DIJKKIJK
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Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:32 am

Is it possible to restore this lovely old DC-7 to airworthiness?


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It is indeed sad that it is rotting away (literally) as a firetrainer. And as far as I know, it is the most complete DC7 around (correct me on this one) and is an ideal candidate for restoration.
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
Newark777
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:37 am

Anything can be restored, it is just a question of how much is one willing to invest in the plane's restoration. Whether someone is willing to put in enough money to restore this one, I have no idea.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
DIJKKIJK
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 2:43 am

Quite right, I hope someone does put in some cash. KLM should do it, it is their former airplane.

Here is a picture of the same bird in KLM livery

http://geta-o.maxs.jp/CIVIL/US/MDC/DC-7/ph-dsh(kl)dc-7-b5.JPG

[Edited 2006-09-04 19:44:12]
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
LPLAspotter
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:19 pm

Saddest thing I ever saw was a DC-6 rot away at the end of runway 33 at LPLA, especially since I got to fly it from TER (LPLA) to LIS via PDL. In our climate it just fell to pieces. I hope this doesn't happen to this beauty.

LPLAspotter
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ba757gla
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:23 pm

How many dc 7s are still flying then?
 
jamesbuk
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:37 pm

Quoting Ba757gla (Reply 4):
How many dc 7s are still flying then?

None see below

Quoting DIJKKIJK (Thread starter):
And as far as I know, it is the most complete DC7

I think it should be restored but like someone said it depeneds how much someones willling to invest!

Rgds --James--
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
 
broke
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:57 pm

There is an ex-Eastern DC-7B flying in the US.
The problem with the DC-7's and the L-1049 Connies, with the turbocompound R-3350, is that the fuel they were designed to use, 130/140 Octane, is no longer available and the engines have to be operated at much lower manifold pressures to avoid ignition. So these aircraft have to fly at lowered weights. This is the reason that R-2800 powered aircraft are relatively more likely to be flying.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:55 pm

The question is it Economically viable.
regds
MEL
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dw747400
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:00 am

Quoting Broke (Reply 6):
So these aircraft have to fly at lowered weights.

How much of a penalty is there? Since they are not in regular service I would think this wouldn't be a major factor, unless its so substantial that you can't even carry enough high yield aircraft enthusiasts to subsidize your operating costs.
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
 
BA
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:09 am

I'm surprised I've never seen it in my travels through GVA as I travel through it quite frequently.

Anyone know precisely where it is located at GVA?

It seems to be in fairly reasonable condition and I hope someone does put the investment into restoring it. Maybe it can be bought by some enthusiasts who then collect donations to fund its restoration.

On Lake Geneva, the old 100 year old paddle steamers on the lakes are maintained and refurbished mainly through public donations from enthusiasts. They care a lot about preservation and restoration in Switzerland.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
CV990
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:22 am

Hi!

That DC-7C is well visible when you land at GVA, if you land from Lausanne side you should be seated on the left side of the airliner and you'll see it! If you land from Geneva side you must be seated on the right side or if you are on the left side you'll see it when the airliner leaves the runway and get's to the parking area. Last time I was in GVA, September 2004 I saw it there!!!
And regarding restoration, this DC-7C is actually in a very good condition to be restored, I've see much worst airplanes beeing restored to pritine condition!!! Take a look to this one:


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Like the rock group Queen would sing - "It's a miracle!"
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DL_Mech
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:27 am

It's a shame that the MATS connie is no more. Now a static display in Korea.
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
CV990
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:37 am

Hi!

Yeah, it's really a pitty!!! I'm sure the koreans paid good money tough!
regards
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bennett123
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:34 am

Display condition should be possible.

Airworthy would mean a full structural survey before you could answer that.
 
DIJKKIJK
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:39 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
The question is it Economically viable

It will not be. Profit is seldom the primary motive for any such restoration.

If it had been ''economically viable'' in the accepted sense of the word, that DC7 would have been flying already.

[Edited 2006-09-05 18:40:20]
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
iRISH251
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:50 am

There is another ex-KLM DC-7C, (N777EA, ex PH-DSR) at Goodyear Az, complete and with a full pax interior. It would probably be a far better candidate for a restoration project if anyone was seriously contemplating this.
 
