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Friday, January 13, 2012

More of Walt's Gulfstream...

Here is another reason I love paper shows!

Here we have a rare postcard of the interior of Walt's Gulfstream airplane, his much-loved toy that he had the fun Mickey sign made for that I showed you recently! The card even shows that the plane had its own logo! "In flight aboard Walt Disney Productions' Gulfstream N732G!"
The front bottom right reads "© 1964 Walt Disney Productions."
(To see the image more correctly, I have descreened it: Descreened)
Note that the N-number N732G has NEVER been assigned to Disney; it is currently assigned to a 1969 Beech aircraft registered in North Carolina. Before Disney took it over, the plane was registered as N707MP and then it became N234MM, a tailnumber it still has to this day, as seen on the images in my previous posting. Where, then, does the number N732G on this postcard stem from??

What is interesting to note also, is the fact that Walt had this exact image in his working office at the time of his passing. Here is the pertinent part of an image taken in his office in January 1968, 13 months later, while the office still stood untouched - note the four photos leaning up against the large aerial image of Disneyland:

For the sake of clarity I have adjusted their perspective so you can see them all head-on. It is the second photo from the left.
These photos show that the actual interior was much less yellow/brown than shown on the postcard. The walls and ceiling seems to have been white. Why they printed them yellow on the card, I have no idea. Maybe white was considered too boring?
The colors look like they have aged, but on a printed postcard?

The above row of images shows that there were basically two "rooms" divided by a semi-transparent divider with curtain. The postcard image (image 2) was shot from the position seen in image 1, while image 3 is as shot through the curtain, its counter shot is image 4, through which you can see the backside of the postcard image.
I count 13 seats...
[Addition: On the Walt Disney CD-Rom, which only seems to play under windows 95/98, you can find the following floorplan:]

Some time ago, the Disney Archives showed the following images on the D23 site: a jet model that was on Walt's desk in his official office, Walt's phone from the Gulfstream plane, and the plane's altimeter.
Neither the Gulfstream, nor the earlier Queen Air or King Air planes resemble the jet model, though. Looking at an image from Walt's formal office (left photo, also January 1968), I can see the plaque reads "Grumman Gulfstream 2," which to me sounds like a letter to Santa: "Dear Roy, I want one!" Then again, in Walt's working office (right photo) were both a model AND a photo of the "current" plane!
You can still see Walt's open briefcase in the floor behind his desk...

In Wade Sampson (Jim Korkis)'s very interesting article you can read more about Walt's planes, including this excerpt:
Over the years, there were actually three company planes that Walt flew in: Queen Air (Beechcraft) February 1963 - July 1965 (propeller driven); King Air (Beechcraft) 1965- 1967 (prop jet); and the Gulfstream (Grumman) bought 1963, in service May 1964, retired to WDW October 8, 1992. This is the plane you see on the backstage tour and, yes, Walt did fly in it to search for a site for Walt Disney World.
What I do not see in the article, though, is the intense involvement in Walt's plane from another flier in the company, Jack Cutting, who was Mr. International Dept. and one of Walt's closest advisers in this matter, helping writing the safety manuals. The top hand-written added phone number in his Disney phonebooks (of which I have a few) was the Burbank Airport, followed by the weather bureau.

(For information on the current Disney air fleet, check the info on their company Earth Star Inc, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank.)

(Addition 4/23/2012: Please see the important comment by an expert referring to this page!]



Blogger Gunnar Andreassen says...

Thanks for a very interesting posting !
One of the photos shows a small part of Walt's formal office. I would love to see a photo showing more of this office. Could you possibly post this ?

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:23:00 PM PST  
Blogger Tinker Bell says...

Wonderful post, and fantastic photos of Walt's office. Thank you! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012 at 4:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger EvylChopper says...

I have enclosed the page on G.159 CN. 121.

This aircraft was originally registered as N732G. The registrations you posted are not correct. I suspect they came from the rzjets website which is not that reliable.

Hope this helps,

Scott Morris
G-159 Historical Research Society

Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 3:43:00 PM PDT  

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