 AT-11:
    42-36953 USAAF delivered Roswell Bombardier Training School 05Nov42. Accident 13Feb45 New Mexico. Accident 11Aug45 Carlsbad, NM.
    Reconstruction Finance Corp, Ponca City, OK 25Oct45.
    Slick Oil Corp, Houston, TX (CAR Feb57) as N73533. John W. Mecom Oil Co, Houston, TX (CAR Nov.'61, Jul64) based at As Salif Arpt, Aden, Yemen for drilling sites in Muscat, Oman.
    Ethiopian Airlines, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia reg'd 31Mar65 as ET-ABM.
    Accident 01Mar67 Gondar, Ethiopia when ground looped on landing in 15 knot crosswind on training flt. 3 uninjured.
    Registration canx 28Aug67.
    Used as instructional airframe at Ethiopian Airline Technical School at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with 549.51 hrs TT.
    Seen abandoned there by 1981. Photo derelict at Bole Arpt Addis Ababa Jan88.
    [Note CAR = Civil Aircraft Register (the Feb57 & Nov61 Registers were actually AOPA computer printouts paid for an AOPA member. Jul65 was print copy done by FAA)].'

    Beech 18 ET-ABM Ethiopian Airlines
    Bob Partmerter sent a scan of a xerox of ET-ABM taken in Jan67 a few weeks before the crash.
    F from Air-Britain Archive 1987 #1 issue; photo credit G.J.R. Skillen.

    DC-6 cockpit wreck at Addia Ababa mystery
    It does seem that this wreck, of DC-6 ET-AER, is still around in 2013 - see Plane Mysteries!


    Ron sent me this photograph in Feb.2016; he wrote (Webmaster's translation):
    "This is SAS DC7C, OY-KND which I came across at Bordeaux-Merignac on 02Dec1972.
    In the TAHS 'bible' Piston Airliner Production List I read that it was broken up at Copenhagen (CPH) during
    Nov1967..? And that the nose section went to Egeskov Veteranmuseum in Egeskov,Denmark."
    So how come that discrepancy of this DC-7C 'Seven Seas' @Bordeaux in 1972, while it had been reportedly been broken up in 1967?

    Read on, Niels Helmø-Larsen spotted the fault!

    DC-7C OY-KND by Ron Mak, 1972
    DC-7C OY-KNC. Rumours are that it was impounded and/or abandoned at Bordeaux in 1967 on its way to Biafra.

    I found that had the following information, but no mention of the year it fell victim to the scrapper:
    "Scrapped (fire trainer, front section to Egeskov for Copenhagen Museum) at CPH."

    From that TAHS reference book (published 2007) I also learned that OY-KND was delivered new to SAS on 11Aug1957 and was subsequently named 'Rolf Viking'.

    Niels Helmø-Larsen was soon to respond through Yahoo's Classic-Propliners forum:
    "Your (and Ron Mak's) info regarding SAS DC-7C is a mix-up between OY-KNC (c/n 44932) and -KND (c/n 45211)!
    OY-KNC is the one on Ron Mak's photo above, at Bordeaux (b/u 1980!) and indeed OY-KND was broken up Kastrup in Nov.1967; the cockpit section was saved, but am not sure if it is still at Egeskov these days."
    Niels included a link to a photo of OY-KNC



    Ron sent me this photo in Feb.2017 during another period of activity researching The Tangled Histories of Colombian DC-6s HK-1776 and HK-1776-W. He sent me below photo, but alas found on secound examination that it was a very similar DC-6, HK-1276-W.
    But too interesting not to share, I thought!
    DC-6 HK-1276-W at VVC, 19feb93 by Ron Mak
    DC-6 HK-1276-W (c/n 44056) at Villavicencio on 19feb93 by Ron Mak

    Ron wrote when sending this image (translation NL->EN by RL):
    "The DC-6 arrived in a sneaky way, I remember that well! And it rolled on until the far end of the airfield.
    We started walking in that direction, to get a better picture, but we were stopped and not allowed to proceed.
    The photo was made during the landing and unfortunately out of focus, it took me by surprise.
    In those days you could walk up to that part of the airport without a problem and the refusal this time made me suspect we were stopped because HK-1276W was transporting a load nobody should see..?"

