History of Tiger Accidents
by registration numbers that were in the Tiger Fleet and what is known
about what happened to them
Click images to see larger picture
Budd Conestoga Gen. -- Flying Tiger
Line's first aircraft was the Budd Conestoga, an all --
stainless steel, rear--loading, twin--engine aircraft. Capable
of lifting 7,000 pounds over a version of the famed
DC-3. The C-47 could fly 7,500 pounds of cargo over a range of
600 miles at 150 miles per hour
(1945 - 1947).
here to see registration numbers what is know
of where they went.
Click Here for photo and article about stainless
C-47-Flying Tiger relied heavily on the Douglas C-47, the
cargo version of the famed DC-3. The C-47 could fly
7,500 pounds of cargo over a range of 600 miles at
150 miles per hour.
C-46 Gen. -- The Curtis C-46
"Commando" that Flying Tigers flew on supply
missions over the Hump during World War II came home for
civilian duty, joining Flying Tigers' fleet in 1949. It flew
at 200 miles per hour, carried 13,000 pounds of cargo and had
a range of 900 miles.
(1949 - 1961)
I found this link to a
C-46 Tigers once owned and is now in a museum click
Some interesting C-46
C-54 Gen. -- The C-54, first of the
four--engine air freighters, was used by Flying Tigers in the
largest, longest airlift ever flown by a private contractor --
supplying the American Occupation Forces in Japan. Flying at
210 miles per hour, the C-54 carried 20,000 pounds of cargo
over a 2,000 -- mile range.
(1947 -- 1957)
DC6A Gen--By the time Flying Tigers acquired its first
DC-6A, the airline's annual gross revenues had reached
the $25-million mark. Carrying 32,000 pounds of cargo at
275 miles per hour with a 2,000 mile range, the DC6A
carried more, cheaper and faster than any aircraft flying.
Constellation Gen. -- The Lockheed Super H
Constellation, airlifting 43,000 pounds of freight at 300
miles per hour over a 2,500-miles range, helped Flying Tigers
revolutionize the marketing map of the United States with the
first nonstop, transcontinental airfreight schedules.
Here is another link
about the Connies
N923C Atlantic Ditching
CL-44 Gen. -- Flying Tigers acquired the
first turbine-powered air-freighter placed in service when it
purchased a $55-million fleet of Canadair CL-44s in 1961. The
CL44's unique swing-tail design permitted straight-in loading
of up to 65,000 pounds of freight. It cruised at 375 miles per
hour over a range of 3,000 miles
(1961 - 1969)
Click Picture for additional
B-707 Aerial -- Flying Tigers met the
challenge of the jet age with Boeing 707-349C intercontinental
jets. The Boeing 707s carried 72,000 pounds of freight at 550
miles per hour over a 3,000 mile range.. Aircraft N322, The
Pole Cat set many new records,
Flying Tigers stretched DC-8
Flying Tiger 727
B-747-100 Flying Tigers was the first airline
to operate Boeing 747 passenger aircraft converted into
efficient air freighters. Each of the awesome giants flies
more than 200,000 pounds of cargo at 575 miles per hour over a
Mr. Narita 806 in Polar Colors
|In the years during and after World War II,
military veterans were given special preference to purchase or lease
government surplus aircraft. A group of ex-AVG and CNAC pilots, some
still flying in China, took advantage of this opportunity, and on June
25, 1945 started an airfreight company that in less than two years would
formally adopt the name the Flying Tiger Line.
As the company grew and matured, founder and CEO Robert Prescott did
also, both in his younger days as an AVG pilot and later in the role of
President of the Flying Tiger Line. From the beginning, Prescott had a
vision for the company: "We're unique, so let's not imitate.
Imitation lets you catch up to the guy ahead, but never lets you
pass." Although the fledgling Flying Tiger Line was in a precarious
financial situation during its early years, it enjoyed extraordinary
growth throughout most of the 60's, and eventually emerged as the
industry's foremost all-cargo carrier. The airline had its humble
beginnings in Long Beach California with the Budd Conestoga, but by 1969
had upgraded its propeller-driven, piston engine fleet to one consisting
entirely of jet freighters. This allowed for more extensive geographic
capability and cargo capacity.
Notable among the Tigers' achievements were their participation in
both the Korean and Vietnam airlifts. During the Korean War, Tigers
planes provided air transport services for personnel and cargo from the
west coast of the US to various military bases throughout the Pacific
area. In the Vietnam airlift, Flying Tigers provided strategic flights
from the US to numerous military bases throughout the Pacific and
Southeast Asia geographic region. As in Korea, these flights carried
both cargo as well as military personnel and their dependents. In one of
its more dramatic moves, Tigers evacuated a number of Vietnamese
"political refugees" and Vietnamese company employees and
their families aboard departing aircraft during the "final
hours" of US troop withdrawal, and impending Communist takeover in
South Vietnam in 1975. During the Vietnam years the Flying Tiger Line
also worked overtime for the US Postal Service. As one observer put it,
"Nobody brings in mail like those Tiger birds".
The years after the Vietnam war saw continued growth for the Flying
Tigers. After 1970, scheduled commercial service, much of which
consisted of Asian imports, rapidly overtook military related contracts
as the company's primary source of income. This represented a
significant transition for the Flying Tigers, and paved the road to
future success. By this time the airline's personnel had gained such
expertise in shipping challenging pieces of freight that the attitude in
the industry was, "if Tigers can't move it, nobody can." From
1979 to 1980 the Flying Tiger Line passed Pan Am to become the world's
number one air cargo carrier.
In the 1980's, the B747-200F series was introduced to the fleet. With
this plane's nose-loading capabilities, Flying Tigers accommodated even
more challenging air freight combinations in size, shape and quantity.
In this decade the company developed an extensive global network,
directly servicing all continents except for Africa, which was served
The motto in the beginning was "Anything, Anytime,
Anywhere". That motto lasted until the airline was taken over by
Federal Express in the late 1980's. With only six thousand employees
around the world, the Flying Tiger Line carried cargo and people to all
corners of the planet.
From 1945 to 1989 Flying Tigers management, mechanics, office staff,
flight attendants, pilots and crew members worked together to build an
airline that became a legend. This was the Tiger "Can-do"
Spirit, may it never die.