In the fast paced world we live it today; it is refreshing to pay tribute to an airplane the term obsolete and not reusable may never apply: the legendary Douglas DC-3 and C-47 still lingers on.
Although it has been over 77 years it has first flown, as many as a 900 examples still survive as wrecks/relics in museums and some even keep hauling passengers and cargo. This page pays tribute to the different Dakota's, DC-3s and C-47s from around the world, restored show-birds, nostalgic airliners, VIP transports, tired cargo haulers and decaying hulks from the past and present. According to the latest Air Britain worldwide DC-3 survey as off October 2010, there are 164 derelict airframes, 219 stored examples, 336 preserved airframes and 281 active airframes, totalling 991 DC-3s and 9 DC-2s.
Photos from Peter Gralla, Javier Franco TOPPER and Jan Koppen collection (2012-2013)
Aircraft reference and data: DC-3 history and aircraft date from2006 Air Britain, The Douglas DC-1/DC-2/DC-3 'The First 70 Years' and the 2011 75 Years Celebration Edition + 1996 The Legacy of the DC-3 by Henry Holden.
All rights reserved, no pictures and or contents from this page may be reproduced and/or copied in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical…with out prior permission by the owner of this website.
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South America edition
Villavicencio Vanguardia Airport – Colombia
Douglas C-47B HK-4045 (c/n 14363/25808) ex ALCOM which has been stored for some years, has been pulled from the weeds during February 2013 for a full restoration. This a/c was delivered back in August 1944 and went to the RAF as KJ869. I first saw this a/c at Opa Locka, FL fully airworthy in Eagle Wings colours and registration N10004. Later it went to Panama Cargo Three with tail number HP-1176CHT. When I visited Villavicencio during September 1999 I saw it parked with ALCOM titles.
ALAS Douglas C-47B HK-3215 (c/n 14666/26111) is nearing its full restoration. Seen here in full ALAS colours, minus its RH engine in front of Peter Gralla camera. This a/c was delivered back in September 1944 as KJ938 and went to the RAF. In civilian life she has served with Transair Ltd (G-ANTC), Kenting Aircraft Ltd (C-GOZA), Sky-freight Airlines Inc (N4261P & N124SF). During my visit to Villavicencio back in September 1999 I saw this a/c minus wings and tail surfaces in deep storage. She was painted in LACOL faded yellow/orange and red colours.
Museo Nacional de Aeronautica - Buenos Aires
The Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica (MNA) (National Aeronautics Museum) is located in Morón, Buenos Aires, Argentina, dedicated to the history of aviation, in particular the Argentine Air Force. The museum was created on January 13, 1960, by decree 264/60 of the President of the Republic, its first director and main supporter being Brigadier Edmundo Civatti Bernasconi. It was initially located at the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, and in the 2000s was relocated to the Morón Airport and Air Base, site of Argentina's first international airport. The museum is divided between different halls.
Intrepid aviation photographer Jan Koppen on his annual holiday in Argentina managed to visit the museum, despite the grueling summer temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius. There numerous interesting aircraft's on display. He came across two interesting DC-3. Fuerza Aerea Argentina Douglas C-47A-85-DL 'TA-05' (c/n 19965) and Douglas C-47A-15-DK LQ-GJT (c/n 12678).
DC-3 LQ-GJT is a recent new addition to the museum. She was delivered back in March 1944 as '42-108883' to the 8th Air Force. She served with the Argentinean Navy as 0220 (August 1948). As LQ-GJT she served as Presidencia de la Nacion Argentina during 1960. Then back to the Argentina Navy as 5-T-10 and reported wfs 1979. (Acc the Air Britain DC-3 Survivors) this a/c was not a survivor. But according several Argentinean internet sites this a/c was stored in a warehouse at Rio Material Area V (ARMACUAR) during 1990. In 2006 she was chosen to be restored and finally arrived at the museum during May 2011.
Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya – Grupos de Aviacion No3 y No4 Transporte
In front of the FAU Air Brigade III, the high command, and the Command School (Escuela de Comando y Estado Mayor Aéreo) base at Cap't Boiso Lanza Air Base in Montevideo International Airport, you can find two Douglas C-47s. (FAU '510' C-47A-65-DL c/n 19021 and FAU '514' C-47D c/n 20604) and a lone Fokker F-27.
Museo Aeronáutico de Montevideo – Uruguay
The Colonel Aeronautical Museum, was founded by Jaime Meregalli and at first was a showroom for the Aeronautics Command Military Base Cap. Boiso Lanza, and consisted only of personal items of the pioneers, badges and uniforms, from this a new Aeronautical Museum was created and moved to its current location on 18th August 1954 and its first director was just Colonel Jaime Meregalli. The current director is Colonel Roberto Rodriguez, his Deputy Director Gustavo Urban. Opening hours: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 14:30 pm. to 17:30. Guided tours for schools and educational institutions, advance booking are availability by phone consultation.
During my visit the museum was very quiet, the ex Pluna DC-3 (CX-BDB model DC-3A-467 c/n 16644/33392) stands proudly on display outside the museum, but in needs of some TLC and a fresh coat of paint. This a/c was delivered in May 1945 and went to the RAF as KN682. She served in the UK with Field a/c Services and Hunting Air Travel Ltd as G-AMNL. She carried Italian markings I-TAVO with Itavia B. She was back in the UK at Speke-Luton. Delivered to Pluna June 1964 and retired to the museum in 1975.
ChileanNationalAir and SpaceMuseum
Santiago– Los Cerrillos
The Museo Nacional Aeronautico y del Espacio (National Museum of Air and Space), is a well worth a visit to aviation enthusiast. Founded in 1944, the museum is located atLosCerrillosAirport. Opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 – 17.00 and admission is free. The huge museum displays an large assortment of aircraft, including Chile's first airplane; information about Chilean aviation pioneer Dagoberto Godoy, the first person to fly over the Andes to Argentina in December 1918; and a interesting exhibit about the Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile (LAN), founded by Air Force Commander Arturo Merino Benitez in 1929.
Aviation photographerJavier Franco "Topper" visited the museum and managed to photograph the beautifully restored DC-3 exhibit's. A fourth DC-3 can be found in the Museum's storage area, waiting to be restored along with a group of other aircrafts. He managed to photograph the old Aerocor DC-3 at the museum dump…which is normally not accessible to the visiting public.
Chili AF Douglas C-47B-5-DK '963' (c/n 14670/26115): Delivered September 1944 to RAF as KJ941 and ex SAAF 6847.
Aerolineas Argentines Douglas C-47A -90- DL LV-ADF (c/n 20158): Delivered April 1944 ex Air Cargo Transport Corp NC60942 and CC-CLK Aerocargo B
LAN Douglas C-47-25-DK CC-CBX (CC-CLDT) (c/n13296): Delivered May 1944, ex CATC CA39/XT-T31, N8326C, N4660V Civil Air Transport Inc, CC-CBJ LAN Chile and with Direccion General de Aeronautica during 1972.
AEROCOR Douglas C-47B-15-DK CC-CBW (c/n 15259/26704): Delivered November 1944 India/China ATC, ex CATC XT-T32, N8330C, N4661V Civil Air Transport Inc, CC-CBI LAN Chile 1954, ex CC-CLDS Aerolineas Cordillera Ltda – Linea Aerea Taxpa (1987) and CC-PQS
Museum info from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia