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Off loading a C-46 in the bush of Alaska at Dahl Creek, 1966

What's the deal with that jet engine?

Well its a Westinghouse J34 pure turbojet with no bypass ratio whatsoever... Its running on 100LL for a few minutes at a time only. Its only used for climb-out with a full load or in case of engine failure. It was an STC by Stewart-Davis from Long Beach, CA. It is outlandish noisy and sounds rather strange compared to modern jet engines. Its kinda like having an scaled-up larger Junkers Jumo 004! These J34's were among the Very First American jet engines ever build. Getting this THING started on the ground is always a big show as it needs at least 150amps to crank etc. Getting an air start is easier, but still. On the ground you have to turn into the wind (yes serious!) and run both R3350 plus the put-put and have good batteries...You have to toggle the fuel pump manually, do not get it too rich etc....
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While managing the logging camp at Icy Bay in 1992, Everts provided our fuel service with C46's. One was "Maid of Money" and the other "Salmon Ella" I believe. Les Bradley was PIC and several others 2nd officer, including Don Holshizer and Merrill Wein. Heard many stories around the dinner table when these boys were in camp. We had 80k gallons of storage so it would take several days to top us off, flying fuel out of Yakutat. I got a jump seat ride in the beast and was offered a few minutes in the right seat. Talk about heavy controls!!!!!! Loaded off-hiway log trucks with no power steering would have been easier to handle. The afore mentioned wreck at Chandalar Lake I believe actually happened at the Tobin Creek mine strip about 5 miles NE of Chandalar. I spent 3 days at Chandalar with my 12 back in '03 and saw the carcasses of a 46 and I believe a C119 lying along side what was left of the strip at that time. I drug that strip about 6 times before deciding there was no place for me to land. There was a large creek that had totally abraded it. AK 1 July 03 019.jpgAK 1 July 03 018.jpg
 

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Great stories about the C46. I never knew about them until a few weeks ago at the Triple Tree Fly-in. Here is one at the event that flew in from the Charlotte area. Very cool airplane.

Jeff

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Unloading 14,500 pounds of building materials on a lake for my cabin project. $1400 to deliver that load 110 miles out of FAI on a frozen lake. Sorry the Cub is in the way. The 46 is N1822M, which soldiers on today, now known as "Salmon Ella". When this was taken, she was called "Phoenix", as in risen from the ashes. She'd laid in the tundra near King Salmon for several years. Everts bought her, had her drug into King Salmon, jacked her up, hung new engines and props, flew her back to FAI to finish the refurb.

She got the name (and nose art) "Salmon Ella" because she paid for her rebuild flying salmon off Bristol Bay beaches......

22M has a big tank built in, and flies for Everts Air Fuel.

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"Maid in Japan" landing Fairbanks:

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Great old workhorses! And nice to see them still getting the job done.

MTV
 

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See here scanned slides from the good old days, Les Bradley at the Helm, Lake Clark Pass.
 

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They really are neat planes. I've never had a chance to ride in one but I looked at and climbed around in the DC3 in the Mountain Flying Museum a couple of weeks ago in Missoula. This was the Mann Gulch jump plane that the museum acquired a few years ago.

Although it it wasn't in the museum at the time they also have another great workhorse; the wonderful Travelair 6000. I have ridden in one of those.
 
See here scanned slides from the good old days, Les Bradley at the Helm, Lake Clark Pass.
I have a vivid memory of flying through Lake Clark Pass on a clear sunny day. I stayed down low to show off the views to my passenger. Along the way my attention was drawn to a shadow that caught my eye. What the??? I looked up to see one of those big antique freighters flying low in the pass in the opposite direction. There's no mystique about them when they're opposite direction at the same altitude in a pass, and dang, it sure did take up some space!
 
I saw a C46 sitting at La Paz Bolivia in 2001. Not sure if it was still flying but read stories about how they flew down to the lowlands to where the cattle were being butchered, loaded the fresh meat and back to La Paz.
 
Sad, looks like there is some center section damage on the left wing. Also looks like just one blade on the right prop is feathered. The other two are at different angles. It is amazing that these birds are still out there earning their keep at 70+ years of age.
 
Buffalo Airways still has another flying C-46 (C-FAVO) and the accident 'plane (TXW) will no doubt be cannibalized do get their third C-46 (TPO) flying again.
 
That is a sad story about the Buffalo C46. Yes it looks like the wing centersection is done for. Looks like it departed the runway and the ditch wiped out the gear etc. Most of these operators have spare parts stacked to heaven, but good airframes as such are scarce. I once hunted for C46 spares in the Dominican Republic, but only found corrosion and misery and very dumb and unfriendly airport management there. Everts Air had systematically send out friends to look for good airframes worldwide as the C46 is such an useful plane ... The old saying is still true; only a DC3 can replace a DC3 ! and the very same is true for the C46 !
Most of my propliner days photos are slides (25K of 'em) and the scans I tried to upload are too big, have to make 'em smaller first.
Flying these planes into the bush creates the most memorable experiences and it will be so sad when they are all gone...
Let me throw a DC3 /C47 photo in the mix here: (well and now this crap doesnt work, Claims "photo is undefined" and its only 229kb so not too big anymore, gee I hate computers!)
 
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