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Saigon’s Abandoned 707 Being Removed From Its Resting Place

After 30 years spent fossilizing in an open field behind the HCMC Aviation Training Center, an antique Boeing 707 is being chopped up and removed from its resting place.

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Yesterday, a group of workers was reportedly seen disassembling the airplane’s body under orders from the National Defense Department which declined to provide details about the project, reports Zing.

The 707 was once the property of the now defunct carrier Air Viet Nam that was operated by the Republic of Vietnam prior to 1975. Following the war, the airline’s planes were relocated to other countries in SE Asia and the 707 ended up in Hong Kong despite lobbying from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for its return.

The aircraft reverted to Vietnamese ownership following negotiations that allowed American and Israeli aircraft to use the country’s airspace. According to Phan Tuong, former general director of the Civil Aviation Authority of South Vietnam, Zing. Upon delivery, the tail number was changed from VN-A394 to VN-A304 to honor the date of Vietnamese reunification.

However, due to lack of experienced pilots, American and French trained Huynh Minh Bon was the only person in Vietnam qualified to fly the plane and did so for both civilian and government flights.  

The aircraft was used until about 1980 when it was withdrawn from service. Its engines were then removed and the plane was parked behind the training center.

Here are some images of the intact 707:

Until fairly recently a small café, aptly dubbed "Boeing Café," was housed under the aircraft’s wings and there were reportedly discussions to turn it into an exhibition space. The latter, for obvious reasons, doesn’t seem to be in the cards.


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[Photos via Zing]

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