BCal's DC10 Fleet
Where are they now?
Updated May 2016
For many years BCal looked at the possibility of wide-body aircraft to replace the their 707 fleet. Eventually the McDonnell Douglas DC10 was chosen above the L1011 and 747, and deliveries started in 1977. There would be ten DC10 Series 30 in the main fleet; and three Series 10 in the BCA Charter / Cal Air fleet.
Of the ten Series 30, eight were bought from McDonnell Douglas, with two arriving from the used aircraft market (NIUK and MULL).
BCal sold two DC10s in 1987, they ended up with Continental Airlines but both still flew in regularly to Gatwick. Following the BA merger the eight remaining BCal DC10's were due to be phased out quickly, and the nose docking was soon being dismantled in Hangar 5. But soonafter, based on reliability and utilisation figures, the decision was made by BA to retain BCal's DC10s and they would continue until 2001 in BA service; always based out of Gatwick.
They were all sold into the used aircraft market, many ending up being converted to freighter aircraft where they continued to fly to many parts of the world.
All were well looked after in BCal (and BA) service, but with over a decade in freighter operations, and with some of the fleet nearing 40 years old it was time to find them.
I have spent a good few months tracking them down, emailing companies all over the world, they must wonder what an earth I am up to, but some did reply. Satellite photo websites have been handy for seeing what is on the ground too.
Personally I was surprised by some findings, disappointed by others, but pleased by a few too.
1 - In active Service (BHDJ)
1 - In store at Hamilton International Airport (BEBL)
1 - Written off - accident (DCIO)
5 - Scrapped (BEBM, BFGI, BGAT, BHDH, BHDI)
2 - Stored - in a teardown area. (MULL and NIUK)
Below the information found as of February 2013 and updated May 2016.
G-BEBL : Sir Alexander Fleming - The Scottish Challenger
Serial No. 46949 / Line Number 179
Age : 41.5 years
Status : Stored YHM Hamiliton International - Canada
N54643 McDonnell Douglas Corporation (first flight 17-10-1974)
G-BEBL British Caledonian Airways (delivered 31-03-1977)
G-BEBL British Airways (Change of owner 14-04-1988) bought 07-1991 by Industrial Bank of Japan and leased back to BA
G-BEBL Withdrawn from use and stored 19-12-1998
N16949 Private (First Security Bank of Utah) (delivered 15-02-2000) Converted to 30F in Venice
LX-TLE Leased to Cargo Lion (not taken up)
N16949 Leased to Emery Cargo, (not taken up)
PP-VQY Varig Log (delivered 29-04-2001)
C-GKFB Kelowna Flightcraft (delivered 12-09-2008)
C-CKFB Kelowna Flightcraft (Stored 06-2015)
May 2016 Possible lease to Solar Cargo is rumoured
|G-BEBM with BCal
||G-BEBM with BA
||G-BEBM as PR-LGO
||G-BEBM as N608GC
|G-BEBM as 5X-BON
||G-BEBM as 5X-BON
||G-BEBM as N811SL
||G-BEBM as C-GKFA
||G-BEBL as PP-VQY
|G-BEBL as C-GKFB
||G-BEBL and BEBM as C-GKFB and GKFA
||G-BEBL as C-GKFB
G-BEBM : Robert Burns - The Scottish Bard
Serial No. 46921 / Line Number 214
Age : 40.1 years
Status : Scrapped
N8704Q McDonnell Douglas Corporation (First Flight 10-07-75)
N54640 McDonnell Douglas Corporation (Re-registered 10-1975)
G-BEBM British Caledonian Airways (delivered 23-02-1977)
G-BEBM British Airways (change of owner 14-04-1988) bought 07-1991 by Industrial Bank of Japan and leased back to BA
G-BEBM Withdrawn from use and stored 22-10-1998
N608GC Ferried LGW-NAPLES 18-12-1998 for conversion to Frieghter by Finovia Capital Corporation (FCC)
N608GC Leased to Gemini Air Cargo (delivered 02-07-1999)
5X-BON DAS Air Cargo (delivered 19-12-2003 - ferried from Phoenix Airport).
