This beauty "takes the cake" in the story. The original airframe is a -298C, originally delivered to Air Zaire as 9Q-CNJ in April, 1974 (no database photo in the originally livery, but a photo is in the magazine). It slid off the runway at Kinshasa and while basically intact, suffered a broken right wing, and was left derelict for a while.
Galleys from the Aloha 737 that lost its roof were put in the ever-melding aircraft.
The plane was then registered N745AS and has been faithfully serving with AS on the gravel runways. Tough ol' birds, yes?
I remember vaguely from years ago reading that a TWA 707 that lost its cockpit in Damascus, Syria, had it replaced with the cockpit of a BOAC 707 that was destroyed at Heathrow, but I cannot find any reference to this report, and it was so long ago, I have NO idea where I read it.
How many other "Frankenstein" airplanes are there out there? I am referring specifically to written-off aircraft that have useable major pieces put onto other airplanes.
Thanks in advance for your replies!!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8092 times:
Quoting PanAm747 (Thread starter): I remember vaguely from years ago reading that a TWA 707 that lost its cockpit in Damascus, Syria, had it replaced with the cockpit of a BOAC 707 that was destroyed at Heathrow, but I cannot find any reference to this report, and it was so long ago, I have NO idea where I read it.
Your memory works just fine, and the subject just came up indirectly a couple of months ago.
I spent some happy moments working on the Conroy TriTurbo DC3 back in Michigan.
It had had a fire in the cockpit so a crew took the nose of it off with a chop saw and brought it back to Michigan. We changed everything over to a DC3 fuselage that was brought up from Florida and when it was complete they trucked it out to Goleta and installed the revitalized new fuselage on top of the old wingset. At the same time a set of good radios and some cabin heat was designed and installed. I myself did a hot section inspection on the center engine. Then some douchebag dropped it on the prop flange-ouch!
I've got a few photos from the shop and I will dig them out. In the meantime there are some pics on this site.
The pic with the hull in storage at Baseler is the 'after' version, note the bubble window, which was not part of the original build.
Suprazachair From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Feb 2004, 632 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7621 times:
Horizon's N363PH is the Q200 that had its tail crunched by a NW A330 in PDX a few summers ago. The empennage was irrecoverable as a result of the accident. The fuselage was mated to a donor tail Bombardier had handy (N231ES). The plane has been flying with the "Franken-Tail" for quite a while now.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7532 times:
Pardon the minor thread creep, but what I'd like to see again is a picture that I saw as a pre-teen of a B-17 nose that had been grafted onto a B-24, no easy feat considering the fuselage cross-sections. I can't recall what book I saw it in, but I don't think it was Edward Jablonsky's B-17 book.
Rsg85 From Australia, joined Aug 2006, 257 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 6902 times:
i believe the qf 747 that overran at Bangkok was it??? the fuselage was replaced basicly from the nose to the trailing edge of the wing to maintain qantas's record of never writing off an ac. i think it was actually more expensive than buying a new one???
dont quote me on this, its only a rumor i heard.
Philb From Ireland, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 2915 posts, RR: 14 Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 6327 times:
I wonder just how much of the British Airtours 737 wing went to Africa. An amount of the skinning at the fuselage end had been seriously damaged by the rescue services and there was further danage both external and internal, when the wing was detached at Manchester prior to the aircraft being taken by road to Farnborough.
Presumably, after the AAIB had finished with the aircraft, the insurers sold off what they could but from my visual observations of the wing at the time, a reasonable proportion of what ended up on the Air Zaire aircraft would have been new.
Putting large bits of different airframes (as opposed to small parts and spares) together to form a whole flyable machine is more common than most people realise.
Over the years airliners, biz jets and light aircraft, not to mention military types, have been cobbled together to make airworthy and long lasting machines.
MCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8553 posts, RR: 14 Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5309 times:
In the book by LeVern Moldrem, the Anecondal History of the Flying Tigers, it shows pictures of a DC-4 being Frankensteined. Those metal workers skills were/are unbelievable. They could repair just about anything.
