B-1862. Boeing 747SP-09. c/n 21300-304.


 

China Airlines of Formosa (now Taiwan) was the first Asian airline to order the B-747SP. The decision to purchase one airframe was announced at Boeing's headquarters at Seattle on February 03, 1976. This was to be the sixteenth Boeing 747SP constructed. Rolled out of the Boeing plant at Everett on February 28, 1977 it was powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A engines.

 

Before its maiden flight it was used by Boeing to test whether a cargo door could be incorporated in the port side of the aircraft to create a 747SP Combi variant. This involved outlining the door's location with black masking tape to determine whether standard loading equipment could be used to access the main cabin deck without impacting on the surrounding aircraft structure given the aircraft's shortened fuselage.

 

It flew for the first time as N8290V on March 18, 1977. Accepted at Paine Field on April 06, 1977 it was configured to seat 42 Business Class and 261 Economy Class passengers. The interior featured tapestry designs from the Ming Dynasty which symbolised good luck. It also had a fifteen seat upper deck lounge. Entered onto the Chinese Aircraft Register as B-1862 it entered service on the Taipei - San Francisco and Los Angeles non-stop route on May 18, 1977.

 

It was leased to Mandarin Airlines on March 01, 1993 and quickly repainted. It was reregistered as B18252 on July 17, 1999. When this aircraft was no longer required it was sold to Air Gulf Falcon on November 29, 1999. It was entered onto the Netherlands Aruba Aircraft Register as P4-GFC on December 01, 1999. It was observed later that month at Sharjah Airport in the basic Mandarin livery, blue tail and no titles. Retaining the basic Mandarin livery the Air Gulf Falcon logo had been applied to the tail by January 29, 2000. On March 23, 2000 its registration was changed once again when it was entered onto the Equatorial Guinea Aircraft Register as 3C-GFC.

 

The registration was changed once again on October 01, 2000 when it was entered onto the Kenyan Aircraft Register as 5Y-GFC. The following day the airline's name was changed to Gulf Falcon. By September 15, 2001 it had been reregistered yet again, appearing on the Swaziland Aircraft Register as 3D-GFC.

 

The aircraft was seen at Sharjah Airport on December 12, 2002 without titles but now registered as 9Q-CWY. Officially entered onto the Zaire Aircraft Register on January 01, 2003 as 9Q-CWY it retained the basic Mandarin livery but carried Kinshasa titles and was named 'Spirit of Congo'

 

9Q-CWY was listed for sale on Speednews.com on March 10, 2005. It was withdrawn from service at Sharjah Airport on January 12, 2007 before being moved to a section of the airport known as 'death row'. Sold to Capital Asset Management it was entered onto the Djibouti Aircraft Register as J2-SHF on June 15, 2007. This registration was cancelled on September 24, 2007. The aircraft remains parked in the scrapping area of Sharjah Airport but is intact as at March 2010 with its final fate yet to be decided by its owners.

 


 

B-1862. China Airlines - in the full livery at Taipei Airport, September 1981.

B-1862. China Airlines - in the full livery at Los Angeles Airport, March 1987.

 

B-1862. Mandarin Airlines - in the full livery at Tokyo Narita Airport, November 1997.

B-1862. Mandarin Airlines - in the full livery at Hong Kong Airport, January 1998.

P4-GFC. Air Gulf Falcon - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, February 2000.

5Y-GFC. Gulf Falcon - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, March 2001.

5Y-GFC. Gulf Falcon - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, April 2001.

9Q-CWY. Kinshasa - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, December 2002.

9Q-CWY. Kinshasa - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, Feruary 2003.

9Q-CWY. Kinshasa - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, March 2003.

9Q-CWY. Kinshasa - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, November 2003.
9Q-CWY. Kinshasa - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, January 2004.
9Q-CWY. Kinshasa - in basic Mandarin livery at Sharjah Airport, November 2005.