Viking Air Lines  Douglas DC-3  N90626                         (c/n 4327)

                                      Rare shot from Bill Larkins of a Viking Airlines DC-3 at San Francisco in October 1946.  It
                                      is even carrying the fleet number of '626' in the cheat line on the nose.   (Like they had such
                                      a vast fleet that they couldn't keep track of them by registration number?).  Viking was formed
                                      as Aerovan Express Corporation in 1945 by Roscoe Hart and Jack Lewin.     The name was
                                      changed to Viking Air Lines in 1946.     It flew low fare irregularly scheduled coast-to-coast
                                      services, 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
                                      Korean 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
                                      for 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
                                      training hulk and was finally completely destroyed in 1976.