jeudi 26 janvier 2017
The make up of a great adventure
Here we are, almost the end of January and our project seems too close to be real. Maintenance is still underway and a lot, I mean, A LOT still needs to be done to allow our venerable DC-3 HB-IRJ to be certified for its Round the World Tour. Let me first give you some insight on what we are planning to do and who is HB-IRJ.
Back in August 2016, Francisco Agullo, the Chief and Founder of the Breitling DC-3 told us about his project to fly around the World with his DC-3. That particular model is a DC-3A and was rolled out on March 12, 1940 under the name "Flagship Cleveland" with the construction number 2204 to American Airlines. During WW II, from April 4th, 1942 to April 1st ,1944, the aircraft was leased to the U.S. Army and based in Europe. Upon returning from War, American Airlines took the aircraft back and sold it later to Trans Texas Airways on February 24th, 1949. This Airline which became Texas International operated the aircraft until 1968.
A year later Tradewinds restored it completely and sold it in December 1971 to the famous PBA (Provincetown Boston Airlines). Registered now as N34PB, it operated on commercial flights until 1987 when it changed colors to Eastern Express. A year later Bar Harbour Airlines leased the aircraft but also quickly put it on storage. N34PB was then preserved for four years until Champlain Air bought it in 1992. A complete restoration took place in 1995 and the DC-3A received a new registration N922CA. In November 2008, Francisco Agullo and a group of friends bought the airplane with the intention to make it fly in Switzerland and Europe. It was again registered new and is now HB-IRJ, an old liner with a proper liner registration and can carry 20 persons and is fully IFR.
So now, with this beauty in hands, the whole Team was about to enter a new era, flying across almost every continent, from Geneva up to Geneva!