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FLL Commando as seen in the 80s

3 July 2013

FLL Commando as seen in the 80s

Curtiss C-46 Commando — photo by Joseph May

Curtiss C-46 Commando in civilian employ — photo by Joseph May

This Curtiss C-46 Commando was still in flying service in the early 198os at the Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International (FLL) Airport. A man was filling the oil reservoir of the right side engine at the time these photos were taken on that slightly foggy morning. Black and white film shot in fog — an equation for nostalgia for almost any subject but especially this Commando — an aircraft which became famous flying across the Himalayas during World War II supplying the Allies in the fight against Japan.

Curtiss C-46 Commando — photo by Joseph May

Curtiss C-46 Commando and the immense cockpit — photo by Joseph May

The Commando was a modern aircraft for its time but had conventional landing gear due to the shortage of long runways prior to World War II. The cockpit is huge for the aircraft’s size, especially when compared to its contemporary Douglas DC-3 (also named C-47 Skytrain as well as Dakota). Initially Commandos had a fuel system flaw, which could put aviation gasoline into the bilges, but this was overcome. The Commandos cargo capacity as well as range suited it perfectly for the Indochina Theater — not to mention today in Alaska and other remote areas of operation.

Curtiss C-46 Commando — photo by Joseph May

Curtiss C-46 Commandos had huge vertical stabilizers and rudders — photo by Joseph May

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 3 July 2013 02:57

    Purely fine…The C46 was a lovely plane. Great to see these pictures.

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