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Everts Air Cargo

Curtiss C-46

On March 26, 1940 the Curtiss C-46 first took wing. This plane was intended to be Curtiss' entry into the "new era" of air transportation that was to happen in the next few years. Plans changed as the war began and the military bought all but a very few of the production of the Curtiss Commando that came down the line. The plane was flown by every branch of service as the C-46 by the U.S.A.A.F. plus numerous foreign countries, and the R5C by the naval services. The single most notable period was "Flying the Burma Hump" between India to China over Burma bringing much needed war supplies to those standing off the Japanese at that time. The Commando's war efforts did not end until Air America's demise at the end on the Viet Nam War. During the years between she served with a number of armed forces, as did our plane, N54514 who served with the Japanese J.A.S.D.F.

Possibly outshining "Flying the Hump" was the period after the war when many airlines were getting back on their feet with their civil air routes and many new airlines were being formed to meet the public demand for air travel. Many of these companies initially turned to war surplus aircraft and the C-46 finally went into civil service. Some of the more notable companies to fly the "Forty-Six" were Flying Tiger, World, Pan Am, Slick, TWA, Lufthansa, Reeves, Wien, Alaska, and many, many others. During this period the C-46 helped establish these carriers in their capacity as first line passenger transport, or setting the stage for the vast cargo network that spans North America today.

Everts Air Cargo's involvement started with the Everts' patriarch, Cliff Everts. Cliff has had an affair with the plane almost since its first flight. He has owned a number of them over the years and owned Everts Air Cargo's plane before selling it to Rob Everts. N54514 first flew for the U.S.A.A.F. in February of 1945 and flew for them for approximately 10 years when it was transferred to the Japanese self defense force. They flew the plane for another 20 years and then parked it at Miho Air Base, Yonago, Japan. Shortly thereafter it was bought by Cliff Everts then flown to Alaska to sit for another period. Cliff's son Robert then purchased it and rebuilt it for operation by Everts Air Cargo. Once 514's rebuild was completed she went to work again. For an old gal, she has very few hours and enjoys the pampering of being operated by people who appreciate her capabilities and needs.

As with our other aircraft, the DC-6, it is impossible to write a comprehensive history of the C-46 on a "thumb nail". Her history is extensive and involved, including service with military units and airlines in more countries than most of us can conceive. She has carried more varied cargo items in her large belly than can possibly be imagined. I can only say that this writing hardly scratches the surface of what this plane has done.

And will do . . .