The sharply painted M-STAR, a 1981 built Boeing 727-2X8 began its final series of flights from Dubai to the Cotswolds on 31st January 2024, for a somewhat unknown future. Westleigh Bushell was on hand at Cotswold Airport to witness what could be the aircraft’s final landing.
Having always been in the VIP/Business jet role, M-STAR is believed to be the lowest flight hour Boeing 727 still airworthy. The aircraft is line number 1784 and rolled off Boeing’s Renton production line in 1981 wearing the test registration N4523N. The first owner flew it as N721MF from 1982 and it stayed with this same owner until 2008 where it was then sold and flew as N727LL until 2010. From here it joined the Isle of Man register at M-ETIS for a short time before becoming M-STAR in 2011. Starling Aviation were the new owners and added the stunning blue scheme the aircraft became famous for worldwide. As of February 2024 and after arrival into Cotswold Airport, M-STAR was deregistered from the Isle of Man register.
The Final flight…
Leaving Dubai World Central on 31st January 2024 and taking a short tech stop in Tekirdag, Turkey, M-STAR landed at London Stansted for UK Customs formalities. After a short 1 hour 53 minute stay at London Stansted, M-STAR departed on runway 22, and flew a short 29 minute flight across to Cotswold airport, formally Kemble. The flight between Stansted and Cotswold Airport was not only a milestone for the 727, it was also to be the captains final flight. This double celebration was given a traditional water canon salute by the Stansted Airport Fire service. Upon its arrival into Cotswold airport the aircraft was towed to the Air Salvage International (ASI)/ GCAM ramp.
Maybe not the end?
It’s believed the jet has been up for sale in the recent past which makes its future a little murky. Cotswold Airport is synonymous with larger jets arriving to meet the axe and M-STAR was thought to be no exception, however, GCAM who M-STAR is parked with at Kemble have said that the 727 will receive some maintenance and storage pending onward sale .
The Author’s would like to extend his thanks to Marcus Jellyman & Tony Best for their help towards the content and images.
Browse our article database here: https://www.aeroresource.co.uk/articles/