C-49J Visits Ranger Airfield

Southern Cross visited Ranger Airfield on October 16. The aircraft, part of the John L. Terry Heritage Foundation, is based at Meacham International Airport, Fort Worth, Texas.
The aircraft was ordered before WWII by TWA with Wright Cyclone engines and was completed in December 1941. Due to the attack on Pearl Harbor, many aircraft were pressed into military service and this Douglas was no exception. It’s first job in military service was as a troop carrier and paratroop trainer. Its official designation by the U.S. Army Air Corps was C-49J.
After the war, it changed hands many times. Immediately following the war, it was returned to its original purpose of passenger carriage. Chicago and Southern Airlines operated it until the airline was bought by Delta in 1953. It flew under Delta colors until later being sold to the President of Mexico. At this time the interior received a makeover to suit presidential status, including upgrades such as a wrap-around couch, a bathroom, complete galley, and the portrait windows seen on the aircraft today. The engines were also updated at this time to the higher horsepower 1820-72 engines.
Following its presidential service, it was purchased by a skydiving operator who immediately ripped out all the interior upgrades in an effort to make the plane as light as possible. The operator installed even larger engines, a pair of 1820-76Ds, the same engines that are on the HU46 Albatross.
Finally, after being owned by several private parties, it joined the Greatest Generation Aircraft family. Rides can be purchased in this historic aircraft. Visit http://www.douglasc47.org/ for more information.

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About Jared

Jared Calvert is a volunteer caretaker of Ranger Airfield. He is a commercial rated pilot and owns several flying and project vintage aircraft.

One Response to “C-49J Visits Ranger Airfield”

  1. Very nice airplane. A real treat to see it fly by…

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