JOHAN VISSCHEDIJK COLLECTION
No. 7009. Conroy CL-44-O (N447T c/n 16) Transmeridian Air Cargo)
Photographed at the Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, Paris, France, June 1973

Conroy CL-44-O

10/31/2007. Original built as a CL-44D4-2 and flew for the first time on July 24, 1961 and was delivered to Flying Tiger Line on August 16, 1961, registered as N447T. On December 12, 1968 it was sold to Conroy Aircraft Co., who converted it into an oversized fuselage transporter. Initial known as Conroy 103, it was designated CL-44-O (O = Oversize), and first flew from Santa Barbara, California, USA, on November 26, 1969.

The conversion included enlarging 84 ft 0 in (25.60 m) of the 98 ft 1 in (29.90 m) long cargo compartment in width from 11 ft 4 in (3.44 m) to 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m), and in height from 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) to 11 ft 5 in (3.48 m). Retaining the original four 5,730 eshp Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprop engines of the
CL-44D2-1, it could carry a load 62,500 lb (28,350 kg) at a cruise speed of 282 knots (325 mph, 522 kmh) over a 4,000 mls (6,437 km) range.

On July 8, 1970, it was leased to Trans Meridian Air Cargo (later renamed Transmeridian Air Cargo) and it was named "Skymonster", later "Bahamas Trader" was added, and it has been nicknamed Swing Tail Guppy. In 1977 the paint was stripped and metalwork buffed, before a new Transmeridian Air Cargo colour scheme was applied.

Later operators were: December 1, 1978, Heavyweight International (June 30, 1979 renamed British Cargo Airlines), stored March 14, 1980; August 1, 1982, HeavyLift Cargo Airlines (EI-BND); December 29, 1993, Bufallo Airways; August 1, 1997, Azerbaijan Airlines (4K-GUP); April 23, 1998, Baku Express; August 8, 1998, First International Airlines (9G-LCA), August 3, 1999, stored at Smyrna, Tennessee, USA, later at Bournemouth, UK, with intention to be scrapped; December 2006, registered in the Philippines as RP-C-8023 but still grounded in the UK.

Created October 31, 2007