More Gooney Birds
There are numerous configurations of this versatile aircraft, from basic cargo- or passenger transports to highly specialized types.
Photos © R.Leeuw
N877MG is in more than one way an exception.
First of all, there is this modified nose... Modified to accommodate a suitable weatherradar, I was told. Also, on the aircraft the
s/n is given as 4193, which was assumed to be 14193 (this is disputed as can be read further below). Because of duplicate construction numbers, Douglas later designated 14193 to c/n 25638. Hence N877MG has been known to be identified, believe to be incorrect, as c/n 25638/14193.
Well, this 25638 was built for the USAAF as 43-48377 but was transferred upon delivery to the US Navy as a R4D-6 with Bu.No. 17263. But Air-Britain has, as explained further down, this airframe crashed near Toledo in Ohio on 23Jan49.
I photographed this fine example at Hayward Air Terminal,CA in 1997 and I was told it operated for the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel and had beenfitted out with a deluxe interior.
N877MG was registered 24Jan96 for Victoria Forest and Scout LLC (San Francisco,CA) and on 04Aug06 to John T Sessions Historic Aircraft Foundation of Seattle,WA. Amazing to see this vintage plane, built in 1944, still around in such splendid condition.
I would come across it quite often, both in the USA and in Canada.
But here we'll pursue the discussion of yesteryear... Spoiler alert: anno 2019 c/n 20806 seems commonly accepted to its construction number.
Ian made me aware of a video on YouTube, providing a complete tour through this executive aeroplane.
An update dated 29Mar2010, published on the DC-3 Yahoo forum:
As it turned out I visited Campbell River Airport on 14Sep2010 and found N877MG awaiting maintenance by Sealand Aviation there. My report shows photos of the interior, cockpit and the modifications done on the nose: Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island 2010 and Visit to Sealand Aviation, Campbell River Sep.2010
'Mike' (he did not sign his email with his full name) forwarded me this screendump in March 2018
I came across N877MG once more, at Flabob airport in California; see MY CALIFORNIA 2018 page 2 REPORT.
This one is special ! N139D is a DC-3DST-217A a.k.a. Douglas Sleeper Transport, the original and first series (pre-WW2) ordered with Douglas. One of the first things that catches the eye is that the door is on the righthand side, whereas on all the other DC-3 versions, it is on the other side (which became standard, due to airport and parking facilities). cn2165 was delivered to American Airlines as NC21752 "Memphis" on August 30th, 1939. It went to war as 42-43620 designated a C-49E. It was returned to American Airlines in 1944. It served with Colonial (1949/50), Owens Illinois Glass Co. in Ohio, Ohio State University (N110SU, 1969), Nevada Airlines (N139D, 1975), Pacific National Airways (1980), Mr.P.Grossman (1980), Crocker Nat'l Bank of Orange,CA (1982). It was owned by a Mr Lee Schaller when I photographed it in 1996 at Schellville(CA), but apparently the cost of insurance is keeping this Classic Dak on the ground.
Anno Sep08 sees N139D still on Google Maps at Schellville. Also photos on Flickr.com (May 2008) has N139D still at Schellville.
[See N139D on Airliners.net].
This TC-47K N213GB (cn16484/33232) has itself specialized to mosquito sprayer... It started life as a TC-47B 44-76900 when delivered to the USAAF in 1945 and was transferred as a R4D-7 to the US Navy (BuNo 99840) that same year. It continues its service with the military after WW2 and only in 1966 was it transferred to the FAA. The FAA took the trouble to reregister it to
N44 in 1973.
In 1976 the services of this loyal civil servant were transferred to Dept. of Agriculture (N4405).
Storage became its fate in 1979 at St.Douglas-Bisbee, but it was called back to action by its present owner here, the Monroe County Health Dept. (1981) and was photographed at its 'home' at Marathon on the Florida Keys in 1992.
See an Oct.2018 update on my Photos by Friends & Guests #56, 'landing' at Madurodam, near The Hague in The Netherlands for display.
N91314 C-47 (cn4538) was delivered in 1942 to the USAAF as 41-38589. United Airlines used it as NC17884 from 1946 till 1949. It went back to the military Air Material Command for a few years, but in 1953 it was bought by a Mr.J.D.Melvin and registered as N91314. Owners varied: Cordova Air Services (1963), American Turkey Breeding Farms Inc. (1967), Amherst Airways (1969), Jim Hankins Air Service (1971), Airgo Air Freight (1977), Misty Air (1980), Pacific Alaska Airlines (1982), Yakutat Seafoods (1983). In 1986 it appeared at the 50th DC-3 Anniversary at Abbotsford,BC in these colors, owned by Methow Aviation. When I photographed N91314 in the wooden vintage hangar of Ephrata(WA) in 1996, it was owned by Cascade Air Service (though this is in some way connected to Methow Aviation).
PH-DDA DC-3 (cn19109) was a dream come true for many, when the purchase in 1984 in fact started the operations of the Dutch Dakota Association. This C-47A was delivered to the USAAF in 1943 as 42-100646. In 1946 it went to Finnair and was later registered as OH-LCB. The Finnish Air Force operated it from 1963 till 1983, an impressive service. In 1984 it took residence at Schiphol, Amsterdam Int'l Airport with the DDA, when the final barriers with the Dutch Aviation Authorities were taken. But fate dealt a heavy blow, when on Sep.25th 1996 PH-DDA crashed into the sea near Texel and all on board perished.
This DC-3C PH-DDZ (cn19754) is another fine example of the Dutch Dakota Association. It was delivered to the USAAF in 1944 as 43-15288 and the immediate history after WW2 seems faded away. But the FAA took use of it in 1964 as N161. Then it went to Somali Airlines (60S-SAA, later 60-SAA) in 1964, quite a change of scenery. This lasted till 1978. In 1981 it was registered to ATC Inc. at Reno,NV. The DDA bought this DC-3 at first with the intention to store it for many years, but the interest and prospects of Historic Aviation were promising and it was decided to restore it to the very latest Government Directives for Historic Aviation in the Netherlands. This photo was taken at the DDA Open House march 07th, 1999 and it shows it in Martin's Air Charter (these days better known as Martinair, but often still referred to as "the MAC") colour scheme.
Credits:the above historical information has been found in "The Douglas DC-3 and its predecessors" by J.M.G.Gradidge (the bible for avid DC-3 enthusiasts) and various volumes on the DC-3 written by A. Pearcy.