Some lucky (if you’re into classic piston-powered airliners that is) aviation enthusiasts recently got to take the trip of a lifetime in a restored Douglas DC-7B across the Caribbean from Florida to St. Maarten and back. The Historic Flight Foundation-owned aircraft (N836D, serial number 45345/928), was originally delivered to Eastern Airlines in January 1958 and, after spells with several flying clubs and several years in storage, has been restored to its former glory. Well, almost – the aircraft’s pressurization and air-conditioning systems have not yet been brought up to working order – resulting in low altitude, humid flying.
According to HFF, over 65% of the original aluminum skin, outer wing panels, and engines were repaired or replaced during the restoration. A full paint scheme and new interior was completed by December 2008 and passenger flights commenced following FAA approval in 2010.
Check out Scott Hamilton’s engaging first-hand account of his DC-7B adventure here.