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Photo ID: 1011048
click image to enlarge
Model: C-46A-45-CU Commando Registration: N1001A
Year: 1944 Serial Number: Military 42-96609
Manufacturer 30271
Engines: P&W R2800, B-Series Owner: Boreas Aviation, NY?
Location: Chester County AirportCoatesville, PA Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Date: 1961 Present Registration: Destroyed Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 7/28/03 - The C-46 Commando is a hunkin' big airplane! Its cargo carrying capability is about double that of the C-47/DC-3. This one dropped into my home town of Coatesville one day in 1961.

The name you see here is Sky Van Airways. I found info on the 'net indicating that this company was operating C-46's out of Seattle, WA in the 1960's, serving Canada and Alaska. I'm not sure of the connection between Boreas Corporation and Sky Van Airways - - possibly owner, operator.

There are a few types of aircraft that are notorious for having "been there and done that". C-46's probably lead the pack. Here is some history I found on the 'net on this aircraft: C-46A-45-CU, 30271 was delivered to the US Army Air Corps in July 1944 as 42-96609. Declared government surplus 07-23-1946. Went to Lebanese International Airlines and was Lebanese registered as OD-ABZ and subsequently as OD-ACL. In 1959 it was sold to the Boreas Corporation of New York and registered as N1001A. Acquired by Alitalia (S.A.M. Mediterranean Air Company) in 1962 and Italian registered as I-SILA. I-SILA was cancelled 07-17-1968 and U.S. registered as N10624 by Aaxico Sales of Miami, Florida.

On 12-10-1968 it flew to Prestwick, Scotland, in the hands of the North American Aircraft Trading Corporation. It's use for the next five years in unclear. It re-entered the United States in 1973 with Miami Air Lease, still N10624. Most likely it was operated in the West Indies and/or Central or South America after that. On 09-28-1979, as a result of problems to the engines, the aircraft, still with Miami Air Lease, fell into the sea near the island of Saint Andros (Bahamas), with no fatalities.

C-46's were used by the "non-scheds" - - the non-scheduled airlines that popped up in the late 1940's and the 50's. They were not very popular in the airline, passenger industry but were widely used by Slick, Riddle, Zantop and other cargo carriers. Air America used them in Vietnam, and Air Manitoba was one of the last airlines in North America to operate them regularly. I saw some former Air Manitoba C-46's in Kenya in the mid-1990's, but they didn't last long there. C-46's were very popular in Central and South America and some continue to operate there. They would probably join the DC-4/C-54 in "stories per hour".

Here are some interesting links for more info on the C-46:
C-46 In Alaska
C-46 Tech
Curtiss C-46

Photo ID: 1011049
click image to enlarge
Notes: : Like I said, the Curtiss C-46 is big! I can't fully explain this, but the gentleman who came to see my father is shown here with his "right seater". (Hey - - that's not a biased statement. The photo was taken in 1961!)
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011050
click image to enlarge
Notes: Taking off to the east at Chester County and heading back to New York.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Curtiss Models

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