Our aircraft is a Cessna 172 from 1958. It's registered in the United States under N3973F, and it hasn't been christened with a name yet.
The Cessna 172 model
The Cessna 172 was first flown in 1955, and it's the most produced aircraft of all time. The aircraft holds the world record for the longest flight endurance, having stayed in the air for 64 consecutive days. The aircraft is a fantastic aerial surveillance platform, offering excellent visibility through it's large windows, a good fuel economy, and is capable of flying low and slow with ease.
From the US to Africa
The aircraft was purchased in Phoenix, Arizona, where it had been for a few years, having previously been based in California. After buying the aircraft, the aircraft was flown to Florida to be dismantled and placed in a maritime shipping container to be transported to Europe.
© Brad Neel
The sea crossing from Florida to the Netherlands took less than one month, and the aircraft was delivered at Teuge airport. The aircraft was put back together and made ready for the long ferry flight to Chad with the help of our partner Aircraft Maintenance Netherlands (AMN).
The ferry flight took ten days of flying and over 8,000 kilometers. After leaving Teuge, the aircraft crossed Europe, through Belgium, France and Spain, and Africa through Morocco, Algeria and Niger, before arriving in N'Djamena, Chad's capital.
N3973F in Hollywood
The aircraft made an appearance in the Hollywood blockbuster Terminator 3 in 2003. During the shooting of the film, the producers made a continuity mistake, when during the same scene two identical aircraft were used. Our aircraft is seen up in the air.