History DC-3 HB-IRJ
In the spring of 2009 we have added an aircraft to our Oldtimer collection; it is a Douglas DC-3 which has been bought by Francisco Agullo and his team. The aircraft which was built in 1940 was flown from Florida to Switzerland and was registered as HB-IRJ. It is operated by the Super Constellation Flyers Association and used by Breitling for advertising purposes.
A passenger aircraft for all her life
HB-IRJ is a DC-3A; this means that the passenger door is on the right side of the fuselage. The DC-3-277B was built in 1940 and is in excellent shape. It has accumulated over 74'000 flight hours, all of them as a passenger aircraft.
Our aircrafts' ship number was 58, and on March 12, 1940 American Airlines added NC25658 to its fleet as „Flagship Cleveland“. Between April 4 1942 and April 1 1944 she was flown by members of the US Army; thereafter American Airlines took her back into its service. On February 24, 1949 she was bought by Trans Texas Airways, a company which was renamed Texas International in 1968. In 1969 Tradewinds overhauled the number 2204, and on December 16, 1971 she began her second big airline carreer with Provincetown-Boston-Airlines (PBA) for which she worked as a commuter aircraft with the registration N34PB. She was at the top of her career when N34PB flew in Florida in Eastern Express colors in 1987. After the end of PBA, our DC-3 was leased by Bar Harbour Airlines in 1988; this career, however was terminated shortly thereafter. It was not until July 1992 when she was once again taken into service, this time by a carrier named Champlain Air, which took over the 30-seater and re-registered her as N922CA. She then experienced a total overhaul in 1995/6. Thereafter she flew for only 350 hours as „Priscilla“ among two other charter DC-3 aircraft. In 2008 she was bought by Francisco Agullo and brought to Opa Locka Florida, where she received a major overhaul and new paint job by Carlos Gomez. By Hansjörg Bürgi
(Article from SkyNews.ch, October 2009 edition)