ZS-SPF. Boeing 747SP-44. c/n 21263-301.


 

This was the last Boeing 747SP to be acquired by South African Airways when it was ordered in October 1975. It was the fifteenth Boeing 747SP to be constructed. Rolled out of the Boeing plant at Everett on December 22, 1976 it was fitted with Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7FW engines. Entered onto the South African Aircraft Register as ZS-SPF it flew for the first time on January 14, 1977. Accepted at Paine Field on January 31, 1977 it was configured to seat 8 First Class, 28 Business Class and 224 Economy Class passengers and was named 'Soutpansberg'.

 

Luxair wet-leased this aircraft from October 01 to December 01, 1980 in their basic livery. On August 01, 1982 the aircraft was observed at Zurich in the revised South African corporate livery but still carrying the old South African flag. By September 1988 it had acquired an all-white livery with a blue cheatline and it was observed as such at Zurich Airport.

 

On September 30, 1988 it was leased to Air Mauritius. Entered onto the Mauritian Aircraft Register as 3B-NAO it entered service with the Air Mauritius logo on a white tail the following day. This lease was short lived as it was returned to South African Airways on December 01, 1988 and registered as ZS-SPF. It was returned to service in an all-white livery with a red cheatline.

 

The aircraft was observed at Johannesburg Airport in an all-white livery without titles and carrying the registration marks LX-LGY on July 01, 1989. Officially leased to Luxair on August 01, 1989 it was entered onto the Luxembourg Aircraft Register as LX-LGY. It did not enter service with Luxair but was immediately subleased to UTA and acquired that airline's titles. This lease was terminated on November 01, 1989 with the aircraft returning to the South African Aircraft Register as ZS-SPF. Retaining the all-white livery it re-entered South African service immediately.


On April 15, 1991 it was leased to Namib Air. Entered onto the Namibian Aircraft Register as V5-SPF and named 'Etosha' it was observed at numerous European airports. On October 15, 1991 the airline changed its name to Air Namibia and the new titles were applied to the aircraft. The aircraft was returned to South African Airways on April 01, 1998 and registered as ZS-SPF on April 30 in preparation for its next lease.

 

This occurred on May 09, 1998 when the aircraft was leased to Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (L.A.M.) It entered service in the all-white livery without titles and a small South African flag. Unfortunately this lease ended disastrously on October 05, 1998 when the aircraft was badly damaged when the number 3 engine exploded and caught fire shortly after taking off from Maputo Airport, Mozambique. The number 4 engine and parts of the wing were damaged by debris from the uncontained engine explosion. The aircraft landed safely without further incident.

 

The insurance company deemed that the airframe was under insured so the damage was uneconomical to repair, resulting in it being written off. It was scrapped on site by Universal Recycling in February 2000. The aircraft had flown 61,417 hours with 13,362 cycles.

 


 

ZS-SPF. South African Airways - in the original livery at Washington Airport, May 1977.

ZS-SPF. Luxair - in the basic livery at Zurich Airport, September 1980.

ZS-SPF. Luxair - in the basic livery at Zurich Airport, October 1980.

ZS-SPF. SAL Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens - in the revised livery at Zurich Airport, August 1982.

ZS-SPF. SAL Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens - in the revised livery at Zurich Airport, September 1983.

ZS-SPF. SAA South African Airways - in the revised livery at Zurich Airport, July 1984.

ZS-SPF. SAL Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens - in the revised livery at Zurich Airport, September 1987.

ZS-SPF. SAL Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens - in the non-standard livery at Zurich Airport, September 1988.

3B-NAO. Air Mauritius - in the non-standard livery at Amsterdam Airport, October 1988.

3B-NAO. Air Mauritius - in the non-standard livery at Amsterdam Airport, November 1988.

ZS-SPF. SAL Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens - in the non-standard livery at an unknown airport, December 1988.

ZS-SPF. SAL Suid Afrikaanse Lugdiens - in the white livery at Zurich Airport, June 1989.

ZS-SPF. SAA South African Airways - in the white livery at Zurich Airport, June 1989.
LX-LGY. UTA - in the all-white livery at Paris Airport, October 1989.
ZS-SPF. SAL - in the all-white livery at ZurichAirport, March 1990.

V5-SPF. Namib Air - in the standard livery at London Airport, May 1991.

V5-SPF. Namib Air - in the standard livery at Frankfurt Main Airport, July 1991.
V5-SPF. Air Namibia - in the standard livery at Frankfurt Main Airport, April 1992.
V5-SPF. Air Namibia - in the standard livery at Frankfurt Main Airport, August 1995.