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October 2014: Ex-British Airtours Boeing 707 at Entebbe, Uganda

An unusual blog update this time, with a selection of pictures showing the remains of a Boeing 707-436 that has been languishing in the Ugandan sun next to Entebbe airport for the past three decades.

The aircraft was originally registered G-APFL and delivered to BOAC in 1960. A picture showing the delivery colour scheme is available on airliners.net. During the 1960's G-APFL was leased to Cunard and BEA Airtours before ownership transferred to British Airtours in 1972. A decade later the aircraft was re-registered 5X-CAU and operated by Coastal Airways in Uganda until retirement. It was then abandoned and now sits just outside the airport perimeter fence at the aptly named "Aero Beach" in Entebbe - the damaged tail fin is just visible as you approach the area:

Entebbe Aero Park

Entebbe Aero Park

A general view of the aircraft, with Entebbe airport visible in the background:

Boeing 707 at Entebbe Aero Park

The earlier "British Airtours" titles are still visible above the windows:

Boeing 707 at Entebbe Aero Park

Locals shelter in the shade of the tailplane, with the damaged tail fin towering overhead:

Boeing 707 at Entebbe Aero Park

The aircraft is popular with the local community. This family is celebrating their daughter's 2nd birthday - on the wing!

Boeing 707 at Entebbe Aero Park

The interior is also popular, with children and teenagers climbing around the stripped cabin:

Boeing 707 cockpit

Stripped Cabin

The cockpit still has the remains of the thrust levers, speed brake, trim wheels and flap lever:

Boeing 707 Cockpit Controls

The aircraft is in a very poor condition, with massive amounts of corrosion. The floor is completely missing; to move around you must tread carefully on the remaining, often damaged structure. The control cable pulleys are visible in this picture:

Corroded 707 Interior

The forward cargo hold, with the nose gear bay at the front and the remains of the cabin floor and cockpit above:

707 Cargo Hold

The damaged tail fin, which has collapsed after three decades exposed to the elements:

Boeing 707 Tail Fin

The port wing, with two battered Rolls Royce Conway engines still attached:

Boeing 707 Wing and Rolls Royce Conway Engines

And the starboard wing, with the engines resting on the ground:

Boeing 707 Wing and Rolls Royce Conway Engines

The cowlings are missing, but engine #4 is still relatively intact:

Boeing 707 Wing and Rolls Royce Conway Engine

The starboard undercarriage has partially collapsed, which is why the starboard engines are now resting on the ground:

Boeing 707 Undercarriage

Until a few years ago, this aircraft was strictly off limits and armed guards deterred visitors. It is now a thriving area and there is usually somebody somewhere on the aircraft - it is treated as a giant climbing frame with no interference from Health and Safety! Sadly the condition is deteriorating rapidly. Until recently the tail fin was intact and the rest of the structure is now becoming very unstable, with cracks appearing in the cabin floor framework. I suspect in a few years it will have collapsed considerably, probably preventing any further access - at least there is now a photographic record showing this iconic workhorse from the 1960's and 70's.

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