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Mystery Argosy

Old 18th Jul 2021, 17:14
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Mystery Argosy


PB4Y Privateer before its demise.
This photo was taken in October 1999 at an airfield in California. The main star is the PB4Y "Tanker 123" which disintegrated during a fire bombing run in 2002. Behind the PB4Y is an AW Argosy, does anyone have any info on this and how it got to be in a backwater airfield in California?
Thanks Akro
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 17:43
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That's Fox Field at Lancaster and the Argosy, N1430Z, is part of a museum... I visited Fox in September 1999 and was surprised to see it - can't recall now if we saw the Privateer but I suspect not - I think there were a couple of Neptunes.

Still there!

Seems it was XP447 and went to the US after demob around 1976.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 17:50
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Thumbs up

Maybe an ex-RAF aircraft that may have been `tried` as a tanker.Doesn`t appear to have props fitted.The other a/c wingtip visible maybe another `Allsoggy`,but the engine cowling looks more `radial` than a Dart..maybe a C-119....
I have been in t`123` when night-stopping in Boise,as the hotel was just across the road..however,I don`t recall getting into it via the steps outside,think there may have been a door further aft.Pretty comprehensive cockpit with GPS,etc,and looked well maintained .circa 1997.....


edit...beaten by Treadders....slow typing...
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 17:52
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Probably N1430Z msn 6779 which is now at Lancaster Fox Field, Lancaster, CA.

Ex T.2 XP447.

IIRC, Friend of a friend said it was used to bring in supplies for the Fire Fighting Training School but thatís not confirmed.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 18:16
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You guys are just phenomenal! Cheers for the super fast response.
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 20:19
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Old 18th Jul 2021, 21:13
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There were several US operators of the civilian version of the Argosy, though in small numbers - see listing here: AWA ARGOSY
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 09:45
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Interesting, I flew XP447 on a low level cross country from RAF Benson on August 15th 1963.
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 10:10
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Plus IPEC, Liffy.

Nice photo Akro.
;-)
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 13:06
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Argosy

I visited Lancaster in 2011 and the Argosy was still then. I met a rather elderly gentleman at the museum, who realising that I was British, asked if I would like a look inside for a donation to the museum coffers. I gladly accepted this offer.

I have a few pictures of the inside and outside including one of the last page of a logbook found on the flight deck. I tried to attach some pictures previously, but failed miserably so will try again with this version of my post. Wish me luck.

QP

Upload failed again.

Last edited by QuePee; 19th Jul 2021 at 13:07. Reason: Update tooriginalpost
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 16:56
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I was a little late to Aunt Betty's flying club to get hands on with the Argosy, other than the one languishing on the airfield at Halton. I do remember an Air Cadet summer camp at Machrihanish in 1976 where a 115Sqn Argosy was busy calibrating. The year before that it was a summer camp at Benson where we were treated to a couple of circuits in the Argosy simulator.
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 18:48
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The gas chamber (OK - "RTF") at Manston was an Argosy for a while! And when I was at Halton there were two Argosies, used for engine running training but I think both fell into disuse around 1984.
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Old 19th Jul 2021, 20:46
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Here is one of the Halton Argosies:
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Old 24th Jul 2021, 20:12
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Arrow

Originally Posted by Pypard View Post
The gas chamber (OK - "RTF") at Manston was an Argosy for a while! And when I was at Halton there were two Argosies, used for engine running training but I think both fell into disuse around 1984.
I remember the Manston Argosy on the burning area when I was posted in 1979. Although we used a tent as a gas chamber erected near the range.
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 10:19
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Mystery Argosy

After receiving some very helpfull advice from John Tullamarine I believe that I can now add the pictures that I tried to post above.







As indicated in the last photo of the log book, the engines and props were removed a long time ago, I was told at the time by a gentleman who worked at the museum, that they had either been removed directly by Rolls Royce or removed by another agency on their behalf. He also informed me that four Darts were then obtained by the museum from a Viscount that was being reduced to produce. Unfortunately although the engines fitted, the props would not. I have no idea if any of that is actually true.

QP
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Old 25th Jul 2021, 18:18
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Nice photo's QP. The Argosy seems to be sitting amongst the fire bombing fraternity with the PB4Y and C119 evident. I wonder if the Argosy would have been a success as a fire bomber?
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 07:58
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Originally Posted by brakedwell View Post
Interesting, I flew XP447 on a low level cross country from RAF Benson on August 15th 1963.
I flew in it on an AOCs parade on 19/05/63.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 08:01
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Originally Posted by Pypard View Post
The gas chamber (OK - "RTF") at Manston was an Argosy for a while! And when I was at Halton there were two Argosies, used for engine running training but I think both fell into disuse around 1984.
One of the Halton ones lasted until about 1993 when No 1 SoTT started clearing out their aircraft.
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Old 26th Jul 2021, 12:03
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Mystery Argosy

Now that I have mastered the art of posting photos, thanke to John, I thought I would round things off with a few more aircraft that I thought interesting. All were taken at Lancaster on 16 June 2011.


First up is the C119 that was just visible in a previous shot..


This looked to be in remarkable condition at least externally. I guess being stuck in the desert helps a lot.


A rather sad looking Hunter was lurking around the back of the hangar. Somewhere I have info relating to its accident. I believe it was a fatal.


Lastly, this B25 reputedly belonged to Howard Hughes. I wonder if it is still there.

QP

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Old 26th Jul 2021, 12:30
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The Hunter is ex Danish F.51 - if you've seen The Right Stuff, it fleetingly played the part of the Douglas 558-2 Skyrocket. Lost at Chino in 2000 after an engine failure on approach, pilot ejected and was seriously injured but it seems survived.

B-25 was indeed owned by Howard Hughes - now moved to a museum at San Simeon. Think there was an A-20 there at one point, which had also been owned by Howard Hughes, now with Kermit Weeks.
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