VH-TJM. Douglas DC-9-31. c/n 47072-270.

 

First of three optioned DC-9s ordered by Australian National Airlines Commission for T.A.A.

The original order was placed for 3 DC-9-20s with 3 options - April 01, 1965

This order was subsequently changed to 3 DC-9-30s with 3 options - April 24, 1965

Contract signed with Douglas at Long Beach - November 10, 1965

Construction complete at the Douglas Long Beach plant - February 1968

Powered by two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7 engines

First flown as VH-TJM at Long Beach - February 29, 1968

Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-TJM - March 03, 1968

Registered to the Australian National Airlines Commission, Melbourne

Accepted by T.A.A. at Long Beach - March 07, 1968

Departed Long Beach on the delivery flight to Australia - March 08, 1968

Arrived Melbourne (Essendon) Airport on completion of the delivery flight - March 10, 1968

Delivery route: Long Beach - Honolulu - Pago Pago - Brisbane - Melbourne

Aircraft delivered as 'John Roe' but renamed 'Robert Towns' during preservice layup

The entry into service of this aircraft was delayed due to a pilot's strike

Operated first revenue service - April 09, 1968

Tail cone fell off the aircraft at Brisbane Airport - September 24, 1971

Withdrawn from service at Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport - 1981

Returned to service - 1981

Operated final revenue service Launceston - Melbourne (Tullamarine) as TN500 - October 26, 1981

Aircraft had flown 35,422:35 hours with 38,188 cycles

Withdrawn from use and stored at Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport

Trans Australia Airlines titles and logo removed - February 03, 1982

Sold to Australian Aircraft Sales (A.A.S.) - March 1982

Sold to Airborne Express (U.S.A.) - March 03, 1982

Departed Melbourne (Tullamarine) in basic TAA livery on the ferry flight to the United States - March 31, 1982

Arrived Wilmington at the conclusion of the ferry flight - April 03, 1982

Delivery route: Melbourne - Brisbane - Pago Pago - Hilo - Long Beach - Wilmington

Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - April 05, 1982

Entered onto the United States Aircraft Register as N906AX - May 1982

Registered to Airborne Express

Converted to freighter configuration

Certificate of Airworthiness issued by the F.A.A. - June 02, 1982

Operated first Airborne Express revenue service - June 02, 1982

Airborne Express renamed ABX Air - 1988

Aircraft hushkitted with Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7B engines

Withdrawn from use - November 2008

Sold to D.H.L. Network Operations (U.S.A.) Incorp, Plantation, Florida - December 22, 2008

Registered to D.H.L. Network Operations (U.S.A.) Incorp - January 02, 2009

Cancelled from the United States Aircraft Register - November 18, 2009

Stored at Roswell, New Mexico and believed to have been scrapped by Stewart Industries

 

VH-TJM. TAA T-Jet - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, May 1969.

(G. Bennett Collection Copyright Image 1135-471.)

VH-TJM. TAA T-Jet - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Melbourne Essendon Airport, August 09, 1969.

(G. Bennett Collection Copyright Image 1135-472.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, April 1978.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 1135-227.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, January 1979.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 1135-301.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Brisbane Airport, May 1979.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1135-413.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Brisbane Airport, May 1979.

(G. Bennett Copyright Image 1135-355.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, January 1980.

(G. Bennett Copyright Image 1135-487.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, September 1980.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 1135-302.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, September 1980.

(R. N. Smith Copyright Image 1135-228.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, December 1981.

(G. Bennett Copyright Image 1135-488.)

VH-TJM. TAA Trans Australia Airlines - 'Robert Towns' in the standard livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, December 1981.

(G. Thom Copyright Image 1135-489.)

VH-TJM. TAA - in the basic livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, February 1982.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1135-008.)

VH-TJM. TAA - in the basic livery at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, February 1982.

(G. Bennett Copyright Image 1135-608.)

N906AX. Airborne Express - in the original livery at Miami Airport, December 1982.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1135-354.)

N906AX. Airborne Express - in the original livery at an unknown airport, August 24, 1983.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1135-464.)

N906AX. Airborne Express - in the original livery at an unknown airport, November 1985.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1135-465.)

N906AX. Airborne Express - in the revised livery at New York Newark Airport, November 1987.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 1135-077.)