USADreamliner
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:07 am

Hey, if a doctor can restore Joan Rivers face, anything can be done! drunk 

Anyway, I would love to see it flying again.
It would be cool if KL restore one DC-7 and offer special flights, flying the same routes this beauties used to.

usadreamliner
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:54 am

Airliners.net Moderator Team
 
Fokker70NG
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:03 am

Quoting Dl_mech (Reply 11):
It's a shame that the MATS connie is no more. Now a static display in Korea.

Yes it is. But there's still an airworthy L749 left, at the Aviodrome museum in Lelystad (The Netherlands) to be precise. It didn't fly for 2 years now due to a problem with one of the engines, but now we got 2 working ex-MATS Connie engines from Korea she'll be flying again rather sooner than later.

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Quoting CV990 (Reply 12):

Yeah, it's really a pitty!!! I'm sure the koreans paid good money tough!

It was actually a gift. If I recall correctly it was Pratt & Whitney who bought her and gave her to Korean Air for their museum.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. -Albert Einstein
 
aviopic
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:12 am

Quoting USADreamliner (Reply 16):
It would be cool if KL restore one DC-7 and offer special flights

KL is not into restoration.

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 17):
Talk to these guys:

Don't need anybody for a job like that.

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The experience is there just waiting for the cash, it's about time for another job anyway Big grin
Although personally I am not a DC4/6/7 fan.

Quoting Fokker70NG (Reply 18):
It was actually a gift. If I recall correctly it was Pratt & Whitney who bought her and gave her to Korean Air for their museum.

Correct Joost.

Quoting DIJKKIJK (Reply 14):
It will not be. Profit is seldom the primary motive for any such restoration.
If it had been ''economically viable'' in the accepted sense of the word, that DC7 would have been flying already.

If profit was are motivation we would have been broke long time ago.
The Connie is not even allowed to take passengers, the DC2 can but as far as I know that has never been done.
Apart from that EU regulations don't make an exception for historical A/C's(we now talk about Hysterical Aviation rather then Historical) anymore which led to an astronomical insurance of around 65.000EU p/y for the F27 for example(Connie is identical priced).
Basically that's the same as KL pays for their daily used B73..........
So if you are going to miss this brilliant aircrafts of the past or hate to see them chopped to pieces just say "Thank you European Union".
It's almost undoable anymore.

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 13):
Display condition should be possible.

Probably yes but if used as fire trainer the smell will be hard to get rid of.

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 13):
Airworthy would mean a full structural survey before you could answer that.

 checkmark 

I am sure the Aviodrome would love to put their hands on a DC4/6/7 if only they had a little bit of subsidy and/or sponsorship.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
aviopic
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting Aviopic (Reply 19):
I am sure the Aviodrome would love to put their hands on a DC4/6/7 if only they had a little bit of subsidy and/or sponsorship.

Forgot the DC5 Big grin
Think KL was the only airliner to have it in the fleet for a while.

Quoting Irish251 (Reply 15):
There is another ex-KLM DC-7C, (N777EA, ex PH-DSR) at Goodyear Az, complete and with a full pax interior. It would probably be a far better candidate for a restoration project if anyone was seriously contemplating this.

If I am not mistaken this aircraft is owned by a religious plook or group like a sect who want to escape the earth on dooms day ?  angel 
Might be mistaken but somewhere in the back of my mind I remember this aircraft was the subject of an internal discussion a long time ago.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
Amazonphil
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:45 am

Quoting CV990 (Reply 10):
Hi!

That DC-7C is well visible when you land at GVA, if you land from Lausanne side you should be seated on the left side of the airliner and you'll see it! If you land from Geneva side you must be seated on the right side or if you are on the left side you'll see it when the airliner leaves the runway and get's to the parking area. Last time I was in GVA, September 2004 I saw it there!!!
And regarding restoration, this DC-7C is actually in a very good condition to be restored, I've see much worst airplanes beeing restored to pritine condition!!! Take a look to this one:

Have I missed something here?? The photos you've shown are L-749 Connies, not DC-7Cs.

amazonphil
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iRISH251
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:04 am

Quoting Amazonphil (Reply 21):
Have I missed something here?? The photos you've shown are L-749 Connies, not DC-7Cs.

