DC-7 reaches Delta Flight Museum, restored to its former glory

Jan 12, 2021

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It’s been roughly a year and a half since I traveled out to the Arizona desert to watch Delta Air Lines pick up one of its former DC-7s, a piston aircraft that flew passengers for less than a decade before being replaced by far faster planes as the jet age took hold.

In July 2019, I flew out to Phoenix before making my way to a small airfield in a tiny town called Coolidge to catch the plane ahead of its final journey to Atlanta (ATL). That’s where Woody Grantham, the aircraft’s owner at the time, gave me a tour of his DC-7.

After its delivery in 1957, the four-engine plane flew Delta passengers throughout the U.S. and beyond, covering routes like Atlanta to Miami, New York to Dallas and even New Orleans to San Juan, and Caracas, Venezuela.

This particular aircraft featured a “Sky Lounge,” including a circular sofa at the back of the plane.

What’s left of this DC-7’s “Sky Lounge.” Photo by The Points Guy.

By 1968, roughly 10 years later, Delta had retired all of its DC-7s, at which point this plane was converted to fly as a tanker.

After a long career fighting fires and fertilizing crops, the DC-7 eventually made its way back to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), its final resting place.

Learn more: Picking up a vintage Delta DC-7 in the 110-degree Arizona desert

Delta enthusiasts and frequent flyers gathered this weekend to witness this next leg of the aircraft’s journey. After being restored to its former glory, with a fancy new coat of paint, the DC-7 was rolled out of the hangar to its new home a few feet away.

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

For now, the DC-7 will remain in front of the doors to the Delta Flight Museum, which remains closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eventually, you’ll be able to check out the aircraft’s exterior when you visit the museum. However, the interior hasn’t been restored, so it unfortunately isn’t possible to take a tour.

Featured photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.

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