I'd had a hole in my CO fleet for a 747 for sometime but had shied away from getting the Jet-X version as the photos I'd seen didn't make it look too nice. I finally relented after giving up on finding any Bigbirds (they seem so rare) and am very glad I did as this year 2000 produced model is actually a real beauty plus CO's 747s have a great history to go with them.
By 1970 Continental was gearing up for its new Hawaiian services and purchased four 747s to operate them. All were equipped with luxurious bars and lounges with only 290 seats in 5 separate spaces. The experiment was not a financial success however and all of the 747s were sold by 1974 replaced by DC-10s. Continental would regain 747s in 1987 when it took over PeoplExpress.
Converted to a freighter this aircraft, N26861, joined the Iranian Air Force as 5-289 then 5-8810. She was leased to World Airways in 1978 as N750WA and then saw leases to Flying Tigers (N809FT 78-80) and Avianca (HK-2900X 82-88). Back with Tigers as N822FT she became part of the FedEx fleet in 1989, as N630FE, before sale in 1993 to Southern Air, as N630SJ. Her last operator was Polar Air Cargo from 1994 to 2001 as N855FT ‘Peter Beckett’.
Dragon did a red meatball version on the same mould (and a PX hybrid) which I'm also now tempted by - but I don't have anymore room for CO 747s!
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: