Sunset Gooney Bird
"Southern Cross" of the Greatest Generation Aircraft group at Fort Worth Meacham Field
04 July 2012
From their website:
"This aircraft was ordered by TWA for passenger service with Wright Cyclone engines and was completed in December of 1941. Due to the attack on Pearl Harbor, many aircraft were pressed into military service and 6315 was no exception. It's first job in service was as a troop carrier and para troop trainer. Its official designation by the Army Air Corps was C 49J.
After the war, it changed hands many times. Immediately following the war, it was returned to its original purpose of passenger carriage. It was owned by Chicago and Southern Airlines until 1953 when the airline and all its planes were bought by Delta. It flew under Delta colors until it was sold to the President of Mexico. At this time the interior received a makeover to suit presidential status, including upgrades such as a wrap-around couch, a bathroom, complete galley, and the portrait windows. The engines were also updated at this time to the higher horsepower 1820-72 engines.
Following its presidential service, it was purchased by a skydiving operator who immediately ripped out all the interior upgrades in an effort to make the plane as light as possible and installed even larger engines, a pair of 1820-76Ds, (1475hp each) the same engines that are installed on the HU-16 Albatross.
Since the skydivers, it has been owned by several private parties until it finally ended up in the Greatest Generation Aircraft family."