N57203. Boeing 747SP-31. c/n 21963-441.


 

This was the last aircraft of the Trans World Airlines order for three aircraft that was announced on October 17, 1978. It was the thirtieth Boeing 747SP to be built. It was rolled out of the Boeing plant at Everett on February 27, 1980 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7AH engines. Entered onto the United States Aircraft Register as N57203 it flew for the first time on April 11, 1980.

 

The T.W.A. aircraft differed from other Boeing 747SPs in that an optional emergency exit door was fitted to the upper passenger cabin. This permitted the airline to provide seating for 32 economy class passengers on this deck. Although these seats were installed during the initial fit-out they were removed and 12 first class sleeper seats were installed before delivery. It was accepted by TWA at Paine Field on May 08, 1980.

 

This aircraft was not operated by T.W.A. for long due to the anticipated long-range route to the Middle East being denied to the airline. Its redundancy was hastened by the more economical Lockheed 1-1011 and full-sized 747s already in the fleet.

 

Sold to American Airlines on October 16, 1986 it was placed into immediate service on its newly awarded Dallas - Tokyo route. Reregistered as N602AA on February 01, 1987 it was not long before it was sold to K/S Nordic Flight who purchased it on September 17, 1990. It was immediately leased back to American Airlines.

 

The Boeing 747SP fleet really earned their keep when Trans World sold to American Airlines several of its trans-Atlantic routes to London for $US 445,000,000 in 1990. Its final American Airlines revenue service was carried out on July 20, 1992 when it flew from London's Heathrow Airport to New York's JFK Airport. This was the final scheduled American Airlines flight to be operated by a 747SP. It was then ferried from New York to Kansas City for storage the same day before being officially retired the following day.

 

It was ferried to Santa Barbara, California on March 01, 1993 on return to K/S Nordic Flight. Observed at Santa Barbara on May 25, 1993 it now had a blue-white-blue cheatline and no titles. It was ferried back to Kansas City on March 16, 1994 before being sold the same day to the First Security Bank of Utah. Two days later the aircraft's registration was changed to reflect the sale. It was Ferried Kansas City - London Heathrow Airport on March 20 and was observed parked there five days later in an all-white livery.

 

Ferried from Heathrow Airport to Hamburg on April 01, 1994 it commenced a 'D' check with Lufthansa Technik in preparation for its sale to the United Arab Emirates. Entered onto the U.A.E. Aircraft Register as A6-SMM on April 07, 1994 it was registered to the U.A.E. Government. Its American registration was cancelled the same day. With maintenance work completed it was rolled out in full U.A.E. livery on December 29, 1994.

 

During this major overhaul its interior was converted to a full executive configuration. Once complete it was handed over on February 17, 1995 to be operated by the Dubai Air Wing.

 

It returned to Hamburg on February 22, 2002 for another 'D' check and to have a complete glass cockpit installed by Lufthansa Technik. It was advertised for sale by Reef Aviation on March 18, 2004 having flown 46,829 hours with 7,514 cycles. It was observed at Johannesburg Airport parked in the SAA maintenance area without titles on August 28, 2004.

 

By November 2004 it had been sold to Crestwind Aviation of Aruba, and had been entered onto the Netherlands Aruba Aircraft Register as P4-FSH. It was then leased to Grace Cathedral (Ernest Angley Ministries) on December 01, 2004.

 

P4-FSH was placed on display at Akron Airport, Ohio by the Ernest Angely Ministries on January 8, 2005. A large star was to be painted on the tail and the aircraft was to be used for national and international flights by the Ernest Angely Ministries. Twenty days later it was ferried to Marana where a large star and orbit logo was placed on the tail along with 'Star Triple Seven' titles.

 

Over the next five years this aircraft undertook numerous flights to different destinations around the world but tended to spend a lot of time parked at various airports, particularly during the North American winter months. This aircraft is regarded as being airworthy at the time of writing.

 

It was sighted parked on the general aviation ramp at Smyrna Airport, Tennessee on November 13, 2010 and more recently at Akron Airport, Ohio on March 08, 2011. It was ferried from Akron to Wurtsmith AFB on May 11, 2011 for maintenance by Kalitta. As part of this maintenance the aircraft's landing gear was removed and rebuilt. The return flight to Akron Airport on September 20, 2011 ended in disaster, with the aircraft blowing 11 of its main wheels due to brake failure whilst landing. Further details regarding the repair and return to service of this aircraft are still being sought.

 


 

N57203. Trans World - in the standard livery at New York JFK Airport, August 1980.

N57203. Trans World - in the standard livery at New York JFK Airport, January 1981.

N57203. Trans World - in the standard livery at New York JFK Airport, December 1985.

N57203. Trans World - in the standard livery at New York JFK Airport, February 1986.
N602AA. American - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, April 1987.

N602AA. American - in the standard livery at Tokyo Narita Airport, August 1987.

N602AA. American - in the standard livery at San Francisco Airport, April 1990.

N602AA. American - in the standard livery at London Heathrow Airport, October 1991.

N602AA. American - in the basic livery at Kansas City Airport, November 1992.

A6-SMM. United Arab Emirates - in the standard livery at Munich Airport, August 1999.

A6-SMM. United Arab Emirates - in the standard livery at Amsterdam Airport, July 2000.
A6-SMM. United Arab Emirates - in the standard livery at Paris Orly Airport, February 2004.
P4-FSH. Star Triple Seven - in the standard livery at Johannesburg Airport, May 2005.