Former Lufthansa Cargo DC-8 To Be Auctioned In Brazil

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For approximately USD$22,500 (125,000 Brazilian reais), you could acquire a former Lufthansa Cargo DC-8, currently parked at Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The auction for this aircraft will take place on April 23, being held by Superbid Marketplace and GRUAirport, the company that administrates the most important hub in South America. What else do we know?

A BETA Cargo DC-8 is up for grabs in Brazil’s Guarulhos International Airport. Photo: Aeroprints.com via Wikimedia Commons.

A brief history about this DC-8

The aircraft is a DC-8-73F that was built in 1969. Throughout its history, it had nine different operators, according to Planespotters.net.

Since its inception, this aircraft undertook cargo operations. For example, its first owner was Flying Tiger Line, the first scheduled cargo airline in the United States. Flying Tiger operated between 1945 and 1989 when it merged into FedEx Express.

Over the next 15 years, this aircraft held an American registration, N973FT, and flew with US carriers such as Flying Tiger, Overseas National Airways, and Trans International Airlines.

In 1984, it went to Europe.

It first flew with German Cargo Services, a company from West Germany that operated freighter flights on behalf of Lufthansa. In 1993, when German Cargo disappeared under the Lufthansa Cargo brand, this DC-8 stayed in the company.

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But it was not very long before the DC-8 went back to the US to operate under the Emery Worldwide Airlines brand in 1997. In 2003, it served for DHL and ASTAR Air Cargo before going to Brazil.

BETA Cargo received the DC-8 and gave it its last registration, PP-BEL. This Brazilian cargo airline ceased operations in 2012, becoming the last company in Brazil to use DC-8 and Boeing 707 aircraft.

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The auction

Since BETA Cargo’s folding, the aircraft has been grounded, gathering dust and rust at Guarulhos International Airport.

In a Youtube video published by an avgeek Brazilian channel, we can see the state of decay this aircraft is currently in.

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Now, GRUAirport, in an attempt to reduce unused assets within the hub, is auctioning several items, including the DC-8. The bid for the aircraft is starting at 125,000 Brazilian reais. The auction ends on April 23 at 16:40, local time.

It is uncertain what the future will be for this DC-8. Maybe it can follow the steps of a former Varig’s Boeing 727-100F that was auctioned for about US$16,500 last year. This aircraft, which was abandoned in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, will become a museum honoring Varig’s former glory.

McDonnell Douglas built the DC-8 between 1959 and 1972. Photo: Pedro Aragão via Wikimedia Commons.

Other uses for old abandoned aircraft

There are many old aircraft rusting all over the world. These planes are no longer airworthy but still are reminders of aviation’s history and could have good use.

For instance, there’s an A320 restaurant in Nanjing, China; a DC9-14 and B737-200 libraries in Mexico City; and several theme hotels across the world that use aircraft such as the B747.

Airplanes can also be dismantled to create keyrings, bags, or whatever piece of merch the avgeek community loves.

When an aircraft stops flying, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will stop existing. There are so many possibilities with them.

What would you do if you owned an old aircraft? Let us know in the comments.

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