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PH-DAW Douglas C-47A-25-DK c/n 13458 - KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines - Rotterdam The Hague Airport in Holland - July 1968 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.

KLM Aerocarto was founded in 1921 by the KLM as "Fototechnisch Bedrijf". KLM Aerocarto started as an oblique photography company using KLM aircraft. In the early 1930s, they received their first vertical camera. The first aircraft to be designated especial for KLM Aerocarto was the Fokker F.VIIa PH-ADR (ex H-NADP; H-NADR) which was re-registered PH-OTO on 14 December 1931. KLM Aerocarto operated over the years a wide range of aeroplanes, including Pipers and Cessna's, two Pilatus PC-6 Porter, two Douglas DC-3C and a De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide. KLM Aerocarto was also active in Surinam in the period 1954 - 1977.

In 1944 Douglas C-47A-25-DK s/n 13458 was built by Douglas at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, as USAAF Skytrain 42-100971. On 29 May 1944, the aircraft was delivered to the RAF at Dorval, Montreal, Canada, as Lend-Lease Dakota III with serial KG646. The Dakota III was part of a batch of 500 Dakota III aircraft, serials KG310 – KG809, that were delivered in the period February – August 1944. On 6 June 1944, the 'KG646' arrived in the UK where it served with 575 squadron and 24 squadron. In 1945, the KG646 was assigned to 1381 (T) CU. On 20 November 1946, the Dakota III was bought by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with 17 February 1947 given as delivery date. On 18 July 1947, the aircraft was registered PH-TDW with KLM as a Douglas C-47A. On 22 April 1954, the Douglas C-47A was reregistered PH-DAW as before with KLM. On 4 April 1955, Douglas C-47 PH-DAW was registered with KLM Aerocarto. In December 1968, Douglas C-47A PH-DAW went to Surinam where it was deployed by KLM Aerocarto. On 12 December 1968, the PH-DAW took-off from AMS on it's way to Surinam, with fuel stops at Kirkwall - Rejkjavik - Sondre Stromfjord - Goose Bay - Boston - Charleston - Miami - San Juan and Trinidad to Zanderij Parimaribo where the aircraft arrived on 21 December 1968. On 15 July 1970, registration PH-DAW was cancelled as exported to Surinam. The next day, the aircraft was registered PZ-TLA with KLM Aerocarto in the Surinam Registry. On 1 June 1972, registration PZ-TLA was cancelled. The airframe was last seen end-1970s at Paramaribo's International Aiport Zanderij in bad condition without its engines. Since, the airframe is broken up.
In July 1968, Douglas C-47A s/n 13458 PH-DAW of KLM Aerocarto was seen at Rotterdam-Zestienhoven airfield painted in the early sixties KLM color scheme.

page last updated: 03-02-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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