This was the very last scheduled flight of the last Boeing 707 which was based in Germany at NATO Airbase Geilenkirchen. Only a few days later LX-N20199 did her final flight for crapping at Maastricht airport in The Netherlands.
This former SABENA B707-329 was build in 1969 for the Belgium State Airline. Later she was flown for their charter sister SOBELAIR. In 1982 construction number 20199 went to the USA where she was flying in the color of JET24. Between 1982/83 the British rock group “The Who” used this 707 for their concert tour. In 1986 Boeing Military Company bought this aircraft and Dornier at Oberpfaffenhofen in Germamy converted this 707 to a TCA – a Training and Cargo Aircraft for E-3A crews. Air Portugal developed a identic cockpit of a E-3A for the TCA, so that crews inside the B707 fellt like they are flying a E-3A AWACS. This helped for 23 years save costs in crew training. It minimized the risk to damage a E-3A and finally the AWACS was only used for that, what they’re made for – guarding the airspace.
From 07.12.1988 until 22.12.2011 LX-N20199 was flying for the NATO. During all these years this Boeing 707 was often used to transport humanitarian cargo around the world, like to Haiti or Pakistan. When some E-3A’s was based outside of Geilenkirchen, the TCA’s served in crew exchange and spare parts support – that, for what the aircraft was bought for.
This video was filmed on PANASONIC HDC-100 SD by Matthias Winkler, Germany.
Thanks to the crew of LX-N20199 and the NATO NAEW&CF E-3A Component, especially captain Wilko ter Horst.