For the movie Conair at least 3 airframes were used of the Fairchild C-123 Provider; 2 seem to have been adequately identified, a third remained a mystery for a long time...
Fairchild C-123 with fake registration N709RR is seen here at Wendover Airfield at the border of Nevada and Utah. This C-123 took part in the Movie "Conair". This aircraft was modified and powered by a diesel engine for the ground taxying sequences and was one of 2 stand-ins for the real N709RR, the one used for the flyinf sequences. (Photo: J.Tuin, published with permission, ).
The real N709RR is Fairchild C-123K, construction number 20158 and formerly operated by the USAF with serial 54-0709. Graham Robson has the following to say on this subject:"The information regarding three different aircraft was told to me from while I attended an airshow at Reno(NV), by the person who owned (the real) N709RR at the time. This fake N709RR has been photographed at Wendover at the same time as the real N709RR was on the line at Reno-Stead".
The 'Reno N709RR' (c/n 20158) has been used for the flying sequences for the movie and was been sold by end-2003 to Bill Michel of Delta Junction,AK. It was flown to Alaska during the Fall of 2004. Bill Michel is the bossman of All West Freight, which operates from a privat airfield (AK77) near Delta Junction, hauling cargo for the mining industry.
UPDATE: c/n 20158 crashed into Mount Healy (Alaska) on 01Aug10.
For anyone who has seen the movie Conair, the crash on the Strip of Las Vegas was the end of the line for that airframe!
This was C-123B 40706 (USAF 54-0706, c/n 20155).
Graham Robson: "40706 and 40661 were pulled from the long term storage in DMI's yards in the mid 1990s, both began engine tests in the yard with the prospect of being made airworthy (according to DMI at the time) - I have shots of one of them with very fresh oil spills on the fuselage under the engines attesting to old engines trying to come back to life.
After this, both airframes were stripped to bare metal and remained in DMI. Again, I photographed them extensively over a few years, until one of them was removed. I saw this at Las Vegas, in position at the old Sands prior to the shooting of the crash scene, at the very same time (2 days before) I had photographed the one remaining example in the yard at TUS - (it had since moved to the open storage lot, the old Allied yard behind Wooton and Minden where the EC-121 still rests). From this (knowing the remaining was 40661) and close scrutiny of various marks and dents on the frame at Las Vegas, I am extremely confident that the expired example at Las Vegas was 40706.
Here are some photos of 54-0706, all made by © Graham Robson
So we have one airworthy and one 'dead'; the mystery one is the C-123 parked at Wendover AFB in Nevada.
Graham Robson wrote me years later about an unmarked C-123, found to be 40706 (and 40661), Search for Identities.
Another C-123, one with the story of the Iran-Contras and Oliver North story attached to it, can be found on this external link to The History of El Avion; it is part of the Hotel Costa Verde (which is located on a coastal rainforest bluff, overlooking the Pacific beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park near Quepos, Costa Rica).
Last updated 28.9.2006