Tag Archives: c49j

Christmas light viewing from a C-47

21 Dec

Here’s some background on the plane itself:

Southern Cross is part of the John L. Terry Heritage Foundation, is based at Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas.
The aircraft was ordered before WWII by TWA with Wright Cyclone engines and was completed in December 1941. Due to the attack on Pearl Harbor, many aircraft were pressed into military service and this Douglas was no exception. It’s first job in military service was as a troop carrier and paratroop trainer. Its official designation by the U.S. Army Air Corps was C-49J.
After the war, it changed hands many times. Immediately following the war, it was returned to its original purpose of passenger carriage. Chicago and Southern Airlines operated it until the airline was bought by Delta in 1953. It flew under Delta colors until later being sold to the President of Mexico. At this time the interior received a makeover to suit presidential status, including upgrades such as a wrap-around couch, a bathroom, complete galley, and the portrait windows seen on the aircraft today. The engines were also updated at this time to the higher horsepower 1820-72 engines.
Following its presidential service, it was purchased by a skydiving operator who immediately ripped out all the interior upgrades in an effort to make the plane as light as possible. The operator installed even larger engines, a pair of 1820-76Ds, the same engines that are on the HU46 Albatross.
Finally, after being owned by several private parties, it joined the Greatest Generation Aircraft family



Looking out at the wings and seeing the D-Day stripes while flying was a pretty cool experience… something I’m glad I’m doing 67 years after D-Day and not when they were actually needed.


Sorry about the bad quality. iPhone cameras aren’t too great at night.





Here are some other shots from around the hangar. A-26, B-25, Sabre, etc… LOVE IT!







%d bloggers like this: