N1301E. Boeing 747SP-27. c/n 22302-473.

 

Braniff International went ahead and ordered a fourth Boeing 747SP on July 24, 1979 in anticipation that passenger numbers would grow quite substantially as a result of the deregulated United States airline industry. Unfortunately this did not occur and Braniff found itself in dire financial stress.

 

None-the-less Boeing went ahead and built this airframe, the thirty-fifth Boeing 747SP to roll off the production line. Rolled out at Everett on July 14, 1980 it was powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7J engines. It flew for the first time on December 02, 1980 as N1608B and was immediately placed in storage as Braniff's operational need for it had simply disappeared. The order was officially cancelled on May 13, 1982.

 

The Civil Aviation Authority of China (C.A.A.C.) had meanwhile expressed an interest in acquiring another Boeing 747SP. They agreed to take over the cancelled Braniff order on December 23, 1982. Following the aircraft's overhaul it was accepted at Paine Field on June 15, 1983. Entered onto the United States Aircraft Register as N1301E it entered service with C.A.A.C. soon after. It retained the U. S. registration for the next six years.

 

N1301E was transferred to Air China when it was established on July 01, 1988. Air China was a result of the government of the Peoples Republic of China'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 entered onto the Chinese Aircraft Register as B-2454 on January 01, 1989 and continued flying for Air China until being retired in 1999.

 

It was observed at Los Angeles Airport on January 26, 2000 without titles or airline logos and was returned to the United States Aircraft Register as N142SW. It was observed at Narita Airport on March 18, 2000 in this guise before being ferried to Brisbane Airport the following day. Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-OZX on March 26, 2000 it was listed for immediate sale by Global Air Leasing. Ferried Brisbane - Chongqing Airport, China on April 07, 2000 it underwent maintenance and a repaint. It was observed at Jakarta Airport on March 28, 2001 with Global Air titles before returning to Chongqing where it was observed on July 01, 2001 without titles.

 

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register on July 20, 2001 it was then entered onto the Comoro Islands Aircraft Register as D6-OZX, the same day it was wet-leased to Comores Airlines. It acquired Continental Wings Comores Airlines titles by the end of the month and was observed at Marseille Airport, France when it arrived on August 01, 2001. It was observed stored and for sale at Jakarta International Airport on April 01, 2002. A proposed sale to Palace Air on January 18, 2004 did not eventuate and it was again noted for sale or wet-lease on June 01, 2004 having flown 52,097 hours with 12,906 cycles.

 

By September 15, 2005 it had appeared on the Boeing website as being for sale or wet-lease or upgrading to an executive aircraft but the aircraft had not fared well in the conditions at Jakarta Airport. It was observed on February 01, 2006 parked on a remote hardstand adjacent to the Garuda Maintenance facility surrounded by some old Garuda DC-10s.

 

On June 22, 2006 a Supreme Court Order was issued in the state of Queensland, Australia enabling the aircraft's former owner Spring Hill Properties Pty Ltd to repossess the aircraft. However Mr Kevin Walls, the managing director of Aircraft Portfolio Management, Cayman Islands, had already 'sold' this aircraft to Orient Thai Airlines on April 03, 2007. A cash deposit of $US 250,000 had been paid to Portfolio Management but they could not deliver the aircraft as ownership had already passed to Spring Hill Properties in accordance with the Supreme Court Order issued some months previously. The Orient Thai deposit was not returned.

 

A sale agreement was concluded between Orient Thai and Spring Hill Properties Pty Ltd on February 29, 2008. This was to result in the aircraft being scrapped for useful parts at Jakarta. On June 18, 2009 a worker involved in the scrapping of the aircraft was injured when it caught fire. Extensive damaged was caused to the airframe thus bringing a sorry end to a once graceful airliner.

 

N1301E. C.A.A.C. - in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, May 26, 1985.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 4635-560.)

N1301E. C.A.A.C. - in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, January 12, 1986.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 4635-047.)

N1301E. C.A.A.C. - in the standard livery at Zurich Airport, January 1987.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-162.)

N1301E. C.A.A.C. - in the standard livery at Tokyo Narita Airport, July 1989.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-285.)

B-2454. Air China - in the standard livery at Stockholm Airport, October 1991.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-171.)

B-2454. Air China - in the standard livery at Stockholm Airport, October 1991.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-286.)

B-2454. Air China - in the standard livery at Beijing Airport, March 1996.

(N. Roozen Copyright Image 4635-610.)

B-2454. Air China - in the standard livery at Tokyo Narita Airport, October 1997.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-611.)

N142SW. Global Air Leasing - in the basic Air China livery at Brisbane Airport, March 2000.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-292.)

VH-OZX. Global Air Leasing - in the basic Air China livery at Brisbane Airport, April 2000.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-228.)

VH-OZX. Global Air Leasing - in the basic Air China livery at Brisbane Airport, April 2000.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-293.)

D6-OZX. Continental Wings Comores Airlines - in the standard livery at Jakarta Airport, July 2002.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 4635-200.)