Riddle Airlines  Curtiss C-46  N4870V                  (c/n  22455)


                                         Founded by John Paul Riddle in 1945, Riddle Airlines went on to become a large cargo carrier
                                         with supplemental military contracts for both freight and passengers.      It began with passenger
                                         and cargo charter service to Brazil in in 1946.    It also operated irregular passenger flights from
                                         New York to Miami and San Juan in 1947.    The CAB put a stop to this practice when it was
                                         deemed that the company was operating as a scheduled airline.   In 1965 the name was changed
                                         to Airlift International.   As such it acquired Slick Airways in 1968.   Airlift International ceased
                                         operations in 1991.    Over the years the company has operated, in addition to a large fleet of
                                         some 50 C-46s, the following equipment types:    DC-4, DC-6, DC-7, Armstrong Whitworth
                                         Argosy, and DC-8 'Jet Trader'
                                         N4870V was acquired in 1953.  It was the former C-46F-1-CU 44-78632 which saw service
                                         with the Nationalist Chinese Air Force.       Civlianized in 1948 as N8315C it was registered to
                                         Claire L. Chennault and Whiting Willauer and then formally transferred to Civil Air Transport on
                                         19 December 1949.   When Bill Larkins took the above photo on  6 August 1955 it was carrying
                                         'Wheeler Airlines - St. Jovite, Quebec' titling forward of the door (see below).  I assume it was
                                         under lease to this outfit and was probably used on DEW Line construction project contracts
                                      .  N4870V later passed to Zantop Air Transport and Universal Air Lines before being acquired by
                                         Span East Airlines in 1970 as N601SE.    Passing to Ortner Air Service in 1972, it was withdrawn
                                         from use at Willow Run Airport, Detroit in 1975.