    History of DC-6 c/n 44056 by (screendump 04Feb2017): history of DC6 44056


    The crash 11Sep2019 of Convair N24DR prompted Ron Mak to send some 1992 photos which include N24DR.
    Propliners at Laredo,TX 1992 by Ron Mak
    Laredo Air was formed by American Airfreight and was operational 1988-1992. showed only Convair CV440 and CV580 aircraft on its fleetlist, so the C-46 and 'Sixes' belong
    to different operators. Ron's notes show XB-BLF for a Beech 18, N1663M for the Curtiss C-46 Commando,
    N1037F for the DC- and XC-UTN for Short Skyvan F.A.M. Those were the days!
    Note: N1663M was noted in a different colourscheme at Fairbanks Airport in June 1972.
    On 02May08 noted scrapped remains at Fairbanks, in the Everts' storage yard. Photos by Friends & Guests #18.

    Propliners at Laredo,TX 1992 by Ron Mak

    Propliners at Laredo,TX 1992 by Ron Mak
    Convair CV440 N24DR (c/n 393). Crash details on my Photos for Friends & Guests #58.

    Propliners at Laredo,TX 1992 by Ron Mak
    N411GA is CV440 c/n 472 and had a long career: Luftwaffe (CA+031, 12+04), Partnair LN-MAM, Trans
    Ocean A/W N411GA, Liberty AL (same), General Aviation, Charter Air, Air Ways Int'l, Sunbird Air,
    Laredo Air , American AirFreight (still N441GA), AeroCedros (XA-TFY). Last reported at El Cipres Airport,
    Ensenada, Mexico and has most likely been scrapped years ago (2004?). ¬

    Propliners at Laredo,TX 1992 by Ron Mak
    N136CA is also a Convair CV440, c/n 400. Its career started with Finnair, as OH-LRE. Reregistered N37444
    and moved to the USA, to Coastal Airlines Express as N136CA, Cochise AL (N136CA), Air Resorts AL (same),
    Laredo Air, American AirFreight, Gulf & Caribbean Air, Aviation n Business Co. / James E Forsythe - still N136CA
    but transfer not taken up (?), was preserved at St. Louis Downtown/Parks Field (Cahokia, CPS), though also
    rumored to be going to HH- registry for Vision Air Haiti at the time, but this did not came to pass.
    Info courtesy online database.



    <Batch update Nov.2019>

    Bolivia La Paz - El Alto Airport 1973

    Consolidated C-87 Liberator CP-576
    Consolidated C-87 Liberator, CP-576. On this tailnumber was not found. In my JP Airline Fleet of
    1981 the CP- page of registrations numbered a little over of 1 page; CP-576 was not included. My JP Airline Fleet of 1983 and 1990 (grown to almost 3 pages of CP- registrations) had nil on CP-576 either.
    BOA could mean Boliviana de Aviación. But Wikipedia has it was established in Oct.2007 (the flag carrier
    airline of Bolivia and is wholly owned by the country's government and began started operations in March 2009).

    My JP Airline Fleets 1981 has no mention of BoA, but the 1983 edition has 'Bolivariana de Aviacion' (not on current ATDB database). My JP 90 edition has a 'Compania Boliviana de Aviacion', which does feature on ATDB: operated
    1969-1997, reorganized 1986?
    Fleetlist of Compania Boliviana de Aviacion, by ATDB (2019)
    Alas, only C-47 and C-46 aircraft here but by this the timeline must have faded from CP576 and CP-787 (below)...

