The production of commercial aircraft in California came to an end on May 23 with the delivery of the final two Boeing 717s to Midwest Airlines and AirTran Airways in a ceremony at the Long Beach plant. In all, 156 717s were built. In 1941 Douglas opened the factory as part of President Roosevelt’s Arsenal of Democracy initiative. It factory-built almost 10,000 aircraft during WW2 and over 15,000 had been delivered by the time of its closure.
The USAF retired its last Lockheed Starlifter, C-141C 66-0177, known as the Hanoi Taxi, with a flight to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio on May 6 completing the type’s 43 years of service. This particular Starlifter was the first USAF aircraft to land at Gia Lam Airport, Hanoi on February 12 1973 to pick up prisoners of war.
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