SlimChance From United States of America, joined May 2006, 62 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5006 times:
Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 8): Pardon the minor thread creep, but what I'd like to see again is a picture that I saw as a pre-teen of a B-17 nose that had been grafted onto a B-24, no easy feat considering the fuselage cross-sections.
I believe that was an official government test program. Somebody was lamenting the fact that the B-24 could carry more than the 17, but the 17 was faster, so they tried that weird monster. It didn't work too well.
I have a '74 El Camino where the body rotted and and the body from the windshield back of a '77 El Camino that was in a head-on was grafted on. Does that count?
Not really on the topic. But I find it very funny at first sight, how the emergency slide is hanging on the three. I guess the people had to go down to the main deck, or is there another slide on the left side of the plane?
Jrosa From Brazil, joined Jun 2005, 365 posts, RR: 12 Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4509 times:
Quoting TommyBP251b (Reply 16): Not really on the topic. But I find it very funny at first sight, how the emergency slide is hanging on the three. I guess the people had to go down to the main deck, or is there another slide on the left side of the plane?
I was thinking about the same thing. Imagine the guys up there looking to that slide hanging on the tree, looking more like a bridge connecting the upper deck to the top of the tree than an emergency slide.
It's been awhile since my last post here on A.net, and today is my first try on this new system to write the posts. For me it simply rocks!!!! It is much better than the previous one, congrats!
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21488 posts, RR: 24 Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3022 times:
Quoting Rsg85 (Reply 10): i believe the QF 747 that overran at Bangkok was it??? the fuselage was replaced basically from the nose to the trailing edge of the wing to maintain Qantas's record of never writing off an ac.
Fanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1895 posts, RR: 3 Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 2972 times:
I recall reading that one of Reeve Aleutian's L-188 Electras, which was scheduled to undergo conversion to a combi, instead received the nose and cargo door from a sistership that was written off. Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate the article or information on the two aircraft involved.
As far as the Boeing 707 nose graft, the two aircraft involved were B.O.A.C. Boeing 707-465 G-AWRE and TWA Boeing 707 N776TW. The former aircraft burned on the ground at Heathrow on April 8, 1968, after making an emergency landing following an engine fire; the latter aircraft was damaged by terrorists at Damascus, Aubust 29, 1969.
I didn't know the "donor" nose came from BOAC though (I'd heard TWA), and someone in post #38 said it didn't come from a crashed aircraft, so Boeing is the only other logical source.
Quoting IFlyTWA (Reply 3): They diverted a nose off the line and delivered it with extra long wiring/hoses.
Quoting Fanofjets (Reply 19): As far as the Boeing 707 nose graft, the two aircraft involved were B.O.A.C. Boeing 707-465 G-AWRE and TWA Boeing 707 N776TW. The former aircraft burned on the ground at Heathrow on April 8, 1968, after making an emergency landing following an engine fire; the latter aircraft was damaged by terrorists at Damascus, Aubust 29, 1969.
Looks like we're back to having 2 different explanations...
IFlyTWA From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 267 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2801 times:
Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 21): Looks like we're back to having 2 different explanations...
From "Howard Hughes' Airline an Informal History of TWA"
"Despite the inevitable occasional friction between an airline and an aircraft manufacturer, TWA and Boeing have always felt mutual admiration. This was evidenced perfectly during the aftermath of the August 29, 1969, hijacking of a TWA flight between Rome and Athens. The hijackers, two Palestinian terrorists, forced Capt. Dean Carter to land at Damascus, Syria, and after everyone was off the plane they blew off the nose with a bomb. Syrian authorities arranged for the passengers and crew to be flown out, except for two Israeli citizens who were on the plane, and Carter refused to leave as long as they were in custody.
Bill Meador, advised in Kansas City that the airplane could be salvaged, contacted Boeing after ascertaining the extent of the damage to the nose. Boeing diverted a nearly completed 707 nose section from its assembly line and stuffed in the wiring, plumbing and instrumentation that fitted TWA's specifications. Wiring and plumbing components were left extra long so the could be pruned later to the required lengths. The nose, mounted in a special jig, was loaded on a "Pregnant Guppy"-an old Stratocruiser modified to carry oversized cargo and looking for all the world like a huge whale with wings. Meanwhile, Meador sent John Geyser of his engineering staff and seven other technicians to Damascus.