    I identified the type of aircraft by a photo in Stephen Piercey's 'Skytruck' (Osprey, 1984) on page 122, which
    depicts CP-576 as a Consolidated C-87 Liberator "... that transported meat and oil across the Bolivian mountains until as late as 1972. CP-576 remained stored at La Paz crammed full of spare parts. She was eventually traded to the USA for display in a USAF museum in California." Its operator BOA is detailed further down...

    Ron provided the following additional details from Warbirds Worldwide, Directory-
    B-24M 44-41906 c/n 5824
    PB4Y-1 CP-76 Compania Boliviana de Aviacion La Paz 3-51
    C-87 CP-576 Bolivian Overseas Airways, La Paz Bolivia, 1973-1975
    Wfu stripped for spares, La Paz, Bolivia.
    Frigorifico Reyes, La Paz (held u/s) 1980
    La Mercantil de Seguros, La Paz 1982
    USAFM Castle AFB, CA, arrived dismantled 29-05-1982
    Under restoration for static display at Castle AFB
    Still marked CP-576 during 1987 / 1988.

    '44-41906 @Atwater,CA on display at Castle AFM Museum - 'Built at Consolidated San Diego as B-24M. Converted for use by US Marine Corps as transport for commandant. Flown by Compañía Boliviana de Aviación and Bolivian Overseas Airways (!) until 1973. Purchased by Castle Air Museum in 1982. Wears livery of 42-40369 'Shady Lady'. Wears spurious serial 44-41916 on tail.
    [Note 1 from Webmaster - Bolivian Overseas Airways is not detailed on ATDB]
    [Note 2 from Webmaster- in 2019 I found Canso PBY-5A C-FUAW (c/n CV-302) at Victoria IAP, B.C. also named 'Shady Lady' - West Canada 2019]

    History B-24 44-41906

    Consolidated C-87 Liberator CP-787
    CP-787. A (freight?) transport version of the B-24 bomber? I think there's 'Chuquisaca' written on the nose.
    On this tailnumber was not found. My JP Airline Fleets as mentioned above had no mention of CP-787.
    'Chuquisaca' is a department of Bolivia located in the center south. It borders on the departments of Cochabamba,
    Tarija, Potosí, and Santa Cruz. The departmental capital is Sucre.

    Also from Warbirds Worldwide, Directory-
    B-24M 44-50801 N299A
    C-87 CP-611 Bolivian de Aviacion 4-1956
    D damaged beyond repair Trinidad, Bolivia 27.3.64
    CP-787 Compania Boliviana de Aviacion, La Pa; wfu and broken up La Paz 1975.

    History of Liberator 44-50801

    It was rather disappointing to find that in the authorative 'Airlines of Latin America since 1919' by
    R.E.G Davies (Paladwr Pres, 1984, reprint 1997) there was no mention of the use of B-24s / C-87s in Bolivia.
    It does have an interesting account of aviation history in Bolivia (albeit incomplete we can now conclude), but detailing the import of 11 Boeing B-17s in 1950 and onward, the Curtiss C-46 (the firts arrived in 1949) and
    I will quote details on below photos.

    Boeing B-17 CP-753
    Boeing B-17E CP-753 (c/n 2682). On the tailfin: 'Super Tigre'. Later flown by Fri Reyes ( Frigorifico Reyes).
    Ex USAAF 41-9210. During early-1990s flown to the States for a museum. It became N8WJ with World Jet Inc.

    'The Boeing B-17 bombers were considered to be suited to the arduous Bolivian conditions, but the record shows, that 5 crashed or were written off within the next 9 years; only 3 were left in the mid-1960s, and 2 remaining aircraft were sold in 1970, to end one of the historical oddities of airline fleet inventories.'

