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Old 5th Dec 2019, 00:12
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
Posts: 5,864
Some history of the aircraft from a Facebook page:

BRANIFF STILL FLYING TODAY BOEING 727-227 N446BN - Braniff International Boeing 727-227 Advanced registered as N446BN is taxiing at Denver Stapleton International Airport on May 9, 1982 (Photo 1). The big Boeing Trijet is painted in the 1971 Glenn Geddis/Harper and George Green over Olive Green Two Tone Color Scheme. This aircraft played a historic role in the relaunch of Braniff Airways successor Braniff, Inc., in March 1984. This aircraft was the 46th 727-200 delivered and the 40th Series -227 to enter Braniff's fleet.

Ship N446BN was also the sixth Series -227 Advanced jetliner of eight delivered to Braniff during 1976, beginning on April 22, 1976, with Ship N441BN and the eighth delivered was N448BN on October 28, 1976. N446BN first flew at Boeing Renton, Washington, plant on July 22, 1976, and was delivered to Braniff at the Dallas Love Field Base on July 27, 1976. The aircraft was delivered in the 1971 Green over Olive Green Two Tone Color Scheme and would remain in that color scheme until retirement from Braniff International (Photo 2: At IAH Jun 30 1979).

The aircraft flew for Braniff for six years before being retired and then stored at Dallas/Ft Worth Regional Airport on May 12, 1982, when the carrier ceased operations. A trustee and trust was set up to represent certain of Braniff's secured creditors called the BRNF Liquidating Trust and N446BN was placed in this trust by June 1982.

In the Fall of 1983 a reorganization plan for Braniff Airways and its parent company Braniff International Corporation, was approved by the carrier's unions and creditors and on December 15, 1983, both companies were succeeded by Dalfort Corporation, which became the sole owner of the newly formed Braniff, Inc., a new airline that operated out of DFW Airport, Texas, to 18 major metropolitan cities in the United States.

On December 15, 1983, thirty former Braniff Airways 727-200 Trijet aircraft were leased to Braniff, Inc. Ship N446BN was the first on the list of thirty that included successive tail numbers through N472BN which were all -227 Advanced aircraft. The other three aircraft were 727-291s registered as N406BN and N408BN, the second former Calder painted jetliner, and 727-214 registered as N409BN.

Ship N446BN and the other leased 727s were all painted in the new color scheme designed by Boeing designer Bob Perlman. The new scheme featured a White upper fuselage and Midnight Blue lower fuselage with Dark Red Braniff Block lettering under the window line behind the front cabin doors and a similar but smaller script going up the rear of the tail. A Platinum Silver cheat line separated the White and Blue sections of the fuselage.

On March 1, 1984, the new Braniff, Inc., was launched, amidst much fanfare, at Dallas/Ft Worth Regional Airport. This was the largest single day launch of a new airline in the history of aviation, which succeeded Braniff Airways' record launch of new service six year earlier on December 15, 1978. After a special ribbon cutting ceremony at The Braniff Terminal 2W Gate 13A at DFW the first flight of the new Braniff, Inc., Flight 200 departed for New Orleans, Louisiana, at 650AM using Boeing 727-227 registered as N446BN. Braniff's strategy of providing high frequency flights targeted at the business traveler flying at the upper end of the highest of Coach fares proved to be unsuccessful and within six months the airline completely overhauled its strategy.

Braniff returned ten Boeing 727 aircraft to the BRNF Liquidating Trust including N446BN on February 19, 1985, and reinvented itself as a strictly low-fare DFW hub operator with a highly reduced schedule. In May 1985, the aircraft was sold to Houston-based Continental Airlines along with N447BN through N452BN. Continental painted the aircraft in their color scheme but retained the N446BN registration number for nearly two years.

On October 22, 1987, the aircraft was registered as N73751 and remained in service with Continental until 1999 (Photo 3: At PHX Feb 26 1996). The aircraft was sold to First State Bank of Utah in 1987, and leased back to Continental and then sold to First Security Bank on February 8, 1999. The aircraft was then converted to a freighter configuration in July 1999.

Finova Capital Corporation purchased N446BN on March 28, 2000, and 18 months later on September 19, 2001, the big Boeing Trijet was withdrawn from use at Phoenix Goodyear Airport, and was then stored. Finova and its parent company filed for bankruptcy during 2001, and N446BN was sold to Airlines in February 2004. The aircraft then entered service with, a cargo carrier based in Naples, Florida (Photo 4: At FLL Nov 22, 2005). The carrier was founded as Transcontinental Airlines in 1972, but ceased operations in 2008. N446BN was stored until a new owner could be found.

N446BN was sold to Outsourcing for Africa, a well know charter airline that provided short term leasing and contracts. The carrier changed its name to Africa Charter Airlines and purchased N446BN on August 5, 2009. The aircraft was reregistered as ZS-IAC and leased out to Safair and twice to Imperial Air Cargo (Photo 5: At CPT Nov 30, 2010). On January 19, 2010, the aircraft, operating for Africa Charter Airlines, was on a charter flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Cape Town and on landing on Runway 19 at Cape Town both left main gear tires blew on touchdown. The aircraft was not damaged and was returned to service.

In 2014, Ship N446BN was stored at an unknown location in Africa. In addition, the aircraft was listed on several jet freighter available lists as being available for service. The aircraft was eventually sold to Astral Aviation sometime after 2014. However, as of February 2019, the aircraft is currently operating for Astral Aviation of Nairobi, Kenya. Ship N446BN was reregistered in Kenya as 5Y-MWM. On November 24, 2017, the big Boeing debuted on television when it was used for a humanitarian flight.

Follow the link below to see the new coverage of the humanitarian flight of N446BN operating as 5Y-MWM:
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