5X-BON Operating for Tobruk Air 03-2006 under lease.
N811SL Returned to Finova Capital Corporation (FCC) 20-12-2006 - prepared for Varig LOG
PR-LGO Varig Log - Not taken up and ferried from Jakarta to Marana Pinal Air Park (USA) on 01-11-2007 for storage
C-GKFA Kelowna Flightcraft (delivered 09-10-2008)
C-GKFA Kelowna Flightcraft (Stored 04-2014)
C-GKFA Kelowna Flightcraft (broken up at Hamilton Airport 08-2015)
G-BFGI : David Livingstone - The Scottish Explorer
Serial No. 46590 / Line Number 266
Age : 34.2 years
Status : Scrapped - Jakarta - December 2011
G-BFGI British Caledonian Airways (First flew 06-11-1978, delivered 22-01-1979)
N68065 Sold to McDonnell Douglas, Continental Airlines (leased, delivered 30-01-1987)
N68065 Sold to Potomac Capital Investment, contined to be leased to Continental (05-1987)
N401JR DAS Air Cargo (Delivered 02-06-2001) Converted to 30F (leased from Wells Fargo Bank Northwest)
Z-AVT Avient Aviation (Delivered 17-09-2006) - leased from Boeing Capital Corporation - Equipment Leasing Corporation.
Z-AVT Last seen in Jakarta - December 2011 - being taken apart.
|G-BFGI with BCal
||G-BFGI as N68065
||G-BFGI as N401JR
|G-BFGI as Z-AVT
||G-BFGI as Z-AVT
||G-BFGI as Z-AVT nearing the end
G-BGAT : James Watt - The Scottish Engineer
Serial No. 46591 / Line Number 287
Age : 22 years
Status : Scrapped at Opa Locka - January 2003
G-BGAT British Caledonian Airways First flew 18-05-1979, delivered 08-08-1979)
N13066 Continental Airlines (Sold, delivered 05-06-1987)
N13066 Withdrawn from use 18-05-2001, ferried to Opa Locka (Florida) and broken up December 2002 / January 2003**
** Note - This seemed an incredible waste considering the longevity of most of the fleet in a cargo role.
|G-BGAT with BCal
||G-BGAT as N13066 at LGW
||G-BGAT as N13066
||G-BGAT near the end as N13066
G-BHDH : Sir Walter Scott - The Scottish Novelist
Serial No. 47816 / Line Number 287
Age : 32.7 years
Status : Scrapped - Orlando Sanford October 2012
G-BHDH British Caledonian Airways (first flight, 04-02-1980, delivered 30-4-1980)
G-BHDH British Airways (merged 14-04-1988)
G-BHDH Caledonian Airways (transferred 06-4-1993)
G-BHDH British Airways (transferred 31-10-1995)
N47816 Private (First Security Bank of Utah) (sold 15-11-1999)
N47816 Emery Worldwide (delivered 05-06-2000) Converted to 30F - leased from Prop Three
N47816 Withdrawn and stored in San Antonio, Texas. Sold to XS Aviation.
N279AX Omni Air International (OAI) (delivered 31-05-2002) - leased from XS Aviation
N279AX Leased to Centurion Air Cargo (delivered 26-01-2004)
N279AX Bought by Avocet Capital LLC (delivered 20-05-2010 then stored)
N279AX She was scrapped during October 2012 at Orlando-Sandford.
|G-BHDH with BCal
||G-BHDH with BA
||G-BHDH with BA's "Caledonian"
||G-BHDH as N47816
|G-BHDH as N279AX
||G-BHDH as N279AX
||G-BHDH as N279AX
||G-BHDH as N279AX in store