EXCLUSIVE: Historic DC-7B Airplane “That Ushered Delta Into the Jet Age” Comes Home to Delta Air Lines

The temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit felt colder due to the blustery wind which was blowing at a sustained speed of 14 miles per hour, whose chill penetrated down to the marrow — and emerging from the shadows of this dark and dreary early Saturday morning was a sight which had not been seen in years at the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area: a Douglas DC-7B airplane, which finally returned home to the airline it once served back in the 1950s for approximately ten years.

EXCLUSIVE: Historic DC-7B Airplane “That Ushered Delta Into the Jet Age” Comes Home to Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

The silhouettes of the unmistakable four large propellers broke through what was otherwise the gloom of the early morning — the clock had not yet read 7:00 yet — and despite the ideal weather to stay warm under the covers tucked away deep in bed, at least a dozen employees of Delta Air Lines were either tugging or directing the movement of the airplane across the vast parking lot of the Delta Flight Museum, which became its new permanent home as of Saturday, January 9, 2021.

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

This airplane — which is also known as Ship 717 and sports N4887C as its official aircraft registration number — sat in a desert in Coolidge in Arizona before once again becoming airworthy to embark on its first flight in greater than ten years: the flight home to Atlanta back in November of 2019 before it spent more than a year at the Technical Operations Center of Delta Air Lines for cosmetic repairs, to be adorned with a livery scheme which mimicked its original paint job.

You can witness the homecoming of this historic aircraft through this exclusive raw video — but please excuse its unpolished quality and shakiness while you “get your geek on.”

The Golden Crown DC-7B joins its historic brethren of airplanes — including a Boeing 747-451 airplane, which was the first 747-400 series aircraft built by Boeing — to be on permanent display at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta.

Watch this video of when the aforementioned Boeing 747-451 was brought to the Delta Flight Museum to its final permanent resting place.

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

One minor criticism of an otherwise stellar restoration of the exterior of the aircraft is that the Ariel typeface should not have been used, as it did not exist back in 1957, when it was first delivered to Delta Air Lines.

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

“This is an airplane that ushered Delta into the jet age and brought us to where we are today,” said John Boatright, who is the current president of the Delta Flight Museum.

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

A group of five frequent fliers — which was led by Steven Klamon, who is second from the left in the photograph above and raised $2,300.00 for the American Cancer Society by auctioning off this opportunity — attended this event.

Summary

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Although I would have liked to have witnessed the entire process and even flown as a passenger aboard the airplane, I was honored to have been present on the final part of its long journey back home.

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

I intend to post more photographs and reveal additional information about the Douglas DC-7B aircraft when it becomes available to me.

Delta Air Lines DC-7B Airplane

Photograph ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

Unfortunately, the Delta Flight Museum is closed until further notice due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — you will eventually be able to see this airplane in person once the Delta Flight Museum opens to the public once again — but you may experience it vicariously through the following articles which are posted here at The Gate over the years:

All photographs ©2021 by Brian Cohen.

6 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Historic DC-7B Airplane “That Ushered Delta Into the Jet Age” Comes Home to Delta Air Lines”

  1. NB_ga says:

    Fascinating account… thanks for sharing. You have excellent access there. What fun!

    Odd question- Is there a reason it was done at dawn? It made for stunning photographs but I am curious if there is a logistical reason?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      My guess is that is when the airport is the least busy, NB_ga — especially on a weekend morning, as the airplane had to be towed from the Technical Operations Center hangars to the Delta Flight Museum, which can temporarily disrupt the operations at the airport.

  2. Lynn says:

    Thanks for the video and information on Delta planes. Enjoy your articles keep them coming. I have son who is with Delta Airlines in Atlanta.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your thoughts, Lynn. I truly appreciate it!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I completely agree, Sky — and I am thrilled that Chris Carley at Renés Points added the link to his article.

      Thank you!

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