Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Walt's Private Turboprop Aircraft

Q: What was the model and make of Walt's private turboprop aircraft (the one he used regularly to fly down to Florida to meet Orlando civic leaders?) We saw it parked among the movie props two years ago while touring the Disney Hollywood Studios props lot. I believe it had Rolls-Royce engines (I remember the logos on the engine nacelles). I work in aircraft maintenance for UPS Airlines and I'm a private pilot — so I guess you could say I'm PLANE CRAZY (Mickey pun intended)!
Ray, Louisville, Kentucky

A [Dave Smith]: It is a Grumman Gulfstream I. I was privileged to fly in it to Florida a couple of times in the early 1970s.

[Marcio Disney]

This plane was used by Walt Disney while he was scouting out places to built Walt Disney World in Florida. He would bring himself and his Imagineers (designers) from California to help in the planning. 

The plane is a Grumman G-159 Gulfstream I twin engine turboprop that was built in 1963 and put in service May 1964. The tail number of N234MM was specially assigned to the plane by the FAA (MM meaning Mickey Mouse). By 1978, the plane had logged 4.3 million miles or 12,300 hours. It was retired to Disney World for display October 1992.

The only way to see the plane is to take the Backlot Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Towards the end of the tram ride you will see it on display.

Everyday, Disney fans send dozens of questions for Disney Chief Archivist Dave Smith. Here are Dave's answers to your questions. Check back every day for a new post with a new question.

Dave Smith (born October 13, 1940) was the Walt Disney Archives founder and chief archivist which is located in the Frank G. Wells Building at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. He joined the company June 22, 1970. Forty years later, on July 2010, he retired.

oº Marcio Disney Family Sites Network ºoº


  1. Yes it had Rolls Royce Engines. I flew in it 6 times and was interested in airplanes at the time from taking Pilot lessons, I can indeed confirm the type of engine.

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