N603BN. Boeing 747SP-27. c/n 21785-405.


 

Braniff International ordered four Boeing 747SP in 1978 to meet the anticipated passenger growth in the deregulated United States aviation market. The first two aircraft were ordered on May 22, 1978, with the total acquisition costing the airline $US 97.5 million, including spares. This was the twenty-fifth 747SP to be built. It was rolled out at the Boeing plant at Everett on September 18, 1979 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7J engines. Entered onto the United States Aircraft Register as N603BN it flew for the first time on October 07, 1979. Accepted by Braniff at Paine Field on October 30, 1979 in the striking orange livery it was configured to seat 192 passengers.

 

Little of the expected new business materialized from the anticipated growth in air travel with many Braniff 747 services departing from their new Boston hub nearly empty. The proposed Los Angeles hub, that was expected to handle the increased demand for travel outside North America including flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as an "oil run" between Dallas, Houston and Dubai utilising the 747SP fleet, did not proceed. As a result the 747SPs were quickly removed from service and offered for sale.

 

Sold back to Boeing on January 23, 1981 it was reregistered as N351AS on July 01, 1981. It was observed parked at Oakland, California on October 10, 1983 without titles.

 

Sold to the Oman Government on July 02, 1984 it was entered onto the Oman Aircraft Register as A40-SO. It was reported that this aircraft would be used by Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It underwent conversion to an executive aircraft configuration with a communications dome fitted to the upper fuselage.

 

This aircraft remains in service to this day operated by the Oman Government.

 


 

 

N351AS. Braniff - in the basic livery at Oakland Airport, June 1983.

A40-SO. Oman Government - in the standard livery at Salzburg Airport, March 1989.

A40-SO. Oman Government - in the standard livery at Munich Airport, August 1989.
A40-SO. Oman Government - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, October 1997.
A40-SO. Oman Government - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, October 1998.
A40-SO. Oman Government - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, May 2012.