Monday, October 14, 2013

HISTORICAL PHOTO: Aerolineas Uruguayas L.749A Constellation, CX-BHC, at Montevideo (MVD)

Aerolineas Uruguayas L.749A Constellation, CX-BHC (c/n 2565)
at Montevideo (MVD) in the late 1960's.  (Phil Perry Collection)

There have been at least two, and maybe three airlines named Aerolineas Uruguayas.  There was the carrier that operated the above Constellation from 1968 until 1969 when it ceased operations plus one or more other carriers that operated 707 freighters and F.27 passenger aircraft. 

Lockheed L.749 Constellation CX-BHC (c/n 2565) was initially reserved for delivery to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1947 but it was not taken up by the Dutch carrier instead going to QANTAS with registration VH-EAB where it flew around Australia and Asia for several years before being withdrawn from service in October 1951 for conversion to L.749A standard.  This modification entailed a strengthened fuselage and floor, redesigned engine cowling, new Curtiss Electric propellers, and the MTOW (maximum takeoff weight) increased by 4,000 pounds.  Lockheed factory-delivered 59 L.749A's and many of the 60 original L.749's were converted to "A" standard.

c/n 2565 was sold to BOAC in 1955 and it went on to also fly with British carriers Skyways and Euravia (predecessor to Britannia and today's Thomson Airways) before flying with ACE Freighters until the carrier's demise in 1966. The aircraft then joined COPISA of Peru for a short time before going on to Aerolineas Uruguayas in 1968, where it flew for one year before being parked at Montevideo (MVD) until apparently being scrapped there sometime in the 1970's. 

Interestingly, c/n 2565's delivery registration of VH-EAB was later worn by a QANTAS 747SP and another Uruguayan airliner was later also registered CX-BHC, a Convair 240 flying for Aerolineas Colonia (ARCO) in the 1970's. 


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