No secret at all, I love Thai Airways. Nothing is more sad than seeing their aircrafts reaching the end of their service. I was recently directed towards this video on youtube, shot at Mojave airplane graveyard, which shows a total of four Boeing 747’s of Thai Airways. Oh, man, I would have loved visiting this site at some point in my lifetime… with a pocket full of dollars to buy myself my very own complete (or parts of) Boeing 747.
From what I can see in the video, part 1, we can definately see HS-TGN and HS-TGL.
HS-TGL was a B747-4D7 carrying the name Theparat (เทพรัตน์). This aircraft made it’s first flight on November 22nd 1991 and was withdrawn from service and stored at Bangkok Suwarnabhumi Airport from 31st of October 2013. On December 3rd that same year, it was flown to DMK - Don Muang Airport for further storage. Almost a year later, on November 19th 2014, the aircraft was flown to Mojave for “storage". I do remember clearly having flown this particular aircraft myself, at least once or twice, during her service-life.
HS-TGN was also a B747-4D7, carrying the name Simongkhon (ศรีมงคล). This aircraft made it’s first flight on November 23rd 1992 and was withdrawn from service and stored at Bangkok Suwarnabhumi Airport from 24th of April 2013 until 30th of July 2013, when it was flown to DMK - Don Muang Aiprot for further storage. On 30th of October 2014, the aircraft took off from DMK and was flown to MHV for further storage. The arrival date for storage is confirmed in the end of the video below, as we see HS-TGN making her final approach and landing at MHV.
The third aircraft in the video is likely to be HS-TGM, a Boeing 747-4D7 carrying the name Chao Phraya (เจ้าพระยา). Chao Phraya made it’s maiden flight back on 23rd of October 1992, and was withdrawn from service on New Years Eve 2013. Nearly a year later, on December 22nd 2014, the aircraft was flown to MHV for further storage.
The last Boeing Thai 747 should then also be a 747-4D7 with registration HS-TGK. If that is the case, and I’m pretty sure because there have only been four Thai 747’s sent to MHV, this should be the end of the road for Alongkorn (อลงกรณ์). TGK made it’s maiden flight on 11th of January 1991 and was withdrawn from service on 31st of March 2013. A few days later, on 3rd of April, the airctaft was flown to DMK - Don Muang Aiport for further storage. It remained on DMK until it was flown to MHV on 28th of January 2015 for “further storage”.
For me, it’s truly sad because I feel a strong personal connection with these birds. To me, they are not only a collection of verious metalls and technology, but also modern marvels with a long and truly interesting story to tell. The end of the Boeing 747 is quickly apporaching, not only in the Thai fleet, but also with other major airlines. If all my current plans hold water, I hope to be able to at least experience one more roundtrip Bangkok - Hong Kong on a Thai 747 by February 2017.