THE HISTORY OF N9701F

     
Of all 224 C-82 Packets built, s/n: 45-57814 is without a doublt the most famous,
most photographed, hardest-working, longest-serving, most commercially successful
Packet of them all. Initially with civil registration N2047A, it was TWA that made
the Packet famous as N9701F in the role of a Flying Repair Station around Europe
throughout the 1960's. TWA invested a major modification to the C-82 with all the
aircraft's systems being updated and a Steward-Davis J3400 Jet-Pak later added
to boost performance. For over 16 years N9701F served TWA before returning to
the United States in 1973 to be upgraded to Jet-Packet 3400B standards by
Steward-Davis with R-2800-CB16 radial engines. The aircraft then spent the
remaining years of it's career in Alaska mostly with Northern Pacific Transport Inc.
out of Anchorage. N9701F was purchased by Hawkins & Powers of Wyoming
in 1992 who became the last operator of the type anywhere in the world. When
H&P closed their doors in 2005, N9701F was auctioned off, the winner being the
Hagerstown Aviation Museum who flew the last ever C-82 flight back to Hagerstown.
The aircraft arrived on October 15, 2006 where it has been on display at the
museum ever since as the world's best preserved C-82 Packet. 

Military History
26 March, 1948 45-57814 UNITED STATES AIR FORCE (USAF)
    Delivered to USAF.
29 March, 1948

  316th Troop Carrier Group (Tactical Air Command), Greenville AFB, SC.
Deployment to Elmendorf AFB, AK.
9 February, 1949

  316th Maintenance & Supply Group (Continental Air Command), Greenville
AFB, SC.
5 July, 1949

  1226th Air Base Group (Military Air Transport Service), Ernest Harmon AFB,
Newfoundland, Canada.
2 November, 1950

  6602nd Air Base Wing (Northeast Air Command), Ernest Harmon AFB,
Newfoundland, Canada.
19 August, 1952

  6622nd Air Transport Squadron (NEAC), Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland,
Canada. Deployments to Griffiss AFB, NY and Goose Bay AB, Labrador, Canada.
17 June, 1953   San Antonio Air Materiel Area (Air Materiel Command), Kelly AFB, TX.
6 July, 1954   Dropped from inventory as surplus.
Civil History
30 June, 1955 N2047A AERODEX INC., Miami, Florida
    Sold from Kelly AFB, TX.
5 July, 1955 N2047A L. B. SMITH AIRCRAFT CORPORATION, Miami, Florida
25 August, 1955 N2047A SELK COMPANY, North Hollywood, California
14 April, 1956 N2047A TRANS WORLD AIRLINES (TWA) INC., Kansas City, Kansas
    Assigned TWA fleet number 5551.
    Massive modification overhaul undertaken in late 1956 to convert the aircraft
into a Flying Repair Station servicing TWA's airliner fleet on European sectors.
Modifications were carried out at Orly Field, Paris, France which is the aircraft's
home base. Upgrades included:
- New Pratt & Whitney R-2800-CB4 radial engines / new propellers.
- Installation of a 1,000lbst Fairchild J44-R jet-pak.
- Fuel, electrical and emergency systems fully upgraded.
- Cockpit instrument panels upgraded.
- Radio / nav. equipment upgraded to Lockheed Constellation standards.
- Heating / ventilation systems totally reworked and upgraded.
- Many minor upgrades around aircraft to lights and other fittings etc.
- Equipment added (including an additional APU), for use as a Flying Repair
  Station, aircraft empty operating weight brought up 36,595 lbs.
Weight and balance sheets are dated 1 January, 1960.
Senior TWA pilot for the aircraft between 1957-1972 was French pilot Claude Girard.
    Named Ontos which is Greek for "Thing".
2 February, 1960   Briefly served in Ethiopia registered as ET-T-12. Deregistered on 17 June, 1960.
1 March, 1960   Re-registered as N9701F.
1962-1963

  Upgraded with a Steward-Davis J34-WE-34 jet-pak as a Jet-Packet 3400A
(Jet-Packet II) - no FAA records for this.
30 January, 1973 N9701F STEWARD-DAVIS INC., Long Beach, California
    Upgrade to P&W R-2800-CB16 radial engines as a Jet-Packet 3400B.
20 February, 1973 N9701F BRILES WING & HELICOPTER INC., Medford, Oregon
    Mobile repair station for carriage of helicopter engines and parts mainly into
South America. One trip was made all the way to Australia to deliver a Bell 205.
1 May, 1978 N9701F BALL BROS. INC., Anchorage, Alaska
1980 - 1982   Suffered a series of landing and taxiing incidents requiring rebuilds.
20 December, 1982 N9701F NORTHERN PACIFIC TRANSPORT INC., Anchorage, Alaska
1983   Suffered damage to lower fuselage after undercarriage retracted during taxiing.
1 April, 1987 N9701F ALASKA AIRCRAFT LEASING INC., Anchorage, Alaska
27 April, 1992 N9701F FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF ANCHORAGE, Anchorage, Alaska
    Aircraft repossessed from Alaska Aircraft Leasing Inc.
12 August, 1992 N9701F HAWKINS & POWERS AVIATION INC., Greybull, Wyoming
1992   Cockpit instrumentation and nav. equipment upgraded.
1 January, 1993 N9701F D&G INC., Greybull, Wyoming
2000   Grounded and placed in open storage.
1 September, 2005 N9701F THE PRIDE CAPITAL GROUP LLC, Deerfield, Illinois
    Purchased in order to be auctioned.
30 August, 2006 N9701F HAGERSTOWN AVIATION MUSEUM, Hagerstown, Maryland
    Restored to flying condition for a one-off flight from Wyoming to Hagerstown,
Maryland arriving on 15 October, 2006. Currently preserved in Hagerstown
as one of the last complete C-82 Packets in the world.


Early shot of N2047A probably when it was operated by The Selk Company.
Photo: Andre van Loon Collection.


Very rare shot of N9701F in Ethiopian service with reg. ET-T-12 and TWA fleet
number 5551 on the tail, the nickname Ontos is above the side entry door.
Seen here at Dhahran Intl. Airport, Saudi Arabia in 1960.
Photo: Ted Quackenbush Collection.


N9701F, now with larger J3400 Jet-Pak, at Brussels Airport, Belgium in the mid-1960's.
Photo: Robert Roggeman.


N9701F in France, date unknown, note the large US flag often carried by
American operators with aircraft in foreign countries.
Photo: via Bob Thayer.


A slightly tired-looking N9701F at Daugherty Field, CA. in October, 1977,
then under the ownership of Briles Wing & Helicopter Inc.
Photo: Thomas Luce.


"Classic Alaskan Era" shot of N9701F at Ted Stevens Intl., Anchorage, Alaska
in September, 1987 while operated by Alaska Aircraft Leasing Inc. Note
the fading TWA stripes and Briles markings.
Photo: Michael Prophet.


N9701F with reworked cowlings and a fresh coat of paint on the booms
in storage at Hawkins & Powers, Greybull, Wyoming on April 18, 2004.
Photo: Michael Blank.


N9701F's arrival at Hagerstown in 2006 was with great fanfare as it buzzed the airfield.
Photo: Roger Wyckoff.


N9701F after making it's final flight and the final ever flight for a C-82.
Photo: Roger Wyckoff.


Flight-deck of N9701F showing to good effect the narrow view windshield.
Photo: Roger Wyckoff.


N9701F flight-deck on October 7, 2007.
Photo: Mark Carlisle.


Superb model of N9701F which belongs to collector Andre van Loon.
     

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