Piedmont Airlines N56V DC-3
Posted by: Ronnie Macklin (---.atl.mediaone.net)
Date: February 23, 2002 09:28PM

This DC-3 was manufactured as a C-53 by Douglass Aircraft Company on March 20,1942. The C-53 was a version of the DC-3 with a Maximum Gross Weight of 29,300 pounds. The serial number is 4900 and air corps number 41-20130. During World War II the aircraft remained in the United States and on January 10,1945 was returned to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. It later went to Western Airlines and was registered as NC18600.

On January 12, 1956, Piedmont Airlines acquired NC18600 and name it the Potomac Pacemaker and reregistered it as N56V. It was the last DC-3 operated by Piedmont Airlines. Following it’s Piedmont service the airplane became the property of Charlotte Aircraft Company in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 20, 1965. When it retired from Piedmont in 1963, it has logged 48,000 hours of service. It remained in Charlotte for many years and eventually became a derelict.

In 1978, Mr. **** Wescott obtained the remains for The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina. It was moved to Durham by Mr. Roy Teer and was assembled by the staff of the museum and Piedmont Employees. Piedmont provided $20,000 and technical assistance in addition to engines, propellers, rugs and miscellaneous parts to complete the static display in 1979.

Later Piedmont Airlines provided about $7,000 to repaint the aircraft. In addition some of the fabric controls have been recovered by Piedmont. Joe Fix was to help recovering them again but developed cancer and passed away.

When Piedmont Airlines obtained N46BF which became the present N44V there were no drawings to paint N44V as an original aircraft. N56V had the paint scheme as it had not been touched since it left Piedmont. Mr. Wescott restored it and Piedmont engineering made drawings of this paint scheme. These plus various photos of old Piedmont aircraft were used to paint N44V.

Later when N44V needed a radome the nose cone of N56V was used to make a mold so a radome could be made for N44V.

The aircraft is still on display at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina.

Re: Piedmont Airlines N56V DC-3
Posted by: Jim Fleming (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: September 20, 2003 12:55AM

Mr Macklin,
By using the GREAT info on this site I was able to track down 2 more former DC-3 Pacemakers.
N-50V is hanging in a museum in Ste. Mere Eglise, France.
Fmr Oy-DDA and N-9984F.
And N57V is in OAX Mexico sitting derelict. Now as XA-JIH.
With the info provided on Jet P.Com it was cross referenced with Airliners.net and was able to trackdown many former Pacemakers.
Thanks to all for a great site.

Re: Piedmont Airlines N56V DC-3
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: September 26, 2003 06:23PM

N56V will be moved to Spencer, N.C. in January of 1904 and put in the N. C. Transportation Museum. Plans are for it to be displayed inside the large building at Spencer. It is to be suspended from the ceiling at the west end. There is one other original Piedmont DC-3 that went to the Spanish Air Force and is in England. It will be restored and flown if the owner can get finances.

Re: Piedmont Airlines N56V DC-3
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: September 28, 2003 11:01AM


Re: Piedmont Airlines N56V DC-3
Posted by: JimFleming (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: February 09, 2004 08:40PM

Mr. Macklin,
Was that you I saw on the history channel for the martin B-26?

Re: Piedmont Airlines N56V DC-3
Posted by: Ronald Macklin (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: February 18, 2004 04:22PM

Yes that was me on the history channel about the B-26. I flew in B-26 from June 42 to end of war. I knew all the men that were in the program.

PI's former, then again last, DC-3
Posted by: 54977 (---.ec.res.rr.com)
Date: April 01, 2010 06:20PM

I was a Roslyn Road kid; across Roslyn Road from Zeke Saunders, and I think this is third-hand from dad, Al Miller; so likely it's garbeled-up; corrections welcome.

Piedmont was slowly giving-up it's DC-3's, and sold this one to France; when un-expectedly it got a new route that a DC-3 was needed on (why not other a/c?). PI knew the one it had sold was a good one, well maintained. So at a higher (how much?) price it bought it back. Doubt it kept it as it's last DC-3, because it was one of the first it sold earlier?

Did the DC-3 maintain in France it's old tail number? If not, did PI give it it's old number back, or a new one? Possibly this appeared on the PI DC-3 roster under two different numbers?

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