Viking Air Lines Douglas DC-3
Rare shot from
Bill Larkins of a Viking Airlines DC-3 at San Francisco in October
is even carrying the fleet number
of '626' in the cheat line on the nose. (Like they had such
fleet that they couldn't keep track of them by registration
number?). Viking was formed
Express Corporation in 1945 by Roscoe Hart and Jack
Lewin. The name was
to Viking Air Lines in 1946. It flew low fare irregularly
initially with DC-3s and later upgraded to DC-4s.
In 1949 it had its registration
revoked for excessive frequency. In the mid-1950s it became one
of the carriers under the
North American Aircoach System umbrella. Viking restarted
in 1961 under its own name
with military cargo contracts, and was instrumental in providing
logistical support during the
War. A small number of C-46s were also used at this time. The airline
folded in 1956.
NC90626 was an early former
C-47-DL, ex 41-7828, originally civilianized in March 1946
National Air Cargo. It was sold and spent a brief time with
Pacific National Air Express.
That its tenure
with these carriers was short is evidenced by the fact that, when Bill
saw it at
SFO in the fall of that year it had already been acquired by
Viking. It evidently stayed on the
U.S. register until May of 1954
when it was sold to Flugfelag Islands as TF-ISD. In 1957
it went to Braathens SAFE as LN-SUK .
It later had other Norwegian owners and was
later re-registered LN-RTA. By 1971 it was in use at Oslo's
Fornebu Airport as a fire fighting
and was finally completely destroyed in 1976.