Tehran's Air Museum
But... the debate was reopened by photos of Niels Borcharding of this C-47A, showing the c/n plate stated... 12580 !
Air-Britain's authoritive publication, 'DC-3 - The First Seventy Years' (published in 2006) added on the above mentioned history: "Although c/n 12580 has been quoted, this is still with SAAF and the FAA quote 42-92835 for N49952"
Leon Manoucherian offered the following information:
There were two USAF-owned C-7A in Iranian camouflage, operating covert missions out of Mehrabad air force base (1st tactical base-Tehran), flying mostly Eastward toward Dasht-e-cavir desert, where U.S. had highly classified Intelligent bases. They were also flying to North of Khorasan Province Northwest of Iran where Iranian-U.S. Listening posts and IBEX-system radars were installed across the border with (then) Soviet Union.
They had Iranian serials 5-53 and 5-55 (5-55 had three-tone standard IIAF camouflage, while this one had a desert tone). The serials are not even standard as Iranian aircraft cargo carried 5-XXX digits and after 1977 5-XXXX, there was no two digit throughout the inventory.
Nobody would talk about these two aircraft, but it is known that they carried full gear of SIGINT and ELINT equipment, perhaps operated under CIA branch Iran.
Niels Borcharding wrote in March 2007 upon a recent visit to this museum:
"I tried to enter the DHC-4 but couldn't, since both doors are locked. Right hand side was locked by a bolt and left hand side was locked by a padlock, which was not well attached to the door; we tried to open that door, but for some reason it was stuck and we had to abandon it completely when a schoolclass of about 30 children looked at the three of us to see what we were doing!
Looking through the last window on the left hand side I could see the msn plate attached near the righthandside door of the aircraft. I told my new friends that if they ever were able to enter the plane that that was the plate and that I really wanted to know what was on it.
In Sep.2013 I received a welcome update by Jean-Louis Bleneau:
"About the Caribou II AF-553 on display at the Teheran Aerospace Exhibition I would like to give you some clues: This aircraft was not a C-7A but a DHC-4A (c/n 52) delivered in April 1962 to Air Asia with registration B-853 and operated by Air America in SVN until 1968.
Transferred to the USAF as serial 61-2388 (out of sequence because 61-2388 was originally attributed to another C-7A, c/n 45, w/o in August 1963), she was leased back to Air America until sold to The Pacific Corp in June 1973.
The Pacific Corp, itself known to be backed by the CIA, sold it to Southern Sky Inc, based in Dallas, TX, to the purpose of logistic support of the Ibex stations in Iran.
553 was flown only for logistic support and personnel transport and this is why she was abandoned in Iran.
SIGINT and ELINT operations in connection with Project Ibex were flown using four C-130H, two Aero Commander 560 and later converted Boeing 707, all belonging to the IIAF."
Jean-Louis used to write for several French aviation magazines in the past; since retired he writes on a regular basis online:
Click on 'Monographies JLB', on the left side of the screen, to see Jean-Louis' writings.
And you will see he published recently a rather extensive history of the DHC-4 Caribou.
For his references he built a large selection of files about transport planes, piston or turboprop powered, with a dedication for twin engined ones.
A few more photos of the Boeing 707:
The interior: what would the food be like ?
The cockpit.. well, it once was !
|Scramble issue 331 (Dec.1006) carried a report of a visit on 13Apr06 to
this museum. The text translates (from Dutch) as:
This museum is located on part of Mehrabad Airport. The ramp near the museum, all fenced in, had the following aircraft (only EP-PLN was accessable, the others seem not yet part of the museum, perhaps stored)-
5-2503 RC690 Iran Navy
SN-4101 F.27-600 Iran Navy
9L-LDC L.1011-100 Air Universal
EP-ASE F.28-4000 Iran Aseman Airlines
EP-GDS 727-81 Govmt of Iran
EP-IAA 747SP-86 Iran Air
EP-IAC 747SP-86 Iran Air
EP-ICC 747-2J9F Iran Air
EP-IGA 737-270C Iran Air
EP-IGD 737-270C Iran Air
EP-IRB 727-86 Iran Air
EP-IRC 727-86 Iran Air
EP-IRF 737-286 Iran Air
EP-IRH 737-286C Iran Air
EP-IRI 737-286C Iran Air
EP-PLN 727-30 Govmt of Iran
In the hangar of the technical school, in the same area and off-limits (unless you ask nicely):
5-2504 RC500S Iran Navy
EP-AKA RC681B NIOC
The museum has a restaurant inside a Boeing 707:
(EP-IRJ) 707-321B white c/s
The aircraft with the museum are-
5-2501 RC690 Iran Navy (c/n 11076)
5-2502 RC500S Iran Navy (c/n 3141)
553 DHC-4 Iran Air Force
5-8903 RC681B Traffic Police (c/n 6072)
EP-AHH A-9B (c/n 1460)
EP-AGU RC681 (cockpit only)
EP-AKB RC681B NIOC (c/n 6067)
EP-SNA FH-227B Iran Aseman
no marks A-26B ex N956R and 44-34759
no marks C-47A (ex EP-TWB of Iranian Power & Water Dept)
no marks DHC-2 ex 6-9701 and 53-7784
no marks Glass Goose
no marks PA-23 (ex EP-PAH)
no marks PA-31
no marks T-6
During Feb.2008 Michael Prophet went to Tehran and he made a report of his visit to the museum.
Nigel Hitchman reported on a visit to Tehran 06Feb2017:
"At 1830 local this evening, 1500gmt, I saw what only could have been an IL-18, sitting on the cargo ramp at Tehran, Khomeini (OIIE); it was just dark and saw it nose on, so no idea of the operator, any ideas?
I visited Besat Park and saw the C-47 here (unmarked and I believe identity still unconfirmed; [pics further below), but I didn't find the Beech 18. The Beech 18 sighting was reported to me by Bob Ogden in a draft copy of his museum book notes.
I went to the Tehran Aerospace Exhibition Centre but to find it closed, as had been reported.
Security on the gate were friendly, but wouldn't let me in; they even called someone but answer still 'no'. Apparently it closed around a year ago and the 707 restaurant next door closed 4 years ago!
From the road I could see most of the museum collection through the fence.
Of interest might be confirmed still present: the DHC 2 Beaver, DHC4 Caribou and the DC-3.
I couldn't see the A-26. I think due to the angle I had to look and buildings and trees that were in the way.
Everything else seen on Google Earth in the museum area towards the front were seen, exactly as on there..
Didn't risk taking pictures, could have got some reasonable ones thru the fence, although perhaps not the DC-3 as it was too far away.
I also went to the Holy Defense museum, which was good, but nothing relevant for propliner enthusiasts."
On the above question about identity of Ilyushin IL-18 it was suggested: "...may be EX-75466, which is possibly still active in the area (last noted 8/15 at Erbil, Iraq)."
Bob Parmerter remarked on the Beech 18: "Reportedly, in 2011, the following two Beech 18s were spotted in Iran:
· EP-HIH D18S A-525 - Displayed at the entrance to Qazvin airport [OIIK]
· EP-.... - Displayed in Besat Park, Teheran [T] .
The Besat Park Beech18 was either EP-ADH AT-11 c/n 1265 of Iranian Airways Co, Tehran (crashed @Abdullah Airport, Ahwaz, Iran 26Aug1956; seems like a long time for the remains to still be around),
the only other Beech 18 to have been reported in Iran, EP-HII, whose identity (c/n) is unknown."
Here are the images submitted by Nigel Hitchman, taken during his THR visit Feb.2017 to Besat Park
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