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Article 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.

SAAF Museum Dakota Photo-John Austin-Williams.

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

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