Look at the first post.

I think that the most that can realistically be hoped for is for the GVA DC-7C to be obtained for static preservation. It would have to be dismantled for transportation to a new location and the GVA airport authorities might also be looking for a new rescue trainer before they would part with it.

BTW there are also two other DC-7Cs in Europe and which have flown a lot more recently, but which have been parked for several years. These are the two Basaer ones at Cordoba, Spain. These also have illustrious histories, one being a former SAS aircraft and the other a onetime BOAC one.
 
Amazonphil
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:13 am

Quoting Irish251 (Reply 22):
Quoting Amazonphil (Reply 21):
Have I missed something here?? The photos you've shown are L-749 Connies, not DC-7Cs.

Look at the first post.

I think that the most that can realistically be hoped for is for the GVA DC-7C to be obtained for static preservation. It would have to be dismantled for transportation to a new location and the GVA airport authorities might also be looking for a new rescue trainer before they would part with it.

BTW there are also two other DC-7Cs in Europe and which have flown a lot more recently, but which have been parked for several years. These are the two Basaer ones at Cordoba, Spain. These also have illustrious histories, one being a former SAS aircraft and the other a onetime BOAC one.

I agree, I saw his first post but in talking about DC-7Cs in his post in Reply 10 but showing no DC-7Cs, why does he show 2 photos of Connies...but with no mention of the Connies at all??

Regards
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!
 
Amazonphil
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:17 am

I guess I figured in out,,,I think. He is using the Connies as an illustration on how the plane can go from total junk to prestine condition...ok got it now.
Seems he could have eluded in his post, something to that fact.

amazonphil

[Edited 2006-09-06 00:18:15]
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!
 
scaledesigns
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:42 am

I remember being at Tucson Int. and seeing a DC7 sitting next to the last
B377 and a few C97s being used as parts for the Guppy program.What a shame they are all gone.Carvairs and DC4s were also sitting next to them.
Great things should be saved.
F1 Tommy
 
JHSfan
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:44 am

Quoting DIJKKIJK (Thread starter):
Is it possible to restore this lovely old DC-7 to airworthiness?

Could be. As you can see below this DC-7 (N836D) flew from STP to OPF in 2004. Not because it was fully restored but because it was OK for a ferry flight. The rest of the work is going on at OPF.

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Quoting DIJKKIJK (Thread starter):
It is indeed sad that it is rotting away (literally) as a firetrainer. And as far as I know, it is the most complete DC7 around (correct me on this one) and is an ideal candidate for restoration.

Just as ideal as this DC-8?

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Lets hope not. But at least from the outside it looks fine.

Quoting Ba757gla (Reply 4):
How many dc 7s are still flying then?

N836D is on it's way back to the sky.
N401US should be airworthy.
N381AA must be airworthy otherwise the tarmac has a special color
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N4887C has a valid FAA certificate. It was flying in 2005.
N6353C is also flying.
N777EA could be airworthy.

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 5):
None see below

No some, see above instead! But maybe I got you all wrong.

Prop'ly yours
JHSfan
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falstaff
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:58 am

I am no airplane expert, I am an automotive technician. One thing I know is that with the know how, cash, and ambition you can fix anything. You could build a new DC-7 if you really wanted to and had the cash to back up the project.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
CV990
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:35 pm

Hi!

AmazonPhil, I just wanted to give an example how a very worn and very derelict airplane can actually become a nice looking preserved old airliner! Just that...I couldn't find any derelict DC-7C has an example I had to use the best available one, and that was a C-121!!! It's just an example....it's all about restoring old airplanes!
regards
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57AZ
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:44 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
The question is it Economically viable.

No. Restoration of an aircraft of that vintage (while possible) is not economical. Having worked in the steam railroad preservation field, restoration is done for historical posterity. At best, you will be lucky to bring in enough income to sustain operations. Only small steam locomotives have any chance of being economically viable to operate. Large locomotives require a lot of maintenance which can easily run into the range of $250k annually not counting operating costs (fuel, salaries, etc.). That aircraft would make a nice static display in an enclosed museum or perhaps an occasional heritage flight but nothing more.

