B-2444. Boeing 747SP-J6. c/n 21933-455.


 

The government of the People's Republic of China signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase three Boeing 747SPs on December 19, 1978. This was the airline's second aircraft and the thirty-third Boeing 747SP to be built. Rolled out at Everett on April 25, 1980 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7J engines it was entered onto the Chinese Aircraft Register as B-2444. Taking to the air for the first time on June 06, 1980 it was handed over at Paine Field on June 26, 1980. It was configured to seat 30 First Class and 261 Economy Class passengers.

 

B-2444 was transferred to Air China when it was established on July 01, 1988. Its formation was a result of the government's decision to split the operating divisions of Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) into separate airlines. Air China was given chief responsibility for intercontinental flights and took over the CAAC's long haul aircraft and routes when it was granted autonomy. This resulted in new airline titles and logos being applied to the aircraft. It was reregistered as B-2438 on June 03, 1992 as the last three digits of its original registration are considered to be unlucky in Chinese culture, and nearly identical to the pronunciation of 'death' in the Chinese language.

 

When this aircraft was withdrawn from service it was sold to the UT Finance Corporation on December 23, 1999. It was then entered onto the United States Aircraft Register as N136SW and ferried to Victorville, California for storage. It was ferried to Plattsburgh International Airport, New York on June 07, 2001 where scrapping commenced. It was observed in the main hangar at Plattsburgh on January 21, 2005 minus two engines and their pylons, the cabin interior had been gutted and the vertical stabiliser had been removed.

 

It was fully scrapped at Plattsburgh by September 2006, having flown 52,889 hours with 13,528 cycles.

 


 

B-2444. C.A.A.C. - in the original livery at Zurich Airport, March 1985.

B-2444. C.A.A.C. - in the original livery at Frankfurt Airport, August 1985.

B-2444. C.A.A.C. - in the original livery at an unknown airport, October 1985.

B-2444. Air China - in the standard livery at Koln Airport, June 1988.

B-2444. Air China - in the standard livery at Melbourne Airport, January 1990.

B-2438. Air China - in the standard livery at Munich Airport, December 1995.

B-2438. Air China - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, July 1996.
B-2438. Air China - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, July 1996.