USA 1980s - DOUGLAS DC-7s

Only a few DC-7 freighters were still flying by the 1980s but they were still used for fire bombing and pest spraying.
A selection of my photogaphs taken on visits to USA during the decade

Captain Bill Whitesell in his DC-7B N750Z arrives at the extensive freight area at Miami Airport, Florida in October 1981.
He had established La Mancha Aire Inc two years earlier by rebuilding two retired DC-7 freighters.

N750Z shuts down on the oil-stained air freight ramps of "Corrosion Corner" Miami Airport, October 1981.

The only other operational DC-7 seen at Miami in October 1981 was Air Freighter Leasing's DC-7C N9000T.

Retired DC-7 freighters were parked at Miami Airport in 1981: DC-7C N16465 began life as a BOAC Seven Seas.

Another retired DC-7C at Miami in October 1981 was ex-Fleming International Airways N74175.

Transporte Aereo Dominicano DC-7C HI-524CT at Tamiami, Florida in August 1989 was having an engine change.

Here's HI-524CT (previous picture) eight years earlier as N8852 in storage at Tucson, Arizona in good company.
The DC-7C was owned by Ron Clark Enterprises which specialised in carrying pop groups on concert tours, but
was retired when Ron Clark acquired a fleet of ex-airline Vickers Viscounts.

This former Pan American DC-7B ended up with the Atlanta Skylarks Travel Club before being retired at Macon, Georgia.
With outer wings removed it was towed by road 15 miles to the town of Byron and fitted out as The DC-7 Steak House.
I tracked it down during October 1981 but unfortunately it had not yet opened for business that day.

DC-7B N1097 was a former air tanker on extended overhaul by owner Bill Waara at Opa Locka, Florida in August 1989.

DC-7s were effective fire bombing heavy tankers. TBM Inc's DC-7B N848D tanker #81 landing at Fox Air Tanker Base,
Lancaster CA in September 1981 to reload with retardant while working a wild fire in the nearby Tehachapi Ranges.

A line of T&G Inc DC-7s returning to home base Chandler Arizona in November 1981 after the summer fire season.
Veteran tanker pilots Sergio Tomassoni and Woody Grantham formed T&G Inc in 1976 to operate DC-7 tankers.

DC-7B N51701 at Chandler AZ November 1981 was T&G Inc's tanker #31.

DC-7B N4887C T&G Inc tanker #33 at Chandler AZ November 1981 was originally with Delta Airlines.

DC-7B N4889C was another original Delta Airlines airliner stored at Chandler AZ by T&G Inc in November 1981.

DC-7B N4885C was also stored by T&G Inc at Chandler AZ November 1981 for possible future use.

T&G Inc DC-7C N284 at Chandler AZ November 1981 was used for US Forest Service fire fighting freight support contracts.
It was later fitted for locust plague spraying in Africa and shot down by a rebel missile in Morocco in December 1988.

N284 two months earlier at Klamath Falls, Oregon undergoing a multiple engine change in the open weather after reportedly
being incorrectly refuelled with turbine fuel.

Also at Klamath Falls in September 1981 was T&G Inc's DC-7C N90804 tanker #28

My wife Jane enjoys the scenery at the Medford, Oregon US Forest Service Air Tanker Base, September 1981

T&G Inc DC-7C N9734Z tanker #32 on station at Medford, Oregon in September 1981

Also on station at Medford, Oregon in September 1981 was T&G Inc DC-7C N90802 tanker #115.

T&G Inc DC-7B N51701 tanker #31 landing at Billings, Montana in August 1989 while working a fire in nearby mountains

N51701 at the Billings Air Tanker Base August 1989 showing the retardant-stained 3,000 gallon belly tank.
Delivered new to Pan American in 1955, this DC-7B was later retired to the Pima Air and Space Museum, Arizona.

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