N4508H. Boeing 747SP-09. c/n 22547-534.


With the continual increase in China Airline's passenger numbers the airline decided to acquire a third Boeing 747SP. The order was announced in March 1980. This aircraft was the fortieth Boeing 747SP to be built and was rolled out of the Boeing plant at Everett, Washington on June 23, 1981 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A engines. With the Boeing test registration of N1785B it flew for the first time on July 20, 1981.


Featuring a tapestry designs from the Ming Dynasty which symbolised good luck it was configured to seat 12 First Class, 40 Business and 223 Economy passengers. It also had a fifteen seat upper deck lounge. Accepted by the Wilmington Trust Company at Paine Field on September 01, 1981 it was entered onto the U. S. Aircraft Register as N4508H. Leased to China Airlines on September 15, 1981 it was officially handed over to them on September 30 before being deployed on the airline's routes from Taipei.


It was leased to Mandarin Airlines on October 01, 1991 and repainted into their full livery. By March 1997 the aircraft had been returned to its lessor and was observed in an all-white livery at San Francisco Airport on March 06, 1997 before being ferried to Las Vegas for storage.


It was registered to the First Security Bank of Utah on April 03, 1997. Ferried to Everett it was observed stored in the all-white livery on September 01, 1997. Sold to Aviation Methods on December 01, 1997 it remained stored at Everett until May 01, 1999 when work commenced to prepare it for ferrying to Las Vegas which occurred on May 26, 1999.

It was observed stored at Marana on June 12, 1999. Sold to the Wells Fargo Bank NW NA Trustee on July 11, 2001 it was listed by them for immediate sale for $US 1,600,000 having flown some 59,000 hours. Sold to Transatlantic International Airlines on January 06, 2004 it remained firmly on the ground at Marana and listed as being available for immediate sale or lease but nothing eventuated.


It was observed in a scrapping bay at Marana on September 26, 2008 being prepared for cutting up. By November 2008 it was being disassembled and usable parts were sold and shipped to NASA to support their 747SP involved in the SOFIA program. This aircraft had flown a total of 59,038 hours with 10,592 cycles.



N4508H. China Airlines - in the standard livery at Amsterdam Airport, July 1983.


N4508H. Mandarin Airlines - in the standard livery at unknown airport, December 1991.

N4508H. Mandarin Airlines - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, November 1992.

N4508H. Mandarin Airlines - in the standard livery, location and date unknown.

N4508H. Mandarin Airlines - in the standard livery at Sydney Airport, July 1994.

N4508H. Mandarin Airlines - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, January 1996.