Ansett-ANA Douglas DC-9-31
Ansett Australia was Australia's main carriers before it's financial collapse and subsequent closure in 2002. I have many Ansett aircraft in my collection but decided the first one to look at was Douglas DC-9 VH-CZC.
The Real Deal
Ansett-ANA, as it was known at the time, placed an order for six DC-9s in March 1965 and VH-CZC was the third aircraft in that order to be delivered. The first flight for VH-CZC was in August 1967 and it was delivered to Ansett from August 27-29, 1967. The delivery flight took off Long Beach on August 27 and went via Honolulu, Canton Island, Nadi and finally arrived at Essendon Airport on August 29. VH-CZC entered service with Ansett in September 1967.
The aircraft served with Ansett until January 1982 when it was placed into storage at Melbourne Airport. According to AussieAirliners.org, when VH-CZC was placed into storage, it had completed just over 37,000 hours of flying.
While in storage, VH-CZC was repainted and sold to Midway Airlines in Chicago. The aircraft departed Australia in early August 1982 and was ferried to St. Petersburg, Florida via Nadi, Pago Pago, Hilo, Seattle and Amarillo.
The aircraft was sold to a leasing company in 1990 but continued with Midway Airlines until November 1991 when it was leased to Express One International and was then bought by Express One in November 1994 and continued to operate as N937ML.
N937ML had a brief spell with JetTrain in 1996 but it's time in the US would soon come to an end.
In July 1997, N937ML was sold to Aeroservicios Carabobo CA, which at the time was trading as Aserca Airlines in Venezuela and became YV-907C on July 14, 1997. She carried the name Madre Maria de San José during her time with Aserca Airlines and was later re-registered and reconfigured in 2006 becoming YV118T and carried 16 business class seats with 84 economy seats down the back.
AussieAirliners.org has this aircraft last observed at Caracas Airport in 2009, stored and with parts missing and the last photo I could find of YV118T was departing Caracas Airport on March 15, 2008, still operating for Aserca Airlines at the ripe old age of 41 years old.
The Collectors Item
Jet-X released this Ansett DC-9 in 2010 and at the time they release four Ansett DC-9's. Two were in the Ansett-ANA delivery scheme (VH-CZC and VH-CZF) and two in the "Red Delta" scheme (VH-CZA and VH-CZB).
This model proved quite popular with local collectors and currently on three examples of Ansett DC-9s are able to be found on eBay with the cheapest actually being a copy of VH-CZC for $85 Australian dollars.
My example was purchased from Collectors Aircraft Models Australia in Braybrook and unfortunately due to space restrictions currently resides in it's box and in a storage box.
The example that I have is a beautiful little part of Australian aviation especially when it was in service, jet aircraft were still relatively new to the local aviation scene.