It took the Guppy almost nine days to reach Syria. It first ran into headwind delay over the North Atlantic and the weary crew finally decided to take a more southernly route, via Santa Maria in the Azores. TWA had arranged for fast clearances at the various refueling stops over the original route but wasn't advised that the route had been changed until Meador got a cable from Madrid-"There's a strange airplane here claiming to be working for TWA and the want full service for which we have no authorization.
"Give them anything they need and get them on their way fast," Meador cabled back. Meador continues his own account of the Guppy's odyssey.
I heaved a sigh of relief, figuring it was downhill the rest of the way to Damascus. Next thing we knew, we got a wire from Palermo, Sicily-one engine had blown a jug and their repair kit didn't have the right spare parts. They had tried to contact a Pratt and Whitney representative, but that was a little hard to do on a Saturday afternoon in Palermo. We started telephoning around and finally found that spare parts were available at Israeli Aircraft Industries in Tel Aviv. The fellow who located the parts wired Rome that they would be on an El Al flight into Rome and should be flown over to Sicily as soon as possible.
Now we had another problem. We had to let our people in Damascus know what was happening, but we didn't dare mention that Israel and El Al were involved. So the wire we sent to Geyser said the Guppy's parts were on TWA 840 from New York to Rome. John knew instantly that the wire was a cover-up for the benefit of the Syrians.
By now, Boeing had sent fifty-eight technicians to Damascus who were waiting around for the Guppy to arrive. They weren't sitting on their duffs, though. The minute they got to Damascus they started preparing the fuselage for mating to the new section. There was a production break near the forward passenger entry door where the new nose would fit. They cleaned up all the debris and torn metal from that area and jacked up the fuselage, then cut away the old cockpit section at the production break. When the nose finally arrived, they just wheeled it up on a dolly and started welding. It took almost four weeks to connect all the instruments, wiring and hydraulic plumbing.
Geyser didn't have very good communications with us in Kansas City out of Damascus, so Dick Wilson, who was our vice-president in Paris at the time, flew to Syria several times to maintain liaison between John and TWA. He'd fly to Damascus, confer with Geyser and the Boeing people, an then go back to Paris where he'd call us and relay messages.
The Syrians, despite all the diplomatic ramifications, treated us royally. They went out of their way to be kind and gave us all sorts of help. They was only one unpleasant incident involving a Boeing mechanic who started taking pictures of the airport, including a shot of the gun emplacement a hundred yards from our plane. Boeing had briefed its people thoroughly about not taking photographs but this one guy didn't get the message and Geyser nearly had a coronary when it happened. The authorities confiscated the film and gave the mechanic twenty-four hours to leave the country.
TWA sent a flight test crew to Damascus headed by Capt. Lofton Crow, but it was decided to make only one flight out of there-to Rome, where TWA had excellent maintenance facilities and personnel who could check over the repaired 707. It left Damascus carrying Carter and the two Jewish passengers, flew to Rome for a thorough inspection, and then returned to Kansas City where it was examined again before returning to service.
For psychological reasons, TWA changed the aircraft's serial number so no crew member would know he was flying in the patched 707 "with the nose job." Then Meador very quietly had the number changed a second time just in case anyone had caught onto the first switch. One day he encountered a captain who teased him about all the secrecy.
"You thought you were pretty smart, changing that number," he said. "I found out what the new tail number is just by checking the FAA records in Oklahoma City."
"That so?" Meador said. "Have you ever seen in or flown it?"
"No, I've been watching for it, but I haven't seen it yet."
Meador just smiled. "I didn't have the heart to tell him," he chuckles, "that he had just walked off that same airplane."
Ok I'm tired from typing now, but I thought it was an interesting story.
[Edited 2007-03-12 05:43:10]
[Edited 2007-03-12 05:47:21]
"To express the excitement of travel" - Eero Saarinen
A worthy effort and one much appreciated. I don't know what happened to the remains of the BOAC bird, but your excerpted account about Boeing providing the replacement nose section sounds pretty authoritative...