2009 Articles

SEP 08 2009
Historical Flight Foundation DC-7B

Here you can find Convair, Douglas and even Russian prop aircraft either plying their trade, or waiting for that next big contract.

One of the more active operators in this area is Florida Air Transport (FAT) who operate DC-7, DC-6 and DC-4 aircraft on ad-hoc charter airfreight work.

DC-7B N836D had been parked up at Holman Field in Minneapolis for 32 years, where owner Joe Kocour would occasionally run the engines and perform maintenance, hoping one day to see this former Eastern Airlines (EAL) aircraft take to the air again. Amazingly this airframe had only seen around ten years of service five with EAL and then a travel club.

This aircraft attracted the attention of well known propliner aficionado Carlos Gomez, owner of FAT, along with Marc Wolff who wanted to operate a DC-7 in passenger configuration after the FAA recognised the need to allow living history flights. These flights must take-off and land within 50 miles of the same airport or take-off and land at the same airport.

N836D is the only surviving DC-7 still in its original passenger configuration, which is precisely why it was targeted by the newly formed Legendary Airlines.

After only four months and two engine changes the aircraft was made airworthy and ferried first to Atlanta on 7th August 2004 to be greeted by eager Eastern employees. After an overnight stay she then flew onward to the new home of Opa-locka, Florida.

Since then the aircraft has been extensively rebuilt, with many new metal skin panels, new outer wings, 2x2 seating donated from a DC-9 and of course the striking original EAL livery.

Currently the aircraft is awaiting paperwork approval from the FAA and, when this is complete, it will be operated by the Historical Flight Foundation who are a tax exempt organisation as required by the FAA. FAT crews will then be contracted to fly the aircraft.

The intent is to offer passenger flights and tours much like Air Atlantique used to in the UK with their DC-3s, until the European regulations forced them to cease these operations.

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2010-05-01 - Joe Kocour Jr
Just want to say that Carlos and his team have done a wonderful job of restoring N836D. After owning this aircraft for almost 33 years, this is the legacy that my father, Joe Kocour and the rest of the family wanted for this plane.

We had many opportunities to sell the plane to others who would have destroyed the interior to use it as a freighter. At last she is flying as it was meant, with passengers.

2010-04-02 - RICK WARGO

2009-10-24 - ernesto cuevas
I am waiting paintiently to see this piece of history take flight again. As a licensed AP,IA I can understand the FAA making sure the i's are dotted and the t's are all crossed........

Can't wait to see it fly......

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