Pan American Airways  Boeing 747SP-21   N540PA       (c/n  21649)


                                        The 747SP was a radical modification to the basic 747 design and was immediately recognizable,
                                        not only from the dratiscally shortened fuselage, but also by the massive fin and rudder.  The
                                        aircraft was designed to carry a reduced passenger load over very long ranges and became an
                                        attractive proposition for trans-Pacific operators.  It is, in fact, a flying gas tank.  When Trevor
                                        Ogle took the above shot at New York's JFK Airport in 1982 the aircraft had recently been re-
                                        named  "China Clipper" and was used on non stop runs to Toyko and on to Taipei.   N540PA
                                        was sold in 1986 to United Airlines whereupon it was re-registered N149UA.  In 1995 it was
                                        purchased by the Government of Brunei but three years later went to the Amir of Bahrain's Flight
                                        as the personal mount of the Crown Prince.  It is seen in all its royal glory at Paris' Charles de Gaulle
                                        International Airport in the summer of 2005 in the shot below taken by Stephane Walter.  One can
                                        only imagine what the interior fittings must be like.    Incidentally, for everything you ever wanted to
                                        know about this model of the Boeing 747, plus a truly remarkable collection of images go to
                                        The shot below came from the selection displayed on this site.