    Boeing B-17 CP-891
    Boeing B-17 CP-891 (c/n 22616)

    Bolivia used a total of 26 B-17s in their civil aviation fleet by several different operators. Most of them were acquired from the civilian market, but eight B-17s were transferred to Bolivia directly from USAF surplus stocks in 1956.
    These planes were assigned Bolivian civil registrations between CP-620 and CP-627.
    Hamilton Aircraft of Tucson was contracted to prepare the aircraft for delivery to the Bolivian government. An additional seven B-17 airframes were supplied to Hamilton Aircraft for scavenging for spare parts to keep the remainder flying.
    USAAF 44-6393 became CP-627-->CP-891. Returned to USA in 1981 for display.[Joe Baugher]
    See also

    Mitchell B-25 CP-808
    Mitchell B-25 CP-808 'Bolivariana'. Both tailnumber and airline were not found on But my JP Airline Fleet 1983 did have it featured: B-25J c/n 5204 for Boliveriana de Aviacion (freighter).
    Delivered to RCAF as 5204.
    - BOC: July 6, 1951.
    - SOC: May 23, 1962.
    Columbus L. Woods/Woods Body Shop, Lewiston, MT, April 10, 1962.
    - Registered as N92874.
    Atlantic Trading Corp, West Palm Beach, FL, October 1962.
    - Registered as N232S.
    Walter Quick Freeze Corp, St. Thomas, USVI, March 1963-1965.
    Santiago Perez & Ronald Chase, Miami, FL, November 1965.
    Paramount Aquarium Inc, Vero Beach, FL, March 1966.
    Jets International, Coconut Grove, FL, August 1966.
    Transportes Aereos Bolivianos, LA Paz, Bolivia, March 1967.
    F. Garcia/Transportes Aereos Bolivianos, La Paz, Bolivia, April 1967.
    - Registered as CP-808.
    - Crashed at Itagua, Bolivia, April 19, 1967.
    Servicios Aeros Bolivianos
    Bolivariana de Aviacon-Bolivariana, La Paz, Bolivia, 1972-1977.
    - Crashed, November 21, 1977.


    Curtiss C-46 CP-855
    Curtiss C-46T, CP-855 (c/n 26948) - destroyed 09Jun75 at Riberalta, Bolivia.
    History by of C-46 c/n 26948:
    History by of C-46 c/n 26948

    From 'Airlines of Latin America since 1919' by R.E.G Davies (Paladwr Pres, 1984, reprint 1997) ¬
    'In 1949 the first of 8 Curtiss C-46s, fitted with between 20 and 26 seats, arrived. They were valued cargo-carrying aircraft, with double the capacity of the mor ereputable C-47/DC-3. The C-46 had put in a meritorious service record flying 'the Hump' between India and China to support the Chinese armies in the fighting against the Japanese. And the Bolivian Andes matched the formidablemountain crags of western China. But the C-46s take-offs from Cochambamba and Oruro, not to mention the 4.000-metre altitude La Paz, were agonizingly long and with imperceptible climb gradient, reminding witnesses of a 'fully loaded freight train ascending a steep hill'.
    Only 1 C-46 was left by the mid-1960s, and curiously the B-17s outlived them all. ./end quote
    [Note from Webmaster- the use of C-46s mentioned above may refer to passenger use, as afaik C-46s were used
    longer than B-17s for freight in Bolivia]. The bit on aviation in Bolivia also mentions use of DC-3s and DC-4s in
    the 1950s, with DC-6s joining in 1960. Fairchild F-27 and Lockheed L.188 Electra aircraft were also introduced,
    but the B-24/C-87 had no mention in the article. In the index on Bolivia there's mention of C-87 (1951) CB-89.

    Curtiss C-46 CP-910
    Curtiss C-46D, CP-910 (c/n 33234) of Trans Aéreos Illimani.
    From This is ex/ USAF 44-77838, rereg'd to N32228 (no name of owner or operator, broker?), to
    Aerominas as CP-910 and onward to Trans Aéreos Illimani. Destroyed 07Dec1973 at Santa Ana de Yacuma.
    Note: Aerovias Las Minas (ALM) operated 1964-???? and Aerominas ????-1991. Both based at Cochabamba.

    Trans Aéreos Illimani (1972-1978) operated 4 C-46s: C-46A cn27079 CP-987 + C-46A cn45 CP-1333 +
    C-46D cn33234 CP90 (above; crash details ASN) + C-46F cn22446 CP-941 (crash details ASN).

