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      Jennings


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      Post #64693, posted on 10-20-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Dated 2007. Notice anything odd? How about a 757 main cabin door added forward of the wing (note the angled door handle unique to the 757)! Never EVER seen that before!


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      RAA188


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      Post #64698, posted on 10-21-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      OK, down the rabbit hole we go...

      I've no idea with whom this mod originated, but if you have or can find a copy of the Osprey Civil Aircraft series book "Classic Jetliners" by Mark Wagner and Guy Norris, you can find this aircraft on page 21, wearing a gold and blue multi-part cheatline that's carried over onto the engine nacelles. I'm assuming it's the same airframe as the forward fuselage has not only the door in the same location, but also the identical window pattern of 4 blanked-out/3 open/1 blank/doublers/patch to surround the door/door, as well as the same Comtran hushkits on the cold sections.

      The caption reads:

      "Above Lowa Limited owned Boeing 707-330B N88ZL lines up for take-off on London Heathrow's runway 09 Right in March 1993 [..] This aircraft first flew at Renton on 7 December 1965, and was delivered to Lufthansa as 'Hannover' D-ABUF three weeks later. After a brief spell with Condor, the wholly owned charter subsidiary of Lufthansa, the 707 was retired by the German group in February 1981. US-based Lowa leased the aircraft from Aerommer Limited in 1984, this arrangement still existing a decade later." (Emphasis and punctuation copied verbatim)

      Further info from Roach and Eastwood's JAPL Vol. 1 - Boeing provides this history (all dates converted to US-style month/day/year format):

      707-330B, MSN18928/LN457, first flight December 12, 1965. Delivered to LH as D-ABUF "Hannover" December 28, 1965; leased by Condor April 24, 1978, returned to LH February, 1981; Bought by Aerommer Limited July 3, 1984; Lowa Limited leased July 3, 1984 [note the transaction dates, Aerommer probably a holding/umbrella corp. --Rob]; Re-registered N88ZL by Lowa Limited March, 1985; Bought by Lowa Limited March of 1986. --end of reference--

      I'd be curious to see what happened between 1986 and whenever this photo was taken; as the Osprey book was published in 1994, the conversion must have happened sometime during the airframe's tenure with whoever this Aerommer or Lowa Limited were or are, and it was most likely an executive conversion of some kind.

      My wild speculation is that the transplanted L2 door and the lack of windows ahead were either to isolate the flight deck and/or a secure forward compartment from the rest of the airplane. I'd also guess that the door selection had more to do with the 'new' door's location on the donor airframe--as the 757 and 707 share a constant-diameter section in roughly the same place, and these types are the only two to share this attribute--the only Boeing narrowbody with a full-size boarding door located amidships is the 757 (the 721's galley door is the same width, but shorter in height than the main doors and the aft doors on the 722 are also different in dimensions), making the 757 the only type practical--or even possible--for a conversion like this.

      Given the current TAP colors on the aircraft in the background, it's also interesting that a machine of this vintage (going on if not surpassing the 50-year mark) is still being used by anybody--even a relatively poor nation--especially for what is obviously a VIP bird.

      I wish I'd had this in KCAE back in August...The military guys think they have a monopoly on strange and shady histories of aircraft, but this one is definitely out there, both mechanically and in terms of longevity and operators...

      Rob in AK

      "Hey, 'cmon...You came all this way, you deserve the full tour!" --Spoken to me by an RV employee in PAPH 27 March, 1999 before my one and only jumpseat ride on an L-188 Electra.

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      Post #64715, posted on 10-22-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Rob, you're thinking of the wrong 707. D2-MAN is (was?) ex-N886PA and has the long-duct/long intake Comtran hushkits, D-ABUF is now N88ZL, and looks like this:


      If I had a few million burning a hole in my pocket, I'd buy that bird in a heartbeat....

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      Ken Miller


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      Post #64724, posted on 10-23-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Neat stuff.....please keep posted with anymore info on this or other "rare" 707's.

      Ken

      Slightly related but a link to current African Countries Presidential Aircraft. Looks like Angola has switched to an ERJ-135.

      https://ourtimeiscome.com/2016/03/10/top-ten-african-presidents-with-the-most-expensive-private-jets/

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      Post #64725, posted on 10-23-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Interesting. This brings a couple possibilities to mind:

      Since the version of the JAPL I have was printed in 1994 and has no entry for D2-MAN, I'd guess that either the caption in the Wagner and Norris book is wrong (which is possible, though those two tend to get it right...) or there's more than one 707 out there with this door mod. Or a third option, someone went back and re-did the original N88ZL (which, BTW Merlin, has its own website--n88zl.com). I'd tend to thing re-re-converting an airframe like that would be ridiculous, so I'm thinking its probably a pretty slim possibility. One never knows, though...

      Photo searches for that reg. show the Angolan bird as being a converted -321B, which seems to lend credence to the photo caption being incorrect; still, unless I can find a definitive (whatever that might be) reference to the lineage of both these airframes, we may never know.

      I've looked through the current FAA databases using Landings, and there's no current entry for N88ZL--so it's either been shuffled off elsewhere, or has gone to the great airplane paradise.

