|Type:||L-726 Neptune P2V-7/SP-2H|
|MSN:||726-7192 (* see note below)|
|Owner:||AeroCorp Australia Pty Ltd., Cunderdin, WA|
|OCT88||Registered N54317 to AMCEP Corp, Tucson, Arizona.|
|05AUG88||To AeroCorp Inc, Lodi, California.|
|17NOV88||Arrived Perth, WA on delivery to AeroCorp Pty Ltd. Converted to tanker and stored at Perth. It is noteworthy that the aircraft was delivered minus its belly radome.|
|1998||Report that the aircraft is being made available for syndication as a warbird.|
|22FEB99||Registered to AeroCorp, Midland, WA as VH-NEP. This registration had been previously reserved for A89-281. The registration VH-JUK had been reserved for the former N54317 but it was not taken up.|
|22DEC99||First post-restoration flight from Perth. A report in "Australian Aviation" of March 2000 indicates that AeroCorp are still pursuing firebombing contracts for the Neptune.|
|23JAN03||The aircraft performed a test drop over the Indian Ocean off Perth.|
|31JAN03||The aircraft performed a test drop over land near Perth Airport.|
It has emerged that there is some confusion over the Manufacturer's Serial Number of this aircraft. The MSN was originally reported to be 7191 (Aviation Letter 389/55), however it was recently pointed out that published sources (e.g. Putnam) quote the MSN 7192 for BuNo145921. In an attempt to clarify this once and for all, the writer sought the advice of the aircraft's owner who has kindly supplied an image of the data plate which states that the MSN is 7203 and the BuNo 145921. It has been established from U.S. Government sales lists that when BuNo 145921 was sold ex Davis Monthan, it was without a data plate. Evidently, the original purchaser has found it necessary to manufacture a replacement data plate to facilitate registering the aircraft in the United States. The current owner of the aircraft confirms that the data plate depicted above is the one which was attached to the aeroplane when he purchased it and he has no knowledge of any necessity to produce a replacement data plate. That the plate depicted is not the original data plate is evidenced by the following:
On the available evidence, there can now be little doubt that the correct MSN for BuNo 145921 is 7192. Why the original purchaser chose an incorrect MSN cannot be determined, but clearly this is of academic interest only, as there is no doubt that the aeroplane is ex BuNo 145921 and it is this number which appears as the "serial number" of VH-NEP on the Australian Register.
Added an image of the aircraft in storage at Cunderdin, WA thanks to Frank McCubben.
Added further clarification of the MSN.
Added two images of recent test drops thanks to Jon Davison.
Added an image of the maker's plate thanks to Theo Valerio.
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