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Convair CV-440 Metropolitan

Curtiss C-46A Commando
LN-FOS N10427
Douglas C-47A / DC-3
PH-PBA USAAF 0-30665
Martin 4-0-4
9Q-CUK Douglas C-47B c/n 26735/15290 - Vallentuna Aviatorforening - Berlin-Schönefeld Airport in Germany - 26 May 1994 historic aeroplanes

In 1932, Douglas Aircraft Company Inc. started the development of a twelve-seat, two-engined, all-metal mono-plane with retractable landing-gear. The prototype of this first Douglas Commercial, the DC-1 flew first on 1 July 1933 and was delivered to Transcontinental & Western Air. However just only one DC-1 was built, this aircraft became the start of a succesfull series of airliners. TWA ordered twenty production aircraft, which were designated DC-2. The Douglas DC-2 had a larger engine and seated 14 passengers. The plane made its maiden flight on 11 May 1934 and entered service with TWA on 18 May 1934. Due to its performance in airliner service a growing number of orders were placed by airlines all over the world, including by K.L.M. Due to the succes of the DC-2, Douglas developed and built what many consider to be one of the greatest planes ever: the DC-3. The prototype Douglas DC-3 flew first on 17 December 1935, and this transport aircraft was built in larger numbers than any before or since. In its initial form, the Douglas DC-3 was powered by 1.000 hp Wright R-1820-G2 Cyclones and accomodated twenty-one passengers. In 1936, the DC-3 was joined in production by the DC-3A with two 1.050 hp Pratt and Whitney R-1830-SC-G Twin Wasps, and maximum accomodation in this model being increased over the years to twenty-eight passengers. The DC-3B entered production in 1937. This version was similar to the DC-3A apart from 1,100 hp Wright GR-1820-G102A engines. The bulk of the aircraft producted became the Douglas C-47, a military transport version of the commercial DC-3 airliner. A 7500-lb. cargo load or twenty-eight troops may be accomodated. With the breakout of WW II, a fast growing number of the C-47 and its variants were ordered. The C-47 entered service service with the U.S.A.A.F. in 1941 and became the world's most widely-used general-purpose military transport aircraft. When production termintated, 10,926 C-47s and its variants having been built in the U.S.A. Licence manufacture also having been undertaken in Japan and the U.S.S.R. The Russian licensed copies of the DC-3 were built near Moscow and in Tashkent and designated Lisunov Li-2 (4,937 built). Licensed copies of the DC-3 built in Japan were designated Showa L2D (487 built). The Douglas DC-3 / C-47 and their variants were known under more than two dozen nicknames; wellknown nicknames were Skytrain, Gooney Bird, Dakota and Dak. After the war ended, large numbers of C-47s and its variant entered the civil market, a number of these C-47s were remanufactured and known as Douglas DC-3C.

In 1944 Douglas C-47B-15-DK s/n 16697 was built by Douglas at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. Because of duplicate construction numbers, Douglas later assigned number 33445 as the new construction number to this airframe. On 8 June 1945, the aircraft was taken on strenght/charge with the USAAF - United States Army Air Force as Skytrain '44-77113'. On 11 June 1945, the aircraft was taken on strenght/charge with the RAF - Royal Air Force No. 45 Group at Dorval, Montreal, Canada, as Dakota Mk.IV 'KP227' and was flown to the UK where it arrived on 22 June 1945. In Europe the aircraft served as 'KP227' with 437 Sqn. On 7 April 1946, Dakota Mk.IV 'KP227' was transferred to the RCAF - Royal Canadian Armed Forces and redesignated as Douglas CC-129 Dakota. On 20 July 1946, Douglas CC-129 'KP227' arrived in Canada where it was taken on strenght/charge first with the 435 Sqn. of the RCAF. Until June 1971, the CC-129 served with Air Navigation School at CFB Winnipeg, equipped as a radar trainer. In June 1970, in service with this unit of the CAF, Douglas CC-129 'KP227' was re-serialed '12906'. On 1 July 1971, Douglas CC-129 '12906' went to the CFFTSU (Canadian Forces Flying Training Standards Unit) at Winnipeg. On 31 March 1972, Douglas '12906' went to the No. 429 Transport Squadron at Winnipeg. On 30 July 1976, the plane was whithdrawn fom service with the CAF and later sold. On 12 October 1976, registration C-GYJJ was used for the Douglas C-47B by Rainier Development Corp., Strathmore, Alberta, just for a ferry flight. In June 1977, Basler Flight Service at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, bought a number of Douglas DC-3 airframes, including Douglas C-47B s/n 33445/16697. Unlike the other DC-3 aircraft bought by Basler in that period, this C-47B was not registered in Basler Flight Service's name. Ake Jansson had selected this aircraft for his employer Kalicak Constructions and on 8 July 1977, the Douglas C-47B was registered N99665 with H. Kalicak Construction, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. On 16 June 1977, Douglas C-47B N99665 was noted at Stockholm-Arlanda in Sweden, still in Canadia Air Force colors, on it's way to Vallentuna Flygfält in Sweden. The plane was flown by Ake Jansson from St. Louis via Oshkosh, Goose Bay, Narssarssuaq and Bergen to Arlanda and from there to Vallentuna. After a time in Sweden, C-47B N99665 was flown by Ake Jansson to Libreville in Gabon. On 6 September 1980, registration N99665 was cancelled as exported to Zaire, and the aircraft was registered 9Q-CUK with Transports Aériens Zairois and given the name ‘Cargo Queen’. Due to the unsafe situation in Zaïre following a military coup in September 1991, the plane returned to Vallentuna in Sweden, where it arrived on 20 October 1991. Douglas C-47B 9Q-CUK stayed first at Vallentuna where it was operated by Vallentuna Aviatorforening and seen on several occasions in Europe in it's yellow colors and blue 'SAS style' cheatline. In July 1999, the aircraft was registered ES-AKE in Estonia for tax purpose, and in 2007, re-registered 9Q-CUK, all the time owned by Ake Jansson. In May 2009, the aircraft was given the name 'Congo Queen'. Because it was no longer allowed to fly the Swedish-based aircraft outside Sweden, in 2014 it was decided to register the 9Q-CUK as N41CQ in the USA. On 30 September 2015, the at Vallentuna airfield near Stockholm based aircraft was registered N41CQ in the USA with Addison Aviation Inc., Pompano Beach, Florida. On 6 May 2016, the N41CQ was registered with Adams Aviation Services Inc. Trustee, Wilmington, Delaware. In 2018, it turned out that even as N41CQ it was not allowed to fly the Douglas C-47B out of the country more than once, for example to be transferred to a new owner. In July 2019, Douglas C-47B N41CQ was offered for sale and the same year the classic airliner was sold in China. On 16 October 2019, the N41CQ started its flight from Vallentuna to Nanchang Yaohu Airport in China, where it arrived on 27 October. At Nanchang Yaohu Airport, the N41CQ was repainted in yhe old CNAC-livery with registration XT-125 added. On 6 December 2019, the N41CQ was seen as DC-3 XT-125 in China National Aviation Corporation colors during a flightpass over Beijing-Daxing airport. The Douglas C-47B will be kept airworthy in China and is destined to join the collection of the new aviation museum at the former Beijing-Nanyuan airport, that itself started as an airfield back in 1910, having witnessed the birth and development of China's aviation industry.
On 26 May 1994, Douglas C-47B 9Q-CUK was seen during the 1994 ILA Berlin Air Show at Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld in Germany.

page last updated: 09-05-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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