      Stranger and stranger, it becomes

      Rob in AK

      "Hey, 'cmon...You came all this way, you deserve the full tour!" --Spoken to me by an RV employee in PAPH 27 March, 1999 before my one and only jumpseat ride on an L-188 Electra.

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      Post #64726, posted on 10-23-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      OK, to follow up:

      There are only two 707-321Bs registered in the USA: One belongs to the USAF as an R&D (read that: probably spy plane ) bird, still registered N404PA; the other is N545PC, registered to the typical holding corporation for someone, Wilmington Trust in Delaware. The USAF plane was registered in 1989; the truly civilian one was first listed with Wilmington Trust in 2009. The reg. appears to be held over from its days with the Ports Of Call travel club back in the 1980s; the current operator looks like Omega Air (another government contractor).

      ...And scratch that about N88ZL not being out there. A further search shown it active with the FAA as of February of 2015, with Lowa Ltd. in Pennsylvania.

      For the true hardcore geeks among us, Lowa is (among other things) a freight forwarding company based in Huntingdon Valley, PA--strangely about halfway between PHL and Trenton, NJ, its current incarnation founded in 2005; in addition, I found the radio license for N88ZL in the US FCC database as being granted in 2006, with an expiration of November 2, 2016 (in just a couple weeks...).

      But get this: I managed to find a post from someone out there with the title "N88ZL Is Back!" which makes me wonder if this reg. has graced more than one 707 in its day. Would be strange indeed to have it show up on two of the *exact* make and model of the plane, though, especially when so few were built.

      Hmm...

      Rob in AK

      "Hey, 'cmon...You came all this way, you deserve the full tour!" --Spoken to me by an RV employee in PAPH 27 March, 1999 before my one and only jumpseat ride on an L-188 Electra.

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      Post #64727, posted on 10-23-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Oy...See this thread on FlightAware:

      http://discussions.flightaware.com/notable-activity/n88zl-707-currently-in-manchester-nh-any-info-on-who-t8535-25.html

      Follow the thread and there's even a couple links to videos of it on YouTube.

      Weirder and weirder...

      Rob in AK

      "Hey, 'cmon...You came all this way, you deserve the full tour!" --Spoken to me by an RV employee in PAPH 27 March, 1999 before my one and only jumpseat ride on an L-188 Electra.

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      Post #64728, posted on 10-23-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      There are only two 707-321Bs registered in the USA: One belongs to the USAF as an R&D (read that: probably spy plane ) bird, still registered N404PA; the other is N545PC, registered to the typical holding corporation for someone,


      I think you mean N454PC, currently withdrawn from use in Mojave as a parts bird for Omega Air (the air tanker guys).



      As for D2-MAN, it looks like this door was installed while in service with Kalair Ltd from Saudi Arabia in the executive role as N707KS in the early nineties.

      Check this out:
      "As Prince Khaled's wealth grew, so did his entourage. By 1990, his Boeing 727 was too small and was replaced by a luxurious VIP 707 jet with a price-tag of $30 million. Khaled commissioned his aviation manager to install state-of-the-art facilities and the best possible quality fixtures with a capacity to carry 50 people on a routine flight. 'I want to be able to enjoy the aircraft until 2025,' said the Prince. He wanted innovations, so a miniature digital camera was fitted to the co-pilot's eyebrow window which enable a passenger to look forward along the aircraft's flight path. Sitting in the back of the of the aircraft, Khaled was able to steer the camera using a joystick. A secret hidden compartment by the quilted leather padded headboard of his bed was also installed to hold his securtiy and protection equipment."


      Best regards...Duncan

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      Post #64729, posted on 10-23-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      Quote
      Misterblank :
      I think you mean N454PC, currently withdrawn from use in Mojave as a parts bird for Omega Air (the air tanker guys).


      Yep, my bad...I was looking at the database reference and swapped the numbers as I was typing.

      Interesting about the history of D2-MAN; I'm wondering what colors it wore originally. The book photo shows it with a multipart cheatline in what looks like blue and gold, and the then-standard Comtran kits on the nacelles. There are no cues as to who it might belong to, no fleet numbers, etc. anywhere and the tail has been cropped or was out of frame for the photo. Makes sense that it was a VIP plane, as there are no outlines on the doors, either.

      I'd be curious to know what kind of "security and protection equipment" would be carried in the headboard...A gunfight at altitude in the master suite brings to mind Auric Goldfinger's demise in his personal JetStar

      Thanks for the extra info!

      Rob in AK

      "Hey, 'cmon...You came all this way, you deserve the full tour!" --Spoken to me by an RV employee in PAPH 27 March, 1999 before my one and only jumpseat ride on an L-188 Electra.

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      Post #64732, posted on 10-24-2016 GMT-5 hours    
      N88ZL was involved in a landing prang a few years ago when it went off the end of a runway, that's probably what the "N88ZL is back" post was referencing. From what I've read, the plane's been dormant for a while, but I could be wrong. It never had any door mods from what I've seen, must just be an incorrect caption in that book.