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Old 02-03-2020, 03:21 PM   #50
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default A) Short-Range Transports

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I presume that's the price in the present day? In the 1980s, DHC-2s might well have been cheaper, and An-2s were certainly less available. An-2s are very cheap now because they're being replaced in many of their former uses, but that doesn't seem to have been the case until about the turn of the century.

Indeed, if you were flying an An-2 in the Western hemisphere before 1990, swapping the engine for an American-made one would have been a good idea simply so that you could get parts.
Well, those are modern prices for a heavily used DHC-2. However, the Internet assures me that they were $575,000 new in 1953 and that they would be $1.5 to $2 million if sold new now.

Which is ridiculous for this size range, certainly, at least compared to the older aircraft which Kessler could obtain instead. A couple of hundred thousand for a small seaplane in good condition is reasonable (the An-2 and their dirt cheap price being somewhat of an exception), but Kessler is not going to be paying millions for the smallest size range when fairly capable older planes that are bigger and suit his purposes just fine are available for $500,000 or less.

Edit: I can find several 1950s vintage DHC-2 Beavers without expensive upgrades and with heavily used airframes available for sale at $200,000 to $350,000, which is at least more acceptable than $500,000+. As DHC-2 production ended in the late sixties, I have no idea whether used aircraft of the type would have been relatively more or less expensive in 1987-1989 than they are now. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I'll assume that their value has held pretty steady if well maintained and periodically refurbished. So, it makes sense to me that Kessler might have acquired two DHC-2 Beavers before 1990, in order to clandestinely handle logistics for some of his occult researchers.



I realize that An-2s and other Soviet aircraft will not be among the first aircraft Kessler buys in 1987-1990, but his operation didn't just spring into being fully made. He didn't really have enough trusted agents, investigators, scientists or paramilitary operators in 1987 to require as many aircraft as he'd be using in 1995 or 2018.

So he bought a few planes in 1987, maybe a couple in 1988-1989 and then took advantage of the enormous stockpiles of ex-Soviet stuff when they became available after that, probably because he recognized the value for the next few years, rather than him actually having a need for so many aircraft immediately.

It looks like Kessler will own several Grumman Geese, both JRF-5, G21A and a newer McKinnon turboprop conversion. One bought in the 60s, one in the 70s and a couple to a few acquired from the defunct Antilles Air Boats in the 1980s. Of course, these will not be all that clandestine, in that many local people will know these planes and know that they are owned by J.R. Kessler (technically a holding company owned by him, but not important).

This means that the Grumman Geese are probably used to shuttle his household and important employees around the Antilles, but it would be pretty bad operational security to use them for any op which was not meant to be traced to Kessler.

So when 'research into the paranormal' turned in the early 1990s to 'covert investigations of occult crimes' and even later, around 1994 or so, to 'paramilitary hunting of supernatural threats', Kessler would have required other aircraft not associated with him or any company publicly linked to him.

Particularly important for the smallest transport type, as that would be the ones most often carrying operatives to places where law enforcement might later on be asking questions. Best for them to be registered to fly-by-night charter operators, in such situations.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-03-2020 at 05:11 PM.
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