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Photo ID: 1015044
click image to enlarge
Model: Douglas DC-6 Registration: NX37503
Year: 1946 Serial Number: 42868
Engine(s): P&W R2800, CA-15 or CB-16. Owner: United Air Lines
Location: Unknown Photographer: From the collection of Ken Stoltzfus
Date: 1947-48? Present Registration: N37503 Present Owner (FAA info): None, scrapped
Notes: July 3, 2004 - This is an oldie and it has some anomalies. We're looking at DC-6, c/n 42868 and fuselage #5, delivered to United Air Lines in November 1946.

Two sources list this aircraft as the "Mainliner Grand Coulee", but I can see "Mainliner San Francisco" on the nose. At the back of the fuselage it also says "United Air Lines Mainliner 300", which I suppose was a generic term for their DC-6 fleet.

The registration on the wing appears to be N037503, which isn't possible. There is an obvious "X" under the first "0", indicating that the aircraft was previously registered as NX37503. The tail number appears to be NC37503, which would be correct for that era, but again the "X" has been covered over. The Douglas Production List shows several early DC-6s with "NX", but not N37503.

I highly suspect that the aircraft was NX37503 at the time of this photo and that for some reason the photo was retouched. Further confirmation of the experimental nature of the aircraft is that the word "Experimental" is visible on the front, right behind the door.

This aircraft experienced a little "Oops!" in October 1962. It was flying from Reno to Los Angeles with a stop in Sacramento with five crew and four passengers. Upon landing the flight engineer raised the gear instead of the flaps. I doubt if it was a "Praise the Lord!" moment.

The aircraft was sold to Mars Aviation Inc. in August 1968, and then to BMR Aviation, and was scrapped in late 1968. However, it still appears on the FAA Registry as Douglas DC-6, N37503, s/n 42868!

I invite corrections or further information on the anomalies of this photo and will post them with the submitter's name.
 
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