As for building an entirely new DC-7: that would be a financial and techonolgical impossibility. All of the tooling is long since gone and you would not be able to build a radial engine comparible to the used units available from scratch as the manufacturing capacity for them is gone too. You'd have to scavange parts off of other donor aircraft.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
CV990
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:40 pm

Hi!

I agree with 57AZ!!! I also think that there are easier old airliners to maintain than others, for example a C-47/Dakota have much better chances to become flyable, just think that many thousands were built so it's not that hard to get spares and parts for that airplane, and of course the engines of the C-47 were not that complex. A C-54 could be restored too, not so easy like the Dakota but still possible, the DC-6/C-118 also ok....but when we get to airplanes like the DC-7/L1049/DC-7C/L1649 it gets not an easy task, first all these airliners had engines that used high-octane fuel, all these engines were quite complex to maintain and finnally and probably the most serious issue is the fact that there are not many around, and even for the L1049 around 900 were built not many exist now, and if we talk about the DC-7/DC-7C and L1649 only 200 were built all together ( 150 DC-7's and maybe 50 L1649...I'm not that sure about the real numbers but not a significant number...) and maybe not more than 20 all together exist!!! So that's also an issue to preserve and restore airplanes from that class. But I must "take my hat" to some people that is trying hard. I remember that guy in Maine that have 2 L1649A's, all those DC-7's that are flyable that JHSfan wrote about, the australian C-121, the dutch L-749, the Breitling C-121, etc. etc., all those organisations are doing a very good job and deserve our aplause.
regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
David L
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:52 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 7):
The question is it Economically viable.



Quoting DIJKKIJK (Reply 14):
It will not be. Profit is seldom the primary motive for any such restoration.



Quoting 57AZ (Reply 29):
No. Restoration of an aircraft of that vintage (while possible) is not economical.

I'm assuming the question was whether or not anyone would be prepared to spend the money to restore it for display purposes rather than whether or not it could fly for profit.
 
57AZ
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:21 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 31):
Quoting 57AZ (Reply 29):
No. Restoration of an aircraft of that vintage (while possible) is not economical.

I'm assuming the question was whether or not anyone would be prepared to spend the money to restore it for display purposes rather than whether or not it could fly for profit.

Restoration can fall into one of two catagories: restoration for static display or restoration for non-profit operation and historic preservation. Restoration for static display is most certainly possible. Restoration for non-profit operation and historic preservation is most likely uneconomical.
"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
 
David L
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:26 pm

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 32):
Restoration can fall into one of two catagories: restoration for static display or restoration for non-profit operation and historic preservation. Restoration for static display is most certainly possible. Restoration for non-profit operation and historic preservation is most likely uneconomical.

Thanks, though I was just trying to clarify the question.  Smile
 
aviopic
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:27 pm

Quoting CV990 (Reply 30):
A C-54 could be restored too, not so easy like the Dakota but still possible, the DC-6/C-118 also ok....but when we get to airplanes like the DC-7/L1049/DC-7C/L1649 it gets not an easy task, first all these airliners had engines that used high-octane fuel

I don't see the difference between restoring a DC3 or DC7 and L749 or L1049 apart from the availability of parts maybe, the work remains the same albeit just more of it.
They all used high octane fuel(130) but are now using 100LL without a problem.

Quoting CV990 (Reply 30):
all these engines were quite complex to maintain and finnally

All radials work the same and come with the same problems.
There is one difference though, the bigger ones have more of the same.
The real problem starts when you need one overhauled because just a few certified shops are left and for a R3350(used on Connie en DC's) you are looking at 100.000$ each.
So in the end it still comes down to the available money.
The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
 
WesternA318
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:31 pm

Does anyone know if any ex-Continental prop-birds are still around?
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
Amazonphil
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RE: Can This Old Bird Be Restored?

Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:59 pm

Quoting WesternA318 (Reply 35):
Does anyone know if any ex-Continental prop-birds are still around?

CO's DC-3 is still operational and in SUPER shape! Not sure where they keep it though. Maybe the Houston area somewhere.

Regards
If it ain't Boeing, I ain't goeing!