Douglas DC-4-1009 – c/n 42931

With Air Charter from Oct 1956 to Jul 1960

Given Name ‘Golden Fleece’

X-Ray Kilo was one of four C-54/DC-4 aircraft to serve with Air Charter and from the very outset, she was put to work on ACL’s Mediterranean trooping contract while later on, she would also fly long distance, ad-hoc charters from Southend and Stansted before finally taking over the M.o.D. Woomera contract once all of the Tudors had been withdrawn. However, unlike her three C-54 stable mates, she was never converted into a Carvair and spent the rest of her life as manufacturer Douglas had intended. The reason for this was quite simple. During the early days of Carvair conversions, it was believed that with the exception of the extra cabin equipment that could easily be removed, factory produced C-54s and DC-4s essentially went through the same manufacturing process on the assembly line.

However some time later, it became clearly evident that the DC-4 did in fact differ slightly in construction to the original C-54s and that a considerable amount of reworking of the airframe stringers would be required if the all new Carvair nose was to match up perfectly with an original DC-4 airframe. On top of this, extra internal fittings and fixtures also meant that X-ray Kilo would be more than a ton heavier than her C-54 compatriots and would require either a great deal of remedial work and/or modification or her post-conversion owner simply accepting that the aircraft would have to operate with reduced payloads. Inevitably, the plan to convert this DC-4 was thus abandoned and the aircraft was eventually transferred to BUA where she saw a considerable amount of service on the Southend-Ostend route in support of CAB operations.

With thanks to Chris Garton for help with providing suggestions for edits to this page.


History of G-AOXK

5/46 to 10/56


10/56 to 7/60

Air Charter Ltd as G-AOXK

7/60 to 7/63

British United Airways


Aviation Traders

7/63 to 3/77

Williamson Diamond Mines Ltd as N39430

3/77 to ?/??

Zaire Aero Service as 9Q-CPM


Unknown – WFU in Zaire during 1980 and likely scrapped


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.