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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedDouglas DC-7B: Rescued, Restored, Returns
A lot of attention is being paid to the 75th anniversary of the Douglas DC-3, and rightfully so. But another airplane from the Douglas fleet will garner some deserved notice at AirVenture this year: a resurrected Douglas Aircraft DC-7B, the product of a six-year restoration effort by the Historical Flight Foundation (HFF).

The aircraft, N836D, was scheduled to arrive with 35 HFF members onboard Saturday, July 25, from Miami’s Opa-locka Airport. Roger Jarman, HFF president, said the airplane will be on static display on AeroShell Square during its Oshkosh stay, and cabin tours will be available.

The aircraft was acquired in 2004 after sitting idle for 32 years at the downtown St. Paul Airport, Jarman said. The four Wright R-3350-30W engines hadn’t run in some 15 years.

Of the 112 DC-7s produced, N836D is the only one surviving in passenger configuration. It was first operated by Eastern Air Lines and later by several flying clubs before being parked at St. Paul Downtown Airport in St. Paul, Minnesota. It was acquired by Marc Wolff and Carlos Gomez in 2004, who donated it to the HFF.

After the replacement of two of the four engines and other preparations, the airplane was ferried to Opa-locka in September 2004 to begin a complete restoration. More than 65 percent of the original aluminum skin and outer wing panels have been repaired or replaced. It has 60 seats and is painted in the original “Red Falcon” paint scheme it was delivered with in January 1958.

Earlier this year the FAA granted the HFF an exemption request to conduct “living history flights” in the airplane and plans are to provide flights as it tours the continental U.S. in the coming years.

Another unique quality of N836D: It’s the only DC-7B aircraft in the world equipped with evacuation slides - retrofitted from a Boeing B-727-200. May 27, HFF successfully tested them

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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