KYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 7 Posted (8 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8218 times:
Well, unfortuneatly it finally happened. Zantop has closed its doors for good. I sure will miss the sound of the old Allison engines on the L-188's. Anyone here a former pilot/employee of Zantop, or have any good memories of them? Share them here.
2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 61 Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8152 times:
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A good friend of mine used to fly Electras for Zantop. I remember getting a tour through their hangars, and it was like going back in time. The workers all rode cool 1950s cruiser bicycles to get from one place to another. The bikes were covered in decades of grease and grime, but it preserved them surprisingly well.
The bathrooms in that hangar each had gigantic (~15 foot diameter) round sinks, where large numbers of factory workers would all wash up after a hard day's work.
It almost seemed a little eerie to be the only one wandering around in a place that was once so active and busy.
Several years ago, I was practicing maneuvers west of Ann Arbor at about 4000', when an Electra passed overhead, from right to left, about 1000' above me. It was leaving four thin, whispy trails of exhaust as it lumbered out into the afternoon sun.
I wish I had a camera then...it would have been a perfect shot to post in memory of the airline.
FRA2DTW From Germany, joined Feb 2004, 322 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8080 times:
I spent some time in the Ypsilanti area in the 70's and remember their planes coming in overhead on their final into Willow Run. Quite a busy operation for a time. I guess they flew mostly parts for the automobile industry.
M404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2218 posts, RR: 5 Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7913 times:
Wow. That names a flash from the past. Sorry put I'd assumed they were L-o-n-g- gone. Obviously not. My memories are all about Burbank and the oil stains from DC4's. Loved the growl from one end of the rnwy to the other to get over the cemetery at the south end. Always an interesting fleet. Holding them (the company) together this long has to be a really interesting story.
Several times the topic of carriers that still have the names of the owners like Reeves has come up here but I never heard Zantop mentioned. Was that in fact, a family name?
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2811 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7722 times:
Quoting M404 (Reply 5): Several times the topic of carriers that still have the names of the owners like Reeves has come up here but I never heard Zantop mentioned. Was that in fact, a family name?
Sure was. Ronnie Zantop was my age, and I think we went to some of the same schools in the 80s back in suburban Detroit. Complicated situation because I went to schools based on curriculum, while most people went to ones based on where their house was.
In any case, being fairly close to Willw Run, we'd have their electras flying over low constantly. Loved the sound.
Atcrick From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 770 posts, RR: 14 Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7570 times:
I remember Zantop coming into Minot AFB, ND about 3 times a week back back in 1980/81. Apparently they had one the contract from (IIRC) some outfit called Trans America or something similar. I believe they also operated Electras.
KYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 7 Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7480 times:
Basically a lack of business coupled with high mx costs finally put them out. The mechanics there said the L-188's were hangar queens, and they have rather poor fuel economy. With the downturn in the auto industry, there was just not enough business to keep them afloat. I am surprised they made it this far.
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
SATL382G From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7466 times:
Quoting Atcrick (Reply 12): I remember Zantop coming into Minot AFB, ND about 3 times a week back back in 1980/81. Apparently they had one the contract from (IIRC) some outfit called Trans America or something similar. I believe they also operated Electras.
That was a Logair flight into Minot. TransAmerica ran primarily Hercs for Logair vs L188s. The Hercs did the transcon portion of LogAir vs L188s doing regional routes. I spent 5 years at Wright-Patt doing LogAir in the early '80s. Got real familiar with Zantop L188s N290F, N289F, N285F, and N345HA amongst others. The L188s seemed to have power for days!! Never seemed to use much runway, of course none of our flights were much over 3 hours so I'll assume they weren't carrying a lot of gas.....