    DC-3 CP-572
    A DC-3 Douglas Sleeper Transport (DC-3/DST)!
    CP-572 (c/n 1549) of Cooperativa Aerea de Transportes Ltd (CADET). Wfu 1977.
    History of DC-3/DST CP572
    ATDB has Cooperativa Aérea de Transportes as operating between ????-1982
    Note the military designation C-49E is used; C-49 was used for various DC-3 and DST models; 138 impressed
    into service as C-49, C-49A, C-49B, C-49C, C-49D, C-49E, C-49F, C-49G, C-49H, C-49J, and C-49K.
    Darren Clarke sent me a photo of a part of CP-572 (2003) for my Off-Airport Latin-America gallery.

    DC-3 CP-728
    Douglas DC-3 CP-728. This is a C-47A, c/n 19689.
    From ATDB database: 43-15223 USAF, to Yacimientos Petroleros Fiscales Bolivianos as CP-728, to Horizontes
    (1973-1976) and to Transportes Aéreos Itanez ( 1976-1977). Destroyed 06Jan1977 near La Senda,Portachicalo.
    And ATDB has Horizontes as operating between 1973-1976, using only this ex/ USAF 43-15223.
    CP-728 was Destroyed 06Jan1977 near La Senda, Portachicalo.

    DC-6 CP-947
    Douglas DC-6A, CP-947 (c/n 44076) of ALCON. An ex/ KLM airliner!
    CP-947 was destroyed on 06Feb1974 at San Juan-Estancias, Bolivia.
    History of DC-6 CP947, by
    ALCON (Aerolineas Comerciales Nacionales) operated between ????-1977.
    ALCON operated 2 DC-7s, cn45453 CP-1010 (rr CP-1048) and cn45155 CP-996 plus DC-6A CP-947 and
    two C-46T's cn22544 CP-752 and cn22570 CP-754.



    C-54B 625 of Faucett Peru at Panama IAP, by Ron Mak (1971)
    Douglas C-54B (DC-4) OB-R-625 (c/n 10511) at Panama-Tocumen IAP on 02Nov1971, by Ron Mak.
    This 'Big Doug' propliner operated for the USAF, American Air Lines, in Mexico as XA-HIX, for Civil Air
    Transport in the Orient, for CINTA and last but not least, for Faucett Perú.

    History by (the online aviation database):
    History OB-R-625 by ATDB
    The period as N68578 for Civil Air Transport (CAT) is a fascinating one!
    CAT opertaed between 1948-1976; stems from CNRRA Air Transport which was formed in China by General
    Claire Chennault/Flying Tigers team (1946-1948). Moved to Formosa in 1949 when communist troops seized all of mainland China. Acquired in 1950 by CIA-controlled CAT Incorporated (renamed Air America in 1959), itself a subsidiary of the Pacific Corporation (originally Airdale Corporation). Reorganized in 1954 to comply with law requiring majority control by Chinese nationals with Formosa government getting 51% share, most assets transferred
    to Asian Aeronautical Co. (later Air Asia) and leased back. 39.6% acquired by 1967 by CIA-controlled Pacific Corporation. [¬]


    Ron Mak noted the updates on a ceased DC-6 'drug runner'in Mexico and shared an earlier photo, of DC-6A TG-TAO.
    DC-6 TG-TAO
    Photo Ron Mak collection, photo by Petit Pierre-Alain, TG-TAO at Guatamala City, La Aurora Int'l Airport (Feb.1989)

    The entire story of DC-6A 'HK-8221X' (in fact HK-3627X) on my vintage propliners by Miguel Angel Rodriguez.



    Back to Top

    To email me, click on the image and write the correct adress as given below (one has to replace the -AT- by the @ symbol, obviously).

    Sorry for the inconvenience, but this is because spam has increasingly become a problem.

    Updated: 31-Mei-2021