DC-3 MAKES 75
By Capt Leon Steyn
The aviation fraternity congregated at Rand Airport, near
Johannesburg on 18 December 2010 to celebrate the first flight
of the legendary Douglas DC-3 Dakota seventy-five years ago.
The South African Air Force (SAAF) made a worthwhile
contribution to the festivities by sending two C-47TPs from 35
Squadron at Air Force Base (AFB) Ysterplaat and, in addition to
that, it also provided the historic radial powered C-47 from the
SAAF Museum at Swartkop.
DC-3 formation 75th Rand airport 2010 Photo-Bruce Perkins.
The three aircraft from the SAAF led a magnificent sunset
formation fly-past of five aircraft above Rand Airport.
The military derivative of the DC-3 was known as the C-47 and
the SAAF operated the historic radial powered aircraft in large
numbers between 1944 and 1994. Today the SAAF continues to
utilize the modernized turbo-prop version of these venerable
aircraft. 35 Squadron from AFB Ysterplaat operates the
remaining TP Daks, in the maritime patrol tasks.
The SAAF Museumís Historic Flight maintains one radial powered
C-47 in flying condition from Swartkop, while another aircraft,
known as the Coelacanth Dak, is currently being restored to
flying condition at Ysterplaat
SAAF Museum Dakota Photo-John Austin-Williams.