29 May 2015

Merrill Field: The Rest of the Pictures

Here are the rest of the pictures from our visit to Merrill Field.
I love flying boats - don't know anything about this one, but it just fascinates me

Merrill Field, Anchorage's first commercial airport

The Chugach Mountains form a perfect backdrop for the airport

The logo on this one reads "Brown Bear Air, Inc. - Alaska"

A Russian biplane - I will try to find out more about this one

For sale - a great addition for the M*A*S*H aficionado

A better view of the Russian biplane

This glider was parked at the very edge of the field

I love the Alaskan paint job on this old Piper


Well Seasoned Fool said...

The biplane is an Antonov AN2, one of the great utility planes.
The seaplane is a Republic RC-3. Not fast, not much of a payload, and expensive to maintain. A Cessna on floats beats it in every way except visual.

Rev. Paul said...

WSF, I knew about the Antonov, and am sad to watch it slowly collapse. But the seaplane doesn't look as if it has moved recently; your description makes sense. Thanks.

juvat said...

Flying F-15s in Korea, I learned the AN-2 was a tough target. Low, slow, and without much metal, at night and filled with NORK special forces. You had to run a very specific attack profile to keep him illuminated with the radar. In many respects this mission was more difficult to accomplish successfully than the High Fast profile against an SR-71 playing Mig-25.

Rev. Paul said...

juvat, that doesn't surprise me. New tech always has a tough time with really old tech. :)

threecollie said...

Love seeing these old planes.

Old NFO said...

AN-2 Colt... Pretty much bullet proof, but not Vodka proof... They are still flying all over the world. Saw on crashed on the polar ice years ago. They wanted beer... :-)

Rev. Paul said...

Me too, threecollie. There are older models in the hangars, in various stages of (dis)repair, but those are hard to get to. Unless you know someone, which I don't, really.

NFO, somehow I'm not surprised. :)

Anonymous said...

Is that old AN-2 still at Merrill? I didn't see it the last time I was there, but I didn't look too hard either.

The story I heard was that a couple of guys brought them over when they were "surplused out" of service after the USSR fell. Their assumption was that the combination of load hauling ability and short field performance (which is what they do really well) would enable them to make a mint chartering cargo in and out of the really primitive places that, today, require more trips with smaller airplanes.

What they apparently failed to consider in their bet was that there was no way they'd get a normal category airworthiness certificate out of the FAA to allow them to do this, much less a part 135 non-scheduled air carrier certificate. Since the FAA doesn't have a reciprocal agreement for type certificates for them, they are relegated to airshows or limited-radius non-commercial operations with just the required crew, using experimental-exhibition or restricted category airworthiness certificates.

So, they're sitting there with nowhere to go, and nothing to do.

That is the story I heard, at least...

If you get out through the Valley sometime, there's an old HU-16 (Grumman Albatross) on the ramp at Wasilla, waiting on a big pile of money, or so I would guess. Trans-Northern also has a Super-DC3 parked there waiting on engines and a job. During work hours (and weekends), you can walk right up and see.

There are few other places that you can find big old cabin monoplanes with radial engines from the 1930s that still actually work for a living. They are looked after, but they're not hangar queens either.

Rev. Paul said...

airphoria, I haven't looked recently for the AN-2, either. These pics are from a couple years ago.

Thanks for the info about the old craft in Wasilla. I need to see them - and need to get back to the air history museum here again, too.

Murphy's Law said...

Love the pics. There's an RC-3 down at a northern Ohio airport that I've visited, too. They're like liberal actresses--Neat-looking, but not good for much else. Still digging on your snow, too. We're in the 80s and 90s here every day.