Al Mahatta aviation museum - Sharjah, Feb.2010

 

A quick trip to Sharjah 15-17 February brought me in a position to visit the aviation museum in Sharjah City.
It puzzled me at first that a museum, including aircraft, was found smack dab in the middle of Sharjah city. At the museum I learned that during the 1930's B.O.A.C. had a staging point at Sharjah where passengers and crew (one did not fly at night in those days) washed, dined, rested and slept...
Planes landed at what is now the busy King Abdul Aziz Street and one slept in 'the Fort', which is where the museum is located.

ticket to museum

View from the park to Al Mahatta museum
Al Mahatta museum, with the ATC Tower and the hangar, which has the aircraft on display inside.
Al Mahatta museum
Al Mahatta museum is right in the city, towering 'skyscrapers' surround this nice museum.
Map of Al Mahatta museum
Lay out of the entire museum. Hall 1 has the aircraft on display. Don't skip the film in the Mess Hall !

G-AMZZ Al Mahatta
Douglas C-47 G-AMZZ has pride of place, in the center of Hall 1.
Al Mahatta aviation museum
DC-3 G-AMZZ here has its identity in question!

The museum has it on display as c/n 33340, but that one has also been reported as preserved in Kuwait... This one would be or could be c/n 12449, as RCAF KG559(?) delivered to the Indian Air Force during 1962/1963 (passed thru Prestwick 09Nov62); its previous identities would also included 42-92627, KG414, BJ764 Indian Air Force.
The Air-Britain book (see below) has c/n 12449 preserved at Bangalore by Jan.1994.

Air-Britain's 2006 publication The DC-3, the First Seventy Years and an authority on individual DC-3 airframe histories, has the following on c/n 33340 (original msn 16592):
Delivered 22May45 as 42-77008, reregistered KN648 RAF Montreal 23May45, UK 20May45 - 24 Sqdn 20Aug45 - 22 MU 24Nov49. Registered G-AMZZ for Aviation Servicing Ltd 08Jun53, to Eagle Aircraft Services (named "Lord Hood") regd'd 05Aug53 and to Kuwait National Airways Ltd reg'd 09Mar54. The airline's name changed to Kuwait Airways in july 1955. The regisrtation was changed to EP-ABD for Iranian Airways Co. Ltd in Nov59. And changed back again to G-AMZZ for Gulf Aviation Ltd (named "Kazemah") upon its purchase on 23Nov60. It was deemed 'without further use' on 26May71 and reported derelict at Bahrain in Oct78.
This book also notes here that 'G-AMZZ' preserved in Kuwait is c/n 25806. And note: the book does not include its present location!

I did note, upon close inspection, that sheetmetal at the underside of the fuselage, below the cockpit section, was loosely fitted. I wouldn't be surprised if this DC-3 has been restored using parts from various airframes...

Bob Ogden's excellent book Aviation Museums & Collections of the Rest of the World (3 books covering this subject all over the world) and published in 2008, has this museum 'Al Mahatta Museum', located in Bahrain... More precise, "in the western suburbs of the city".
It seems to have relocated, obviously!
Mr Ogden does list the same aircraft, thus:
List from Bob Ogden's book


As one can see, Mr Ogden lists the DC-3 as c/n 12254.

The Air-Britain book 'DC-3, the First Seventy Years' confirms that and describes its history as follows:
C/n 12254 delivered 31Jan44 as 42-92452, reregistered FZ669 to RAF Montreal 10Feb44, to 233 Sqdn UK 29Feb44 - 437 Sqdn 28Sep44 - Canadian Government 16Jun46 - RCAF Weyburn 26Aug46, type Dakota 3N - 1 ANS VCDHQ 05Aug49 - 2 ANS Winnipeg 15Jan62 - Dak 3NRO 28May70 - registration changed to 12943 for RCAF in June 1970, 429 Comp. Sqdn Winnipeg 02Mar72 - AUDU Saskatoon 24Jan75.
Registration revised to C-GCXE for Aero Trades Western Ltd, Winnipeg acquired 15Aug75, reg'd 20Apr76 - and registration cancelled Nov. 1984.
Registered as HH-CMG (1984/1985), then HI-502 for C. Guichardo in 1987 and this was cancelled on 13Mar89. Next was Harry Delno, Sanford,FL reg'd on 17Mar89, declared 'without further use' March 1989. Then Express Airways of Sanford,FL which reg'd it on 14May92; but these past two had no N-number to their registering...? Then that same Harry Delno registered it as N688EA on 09Mar93.
On 18Dec96 it was reg'd for Cameron & Stall Inc. of N.Hollywood,CA and N688EA was reported stored at Opa Locka (near Miami), Florida during Oct. '99.
At first it was marked 'G-DJKP' for the Al Mahatta museum, then changed into 'G-AMZZ'. But no dates to this. By January 2003 at the Sharjah Aviation Museum.
./end quote from the book.

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Aad van der Voet (www.oldwings.nl) managed to boil it all down to the following summary (March 2015):
"The three airframes known as G-AMZZ are as follows:
  • The fake G-AMZZ currently at the Al Mahatta Museum in Sharjah is ex N688EA c/n 12254 (was C-GCXE in the 1970s and 1980s).
  • The fake G-AMZZ currently at the Kuwait Science and Natural History Museum in Kuwait City is ex N94718 (c/n 25806).
  • Finally, the real G-AMZZ (c/n 33340) was withdrawn from use in 1971 and stored at Muharraq, Bahrain. Last seen there in Oct-1978, presumed broken up not long after that."
  • G-AMZZ history
    DC-3 G-AMZZ
    DC-3 Al Mahatta Sharjah

    deHavilland Comet G-AMXA
    Click here for LARGE cockpit image
    Comet history

    deHavilland Heron
    deHavilland DH.114 Heron G-ANFE
    deHavilland Heron
    History of G-ANFE
    G-ANFE Al Mahatta

    Avro Anson
    Avro Anson G-AKVW
    G-AKVW
    History Avro Anson G-AKVW
    Avro Anson G-AKVW

    Avro Anson
    deHavilland DH.104 Dove Series 1 G-AJPR
    Aro Anson G-AJPR
    History Anson G-AJPR
    Aro Anson G-AJPR

    Al Mahatta museum
    Skin repaired?

    Al Mahatta Sharjah museum

    Al Mahatta museum

    Al Mahatta museum Sharjah U.A.E.

    Click here for more images
    CLICK THE IMAGE FOR MORE PHOTOS OF THE EXHIBITION HERE

    Museum on city map
    Al Mahatta's location on city map

    Galleries route
    Route through various galleries

    Al Mahatta Museum - Sharjah U.A.E.


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