Aviation Historian 01
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J.Pote - From Penthouse to Workhorse
The author’s splendid colour photograph of Boeing 307 Stratoliner F-BELX (c/n 1999) at Wattay Airport, Vientiane, Laos, on January 23, 1966, while in the service of the International Control Commission. The aircraft later crashed in Cambodia. Of note in the background is the second production Lockheed L-188A Electra, VR-HFN, which had been operating with Cathay Pacific since June 1959.
Earning its place among many dazzling exhibits at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Washington DC is the sole complete surviving Boeing 307, NC19903, which had a long and dramatic career, including being used as the personal transport of Haitian dictator Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier in the 1970s.
The author’s splendid colour photograph of Boeing 307 Stratoliner F-BELX (c/n 1999) at Wattay Airport, Vientiane, Laos, on January 23, 1966, while in the service of the International Control Commission. The aircraft later crashed in Cambodia. Of note in the background is the second production Lockheed L-188A Electra, VR-HFN, which had been operating with Cathay Pacific since June 1959.
Only ten Boeing 307 Stratoliners were produced, three going on to serve with Pan American and five being acquired by TWA. The fourth production example was bought by Howard Hughes for a round-the-world flight, but the beginning of the Second World War put paid to the idea. Instead he converted it into a “Flying Penthouse”.