Neil's Nostalgia

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Two lads from Scotland cruising around Arizona in a 1968 Ford Mustang, little did we know what a Classic it would become. We knew the other inmates of this airfield were Classic already.

I had "discovered" Marana - Pinal Airpark, as it is now known, quite by chance two years earlier on 10 September 1966. I arrived in the evening and found a barrier down across the road in. I parked and spent the night in my Plymouth Fury III rented car. First thing in the morning I asked if I could "look around". No problem. So, once again in 1968 we asked to "look around". This airfield was used by Intermountain Aviation (1963-1975) and they had a fine fleet of aircraft. This CIA "front" operated airliners for many a year. Also present on this field were some specially equipped "gray" USAF Beech YQU-22A Bonanzas. Did not risk taking snaps of those items. Five of the six built were present. These were the precursor to the QU-22 Pave Eagle of which 27 were manufactured.

The four Convair 880-22-1 were former Northeast Airlines equipment. The identities were N8492H (22-00-9); N8493H (22-00-18); N8494H (22-00-34) and N8495H (22-00-39). A full list of aircraft present follows. The two Beech 18 still remain "anon" . . .

N9900Z C-46 (26593): Beech 18; Beech 18; N64859 C-46 (); N5314L Piper PA-28 (28-4616); N29024 Cessna U206 (U206-1020); N181W Bell 47 (); N61267 DC-6A (45374); N809Z B-17 (32426); N404U DC-3 (15167/26612); N5426E B-26 ex 0-434146 "BB-146" (27425); N3343E 7AC (); 68-10532 YQU-22A (CED-2); 68-10533 YQU-22A (CED-3); 68-10534 YQU-22A (CED-4); 68-10535 YQU-22A (CED-5); 68-10536 YQU-22A (CED-6); N8311V Citabria 7ECA (435); N131Z T-28 (200-274); N9761Z C-46 (22542); N1163C PA-22 (22-991); N6553V Bonanza (D-8625).

N9900Z Curtiss C-46F Commando (26593)
N64859 Curtiss C-46R Commando () in deep maintenance.
N9761Z Curtiss C-46R Commando (22542)
N404U Douglas DC-3 Dakota (15167/26612)
N61267 Douglas DC-6A (45374)
N809Z Boeing B-17G Fortress (32426) ex 44-83785 with Fulton Skyhook.
N5426E Douglas B-26 Invader (27425) ex 0-434146 "BB-146". w/o 08 August 1976
N131Z North American T-28 Trojan (200-274) USFS. ex 138203
N8311Z Citabria 7ECA (435)
Back on 10 September 1966 I had made my first visit, almost exactly two years earlier to the above visit! I logged the following on the airfield on that day: N8813T Cessna 182C (52713); N53921 C-46 (); N809Z B-17 (32426); N87636 SC-47D (16864/33612); N132Z T-28 (200-8) ex 137645; N60576 C-46 (); N62388 C-46 (); N15777 B-26 (); N7544C Forney F-1 (5660); N9761Z C-46 (22542); N182Z T-34 (); N57369 C-46 (); N69346 C-46 (22401); N56317 C-46 (); N9900Z C-46 (26593); N3343E 7AC (7AC-6793).
Of course Marana - Pinal Air Park has changed big time. I have made two more visits there in recent years to see the vast array of stored airframes. I will add a few snaps taken from the outside. The only way to gain access to this field really is to take a flight from a neighbouring airfield, shoot a few circuits, do a touch and go, and a take lot of photographs. Many can be found on Airliners.Net ! Have a look.