The DDA Classic Airlines C-47A PH-PBA '42-100971' based in Holland flew over Ste Mere Eglise in the early hours of the 6th June D-Day 1944. She was constructed at Long Beach, and actually participated in dropping parachutists, along with 35 other C-47s from the 316th TCG (parachutists of the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division) and based at Cottesmore. In early morning of the 6th June she dropped troops at the DZ next to Sainte Mere Eglise on the Carentan peninsula to the south east of Cherbourg, and inland from Utah beach. This aircraft is now based at Amsterdam Schiphol airport and provides local pleasure and sight seeing flights.
Goldtimer Foundation/Malev – Lisunov Li-2 HA-LIX . This particular plane was manufactured in 1949 in Taskent, USSR. HA-LIX is the only airworthy Li-2's in the world. It was built in 1949 in Airframe Factory Nr.84 of Taskent, serial number 18433209. This plane was delivered to the Hungarian military Transport Wing, which was then in the process of being organized at Szekesfehervar, on the 17th September 1949. She flew with the 16th Independent Transport Company until 1957, when her unit was disbanded and she was transferred to MALEV. Before being handed over she received a 'general maintenance' inspection at the Military Repair Workshop at Szekesfehervar. She was given a civilian identification sign of HA-LIX. Until MALEV withdrew the LI-2 type from regular service and returned HA-LIX to the Air Force, she was flying passengers on internal routes. During her service with MALEV she was given an extensive general inspection at the company's workshop. On her return to the Air Force she was permanently transferred to the Kecskemet Air Base, where she was used as a military transport and a parachute trainer. During this time she was a frequent visitor of Budaors Air Base. Her next major refurbishing was done at Mineralnaja Vodi (Soviet Union) during 1968-69. At the end of 1973 she was withdrawn from service. She was flown to Szolnok, to be displayed in the museum of the Air Force Academy as'MN209'. It was from there that she was dismantled (July 1996) and transported to MEM Rsz (Air Service Budaors in the autumn of 1997. That year an agreement was successfully concluded with the Aviation History Museum of Szolnok about the rebuilding of the LI-2. During the early part of 2001 the Sun Flower Airline Company joined the restoration and continued the work (nearly 45,000 man-hours). After a complete rebuilt the aircraft first flight was made on 21st September 2001.Full test flying was conducted during the following winter and spring season. HA-LIX received her Certificate of Airworthiness on the 15th April 2002. Now it flies hired charter and sightseeing flights, and can also be used for Para-jumping. HA-LIX, named in honor of Theodore Kármán (Kármán Tódor), one of the pioneers of aerodynamics, is equipped with modern-time navigation aids like VOR/ILS and GPS so it can participate in normal air traffic. The GTF facilities are located at Budaörs airport (LHBS) near Budapest, Hungary.
The Breitling DC-3 HB-IRJ was built in 1940 for American Airways and delivered under the name 'Flagship Cleveland'. During World War Two from 1942 to 1944 she was leased to the US Army and after the war she flew for a number of airlines. In 2008 Francisco Agullo and some friends bought the DC-3 and she was ferried under the new Swiss registration HB-IRJ from Miami via North Canada, Greenland, Island and Scotland to her new home base in Geneva (Switzerland).
Also known as "Union Jack Dak" when it appeared at the 2010 Oshkosh 75th anniversary Dakota Meeting, N74589/224064 is a C-47A c/n 9926 built at Long Beach and restored by Clive Edwards and co from the UK in Covington, Georgia in 2010. It was re-painted in authentic D-Day colors in 2011. It was flown to the UK from the USA in early May and transited from Goose Bay to Narsarsuaq on 8th and then on to Reykjavik. It has been based at Waterbury/Oxford in Connecticut, but may stay on in the UK after the D-Day celebrations as its owner is British.
The Foundation Dakota Norway C-53D LN-WND Built by Douglas Aircraft Company as a C-53D-DO model and delivered to the USAAF 8th Air Force in June 1942. The following year it went to the UK. The full history of this a/c is a little sketchy but the a/c is believed to have taken part in the D-Day operations in the spring of 1944! It was purchased by the Finnish authorities in 1948 and flew scheduled passenger operations for Finnair throughout the 1950's and 1960's. From 1969 to 1985 it was operated by the Finnish Air Force as a VIP plane for the president Urho Kekkonen. After decommissioned by the Fin AF she was purchased by Captain Thore Virik (1986) and registered LN-WND with total hours of 38.600 flying. The Foundation Dakota Norway has taken over the operation of LN-WND with the intention of preserving the DC-3 in flying condition. The Norwegian aviation authorities have aloud the Dakota Norway to carry up to 19 passengers.
