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Author Topic: Military Charters
pglick1729
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How do these work? When airlines have their aircraft assigned for this service are they reconfigures to high density seating or are they sent out as is with different seats etc.

During the '91 Gulf War were TWA's 747 all converted to high density?

Just wondering if anyone knows....

-P

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Kirkpatrick
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The TWA aircraft were not reconfigured inside, although at least one was painted white to make its owner less obvious. Usually officers and such sat up front and in the Ambassador class seats, but often I noticed officers sitting in the back with their troops.

MK

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nyc6035
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I remember flying on that white-tail 747 a few times domestically for regular passenger service. At the time I didn't make the connection to troop movement. I thought it had something to do with what I recall to be the then current Bankrupcty and either needing to return the plane soon or having re-claimed it after having to return it to the lessee for a short time.
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Kirkpatrick
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We called it "Caspar."

MK

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captoza
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There were two, Casper & Stealth.
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Jim Urie
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During the Gulf War Desert Shield/Storm I was located at King Khalid Military City (KKMC) in Northern Saudi Arabia with an Air Force TALCE. During the build up phase all troops coming our way arrived on C-130's, C-141's and C-5's after the war was over the redeployment was accomplished via commercial carriers. A lot of TWA B-747's and L-1011's along with Pan Am, United and Northwest B-747's flew into our little corner of the world. There was a smattering of World DC-10's, Continental DC-10's and the odd few American B-767's. The airfield was bare base and had only two baggage conveyors. Consequently we set up loading parties made up of the troops going home. Those who volunteered were awarded with the first choice of seats. Air Force 25 K loaders were positioned next to cargo holds and Army 25 ton tractor trailers hauled the bags to the field. Usually 35 troops would load a 747 and 20 to 25 an L-1011 or DC-10. We managed to redeployed around 125,000 troops from KKMC quite successfully. Further the configuration on the various carriers aircraft that came to our location were standard revenue configuration.
This past February my TALCE unit was activated to deploy the 1st MEF out of Camp Pendleton via March ARB, Riverside, Ca. and we employed the same method to get the Marines on their way to Kuwait. Saddly this time TWA and Pan Am were not there.

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HAWKMAN
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quote:
Originally posted by captoza:
There were two, Casper & Stealth.

Actually, our 747s were named Casper & Wendy.

MRS.HAWKMAN
(furloughed with 17 years)

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captoza
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It really depends on who you spoke with, some crews called them Casper & Stealth.
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HAWKMAN
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I have never heard of either airplane called Stealth. But what do I know? I only worked many of those charters, into and out of JFK, FCO and Riyhad. I guess my Civilian Desert Storm medal I was awarded for my participation in the operation means I might not be privvy to any information, that you, a pilots' son, might have.

MRS.HAWKMAN
(furloughed with 17 years)

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Subsonic Transport
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I remember one day or maybe it was many days in JFK during the MAC charters when one of the 747's had a mechanical. It was delayed for hours. The plane was full and sitting out on the hard stand. Nobody knew what exactly to do with the troops on board because it wasn't determined how long the delay would be when considered against the time unloading and reloading and then time enroute etc etc. The biggest probelm was nobody seemed comfortable with letting all the troops out into the terminal because they were all carrying there weapons.

[ 04-17-2003, 10:45: Message edited by: Subsonic Transport ]

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Life_Platinum
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I too remember the 2 747s that were painted white so that if terrorist attacks were to occur to the airlines hauling the troops, these terrorists would not be able to recognize TWA as one of the carriers as their planes were painted white.
The two 747s were 301TW and 305TW. There is a picture of N301TW on http://airliners.net/open.file?, however the URL was more than 10 lines long. If you pull down the TWA 747-200 photos, it will be easy to find.

The last of the L-1011s were given early retirement from the TWA fleet in the first week of September 1997. I remember this well, as I had a chance to fly in First on 11006 from LAX to JFK but rather opted to travel on business to Buenos Aires on AA. Uncle Carl began selling off the L-10 fleet in the early 1990s with 21020 the first to go. Just prior to that he also began selling off the 747 fleet with N303 and 304TW sent to other carriers, along with 4356, one of the newest 727s.

I remember questioning one of the longest time TWA employees at LAX about the 2 former Swiss Air 747s and why they were sold off. He was told that they were the highest-time 747s (Swiss Air was very efficient and used them maximally). However when PitBeast retrieved the total time on these A/C from his sources a few months ago, they in fact were some of the lowest time 747s!

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captoza
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quote:
Originally posted by HAWKMAN:
I have never heard of either airplane called Stealth. But what do I know? I only worked many of those charters, into and out of JFK, FCO and Riyhad. I guess my Civilian Desert Storm medal I was awarded for my participation in the operation means I might not be privvy to any information, that you, a pilots' son, might have.

MRS.HAWKMAN
(furloughed with 17 years)

Well, Casper & Stealth are what some OZA Pilots & Ground Crews @ STL called them. My old man even called them Casper & Stealth.

Regardless, everyone has opinions and/or nicknames for the two white 747's and it really doesn't matter what they were called. I do remember seeing them parked on the ramp, along the east terminal @ STL in May 1991 and they were a nice site

[ 04-19-2003, 00:54: Message edited by: captoza ]

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Phil
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There was a second TWA 747 1991 Gulf War operation in the Pacific where all the seats were removed and plywood with tiedowns placed on all the floors. We flew them empty from station to station where the troops did a mock loading and unloading with trucks and fork lifts. Thank goodness this operation was never needed because we all thought it was to carry cargo. We were wrong. The troops were carried across the Atlantic. The Pacific operation was in case we had to bring back thousands of body bags! They did not want these aircraft and trucks to be seen by the troops flying the Atlantic.
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