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abasile

Avanti Operation Airlift

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A while ago color pictures of The airlift appeared in Avanti Magazine or Turning Wheels. Does anyone remember what issue they appeared in?

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What is the "airlift"?

Before the Avanti was generally available, Studebaker chartered a surplus USAF Fairchild C-82 Packet* to fly two around the country for dealer introductions.

*You may know it as the plane in the original version of "Flight of the Phoenix". It was later developed into the more numerous (and well-known) Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar.

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The "airlift" was how Avantis were first introduced to dealers back in 1962. Studebaker had an airline subsidiary which did charters and transports. Two C-82 transports were used to take severally Avantis around the country so dealers could see them plus get some press coverage with the dramatic entrance of the cars being driven off the planes. The planes would visit several cities in a day.

The whole story of the airlift is interesting in itself...with Studebaker's precarious financial position, the planes at one point were allegedly grounded due to lack of funds for fuel.

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Guest dapy

Let's make a movie. Short subject. Redford will produce.

The story of the Avanti (re) introduction. Call it "Flight of the Avanti". Low budget. I will play Egbert since he is no longer available. Whose Avanti will we use? (I'm a pilot and willing to fly any old airplane.)

"Flight of the Phoenix" (movie) was about the reconstruction of a wreck in the desert. I see the plot developing and the Avanti rising from the ashes...

We need backers. AOAI is questionable.

Edited by dapy

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I see all the comedians are awake this morning! Anyone have an answer to my question???????????????

Edited by abasile

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Guest dapy

We are looking for a plan to raise awareness of our favorite car. I didn't think the movie idea was bad since it would be based on historical fact. But Jack Lemmon isn't available. (He starred in the original AVANTI!) Actually 'airlift' was just the kind of promotional event that Sherwood E, would have dreamed up. He shook the establishment in South Bend even though it was late in the game.

The 'comedians' come and go. Dick Van Dyke had one. So what was your question? Can we use your Avanti in the movie?

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Thank you, Silverplate. I've seen that picture. The pictures I originally asked about were taken by a teenager with a box camera. They are the only color photos I've ever seen of the two cars that were air lifted around the country.

Dealers were given an Avanti Pillow and Flag when they entered the airport hanger where the introduction ceremony took

place.

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Dave,

Your movie idea is first class, takes a young guy like you to show some leadership and imagination among stodgy Avanti owners. I propose we improve on the original Avanti Air introduction.

1.We can use my blue Avanti; however, a nice R-2 would be more appropriate.

2.I have no idea where we could get a C-82, but I probably can get Waltrip's C-123 at Galvestion. I flew at it at a few airshows in the early 90's. The Air America guys in Titusville have a C-123. A C-123 is about same size and looks (no twin tail) as a C-82 and often used in movies as less expensive alternative to a C-130.

3.To freshin-up the Avanti entry we need to do a 'pop and drop'. We can do this at the Texas Mile Race in Beeville TX in October. Scheme is I can fly the C-123 low, drag the rear ramp, and use drone-chute to 'pop' the Avant out the back of the C-132. As I recall I can get a lightly loaded C-123 down to 75-80 MPH and 'drop' the avanti.

The Avanti accelerates and completes the Texas Mile run down the 8000 ft runway and gets an official time slip for the mile...sort of an aerial running start.

The 'pop and drop' worked pretty good with ammo pallets on dirt strips (muddy not so good), so a nice rolling Avanti on a hard surface runway should be easy.

4.We could even call it Operation Silverplate (nice historic reference).

5. If could get each Avanti owner to thrown in $200 that would probably cover the gas and oil (130 gal and 3 gal/hr) and other expenses.

Great idea Dave

Joe

We are looking for a plan to raise awareness of our favorite car. I didn't think the movie idea was bad since it would be based on historical fact. But Jack Lemmon isn't available. (He starred in the original AVANTI!) Actually 'airlift' was just the kind of promotional event that Sherwood E, would have dreamed up. He shook the establishment in South Bend even though it was late in the game.

The 'comedians' come and go. Dick Van Dyke had one. So what was your question? Can we use your Avanti in the movie?

Edited by Devildog

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By coincidence, this Sunday I plan on going to a car and air show at the airport in Hagerstown, MD. That's where Fairchild Aircraft built the C-82 aircraft and have several on display at the air museum there. If I can, maybe I can get some pics of my '02 Avanti by one or both of the planes. My '70 Avanti is away for service and modifications though that would be more appropriate than the newer version.

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Guest dapy

Joe,

I'm afraid it's just you, me and Gunny. If you dare come drive the convert.

Yes, we can reconstruct the original airlift, but how do we get the national publicity that raises Avanti awareness?

For authenticity is does need to be a Studebaker Avanti. Not sure Beeville TX will command national attention. Also we need celebrity endorsement. Any ideas?

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Dave,

Celebrity ? I suggest Thersea Vail, Miss Kansas that recently attracted national attention in the Miss America contest.. Although she is not a Marine, she is a Army Sargent, but would look classy driving the Avanti. Jay Leno is going to have more time in future, he is a car guy...does Jay have an Avanti ? He should.

Joe

Joe,

I'm afraid it's just you, me and Gunny. If you dare come drive the convert.

Yes, we can reconstruct the original airlift, but how do we get the national publicity that raises Avanti awareness?

For authenticity is does need to be a Studebaker Avanti. Not sure Beeville TX will command national attention. Also we need celebrity endorsement. Any ideas?

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We'll need CGI...as no C-82 is airworthy. They did recently fly one to the Fairchild Museum in Maryland. It came from the same outfit that provided the C-119 Flying Boxcar for the remake of Flight of the Phoenix a few years back.

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That first plane in that list is the one used to carry the Avantis around for the airlift...at least it has the same tail number. Whether the tail number stays with the aircraft when the plane is transferred to a new owner I don't know. If it is the same plane, maybe the SNM would be interested in having a genuine Studebaker Trans International Aircraft in its collection.

And no...I'm not delusional. I know that's not gonna happen unless it's donated to the SNM and finding a way to transport it was subsidized.

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Last September while I was at Carlisle, PA looking for Avanti stuff .well, guess what - nothing.... BUT while roaming around I found an old (Toppings) model of the Fairchild C-119. I know it's not a Packet C-82 BUT for $4 I got it & hung it up over my beloved Avanti & it looks kinda cool. I know it's a little crazy BUT it a lot cheaper than making a full length movie , don't 'ya think, and the star is still the AVANTI !! By the way, the issue you are looking for is the Avanti magazine issue #144 fall/winter 2008.

Edited by avantifred

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