Monday, September 14, 2015

ex-PLUNA Viscount CX-BJA to be restored by the Uruguayan Museum of Aeronautics

Former PLUNA Viscount 827, CX-BJA (c/n 400), on display as a "gate guard" beside the old Montevideo (MVD) terminal in the early 1980's colors that the carrier's three 737-200's, CX-BOO, BOO and BOP were delivered in. (Phil Perry Collection)      

ex-PLUNA Viscount 827, CX-BJA (c/n 400), which was on exhibit for many years at Montevideo (MVD) as a "gate guard" and then stored in the open, is due to be restored by the Uruguayan Museum of Aeronautics in the near future. 

CX-BJA was first delivered to VASP of Brazil as PP-SRF in 1958/1959 where it flew until November 1975 when PLUNA bought it to replace Viscount CX-AQO which was written off after running off the runway at Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP) earlier that year. CX-BJA flew on PLUNA's route system, mostly the "Air Bridge" linking Montevideo (MVD) and Buenos Aires Aeroparque (AEP), until it was retired in 1982.  

The aircraft's titles were removed and it was used as a fire trainer until October 1988 when it was decided to preserve the plane.  Although the aircraft was donated to the museum, it was painted in the blue/orange color scheme used by the airline at that time (pictured above) and put on display beside Montevideo's (MVD) old terminal as a "gate guard" in 1991. 

PLUNA's Viscount fleet actually never flew in these colors having instead sported a light blue cheatline scheme (pictured below) with one aircraft, CX-AQO, having its tail painted up in the same lively orange/blue scheme of PLUNA's first 737-200, CX-BHM, that was delivered in 1969.    
PLUNA Viscount 810, CX-BIZ (c/n 316), wearing the airline's standard Viscount color scheme in Montevideo (MVD) in March 1980. (Al Rodriguez Photo, Phil Perry Collection) 

When construction of Montevideo's (MVD) new terminal started in 2004, CX-BJA was moved to a remote location of the airport where it languished decaying from exposure to the elements until it was recently moved near to the museum adjacent to the new terminal.    

The aircraft will be restored, at least to the extent of having its exterior painted, hopefully in the standard PLUNA Viscount colors of the 1960's and 1970's.  Plans are to display it at the Museum of Aeronautics.    

Photos of the move:


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