DC-3 Vennerne – DC-3 Dakota OY-BPB was built by Douglas Aircraft Company as a C-47A-DL model and delivered to the USAAF April 1944. The following year it was delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNAF) under the "lend - leased" program, until 1946 when it was leased by The Norwegian Air Lines. Registered as LN-IAT and named Nordtind. Painted in Scandinavian Airlines System colours during 1948. Last flight for SAS was in July 1953 and was deleted from the Norwegian register. Bought by the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) in October and received a new serial RDAF 68-682 and flew with Esk 721 squadron. Re-registered to K-682 in December 1960. Last flight for the RDAF was in July 1982 and she was put into storage soon after. In 1985 she was bought by Bohnsted-Petersen A/S as OY-BPB and was used as a company plane but also used at air shows. In 1992 she was taken over by The Association for Flying Museum Planes/Danish Friends and kept airworthy.
The UK-based C-47 N473DC (42-100882) aka "Drag-em-Oot", from the Lincs Aviation Museum in the UK (East Kirkby). This aircraft was delivered to the USAAF in December 1943 and assigned to the 9th Air Force Troop Carrier Command and then the 87th TCS at Greenham Common. One of its tasks was to recover troop carrying gliders after they'd landed in Normandy and return them to the UK for refurbishment. It was later transferred to Netheravon, Wiltshire and helped with preparations for Operation Market garden (Arnhem). It went to Canada with RCAF from 1946 to 1966 and then became CF-KAZ flying with Trans Provincial Airways and Pacific Coastal Airlines. In the US then as N5831B from 1985 to 2005 and in May 2005 ferried 5500 miles from Arizona to Liverpool (UK) in 34.5 hours becoming N437DC in 2006. It is now painted as 87th Squadron USAAF in D-Day colors.
DC-3 Association Finland – DC-3 Dakota Built by Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, California and completed on Christmas Eve 1942 as DC-3A-453 C/N 6346. Intended for Pan American Grace Airways as NC34953, she was promptly taken to military service on 27Dec42 and became C-53C-DO s/n 43-2033. She served in the US Air Transport Command, North Atlantic Wing and was probably based at Presque Isle, Maine until transferred in November 1943 to the European Wing, where she is believed to have served in personnel transport duties. In October 1944 she was transferred to the 8thAAF until the end of war in Europe. From storage in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, she was bought by the State of Finland and registered on 19Jun48 as OH-LCH and made her first commercial flight for Aero Oy on 21Jul48. She logged a total of 22137 hours until dismantled for spare parts on 15Dec60, but was rebuilt as a freighter with a large cargo door and re-registered as OH-LCH on 25Jun63 for Finnair Oy (ex-Aero Oy). On 1Apr 1967 she made Finnair's last scheduled DC-3 passenger flight. Having logged 28826 hours she was sold to the Finnish Air Force on 5Mar70 and received call sign DO-11. The Air Force retired DC-3s in 1985 and DO-11 was sold to Airveteran Oy on 15Jan86 to become OH-LCH once again. She is flown regularly during summer season and currently her log shows more 33700 hours.
France DC-3 – DC-3 Dakota F-AZTE (F-BBBE) was built as a C-47A-1-DL, '42-23310' (c/n 9172) it was delivered on the 6th March 1943 and went to the 8th Airforce in November 1943. After the war she flew with Scottish Airlines as G-AGZF and later she was used by the French Airforce as WZ984 (October 1952). She currently flies in Air France markings as F-BBBE. F-AZTE was formerly reg'd as F-GDPP and is operated by Dakota et Compagnie, based at Paris-Orly airport.
The Historical Aircraft Group of the National Warplane Museum, N345AB/330652 "Whiskey Seven" based at Geneseo, upper New York State, USA arrived at Prestwick, UK on ay 20th via Goose, Narsarsuaq, Reykyavik. It was originally delivered in September 1943 and was based with the 12th Air Force in Algiers, North Africa. It was civilianized in 1945 as NC65135 at Grand Prairie in Texas and in the 1960s flew with Eastern Provincial Airways in Canada as CF-RTB. It came to Geneseo in April 2005 from the Dakota Aviation Museum in New Hampshire.