Saturday, September 12, 2009

Boeing 707 Vietnamese Cafe

Old Boeing 707 spending her retirement as a Vietnamese Cafe
Located 5 minutes from the Saigon Airport
Her port wing and number 2 engine is now a roof sheltering customers from the Tropical Heat of Saigon
Customers consist mainly of airport, airline staff
Beautiful Boeing 707 having a second life after retirement in Saigon

4 comments:

amasc said...

How amazing, do you have any idea how she got there or the story behind it?

FlyingChinaMan said...

Thats a good question AMASC. I will ask the cafe owner next time i have my cafe sua da there!

FlyingChinaMan

Mike said...

I visited with a party of British aviation enthusiasts on 21 November 2009, after a tour of various museums - I'm just editing up the photos. The iced coffee was lovely. We were told that the 707 was roaded in from the airport. The wings would probably have been removed and the aircraft re-assembled. You have to wonder how long it will be before the poor old girl rots away. We were also told that the Boeing company tried to buy the aircraft but the Vietnamese Government said "no". Possibly because Boeing were buying old 707s at the time for use as parts sources for the US Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft, some of which are now 50 and still flying.

The aircraft is a Boeing 707-344, construction number 17929, 154th 707 built, first flew 9 August 1960 and was delivered to South African Airways as "ZS-CKD". I saw her many times at Heathrow as such. She was later re-registered "ZS-SAB" with the same airline, and served until 1977 when sold to Brtish Midland Airways, then International Air Leases, then Guiness Peat Aviation in Ireland as "EI-BFU". She was then leased to Hang Khong Vietnam Airlines as "VN-A304" (this registration can still be found on the tailfin). She was retired in March 1983 and stored at Tan Son Nhut; later moved for display in the nearby park, where the cafe seems to have grown up around her along with much vegetation.

flyingchinaman said...

Wow, amazing history on this old girl! Thanks Mike!