Want to own a part of aviation history? The auction house Wilhelm Dechow GmbH, or Dechow, will be selling off parts of two Boeing 707s. The next two and a half months will see the auction house catalog parts of the two jets in advance of a September auction. Let’s take a look at the two 707s being disassembled in order to be sold off in pieces.
“As a partner of major institutions of the aviation industry and traditional Hamburg companies, based near Hamburg Airport Helmut Schmidt, we are ensuring a safe landing on the last trip of the Boeing 707s D-ABOD and D-ABOC,” -Dechow
Aircraft dismantling and auction preparation underway
According to Dechow, D-ABOC was fully dismantled last month, and cataloging of auction lots is taking place over June. From there, the company will make preparations for the online auction.
For D-ABOD, the schedule appears to be a month later than the other 707. The aircraft is being dismantled this month, and cataloging of auction lots will take place in July. Preparations for the online auction will happen in August. Parts from both jets will be auctioned off online in September.
While we covered a little bit of the history of these 707s in a previous article, the auction house has given us additional details surrounding the fascinating lives of the two jets.
“D-ABOC”: The “Lufthansa” 707 that never flew for Lufthansa
The two 707s have fascinating stories in their own, different ways. However, perhaps the most interesting (and most dramatic) history is that of the aircraft named D-ABOC.
Although the aircraft is painted in a historic Lufthansa livery, the jet never actually flew for Lufthansa. Rather, the 707 now known as D-ABOC actually flew for Israeli operator El Al under the registration 4X-ATB.
It was back in 1970 when hijackers took control of this jet during a flight from Amsterdam to New York. Dechow notes that during this hijacking, the pilot brought the plane into a dive in order to throw the kidnappers to the ground. The risky move proved successful, and security officers onboard were able to overpower the kidnappers.
It looks like the aircraft was eventually purchased by Boeing in the 1980s and presented to the city of West Berlin for its 750th birthday. A historic Lufthansa livery was painted on to recognize the airline’s purchase of its 200th Boeing aircraft.
The interesting history doesn’t stop there, however. Delivery of the gift could not be done easily due to German airlines and German pilots being restricted from Berlin airspace at the time (this was during the Cold War and a divided Germany). To get around this, the aircraft was covered with white stickers and delivered to Berlin Tegel by an American pilot at night.
“Landed there, the stickers were removed and the actual paint job in Lufthansa colors was revealed again,” Dechow states.
After its landing, the aircraft was given the fake registration D-ABOC. A Condor Boeing 757-300 currently holds this registration in reality and has been fairly active in recent weeks.
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D-ABOD: Aircraft turned movie star
D-ABOD flew regular service with Lufthansa starting in the 1960s. However, the jet would be retired from service in 1975. Its post-passenger-service life saw it become a training aid for Lufthansa mechanics based in Hamburg, as well as being used in several feature films.
The aircraft was even painted to be “Air Force One” in the 1977 film “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” starring Burt Lancaster. Its most recent film appearance was in 2018 in the film “Rocca verändert die Welt,” (“Rocca Changed the World”).
Interested in buying a piece of history? While there doesn’t appear to be a precise date for the auction yet, interested bidders can check the auction house’s 707 webpage here. Subscribing to their newsletter might be the best way to keep updated – although speaking German (or knowing how to use a translator) might help with this.