No. 41. Boeing 377-10-32 Stratocruiser (G-AKGH c/n 15974) British Overseas Airways Corporation "Caledonia"
Source unknown

Boeing 377-10-32 Stratocruiser

06/30/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "This was the first of six Stratocruisers built for BOAC, the other five were registered G-AKGI to G-AKGM (c/n 15975 to 15979). BOAC also acquired eleven aircraft built for other airlines. G-AKGH was handed over to BOAC at Seattle on November 15, 1949 and left the same day on its acceptance-cum-proving flight, landing at several airports en route, including Hartford, Connecticut, for a propellers change due to a recent modification. It arrived at at London Airport, UK, on November 18.

(For those interested, in the December 1, 8 and 15 issues of the 1949 volume of the British magazine Flight there is a three-part fourteen-pages story on the BOAC Stratocruiser and the delivery of G-AKGH. See pages 696-699, 735-740 and 774-777. The button to advance to the next sequential page is located at the top of the Flight pages.)

G-AKGH became the flagship of the fleet and was christened Caledonia by Lord Pakenham at Prestwick on January 7, 1950. In late May and early June 1950, Caledonia made two flood-relief flights to Winnipeg, Canada. The second flight, carrying 24,640 lb (11,177 kg), was at the time the heaviest load to be airlifted across the Altantic. After the floods abated, the aircraft was opened to the public (most likely the photo above was taken during this event), and 6,000 people toured the aircraft, while 5,000 more were turned away.

The Stratocruisers were replaced by the Douglas DC-7C in 1957, and were traded back to Boeing for 707s. G-AKGH was sold by Boeing, registered as N137A, to Transocean on August 4, 1958, it was reregistered N402Q on October 14, 1959. On September 1, 1960 it was sold to Airline Equipment Company, in 1963 it was acquired by Aero Spacelines, while in August 1967 it was involved in a ground collision with another Stratocruiser, N90942. In 1969 it was stored in the Mojave desert and subsequently broken up in parts for the Super Guppy program; the registration was cancelled on September 28, 1973."

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